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Listening to reality – listening to our youth



General Conference – Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September

15/09/2013: France - Photo gallery
General Conference 2013

After morning prayer on 13 September, Br Joe Mc Kee recalled the principal aim of the day : listening to young people through some experiences. Br Joaquim Sperandio of « Brasil Centro-Sul » explained the experience of work with the « Youth Commission ». The Province’s main challenge remained the university ministry.

BrÓscar Martín Vicario, of « Compostela », presented the vision of Spanish youth, in particular those of his Province. One of them is at the origin of a new approach to youth ministry in the Province of Compostela. Br Óscar presented some data on Spanish youth and, in conclusion, showed a video in which young people define themselves.

BrFrancis Lukong, of East Africa, explained the situation of African youth : studies and  apprenticeships, the social domain, family, corruption, the negative effects of globalisation, the urban population, the multiplication of sects, etc.

Br Robert Teoh, of « East Asia », placed in relief the diversity of Asia : religions, cultures, civilisations, languages… the phenomenon of the great cities, technology and globalisation. He insisted on the great importance given to education and the numerous hours young people devote to studies (up to 12 !).

In the second part of the morning, Br Josep Maria Soteras, C. G., presented the statistical data of the Institute on the brothers. He noted that the data should be read from a contemplative point of view, in an authentically prophetic way. This attitude helped to see the data realistically and to pose some important questions : What is it that strikes us ? What challenges do these figures raise for us ? Do these figures impose a reality, or rather is it up to us to build a reality based on these figures ? Is the reality of the Institute reflected in your Province or Region ? What can your Province or Region contibute to the Institute ?

As on other days, there was time for personal reflection, group sharingand free expression.

The afternoon was given over to making a summary of the week’s work. At the close, Br Emili Turu spoke some words of thanks to Br John Klein, who was leaving the next day for the United States. In reply, Br John thanked God, the General Council and others for all the riches he had received as a member of the General Council, in particular the brotherhood.

During the Eucharist, theparticipants « listened to » God through the young people.


A « Montagne » experience

class=imgshadowOn Saturday 14 September, the participants went to les Palais, near Bessat, where Fr Champagnat encountered the young Montagne just before he died.

In front of the memorial plaque of the event, Br Joe Mc Kee led a moment of prayer. Champagnat reflected and prayed, this « trivial event » becoming for him a clear call from the Lord to undertake the project he had entertained for a long time and which he had shared with his seminary companions : to found without delay a community of brothers, the first called being Jean-Marie Granjon

After a brief motivation, we sang the Salve Regina, followed by personal reflection and prayer in common. Br Emili Turú, Saint Marcellin’s successor, read a « possible » letter of the Founder to the participants in the General Conference. Before returning to the Hermitage, each one had time to interiorise this essential  moment which gave birth to our Institute, to make these places live again and capture the heart and spirit of Saint Marcellin.

On the return to the Hermitage, there was time for each one to make a synthesis of the week.

General Conference 2013

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