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Retreats for brothers and laypeople

23/09/2005: Spain

Coinciding with the closure of the Marist Vocation Year, the Province of Mediterránea invited a group of laypeople to participate in the annual retreat for the brothers. More than forty took part in two retreats held this summer; nearly all belong to different fraternities in the Province.
For six days, brothers and laypeople had the opportunity to reflect and deepen their sense of vocation from the experience of faith and from the joys and hopes that support life in following Jesus. This was not the first time, however, that this kind of thing had been undertaken in the Province. The laypeople and brothers, focussing on the spirituality of Champagnat, were able to share the experience of faith and of the vocation to which each person has been called. They reflected together on the vocation of Abraham, Saul, Mary, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Matthew.
These laypeople valued the personal time of work and prayer in an ambience of serenity, as well as the possibility to be enriched through the deep sharing of experiences in small groups. In the same way, many of them verified the need to have a time, like the brothers to dedicate to prayer, dialogue and reflection.
The development of the themes moved from the anthropological (from the heart and experience) to the transcendent. The mornings were dedicated to reflection, prayer and contemplation. The afternoons were used for group work.
A team of brothers took care of the preparation of things. The availability of all the workers and the good ambiance helped make these days to be very enjoyable. The running around of some small children who had accompanied their parents, rather than hindering, actually helped in giving these retreats a climate of friendliness and fondness.

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