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Process of revision and updating of the Champagnat Movement

12/05/2014: General House - Photo gallery

At the request of some regions of the Institute and coinciding with the 25 years of the Champagnat Movement,  a start was made two years ago on a process of revision and updating of the Movement, an undertaking guided by an international Commission with Ana Sarrate as co-ordinator. The progress made followed two first steps of consultation among all the fraternities of the Institute. One of these consultations included the Provinces where the Champagnat Movement does not exist. The Commission has been aware of the need to revitalise the fraternities of the Movement, but also to renew the initial invitation of Br Charles to all lay persons, especially the young, « to live together a fascinating spiritual and apostolic adventure in the charism of Champagnat ». That is why the launching of the renewal is a proposal to the almost 3,500 members of the  Movement, divided into some 300 fraternities or groups, and present in some 20 countries, but also to all lay men and women who wish to live the Marist spirituality, brotherhood and mission in the setting of the world.

During this meeting in Rome, the third step of the undertaking was spelled out in detail. It involves a new draft of the  Life Project with the aim of making the Movement’s identity explicit in taking into account the spirit of the first project, but also the reflection and experience of almost  30 years of life. With the new project, it is wished to draw up a Guide where the stages of  formation, the forms of organisation and the possibilities of commitment and association will be given. All this in a language for the laity. In this project, the future is leading us to a better clarification of the terms of « autonomy in communion » and to give a new significance to the expression of the Constitutions : « an extension of our Institute » (C. 164.4) referring to the Champagnat Movement.

The echo of the words of Br Charles in his circular on the  Champagnat Movement has been heard during the work of these years : « We see this document as the first step in a process which you will complete in the years ahead ». So, throughout our meetings, we have emphasized that it is a movement for lay persons who are asking for expressions of maturity and autonomy in a grand communion with the brothers. We consider that the Movement is a challenge for the lay face of the charism, lived in the family, in the workplace, in the milieu of society, in the reality of the world, in Church.

We held the last meeting during Easter week. The programme for the third step of the Movement process was drawn up in the hope and newness of this paschal season. We felt the call to set out, to get moving, to proclaim. To proclaim this message to young people « that they can find in the Movement an answer to their deepest expectations and a field of action for their generosity » (Br Charles). We are also trying to establish a link between the Movement and the youth ministry of the Provinces. We also believe that it is necessary to promote this proposal in the Provinces where the Movement is not yet present as an opportunity for establishing a process for the laity thanks to the support of internationality in a common spirit.

The reflection of these last years leads us to affirm that the Movement proposal applies to all the cultures and sensibilities of the Institute. We equally affirm that it must make its own way without depending on the brothers, but with a great sense of vocational complementarity, hand in hand for the main for the construction of a new stage for the Marist charism. United, we enrich the charism. United, we accompany the charism.

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