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The footsteps of Marcellin indicate our route



Prov. México Central - Assembly of Marist youth

14/06/2011: Mexico

“And the life of this man leaves footprints on our path, and his name is present, Marcellin Champagnat”. It was on the celebration of his birthday (May 20) that the first Provincial Assembly of Marist Youth from 18 to 25 commenced. It had two aims: Listen and share with the Marist youth of theProvince, generate a new space for listening and dialogue for sharing of life, share about the local situations and their proposals for a new reality and determine on the provincial delegates to the International Marist Youth Meeting to be held in Madrid.

 30 young people from 7 works, continuators of the dream of Champagnat, made up this multicoloured way leading to Jesus through Mary.

Brother Pepe Sánchez shared about Marcellin’s encounter with the young Jean Baptist Montagne and the yes that changed his life.  The youth expressed many questions, feelings and calls: Marcellin, are we going well? Was this your dream?  Why did you believe in youth,  in the ignorant?  How can you make a person love God in a short time, or how convince him of the infinite love of God? How do I fill myself so as to fill others? What did Jean Baptiste Montagne feel while Champagnat was telling him about God?...  “We identify with Montagne, and we see in many of you Champagnat, who with their support, help, struggle and listening, infect us and motivate us not to lose the faith, to do something for the rest, to go out to meet others”.

 In a variety of ways, the youth delegates shared their situations and their views on the various problems and also their dreams; there was an obvious climate of fraternity and simplicity, a wish to be participants of a new scenario and a call to accompany them on this road.


The problems of Mexico today provided another space for reflection under the guidance of Brother  Rodrigo Espinosa. It is certainly complicated to see a national panorama in a brief time, but it is important to try to enlarge one’s views and respond with creativity and faith to situations lived today in our country.

One of the most significant moments was to learn about Marist responses to these situations. Coco Álvarez of Solidarity made us aware in a dynamic manner of the efforts being made in the Province:  participation in  Miravalles, Potoichan, Poza Rica, Ixtaltepec, Students and Teachers for Service, Special Groups, Educadys…, The majority of our young people discovered and valued the effort, were astonished and asked questions, and were enthusiastic about the challenges and that something that was once a dream is now a realized project.

There was discussion in the age groups about their thoughts, dreams and needs, and the group continued to integrate in different ways. They were the main players in this meeting, shared life, found themselves enthused. It was a time for making their voice heard and for shaping it. Iván Chacón of the vocational field, spoke about being loved, called and sent, which means to believe as a dynamic process which touches mind and heart.

The final day’s prayer invited the Assembly to be “One in mind and heart” valuing what they had in common and giving witness of community (Acts 4:32-37).

Our youth believe in the God who loves them, listens to and accompanies them, they believe in you and me, they believe in Mexico, they believe in the charism of Jesus, Mary and Champagnat, they believe in the family and they believe in the life that springs from love.

Recognising themselves in what they believe marked the end of the first part of the Meeting, a photograph sought as one more of the many reminders of this weekend, while the salon was preparing to pronounce on and elect those who would speak on behalf of our youth, share our situation and the processes of the Youth Ministry of the Province.

Singing the Salve, we placed ourselves in Mary’s hands at this moment, as a single family, as Marists of Champagnat. The criteria for the election were explained, they met by cities, nominated their representatives and elected them. Applause was the first gesture of missioning, some words moving to prayer and thanks.

The process does not end here. It will continue with the six delegates: Andrea Young from Celaya, Luis Gabriel Macario from Querétaro, Yeyo Navarrete from Irapuato, Kevín Arnold from Jacona, Ángela Rangel from Acoxpa and Elodia Canseco from Ixtaltepec, who will continue with their preparations and, on their return, share with the Province the fruits of this journey with the Marist Spirit.

Ulises Centeno
Co-ordinator of Youth Ministry

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