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In the Very Footsteps of Our Founder



International Marist Community - LHermitage

15/01/2010: France

The New International Marist Community followed in the very footsteps of St Marcellin Champagnat, 193 years after his foundation of the Institute. 2nd January was another winter’s day high in the Lyonnais Hills. The tiny village of La Valla, where Marcellin with Jean-Marie Granjon and Jean Baptiste Audras began community, greeted the pilgrims.

Local brothers hosted the new community for Mass at the very Table that symbolizes our origins. The Liturgy had been carefully prepared and flowed with grace and significance. At the Offertory, Maria Elida carried to the Table a beautifully wrapped gift indicating the 193rd anniversary of the historical event and the worldwide presence of Marist Brothers on five continents. A delightful dinner followed with much merriment and gentle celebration.
Those for whom it was a first visit to this cradle of the Institute, like Father John also visited the old Chapel and expressed admiration at the brilliance of the stained glass windows in a burst of sunshine. He and Brother Neville were united in acknowledging that the windows are a treasure to behold.

The day there came to a close with members of the new international community further realizing who they are and for whom they are called. By following Christ in the manner of Mary, with one heart and mind, they are called to know and love women and men of today, especially the youth. On their return, they visited the ancient shrine of Notre Dame de Valfleury where Father Marcellin and many other early Marists prayed.

By: Fr. John Craddock, SM and Br. Allan J. de Castro, FMS

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