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30 November

Saint Andrew
1857:foundation of the Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (SMSM)
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Marist Calendar - November

Like Fertile Rain Soaking the Earth



Brother Formators for a New World

16/04/2014: Spain - Photo gallery

Chronicle from the formators course that is being held in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, presenting several experiences they lived in March, with the support and presence of several lecturers.

“April rain is here again”, goes the saying, and this is becoming true in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, where rainfall was frequent and heavy in March, and seems to follow the same pattern in April. This is also the case in the “Brother Formators for a New World” course: like the rain, it slowly waters and soaks our lives, allowing the seed to break open and generate new life.

Our training course is proceeding as scheduled. After the initial integration and group-dynamics stage, the visit of the General Council, and the first workshops, there have been new formation themes:

  • Father Gonzalo Fernández, Claretian, spoke to us about social networks as formation factors. We reflected on different topics: our identity and relationships; the space where we live; the fact of being digital citizens; the use of social networks; and how to accompany the “digital natives”, our young men in formation among them.
  • With the help of Chema Pérez-Soba, a lay Marist, we reflected about young people and the way they face the world, religion and faith today. How can we evangelize young people today and how can we adapt the way we educate them in the faith given the plurality of their options and the intimacy of their decisions?
  • José Antonio Molina-Niñirola, a lay Marist, spoke to us about Spirituality and Transcendence. We studied the transcendent dimension of the person, reflecting about our own experience of God, the transcendent dimension in relation to the body, transcendence and day-to-day life, emptiness, the silence of God, and crisis situations. The deep sharing about our lives enormously enriched everyone.
  • Brother Juan Ignacio Fuentes (Juancho) shared with us his beautiful and fraternal Marist experience. We learned about different topics: the possibilities of personal growth, an evolutionary approach to personal development, life stages and crisis situations, dealing with pain, levels of identity, overcoming traumatic experiences, and the process of mourning. We also shared in depth about the human vocation and the process of formation and growth.
  • Silvia Martínez, a lay Marist, spoke to us about gender perspectives and their implications for our present situation and evangelization mission. We also discussed other topics: gender in our personal stories, the current social models, and some frequent prejudices in this area. The group appreciated this vision of reality from a gender perspective.
  • Brother Séan Sammon spent two weeks with us and spoke about human sexuality and emotional life. His experience, knowledge of the subject, and love for the Institute and the brothers enriched us very much. By using many examples and life experiences, he helped us reflect on different topics: the stages of life, changes and transformations, sexual identity, intimacy, men and women in relationship, the midlife stage, psychosexual development, stress, life of chastity in celibacy, fraternal life, the pastoral response to child abuse, and living with difficult people. All these important topics regarding formation have helped us and encouraged us to think about the formation plans for our Provinces.

Along with these intense experiences – with our deep appreciation for such formation opportunities and for the people that made them possible – we go on living in fraternity, sharing with the neighboring Marist communities (Les Avellanes, Villalba, Leon, Valladolid), learning from the experience and testimony of our Martyr Brothers, getting to know each other better every day, mutually enriching ourselves, and sharing life in our small fraternities. And now we are getting ready to live the Passover of Jesus through different experiences and expressions of the faith.

This is our formation course, like gentle and steady rain impregnating our lives and slowly turning them into fertile soil that generates life.

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