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Buitrago del Lozoya welcomes Young Marists from all over the world



A Marist colourful rainbow of languages and cultures

10/08/2011: Spain - Photo gallery

Madrid has become the meeting point of all the participants to the International Marist Youth Festival . The welcoming point of arrival was San José del Parque school. All those coming from far away gathered there; all the buses heading to Tui, Alicante, Barcelona and Buitrago left from this spot .

A group of volunteers, once completed their mission of fetching people at the Madrid airport, organized the trips of the different groups of participants towards the four cardinal points of  Spain. Then they moved to Buitrago.

The participants, coming from quite different countries of the Marist world, quickly create bonds of friendship and easy communication. The colours of the flags each group has brought from their countries made up a colourful Marist rainbow. BELIVING’ is a slogan repeated once and again- the motto of this encounter.

The one writing this chronicle travelled in one of the buses heading to Buitrago. It was a chance to talk personally with some of the youngsters and to know their expectations for this encounter.

‘I want to know better the work of Marist provinces and the way they do it’ – said a young participant coming from Melbourne. ‘I want to enlarge my knowledge of the Marist network, and to grow in the spirit of the Marist family’ – added another boy from the same Province- however, at the personal level, I want to deepen my ways of belonging and sharing the Marist charism’.  Most of these young people express their wish to ‘meet and share’ with their mates, and to check how Youth Ministry is implemented in different places of the Marist world. ‘In this way – suggested Gabriel from Canada, I will be enriched with the experience of others’.

The three buses have taken the main road linking Madrid and Burgos. The weather is hot. We reach our destination, Buitrago del Lozoya, a Castilian village, where the Marist Brothers and the Conceptionist Sisters are running a Secondary Technical school named ‘Santa María del Castillo’. ‘I would like to find out my way for the future, and the make here an unforgettable experience’,-  says Samuel, from Belgium as he collects his travelling bag from the bus.

A group of volunteers, responsible for the organization of the encounter have been working hard to have everything ready. The spot is fantastic: the different buildings, covered with black slate tiles, break the austerity of the Castilian landscape, often marked by the brown and yellow colours when the harvest is completed.

Emilie, from Côte d’Ivoire, remembering her country, just coming out from years of political crisis, states, ‘I am coming here willing to live a marvellous experience that will allow me to deepen my Catholic faith and to be more enthusiastic about the Marist charism; I hope to grow in my commitment and to share in similar experiences and encounters’.

André, from Brasil, as he enters the school Santa María del Castillo, surrounded by his friends who bring their suitcases, says ‘ I am happy to share and assume the dreams, the challenges and the feelings of being a Young man together with Marist friends worldwide’.

Dozens of people coming from a variety of regions of the world: this will be a unique chance ‘to know how to be and live as Marists from the perspective of other cultures, and to experience together that Champagnat’s dream is alive among us’.

Together with her Mexican mates, who protect themselves from the heavy Castilian sun with their typical Mexican hats, Nacy is happy to participate to this encounter in order ‘to know the path and the way the Marist charism expresses itself in different parts of the world and, at the same time, allow this charism to go deep within myself and to be part of the Marist community’.

Joao, a well built and tall Brazilian, makes a comment as he goes to the dining room to have a snack. ‘I want to meet new people, to learn more about Marist congregation and to deepen the ways in which the Marist charism expresses itself in our world’.

We are already in Buitrago. We shall follow all these young people as they implement their agenda.

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