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Farewell to Br Antonio Martínez Estaún

09/01/2012: General House

On 17 December, the General House community farewelled Br Antonio Martínez Estaún, finishing up as Director of Communications of the General Administration.

Br Juan Moral, Archivist General, was master of ceremonies. The ceremony began with a brief prayer of thanksgiving to God for Br Antonio, for his simplicity, his spirit of service, to the refrain of the Magnificat. We wish our confrère success and great hopes in his new mission.

The ceremony continued with Br Antonio answering three questions in the form of an interview:

Three particularly significant experiences in the General House:
The first was the General Chapter. In waiting for the election of the new Superior General, his first address, anticipating the photos to take… but without the memory card in his camera! The second was the General Conference in Sri Lanka, his baptism of fire as Director of Communications, but without data to communicate as the participants did not tell him much. The third: the Beatification of the Brother Martyrs of Spain. Furnished with accreditation as a journalist with the Vatican, he was allowed access to many places, to take unique views for an excellent and complete reporting, something he was able to repeat for the World Youth Day. Other significant moments for him: publication of his Master’s thesis which helped him to discover the history of the Institute; access to the Archives which gave him a more ample vision of the congregation, and a study of the Marial face of the Church.

 What he will miss:
If sent to Africa, he said, the communications of quality he was able to use in the General House, the instruments, programmes and technical aids. If he had to go to Asia or Oceania, the translators. In America, the Archives, and in Europe, the community.
Wherever he may go: a pizza « capricciosa »; the kindness of Br Javier Ocaranaza; the brotherhood of Br Aloisio Kuhn; the punctuality of Br Josep Roura in transmitting translations; the company and support of Luiz da Rosa in the work; the presence of Br Edward Clisby; the statements and deeds of Br Ton Martínez; some book; the terrace for sharing times of conviviality; the celebration of birthdays…

His personal hopes for the future:
The first profession of a significant number of novices of Europe. That the community or communities where he lives may be a source of life and animation for the Institute. That the Brother’s vocation be valued in the Church. That a novitiate for laity be opened at Les Avellanes. That Br Virgilio León be discovered by laity as a source of dynamism for the   Marist Family and that he be proclaimed « saint » by the Church. And, lastly, that the web  site receive more and more visitors.

Some words for the community:
Antonio expressed a blessing for what God had done in him and in the community. He insisted on the importance « of entering into the tent of intimacy, where we are looked for to look for Him, where we are loved to love Him… and so gradually prepare for the final and definitive encounter. » He asked pardon for his human failings, but he was especially grateful for the great richness of having shared the project, mission and service as Director of Communications. He shared with us his discovery of the « immense reserves of mercy which the Lord wants to harmonise with the limitations of the creature. »

Antonio finally informed us he had discovered in Rome a centre which helped animate his spiritual life: Saint Paul outside the Walls, with its simple liturgy, close to the people, its Gregorian chant… That was where he was taken by the figure of Paul, lover of Jesus and the Church. But also the Lateran Basilica where he renewed his baptism, bare foot, in the  baptistery.

Antonio, we are very grateful to you for the gift of your person, for your work and your life given to the Institute; we wish you all the best for the future opening up before you.

Once again: THANK YOU!

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