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Gather Around the Fire

 

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Mission Assembly of the District of Melanesia

17/05/2011: Papua New Guinea

The Marist Mission Assembly of the District of Melanesia was held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, from 25 to 28 April. The participants numbered 49: Brothers and laity of the four countries composing the District (Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia) and three guests from Fiji and New Zealand. Br. Graham Neist, of the Province of Sydney, was animator. Those present also included Brothers from Rome: John Klein, General Councillor, and João Carlos do Prado, Director of the Mission Bureau.

The theme of the meeting was: «Gather Around the Fire». The participants discussed the meaning of the call of the XXI General Chapter– « With Mary, go in haste to a new land » - for the Marist mission in Melanesia. They took note too that the mission we are carrying out is the one God has entrusted to us through the Church.

Fire symbolism is characteristic of the cultures of the various peoples of the region. The fire is very present in the lives of families and communities. It is around this that people reflect and discern their lives. The fire also contribues to unity and the strengthening of the   mission community, restoring energy for all. Fire has been accepted as a symbol of unity, communion, sharing and co-responsibility between brothers and lay people in the Marist  mission.

The Assembly has been considered an historic one by the Brothers. It is the first  Mission Assembly held in the District. It has facilitated the sharing of experiences and questioning in the face of current challenges and helped construct a vision of the future with regard to the Marist presence and mission in Melanesia.

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