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Brothers and laity together around the same table



First experience of joint formation

29/07/2014: Venezuela

Profoundly convinced that the Marists of Champagnat – brothers and laity – can gather around the same table, eleven lay persons and nine brothers met from Saturday 21 to Wednesday 25 June at the Formation House of Los Teques to carry out the first experience of joint formation in Marist  Venezuela. 

From the delta of the Orénoque to Tierra del Sol Amada (Maracaibo), via Caracas, Maracay, Los Teques and Punto Fijo, we came together to live this experience in community. Together, brothers and laity, we shared faith and life,  revitalising our personal stories and, with them, our specific vocations.

The first day of the meeting involved the integration of the participants, the formation of little communities and work on our personal and family histories. Sharing life in the little communities helped us pose questions and invited us to discover our own responses for the future of the Marist  charism in Venezuela. 

The second day, consecrated to a review of our life as a history of salvation, we recalled and shared our faith experiences. The missionary experience made in the milieu of the meeting in small groups, helped us remeber our own mission and to ‘dream’ of new Marist presences among the poorest children and young people. 

During the fourth and fifth days, centred on vocation, we reaffirmed what can be read in the  document « Around the same table » :

We Brothers and Lay people have much more in common than particular in our vocation ; we both share the beauty and the limits of the human  condition at this historical time, we live the same Christian vocation through baptism, and we have felt the call of God that drew us to the Marist  charism. (16)

We hold the certainty that our respective vocations are mutually enhanced. So while we continue discovering who we are by relating with others, the specific identity of Brothers and Lay Marists is clarified and enriched by sharing life : spirituality, mission, formation… (17)

By way of conclusion of the meeting, we recognised that we, brothers and lay Marists of  Champagnat, are responsible for the vitality of the charism. We will work together for the « birth of the new dawn of the Institute ».

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