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European retreat in Valladolid

12/09/2014: Spain

The European Marist Retreat was held in the Champagnat Marist house of Valladolid, from 28 July to 3 August this year. The total attending numbered 42, coming from the various Provinces of Europe: Compostela (6), Central West Europe (6), Ibérica (7), L’Hermitage (7), Mediterránea (7), as well as the members of the Team Brothers Today: Ernesto Tendero, Maurice Taildeman, Carlos García,  Juan Carlos Fuertes and Antonio Leal, and the translators Fabricio Galiana, Teófilo Minga and Paco Castellanos. The chaplain was Don Antonio Romo.

The retreat had as theme: “Mary, dawn of the new times already breaking” and was centred on the Word of God. The objectives proposed for it were the following:

  • Give dynamism to our   Marist vocation on the basis of the calls of the 21st General Chapter.
  • Develop interiority as a means of deepening our relationship with God and our life.
  • Contemplate the figure of Mary in the Word of God as source of inspiration for living our Marist vocation today.
  • Provide an experience of encounter and fraternal dialogue in the ambit of Marist Europe.

Brother Ernesto Tendero was charged with helping in the reflection each day through the basic themes: interiority, a new model of being brother, a new brothers-laity relationship, evangelizers in the midst of youth, and vocations ministry.

Personal dialogue and group discussion contributed to the   personal reflection and mutual enrichment.

Much care and preparation went into creating the climate and ambiance for the retreat: long times of silence, the appointments of the house, the meals, the community prayers, the Eucharistic celebrations, the simultaneous translation, the round table for testimonies, the surroundings of the house…….all contributed to fostering a dynamic promoting interiority and personal reflection.

The final ceremony of “sending” reminds us that we carry within ourselves a great treasure, a geode, for discovering and sharing with others.

Antonio Marín Alba

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