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The large table of the community of Giugliano

 

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The Giugliano community grows the flower of the Marist charism

04/04/2011: Italy

Around the table there is room for Giorgio D., Giacomo, Paolo, Daniele, Giorgio B., Gianluca, Rosa, Mario and Marco: five Marist Brothers, an engaged couple, a priest and a young university student discerning a vocation. The Brothers are all involved in the school, like Gianluca, the lay man responsible for pastoral animation, and Rosa, a lawyer specializing in penal law. All share the same table of the Marist charism. They bring diversity and pluralism in a same spirit. This was the choice of the Brother’s community in inviting Gianluca and Rosa, several months ago, to live the experience of a mixed community.

« At the end of my days, I wish that someone could say I always planted a flower in a place it could grow », said Tagore. The community of Giugliano is in train of growing the flower of the Marist charism with a lay face, a feminine face, in a shared life, a fraternity multiplied by complementary identities. Gialuca and Rosa are preparing for marriage next year; their life project is reinforced by the fraternity in community. For the lay people, the brothers are a reminder of lives given for children and young people, of a fidelity tested on the road of the Gospel. Marco’s presence makes the brothers’ life visible; his study has something to do with their style of life. The brothers have accepted revealing themselves in this way. Rose offers her experience of work as a lawyer, bringing the ‘lay’ character into the vision of the consecrated. At this large table, it is God expressing Himself in all His pluriform richness.

The Giugliano community’s large table speaks to me of a Marist future as a communion of persons, of a new way of being Brother, of new profiles of the charism, of a new relationship between brothers and laity. The experience of the community sends back to me echoes of projects discussed, life shared; it has the flavour of a presence close to children and youth, of faith celebrated, of fraternal encounters. It speaks to me of vocations which complete one other and identities which strengthen each other. How beautiful it is to hear Rosa expressing her willingness to defend, as advocate, the cause of the those who do not count, the weak ; this means her wish to express her Marist identity among the least. How beautiful it is to see a community which abandons its securities, opens up to newness and witnesses to the audacity of confronting the unknown!

During the moments of sharing with the community, I appreciated the sense of welcome, the openness and naturalness, the fact of wagering on newness. The lay people and the brothers of the Giugliano community are for me a sign of hope, a seed of the future; they have planted a new flower of the Marist charism for they believe that is a place where it can grow.

____________________
Br. Javier Espinosa
Bureau of Laity

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