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The capitulants visit three ecclesial communities

13/09/2009: General House

Sunday arrived, the first rest day for the capitulants. The members of the Central Commission used the day to organize and prepare their work agenda for directing the assembly. The others went on excursions to three different places. An outing together was envisaged as one means of helping people to get better acquainted, but it also had to be integrated into the dynamic of the Chapter. As the group is a large one, it was proposed to visit three places. The places chosen provided the capitulants with an opportunity to have an experience of the life of an ecclesial community.

The first option was to spend some hours at Loppiano, a community situated 272 km from Rome, born from the charism of Chiara Lubic, whose life message was that “a fraternal world is possible”. The Focolare Movement brings together 240 movements and communities throughout the world manifesting “unity in diversity”.

The second option was to go to Nomadelfia, 184 km from Rome, where some 340 persons live in 50 families, all sharing their goods in common.

The third option was to get to know the Community of San Egidio, located in the city of Rome itself. The members of this Christian community without frontiers are committed to living the spirit of the Apostles and of Saint Francis of Assisi. It is present in 70 countries.

On their return from the visits, the faces of all reflected the joy of having encountered something new.

Of Loppiano, someone summarized his experience thus: This town, where about 900 persons live, is a “prophecy of communion for our world, from its cultural diversity and complementarity of vocations”. Another said: “it is a life style unified and integrated by a spirituality with a strong Marial tint”.

Of Nomadelfia, they bring back this memory: “The Gospel continues to be a source of inspiration in its simplest and most original form. Nomadelfia: ‘our law: brotherhood’, puts everything in common, something paradoxical in the face of how our world behaves, in no small way, today”. And another voice adds: “I discovered the radical nature of monastic life adapted to families. Evangelical fraternity is a beautiful ideal if lived with sincerity. If lived so, it is liberating ».

Those who visited the community of San Egidio expressed themselves more or less in these terms: “In the San Egidio community, what caught my attention most was “the challenge of the witness of lay people”, who “cannot survive without the daily sharing of the gospel in community prayer”. The life choice is “to be close to the poor” sharing “brotherhood” with them.

Three experiences, different but complementary, which have helped the capitulants focus attention on the ways the Church travels under the impulse of the Spirit. Now is the time for the Marist response.

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