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San Lorenzo de El Escorial, January-February 2014

05/03/2014: Spain - Photo gallery

Interculturality, small fraternities, availability, meditation, Brothers of the Congregation, new way of being Brother, blue week, communion, Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking, personal life project…. These are some of the most common expressions being repeated in our day-to-day living.

The new Community of Brothers doing the year of experience and formation “Brother Formators for a new world” has already formed. Coming from Latin America and Angola, there are 15 of us Brothers taking part in the experience, plus the two Brother animators: Ángel Medina and Joarés Pinheiro. The Provinces which responded to the call are México Central (2), México Occidental (2), América Central (1), Norandina (3), Brasil Centro Norte (2), Brasil Centro Sul (2), Rio Grande do Sul (1), Santa María de los Andes (1), Southern Africa (1). By nationality and place of mission, we represent Brasil, México, Colombia, Ecuador, Haití, Chile, Salvador, Angola and Paraguay.

Our first week passed in a program of getting to know one another, with much interaction and fraternal sharing. Becoming gradually aware of responding to a call of the 21st General Chapter, which calls us to a greater understanding of the identity of the Marist Brother. So we intend, during the year, to integrate the different human dimensions as a person, through personal growth, community building by means of fraternal dialogue, intercultural understanding and accompaniment, and to acquire tools useful for the role we will assume as formators for the Institute. The living witness of Br Gonzalo (from his wheel chair) and Fr José Ignacio (from his monastic experience) enliven and edify us.

The second week we received the gracious visit of our Brother General Councillors Antonio Ramalho and Josep María Soteras, together with Br César Rojas, Co-ordinator of the Secretariat of Brothers Today. In the name of Br Emili, they nourished our communion with the Institute and invited us to dialogue and reflect on our formation, its strengths and challenges, our condition as prophets and mystics, spirituality, fraternal dialogue and the internationality of the Congregation.

The third week was animated by Brasilian Sister Graciema. Her objective was to help us to a maximum integration of our life through balancing our body, mind and spirit. The Tibetan exercises, chakras, mantras and meditation, consciousness of breathing, the care and knowledge of our body, harmony and self-care were elements of learning that lead us to understand the continuing presence of God in our lives.

The fourth week was conducted by Br Enrique Escobar (México) and centred on the topic of our cultural identities. We shared experiences and learned about healthy relationships, dominant cultures, resolution of conflicts, trust, community building and personal accompaniment.

The program continues, and we continue responding to the trust of our Provinces. We are introducing the small fraternities and composing our Personal Life Projects. We will also do our Community Project. In an especially brotherly and welcoming climate, the Lord continues modelling our vessels of clay. Not always an easy process, but we endeavour to place ourselves in his hands letting ourselves be shaped, in the same way that Mary did.

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