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18 January

Saint Aquila and Priscilla
January 18-25: Beginning of the Octave of prayer for Christian Unity: That they may become one in your hand (Ezek 37, 17).

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The Champagnat Movement to a new land

19/06/2012: Canada

The fraternities of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family wish to respond to the last General Chapter’s challenge to set out for a new land.
Over a long and rich history of 25 years, the Champagnat Movement has been growing and we can say that we are at a moment of great interest and great possibilities, seeing that we are more aware of what we have experienced, what has urged us on and what we are lacking on the way… We believe we are at the time which Brother Charles forsaw in presenting the Project of Life of this Movement: “We are all conscious that the ‘final’ document will be a living word coming from your own hearts, from your own faith, from your own experience, from your living of Champagnat’s spirituality. We see this modest document as the first step in a process which you will complete in the years ahead. By living this project you will gradually deepen and broaden the intuition which lies at its origin, and the Brothers will be enriched in our understanding of the Founder’s charism by your insights and experience”.

For this reason, a group of representatives of the Champagnat Movement, composed of Agnes Reyes (Asia), Patricia Ríos (Mexico), Edison Carlos de Oliveira (Brasil), Réal Sauvageau (Canada), Javier Espinosa (Secretariat of the Laity) and Ana Sarrate (Spain), met in Montreal, Canada, from 26 to 28 May for the purpose of beginning a process of discernment. This process seeks to reread what has been lived in those years through studying our personal and collective histories, discovering the richness of the charism as it has been lived out in our lay state, and potentializing the gift of community that helps us grow as persons and believers. We put a basic question to ourselves: What new contribution have we brought to the gift received by Marcellin?

Subsequently, with this proposed process, we want to go on discovering the calls that God is making today to each of the members of the fraternities to respond to the conversion the Spirit is inviting us to make together with the whole Institute. Brother Emili, in his last circular, asks us very clearly: What has to die in me in order that the newness of the Spirit can flourish?

In the next few weeks, you will receive some motivation material as well as other aids for this first reflection. We encourage all to welcome this process as an authentic gift for our lives: in thanksgiving for what God has done among us in these years and also in a sincere search for what we are called to be according to the dream of God and Marcellin.

It is an invitation to journey in communion with all the fraternities of the world and with the more than 3,200 Brothers of different cultures, sensibilities, races… It is also an opportunity to continue growing in awareness of our responsibility as drivers of the Marist charism in our regions.

From this moment, we place the whole process in the hands of Mary, our source of renewal and inspiration. “We go on our way with Mary as guide and companion. Her faith and openness to the will of God inspire us to undertake this pilgrimage.”  (XXI General Chapter).

Happy pilgrimage!

Ana Sarrate - Secretariat of the Laity

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