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Sent on mission

25/02/2011: General House

On the morning of 18 February, the brothers of the General Administration community had the joy of celebrating a Mass of the commissioning for mission of one of their members, Brother Daniel Martín de Paz.

For three years, Daniel has been doing studies in youth ministry at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. He completed his studies brilliantly with the defence of a thesis entitled: With Mary, go in haste to a new land.

Now he is putting into practice what he has written: he departs in haste for his Province, America Central, where he will be responsible for organizing the youth ministry in the various colleges of the Province.

Brother César Rojas, responsible for the Bureau Brothers today, animating the Mass, asked Br. Daniel to place before the altar three symbols significant of his time in Rome. The first was a broken loaf, because he had learned to become bread broken for others; the second, his thesis, summarising his studies, and finally, a beautiful flowering plant: through innumerable moments of joy, brotherhood and prayer, his community had helped him flourish.

The Mass texts took up the theme of sending on mission. Article 84 of our Constitutions was the first reading: « Our attitudes towards young people find their inspiration in Mary, bringing up Jesus at Nazareth. Our apostolic work is a sharing in her spiritual motherhood. » The Gospel, Mary visiting Elisabeth and singing her Magnificat, paints the picture of the first Christian mission: Mary carrying her son to others, Mary singing her missionary joy.

At the end of the Mass was the moving ceremony of sending on mission. Daniel stood in the centre of the chapel and all the Brothers, hands raised over him, as the community at Antioch once did for Barnabas and Paul, prayed: « We bless you and praise you, O Father, because in the mysterious designs of your mercy, you sent your Son into the world, to deliver men from the slavery of sin through the shedding of his blood, and to pour out upon them the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

And, after conquering death and before ascending to you, Father, he sent his Apostles, witnesses of his love and his royal power, to announce to the nations the gospel of life and plunge believers into the waters of baptism.

Look, Lord, on your servant Daniel who, clothed with the sign of the cross, we are sending out as a messenger of salvation and peace. With your right hand, guide his steps and support him with the power of your grace, so that he does not stumble under the burden of apostolic labour.

May the voice of Christ resound in his, and may all who hear him be drawn to the obedience of the Gospel.

Send your Spirit into his heart so that, once he has become all for all, he may lead to you, Father, a multitude of children who will praise you unceasingly in the holy Church. Through Christ our Lord. »

Brother Daniel Martin de Paz left the following day, a missionary like Mary, like Paul, like our first Brothers for Oceania, like those today for Asia. He has the duty and privilege of kindling in the hearts of children, youth and catechists the fire of the knowledge and love of Jesus. This is how Marcellin views his Brothers. This is how Marcellin views Daniel today.

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