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24 November

Saint Andrew Dung-Lac and companions

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II Marist International Mission Assembly



National phase in Venezuela

29/04/2014: Venezuela - Photo gallery
Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

We, a group of 11 brothers, 8 lay men, and 16 lay women who live as Marists in Venezuela, met in the city of Los Teques from March 27 to 29 to generate a space for listening and fraternal dialogue. Through several months of “local phase”, sharing life and faith as we studied the topics proposed by the Marist Institute, we prepared ourselves for this “national phase” of the II Marist International Mission Assembly. We are very excited about being part of the Institute’s process in this historic moment, and we would like to share the work and experiences of these days with the “Marist World”.

We started our meeting at night with a moving celebration full of symbols around the fire, recalling the meaning of the Assembly’s logo. “If you want to shine, let yourself be set on fire” was the phrase that deeply touched our hearts, and somehow connected us with the motto of “New Marists in Mission”.

These days – as we shared dreams, hopes, worries, calls, concerns, challenges, joy and commitment – we focused our work and reflection on the three themes that were proposed: spirituality, vocation (in terms of the new relationship between lay people and brothers) and evangelization.


SPIRITUALITY: heart of the mission

We feel that the heart of our mission consists in living the Gospel values, bringing God’s presence and love to the children and young people, especially to those most in need – like Montagne here and now – whose situation challenges us and invites us to move towards them.

We are convinced that “Marist life is worth living”. Our time is now, and we want to undertake the path of conversion, listening to God in order to know what He wants from us, letting Him work in us, as we work with Him. We will only find the New Land, to which we must go in haste, through listening and praying. We must ask Him for more hearts that can be open to His action, willing to GIVE love, time, knowledge, resources, and also to RECEIVE.

We feel called to open ourselves to change, to build the “New Dawn” together (brothers and laity), becoming more sensitive to the needs of others, going where we are most needed, and working hard to achieve all this. That is why we want to live a missionary and itinerant spirituality, leading our steps to the places where others do not want to go (marginal areas, difficult missions, unexplored places), offering our service and our presence among the poorest children and young people, sharing their suffering and needs.


VOCATION: new relationship between laity and brothers

We feel the fundamental call to live a new relationship of communion, to be brothers and sisters (laity and brothers) in order to revitalize the charism and the mission together. Recognizing our vocations, which are different and complementary, as a gift from God, knowing that we need each other, we want to create communication spaces to share life and faith, favoring the joint formation of brothers and laity, taking on the challenge of living the spirituality of Marcellin Champagnat (and the first brothers) in our daily lives as Venezuelans.

With great joy we join the reflection process started by the Marist Institute in recent times in order to configure and consolidate this process.

We envision a new era of renewal and revival of the “Marist flame”. We believe we still need to break some paradigms, barriers and stereotypes in order to construct the “New Dawn”, overcoming wounds, fears and mistrust and, above all, letting God be God. Providence acts while we do our part.

When we, brothers and laity, feel in a position of equality, our identity is strengthened and our specific vocations are enriched: the brothers with their experience of the vows, their availability, detachment and their call to universal love; and the laity, according to their marital status, in the exercise of their profession, allowing the Marist spirit to reach the places where the brothers are not present. In addition, this relationship brings the brothers closer to human realities they have not experienced (or know little about) given their religious status: seeking the daily bread, maternity and paternity (which reveal tenderness, another form God’s love).


EVANGELIZATION: brothers and sisters for young people

The Marist Mission in a new world is asking us to offer a significant presence among poor children and young people. We want to see the world through their eyes, and recognize Christ in them. Their cries and their material and spiritual lacks are an urgent call for us. We cannot ignore their needs: closeness, a loving accompaniment, a listening presence, living a full life, counting on role models, an appreciation of their being and culture, faith experience, education, health, hope, dreams for the future, and the necessary tools to make all these things happen.

We need to expand our action field to work with the parents and their representatives, so that they can learn to accompany their children with love, gratefulness and acceptance, and become aware that they are the first educators of their children.

Mission Assembly- Nairobi 2014

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