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A group of Australian Brothers took part in a retreat

15/10/2012: Australia

In the last week in September, at ‘The Hermitage’ in Mittagong near Sydney, a group of Australian Brothers took part in a retreat organised by the Province’s ‘Brothers Today’ Committee, called Seven Days with Marcellin Champagnat, A Retreat for his Brothers.  It proved to be a wonderful experience.

Brother Michael Green, who led the retreat, set himself the formidable task of imagining what Marcellin might want to say to a group of contemporary Marist Brothers who were on retreat in 2012.  He made it clear at the start that it wasn’t to be an historical course on the Founder but, rather, an invitation to be inspired and challenged by the kind of spirituality that Marcellin wanted to be the mark of the Little Brothers of Mary.  He hoped Marcellin would be able speak to us and to touch our hearts.

Using Scripture passages and spiritual texts which we know Marcellin favoured, a number of his letters and conferences, the experiences of his life, the memoirs of several early Brothers, other early documents and, quite significantly, the personal retreat notes of Brother François from retreats that Marcellin himself gave, Michael opened up our founding Marist spiritual intuitions in fresh and engaging ways.  He invited each of us into a spirituality that was deeply Christocentric and profoundly mystical, affective and intimate. Supplementing this, the prayers and the liturgies were all built around the favourite Scriptures of Marcellin, particularly from John and Paul, and also the Constitutions.  Mary walked with us through the days of the retreat,

All in all, it was a memorable week – gentle and recollected in its rhythm, but rather piercing and challenging in its message.  Marcellin renewed us and revitalised us to be Brothers of Mary today.

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