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Second meeting of the International Commission

29/05/2014: General House

The International Commission for the Secretariat Brothers Today had its second meeting at the General House from 8th May to 14th May 2014. The group is composed by Br. César Augusto Rojas (Colombia, Director of the Secretariat), Br. Tony Leon (Australia, Assistant Director of the Secretariat), and Br. Ernesto Sánchez (General Councilor). Seven other members of the Team were present: Br. James Pinheiro Dos Santos (Brazil), Br. Juan Carlos Fuertes (Spain), Br. Norbert Mwila (Zambia), Br. Peter Rodney (Australia), Br. Jean Marie Batick (Melanesia), Br. Dan O’ Riordan (USA), Br. Albert Nzabonaliba (Rwanda). However, for various reasons Br. Saul Placious (India), Br. Hipólito Pérez (Central America) and Br. Eugène Kabanguka (GC) could not attend the meeting. We accepted their apologies.

On one hand, in light of the last General Conference, of the Year of Consecrated Life, and of the preparations towards the Marist Bicentenary (2017), the Secretariat believes in a “new beginning.” And Vocation Ministry is the key that subsequently implies a good Initial Formation. With these convictions, the overall meeting reflected upon some practicalities that the Secretariat Brothers Today can put in place for the coming years. Among aspects that require our attention today, one particular one aspect focused our attention: the exploration of the possibilities of organizing an “International Colloquium on Initial Formation.” This comes especially as the Church is dedicating 2015 as the Year for Consecrated Life Nonetheless, prior to this important event, we feel called to engage in some dynamics of reflections on Vocation Ministry and Initial Formation programs, for both Brothers and Lay Marists. 

On the other hand, some Guest Speakers presented a variety of topics related to the Vocation Ministry and Identity of Religious Brothers today. To mention just few here, Br. René Stockman, Superior General of the Brothers of Charity was all that impressive and convincing with regard to the Vocation and Mission of religious Brothers today. Br. Javier Espinosa spoke to us about this new era for the Marist Charism: Marist Future in Communion. All in all, and from now on, some key words seem to enter in our vocabulary: awakening the dawn, fostering the birth of a new epoch for the Charism, and new beginning. To undertake this journey into new beginning, wrote Fr. David Ranson in his article, “The Role Played by Vocations Directors in presenting the face of Religious and Clergy to the World (2010)”: there are in fact three questions that Jesus puts to us in the adventure of discipleship of him: 1. “What do you want / what are you looking for?” 2. “Who do you say I am?” and 3. “Do you love me?”

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