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On the road to a new land!



2nd European Assembly of the MCHFM

16/09/2010: Spain - Photo gallery

The 2nd European Assembly of the MCHFM (Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family) was held in Guardamar, Spain, from the 4th to the 8th of August; the motto was: “On the road to a new land!”The basic objective of the gathering was to encourage the new life that God is asking today of the Marist fraternities of Europe. The participants came from Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Lebanon.There were three distinct, but related, stages: in the first, the reality of the MCHFM in Europe was presented, as well as the challenges the European Council has been able to identify over these past four years of its existence. Then, there was a sharing of “new realities” that the fraternities in each of the provinces have lived during the past four years.In the second stage, we had a wonderful reflection by De La Salle Br. Antonio Botana on the charismatic families that have developed in the Church-communion: that new concept of the Church that arose after Vatican II and the implications it has among us who share the same charism. Along with this, we were familiarized with two ecclesial realities that incarnate in different styles this Church-communion: the Chemin Neuf movement and the congregation of the Pious Schools (Escolapians).In the third stage, we discerned the most important calls the European fraternities have at this time. These came to the surface very clearly and with a large consensus of the whole assembly: 1. Design and encourage processes of joint formation. 2. Live the mission, putting our gifts at the service of others. 3. Strengthen communion among the fraternities.We also reflected, by province, on action steps that need to be taken to respond to these calls, conscious that we have to work at the local and provincial levels in order to make real all that we saw, had insights into and discerned as a group.Bringing the meeting to a close, the assembly voted on some proposals that the European Council of the Movement had presented. The following motions were approved unanimously: a. The continuation of the European Council of the MCHFM.b. The implementation of a European delegate assembly every 4 years.c. To request the European Brothers Provincial for a brother to accompany the Council. d. To begin reflecting of the Life Project of the MCHFM and to set up a calendar for dates to consider this and other common themes. e. To petition the European Council to initiate a reflection that might assist in moving towards greater autonomy of the Movement.All of the work was very interesting and needed, but what everyone remarked on the enjoyed most was the familiar and affectionate atmosphere that prevailed from the beginning of the meeting: the unity we had among ourselves and a great joy of profound sharing at the different stages: the prayers, the times of recreation, the small groups, the plenary sessions, the fiesta…A sense of great confidence and vision pervaded the entire meeting, allowing us to truly build a family that shared, dialogued, confronted and enjoyed such life that we sensed in each one of us and in our realities. Perhaps because of this, the final symbol of the assembly was a sponge, one of which everyone received as a reminder of what we had lived and what we are sent to be from now on.We recognize in a particular way the support of the Brother Provincials of Europe in bringing this assembly about and we thank God and one another for the gift we have received and which causes us to look to the future with much hope and a desire to set out on the road to a new land.

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