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Launching of the “Year of Marist discipleship”

10/02/2011: General House

By means of a circular letter of Brother Horacio J. M. Bustos, Provincial of the Province of Cruz del Sur, published on 2 February 2011, feast of thePresentation of the Lord, when the Church celebrates the Day of Consecrated Life, the beginning was announced of a year dedicated throughout the Province to a renewal of the following of Jesus as Marists. This period, named the “Year of Marist discipleship”, will last until 2 February 2012. It has been prepared for by various sessions of the Provincial Council and provincial meetings and assemblies. It is a response to a priority insistently proclaimed by the last Provincial Chapter.

As fruit of these meetings held in the Province, the following objectives have been outlined and defined for the “Year of Marist discipleship”:

1. Become re-enthused with our vocation as disciples of Jesus, Marists of Champagnat, so as to be witnesses for children and young people.

2. To take a deeper view of the current vocation ministry in accord with the guidelines of the XXI General Chapter.

3. To review educational-pastoral experiences and processes so as to qualify them in their dimension of discovery and accompaniment of vocations.

4. Promote the Marist vocation in the Church and in the Province of Cruz del Sur.

This event is destined to create “spaces of participation for brothers and laity”. These spaces “also involve vocations ministry, as suggested by the XXI General Chapter, in that it is desired to involve a large number of Brothers and lay people”.

The launching of the “Year of Marist discipleship” is accompanied by an explanatory leaflet, which will provide details in the various provincial meetings. A logo and a motto, by means of the symbolism, will link “the Marists of Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina”.  These resources are intended to help “to become aware of the Marist road traversed and to set ourselves in motion to live the Gospel more decidedly as Marcellin Champagnat did”, stated the Provincial in his circular.

This “Year of Marist discipleship” “touches on very concrete situations and needs which we experience as a Province”, he continues, and he indicates three: 1. The need to become enthusiastic again about our Marist vocation, Brothers and laity, before thinking “what can we do with the children and youth”. 2. The need to focus our processes of human and spiritual growth on the discipleship of Jesus like Mary and Marcellin. 3. The need to recreate the vocational dimension in our educational and pastoral processes.

Brother Provincial went on to emphasize the importance of “working more decisively to generate in our colleges and works a “vocational culture” which promotes concern for a “project of life which transcends the merely human”. For this reason, this year is also an invitation to discover a new paradigm of vocations ministry. The XXI General Chapter urged us to discover the scope of a new “Marist vocations ministry” which takes up the new paradigms: the specific vocations of Brothers and laity which are mutually enriching, and  co-responsibility in the quest for new Marist vocations. “The Marist vocations ministry needs to be firmly opened to the lay people who live and work with the Brothers”, affirms Brother Horacio. As Marists, we are called to place our commitment in “arousing Marist vocations ” for religious and lay life.

The letter concludes with an invitation to all to become involved in the activities of this special year, and encourages them to confidence as pilgrims. “God is making us pass through a night of purification that we are not willing to understand”, but let us be sure that it is leading us “towards a new dawn” of Marist life.

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