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« The colour of hope »

 

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Secretariat of the Laity - Meeting in Quebec

25/06/2012: Canada

Diego Torres is the one singing The colour of hope, a beautiful song. At my window in the Provincial House in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, several words of the text resonate in me: I know that one can open the windows, change the air, that depends on you. The window lets me look at the broad Richelieu river, the enormous trees on its banks, the vast fields of green grass. The murmur of  water provides accompaniment to the vision. It was in this natural context of spring that we held our annual meeting of the Enlarged Secretariat of the Laity, beginning 28 May.

The eight days programme helped us grow in fraternity and communion. Tony made us aware of the processes of the laity of the Pacific, as Agnes of the new ways of the Provinces of Asia. Sylvain recalled the challenges of the Secretariat in Africa, and Ana described the accents of each of the European Provinces. Thanks to the mediation of Paty, Fabiano and Raúl, we made contact with the American regions. In the measure that we learned of the regional processes relative to responding to the the new relationship between brothers and laity, we discovered that between hesitations and sucesses, doubts and searching, it is better to go astray that never to embark, it is better to put oneself to the test rather than never attempt anything, although it is never easy to begin, as the Argentinian sings. We were encouraged by the new projects which, in dodging the difficulties, wager on the vitality of the charism and on the search for the new land.

Our meeting was also an encounter with the Marist life of Quebec. Brotehrs and laity showered us with attentions, marks of  affection and fraternity. We felt the deep family spirit in sharing exchanges,  table, prayer, visits. We were able to have discussions with the Marist Movement of  Quebec, the Champagnat Movement, the provincial animation team, the young volunteers, the association of former brothers, the teams of  Camp Mariste and Vallée Jeunesse 3 … their eyes alight, they radiated the fire of the heart, the force of creativity and imagination, the look of hope. Their gestures and their joy showed that age has no importance when there is reason to live. Brothers and laity showed that the Marist charism will contine in Canada. Br Bernard, at the head of the provincial choir, seemed to change the words of Alouette into those of Diego Torres: to know that one can, to desire that it be possible, to cast away fears, put them outside, to paint one’s face with the 'colours of hope', to test the future by falling in love. Their faces, like their projects have the colour of hope. And they are the faces and projects of brothers and laity.

Surrounded by the green of Spring and the green of hope of the provincial journey of Quebec, we finished our meeting by better identifying our challenges, giving better bases to our journey of  communion and in polishing up the strategies of our Action Plan. We finished more convinced than ever of the necessity to continue a harmonious dialogue at all levels, unite our forces and work in harmony with the other Secretariats. We were encouraged by the projects of the continental subcommissions as the inculturated expression of the new relationship. We felt that it was  opportune to experiment, to search and to try. We insist on the need of formation processes which foster charismatic leadership among laity. The desire to promote together a new epoch for the Marist charism was strong among us.

In the chapel of the Provincial House, there is a beautiful stained glass window which reflects something of what we lived during this meeting. One sees the river, the trees, the green pastures, the birds flying. Br Bernard told us that the birds were flying to the new land. Besides this very suggestive window, here is a verse from the song of Torres, by way of a summary of the experience : I know that one can achieve the impossible, you will feel that the soul is flying away because it has beeen able to sing once more.

___________
Br Javier Espinosa - Secretariat of the Laity

Read more: The Champagnat Movement to a new land

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