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Perpetual Profession of Br. Edson Rissi

09/05/2012: Brazil

On 6 May, after a vocational journey of some fourteen years, Brother Edson Rissi made his Final Profession in Serafina Corrêa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Born and bred in Vila Oeste, Guaporé, Br Edson first met the Brothers when he was in the fifth year of primary school at the Escola Francisco Gasparin. At that time, the late Br Nelson Sabadin was the local vocational promoter. “After a session led by Br Nelson, I filled in a form indicating that I wanted to know more about the Marist Brothers,” he says. “Of special significance were the visits he used to make to our house to chat with my parents and me.” In this way all the family got to understand the nature of religious life and, in 1968, Edson felt called to join the Congregation.

At present, Br Edson works in Escola e Centro Social Marista Santa Maria, an institution that provides some 900 pupils with primary education up to the 8th Grade free of charge. The Social Centre is outstanding for its work in recycling technology and training in IT done by the Centro Marista de Inclusão Digital. Br Edson majored in Theology and History, and has done post-graduate studies in Human Resource Management and Marketing. Currently, he is teaching a course on thinking skills and co-ordinates pastoral work in the school.

Br Edson states that one of the chief attractions for choosing religious life was devotion to Mary shown by the founder, St Marcellin Champagnat, and his followers. “We are religious who look to a woman for inspiration, a mother who was both disciple and educator. Mary inspires us to follow her son Jesus and make him the centre of our lives.”

Another aspect of Marist ministry that attracted him was the Brothers’ presence among children and young people in great need, helping them to develop sound values through education and evangelisation. “Champagnat taught us that to bring up a child well we need first of all to love him or her.” Br Edson believes that loving others in a spirit of thankfulness is what makes us happy as human beings.

Finally, he offers a challenging thought to otheres, particularly the youth of our time: “It’s worth dedicating oneself to noble causes. It’s worth it to seek not only our own well-being, but also the happiness of others. I’m thinking of Jorge Trevisol’s song Certas coisas pra dizer (Some things that need to be said) in which he poses questions about the meaning of human existence. Everyone eventually comes to a time when he asks: What do I want to leave behind for others?. What will I do with my dreams? These questions lie hidden in our hearts. And you? What are you doing with your dreams?”

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