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In her arms or in her heart

 

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Brother Sean Sammon’s Circular on Mary

03/09/2009: General House

Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General, has wished to bequeath to the Institute, before the end of his mandate, a circular on Mary, which bears the official date of 31 May 2009. This circular brings to a fitting close the volume of circulars published during the Superior General’s term of office.

Brother Sean acknowledges at the beginning that “circulars about the mother of Jesus are hardly a new phenomenon in the history of our Institute” (p.10), and that there have been other productions focused on Mary; but, on the other hand, he claims that “the time appears to be right to find a renewed understanding about the place of Mary within the life and mission of our Institute” (p. 12).

The new publication is presented under an original title: “In her arms or in her heart”. This expression is from Marcellin and can be found written in a letter addressed to Monsignor Pompallier in May 1838. This phrase, recovered from the lips of the Founder, is complemented by two titles describing Mary’s presence in Marist life: “Mary, our Good Mother” and “Mary our Source of Renewal”, which synthesize the two proposals Brother Sean addresses to the Brothers. The first: “to help you and me grow in appreciation of the Founder’s relationship with the mother of Jesus so as to give the one we have with her a more central place in our lives” (p. 19). And the second: “to come to accept Mary as an important source of renewal in our Institute today” (p. 19).

This new Marist publication offers us “a timely opportunity once again to reflect on the place of Mary in our lives and our devotion to her” (p. 13) and invites us “(to welcome) the mother of Jesus in a new way into our hearts and lives” (p. 13) so as “to discover (her) anew in light of all that we have learned about her since the close of Vatican II, and to develop our devotion to her accordingly” (p. 15).

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