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Mariste Presence in Madagascar



The Postulancy in Fianarantsoa

14/08/2013: Madagascar - Photo gallery

We have just celebrated one hundred years of the Marist presence in Madagascar. A grace of the centenary is that we have received a considerable number of young men at the postulancy in Fianarantsoa. There were 16 at the beginning, and there remain 11, now in June 2013. Of the 11,  the second year postulants, that is , those preparing to enter the novitiate are 7, while 4 are finishing their first year. The spirit of the young men is extremely good, expressed in spontaneous  relations with the formators, and a great openness to the formation.

The intellectual formation is aimed at giving the young men a good mastery of French and English, the two languages of openness and culture. But the course also includes the life of the Founder, Mariology, the Psalms, computers. Within the framework of this culture, we have re-established spiritual reading and the young men have available seven books each to make their choice of reading, plus other choices among the books in the library. Pratically all have the « Prions en Eglise », missal with the readings and commentaries of the daily Mass. Each of the postulants has also been given a Bible in Malagasy. What the formators intend is that they become familiar with the Word of God. The rythme is now established and the way open to a taste for reading and the domain of culture.

Still to promote culture, the library is in process of being renewed : purchases of many books in Malagasy, French and English. It remains to find it a larger location. The young men can also work at the 7 computers available. One of the postulants is an engineer and a guide for the others in this electronic universe.

In the area of sports, we have tarsealed the basketball court, and this court is well used by the youth of the neighbourhood. For a whole year we have been levelling a hill to make a football field. The main part of the work is finished, but the goals are lacking. But the young people invade the ground anyway. That is how we want an open house of formation.

The openness is also emphasized by the YMM (Young Malagasy Marists) who take in and animate many children and young people of the quarter and by the Marist Parents which brings together the  adults who want to live the spirit of Marcellin. You should know that 60% of the Malagasy population is below 20 years of age, and also, unfortunately, that 92% of the population live in a state of great poverty.

Br Giovanni Maria Bigotto

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