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El Escorial: Marist Centre of Spirituality



« Umbrales » Course - 25 October - 20 December 2012

28/11/2012: Spain - Photo gallery

In response to the call of the General Council, 12 Brothers from 10 Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking Provinces of Spain and Latin America commenced, on 25 October, a two month course for Brothers from 55 to 65 years of age in the Marist house of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Spain. The course was « Umbrales », an experience of formation and vitality.

The first days were days of presentation, of getting to know one another, with the help of some very interesting and creative activities which inspired us to live this experience. We hope it will be attractive and enriching.

In the first week, we shared our personal stories as « My Sacred History » and « My life as sacred land ». We also made some community outings to Segovia – visit to its impressive Roman aquaduct –, to the Valle de los Caídos ; and had the opportunity to spend some moments in family with the community of elderly Brothers of « Nuestra Señora de la Roca » in Villalba.

Little by little we entered into a deep and intense dynamic planned for the course, in self knowledge. Br Lluís Serra, with great wisdom, helped us enter into ourselves through the Enneagramme. During this week, we were invited to form little fraternities of four Brothers for prayer and sharing our life. We rejoiced together in a very relaxing atmosphere which allows us to live this unique experience.

Among the objectives of the course, it is planned in the third week to work on the  dimension of relationships through very concrete topics : choosing to be, communication, the affectivity and sexuality proper to this age group, taking care of one self with wisdom, health,  hygiene and appropriate rythmns of life.

It is then proposed for us to grow in wisdom and grace, to move forward in life and to grow old in cultivating one’s faith, with four objectives : development of the spirituality, being centred on Jesus and Mary, impregnated with the Marial face of the Church. Guided by Br Emili Turú, Superior General, we have already touched on such points as the Marist spiritual way, dynamic faith, the spirituality of the age, the beginning of mysticism, the Marial face of the Marist in the today of the Institute.

In the fifth week we will make a pilgrimage to the Marist places : experience of living encounter and contact, hearing the echos of the past and their force today. The following weeks, we will look at the Mission in fullness, the mission of the evening of life, offering of one’s life, creative possibilities, use of time, development of personal gifts.

And all this will be crowned with the retreat of synthesis entitled : « Jesus, way of renewed and renovating spirituality. Personal project for a fruitful life ».

El Escorial, 18 November 2012

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