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Commission of the Marist Spiritual Patrimony

05/07/2011: General House

The members of the Commission of the Marist Spiritual Patrimony met in Rome from 10 to 24 June. The aim of the meeting was to report on the activities carried out in the different regions of the Institute in connection with the Patrimony and to programme the next steps.

Planning was basically centred on preparations for producing a History of the Institute for   publication in 2017, on the occasion of the second Centenary of the foundation of the Institute. To help the historians, Br Juan Moral has placed at their disposal a reference bibliography of the collections of documents in the Archives in Rome. Br Aureliano Brambila has drawn up a line of methodology for composing the Marist history of Mexico, which may be helpful in undertaking similar work in other Provinces. The proposal will be published in Marist Notebooks No. 30. For his part, Br André Lanfrey presented the outline of history of Marist France from its origins up to 1907.

In the area of programming, the commission has planned the contents of the next numbers of the Marist Notebook (30 and 31). The publication of Origines des Frères Maristes, which has just appeared in three volumes and which brings together all the documents relative to Champagnat, underlines the necessity of also undertaking the publication of the notebooks of Brs François and Jean-Baptiste. The appearance of the Chronologie Mariste, first number of FMS Studia, poses the need for defining policies for the priority and a rhythm of publication of the following numbers of this collection.

On 22 June, there was a meeting with representatives of the four Marist branches. Among the participants were Fr. Bernard Bourtot sm and the sisters Jane Frances o'Corroll sm, Superior General and Bridget Brady, sm; Pauline Gresham, smsm, and Margaret Ryan, smsm.

Fr Larry Duffy sm, and Sisters Bridget Brady sm and Margaret Ryan smsm. The day was consecrated to Mgr Pompallier, an important and controversial personnage of the Marist origines, and also founder of the Church in New Zealand. The first session recalled the departure of the first members of the Society of Mary for Oceania and the blessing of the chapel of the Hermitage by Mgr Pompallier, both in 1836. The second session bore on the history of the different branches from the end of Vatican Council II up to the present. The day ended with a  video about Mgr Pompallier (55’), made by French television on the occasion of the transfer of his remains from Paris to New Zealand.

During the meeting, the Patrimony Commission reflected on its own future. With the contracts of its members expiring in 2011-2012, this was the last session of the Commission set up by the preceding General Council. Work on the Patrimony of the Institute has taken a great step forward since the setting up of the Commission of six members. At present, it is formed of Brothers André Lanfrey, Michael Green, Aureliano Brambila, Ivo Strovino, Jaume Parés, Robert Théo and Henri Réocreux (secretary). It has been necessary as well to harmonise with the new guidelines coming from the General Council. So the Commission now depends on the Bureau Brothers today, headed by Br César Rojas.

On another line, it has appeared necessary to co-ordinate formation, research and the new project of university formation « on line », based at the Marist University of Curitiba, Brazil.

During the closing Mass, Br Emili Turú presented an image of the Good Mother to each of the members of the Commission, thanking them for the « work accomplished in depth in cultivating the roots of the tree of the Institute, work whose results are only seen at the moment of harvesting the fruits ».

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