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VII General Conference - September, 03

06/09/2005: Sri Lanka

We are initiating this chronicle from Sri Lanka. On our arrival at Goldi Sands Hotel where the VII General Conference is going to be held from the 5th until the 30th September, we found some brothers who had arrived early to take advantage of the beautiful natural setting to have some rest and to attend to final details before the start of the Conference. The logistical organisation has functioned perfectly. The employees of Goldi Sands Hotel have been punctual at the airport, list in hand, waiting for the different arrivals of planes. The journeys have been undertaken without any difficulties, apart from the anecdotes that break the monotony of the hours in flight and the large expanses of the airports.

In collaboration with Brother Onorino Rota and with Luiz Da Rosa, both co-ordinating from Rome the translation of articles into the four official languages of the Institute and the publishing of these articles on the website, we hope to keep you informed of the highlights of the Conference.

From this moment we invite you to share, with all the participants, this fraternal meeting in which all hope to consider “fostering vitality in Marist Life and ministry today!”

Reception of the Brother Superior General

The Marist Province of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, through the Provincial, Brother Mike de Waas, held a reception for the Superior General, Brother Seán Sammon, and his companions on their arrival at Goldi Sands Hotel.

After getting out of the car and reaching the hotel door, the visitors walked along a red carpet up to the place where a Sinhalese hostess wearing elegant clothing was waiting for them. At the same time, a group of dancers and musicians, in typical regional costume, accompanied their steps with the rhythm of various percussion instruments. The hostess gave a gift to them in the form of a collar of violet flowers for the Superior General and for the others frangipane flowers.

At the entrance to the hall, they found a bronze candelabra. The upper part of the candelabra was crowned by the figure of a rooster and just below this there was a receptacle of oil from which emerged various wicks. The rooster announces the start of a new day and with his song he welcomes all to the new light at dawn. Those entering took the new light of their own person and lit the wick of the candelabra as a sign of welcome and greeting to those living in the house.

Afterwards, Brother Mike de Waas, the hotel manager and some of the brothers present accompanied Brother Seán Sammon to the dining room where breakfast was being served.

With this symbolic gesture, the Brother Provincial of the Province of Sri Lanka and Pakistan wanted to give a very cordial welcome in the person of the Brother Superior General to all the brothers who are participating in this VII General Conference.

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