Home > News > France: At the Hermitage, a forum on Marist life in communion/ 11 – 13 April 2013

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11 April

Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr

Marist Calendar - April

« A prophetic presence today »



At the Hermitage, a forum on Marist life in communion/ 11 – 13 April 2013

27/04/2013: France - Photo gallery

“Open your eyes, but amazed eyes” is what Brother Maurice Berquet, Provincial of the Hermitage, invited the participants to the Marist  Forum to do in his inaugural speech on the evening of the first day. The mother house of the Hermitage played host on this occasion to a hundred or so participants, distributed among ten tables to promote work in groups, dialogue and the sharing of experiences and points of view, as was the case at the last General Chapter in Rome. It is a method which fosters listening and the search for agreement by consensus.

The Theme was: “Marist life in communion, a prophetic presence for today”. The two objectives were sharing the reality of the brother/lay communion: Marist vocation, spirituality, mission and fraternity, and forging together a future path for Marist vitality in the context of the province.

The diversity of the participants gave a good reflection of the pluralistic composition of the province : men and women, brothers and laity from France, Catalonia, Greece, Hungary, Algeria and Switzerland. There were also two general councillors from Rome as well as other representatives of different organizations.

The second day began with morning prayer. The two general councillors, Antonio Ramalho, Brasilian, and Ernesto Sanchez, Mexican, gave a little presentation. The former reviewed with some photos the situation of the Hermitage province which he visited with Br Ernesto. He presented an atlas of the Marist presence. The latter offered some figures to show the vitality and Marist fields of action in the world. He recalled that “on 2 January 2017 it will be 200 years since our foundation. What we can do or dream about...  let’s start doing it now! » The two presentations were invitations to hope and to getting on the move.

Then Br Gabriel Villa-Real presented an album of photos of the groups which took part in the first phase of the Forum, since September 2012, more than1600 personsfrom France, Catalonia, Greece, Hungary, Switzerland and Algeria, and who had made contributions through group dialogue.

The topicsmost discussed were, in order: solidarity, mission, evangelisation, Marial Church, vocation, being prophetic, spirituality and charism. A document contained the principal convictions and recommendations on the chosen theme. Jaume Parés explained the methodology in four steps: read, choose two or three convictions and recommendations, share your choice and arrive at consensus.

In the afternoon, there were two testimonies, one from Brother Javier Espinosa, Director of the Institute’s Secretariat of the Laity, and the other from Ana Sarrate, co-director of the Secretariat. Ana Sarrate spoke of her Marist history, while Br Javier gave an account of his relationship with the lay Marists. Both provided information on Marist experiences at the world level. 

Some « living » workshops, six in number began at 6 pm. They included : the spiritual testament, the rock, the community, the good Mother, manual work and mission. They took place in a calm and meditative atmosphere, animated by brothers and laity.

A festival of listening in the evening concluded the day. There was a presentation of the new CD « Marists on journey », then four testimonies : a) the Local Marist Teams of Chazelles/Lyon; b) the Marist Life Group of Girona (Catalonia); c) the « Brother Pascal » fraternity of Athens ; d) the mixed community of the Hermitage.

We came to the third and last day of the Marist Forum : « To search together for future paths for the vitality of the Marist charism in the context of the Province. » The periods following the prayer were :

Firstly, personal time. This was for identifying questions about the future, the strongest calls heard on the personal and provincial levels, based on the contributions collected and the themed workshops.

Secondly, group sharing and reaching agreement on convictions. Each one shared his/her reflection. The group attempted to summarise the individual contributions in a common message.

Thirdly, evaluation of proposals. 

Fourthly, publication of results. The proposals obtaining most votes were collected and presented for consensus, for the afternoon session. The three which obtained most votes were :

1.The Marist prophetic sign is a simple family style, so that we who feel Marist may promote social transformation, having God as the foundation of our lives and making Jesus Christ known in the following of Marcellin.

2. For us, the basis is a Christian spirituality with a Marial face, in a Church simple and at the service of others, especially of the poorest.

3. It is by means of the witness of our shared lives, of co-responsibility, of communion between laity and brothers, and thanks to formation that we will build a more fraternal world.

The Marist Forum reached its end. Last afternoon, last evening. Recommendations were made – concrete and applicable. The most significant were collected.  The eucharist as summit : the tandem, symbol of the communion between laity and brothers, introduced the eucharistic celebration, presided over by Fr Joan Zapatero. The two General Councillors addressed the assembly. Closure of the Forum : Brothers Maurice Berquet, provincial, and Pere Ferré, vicar provincial, together with Pep Buetas, presented each one with the final document of the Forum and CD « Marists on journey ». Brother Maurice Berquet then closed the   Forum, thanking all those who had made it possible.

An evening of celebration, well organized, with tastings of products from the countries of those taking part, brought to an end these days which will remain engraved in the hearts of all the participants.

Read more: http://www.maristes.com/forum

Descarregar el document (pdf)

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