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Session for Community Animators - I

16/02/2012: Spain

The first Brothers to arrive at the Escorial to begin the course for Community Animators (February-March) trod the frozen ground of Madrid on 1 February; the others arrived the day after. The course began the evening of the same day, with a prayer directed by the animation team of Brothers Angel Medina and Joaci Pinheiro.

On 3 February, the opening Mass animated by the team and celebrated by the chaplain, Fr Mario, of the Augustinian monastery of Sant Lorenzo de l’Escorial. Under the direction of Br Juan José Arnáiz, the celebration unfolded in a welcoming atmosphere with the community of the house, Brothers Alfredo Villanueva, Eleuterio Sánchez, Florentino Andrés and Silvano Miguel. It was a gathering laden with symbols relating to the road to be travelled, around the great sign of Jesus’ fraternal gift in the bread and wine of the paschal feast.

Eighteen brothers comprise the community, coming from various parts of the Marist world, and living internationalism, in conformity with the request of the General Chapter. Most come from tropical countries…, but the low temperatures registered these recent days seem ‘light’ compared with the human warmth received from each brother present.

The group consists of Brothers: Tomás Sawayenga, Southern Africa (Angola); Héctor Ávalos, ‘América Central’ (Cuba); James Pinheiro,  ‘Brasil Centro Norte’; Adriano Brollo and Valerio Dellalibera, ‘Brasil Centro Sul’; Lécio J. Héckler and Ivonir Imperatori, ‘Rio Grande do Sul’; Antonio Leal, Compostela (Portugal); Maurice Goutagny, l’Hermitage (France); José Larrea,  ‘Ibérica’; Onorino Rota, ‘Mediterránea’ (Italy); Juan Montúfar, ‘México Central’; Jesús Hernández and Roberto Aldrete, ‘México Occidental’; Ángel González, ‘Norandina’ (Venezuela), and Patricio Pino, ‘Santa María de los Andes’ (Chile).

These first days have been devoted to getting to know one another, integration, and getting to grips with the places! On 4 February the participants went for a trip to Avila, a city quite close and rich in history and spirituality. Sunday 5, the brothers paid a visit to the community of Villalba and took part in the funeral celebrations for Br Antonio Rieu, with his family and the community of retired brothers living there. On the return, they made a rapid and « humid » visit to the basilica of the Valle de los Caídos.

The week from 6 to 11 February was marked by the presence of Brothers Joe Mc Kee, Antonio Ramalho and Josep Maria Soteras, of the General Council, and César Rojas, of the Secretariat Brothers today. They dealt with two essential themes of the last General Chapter: conversion and fraternal dialogue, under the guidance of Mary.

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Brothers Tomás Sawayenga and Patricio Pino.

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