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Br. Wilfrid Breton and 65 years of Marist presence in Malawi

11/07/2011: Canada

From Château-Richer, St-Patrick and Paradis, more than a dozen confrères converged on 820 Avenue des Braves, Québec, on Tuesday 28 June to join members of the local community in celebrating the 87 years of their doyen, Brother Wilfrid Breton.

Braving grey skies and a somewhat menacing temperature, the guests were not slow in finding a place in the backyard to savour a good beer or another « little drop » to whet the appetite.

When all had arrived, Brother Gaétan briefly explained the double purpose of the celebration: to celebrate Brother Wilfrid Breton’s 87 years and to commemorate 65 years of Marist presence in Malawi. An appropriate hymn, « Here I am, Lord », reminded us of the apostle’s commitment in response to the Lord’s call.

Before heading for the tables and the various inviting salads and dishes, all joined Brother  Wilfrid in reciting Psalm 139 in « homage to the One who knows everything ».

Invited to say a few words, Brother Wilfrid first of all thanked the members of his community and all who had come to the celebration. Then he said something about the Marist work implanted in Malawi and in Zambia by the Brothers of the Province. Without detailing the statistics, he noted that, from 15 June 1946 up to now, 51 Canadian Brothers and some 22 others coming from sister Provinces have worked in these two countries, preparing successors who now number almost 40 Malawian Brothers. He finished by recalling that among the guests was the oldest surviving of the ex-missionaries, Brother  Adrien Beaudoin, who had spent more than 50 years of his life in Africa. That earned him a warm ovation.

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