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End of the Second Course for Community Animators in Manziana

06/07/2012: Italy

We, the 22 Brothers participating at the second edition of the Course for Community Animators in Manziana have now completed the 8 weeks program here at Manziana. It was all Good News and in fact a new Pentecost for us in many ways. As we look back, we see how the Lord has guided us all through and how Our Good mother has journeyed with us through the intervention of various resource persons. A great sense of gratitude and hope animate each and every one of us.

We arrived at Manziana on Wednesday the 25th of May. This was in response to the invitation of our Superiors to participate in the course for Community Animators organized by the Superior General and his council. We received a warm welcome from the members of the Manziana community and staff. With a lot of joy, enthusiasm and at the same time curiosity we embarked on this journey of learning and being Community Animators as well as searching for “new ways of being brother and community” today.  A great sense of family spirit characterized our ordinary daily activities. Our daily Eucharistic celebration and prayer were marked by simplicity and creativity given that the community members came from different cultural backgrounds. The first few days were spent around the table, telling and listening to our personal live stories and experiences with the objective of getting to know one another. Gradually we grew into our knowledge of one another and became marvelous companions around the table.

The first four weeks of this pilgrimage were dedicated to the clarification of our role as Community Animators and equipping us with skills, resources and tools that can help us undertake this task in our various Administrative units. As we leave Manziana our sincere gratitude goes to:

* Bro Emili Turu and the General Councilors who spent the first week with us orienting and deepening our understanding of the fundamental call of the 21st General Chapter which in fact was the cornerstone of this course.

* Sr Christine Anderson FCJ and Jim Christie SJ who animated the second week with insights on Leadership in service of my Brothers around the table.

* Bro Brendan Geary FMS, provincial of the Marist Province of Europe Centre-West who generously fed us with knowledge on Transitions and Sexual Dynamics in Ministry.

* Our marvelous companion Bro Sean Sammon himself. It is amazing to know what we received from Sean with regards to community life. Sean did not only share his knowledge with us but went as far as cooking and serving all of us at table. What a privilege we had. What a marvelous companion Sean is.

One other important highlight along the way was an experience we made at Nomadelfia- a group of families that live like the first Christian communities. In this village, there is no such thing as private property. This experience edified and widened our horizons in our search for new ways of being brother and community.

Two lay people also helped us in our reflection and exploration. One of them Yola from a community of lay people known as the New Way and Angela working at our General House in the FMSI secretariat.

We think the climax of our Pentecost experience was the time we spent at the Hermitage between the 1st and the 9th of June. Here we were helped to go into a deeper experience of our origins- Fr Champagnat and our first Brothers and the Marist places. The members of the Hermitage community, Bro André Landfrey and Bro Alain Delorme played a significant role in this experience.

Returning to Manziana on the 10th of June, we had a week of syntheses followed by a three day retreat animated by Fr David Glenday; a Comboni Missionary. We finished with a general evaluation and a Thanksgiving and Commissioning mass. We leave Manziana with a lot of enthusiasm and determination to take up our roles as will be given by our Superiors knowing that we are not alone on this pilgrimage; our Good Mother, Fr Champagnat and our first Brothers are journeying with us.

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Brother Pascal Funsa - 23rdJune 2012 | Read more

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