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Meeting of the Secretariat of the Laity

31/10/2014: Spain

Between 13 and 18 October, an international team met in Barcelona to lay the foundations of a global Marist framework for lay Marist processes. This project was born of the proposal made by the General Council to the Secretariat of the Laity to follow up on the process of discernment on lay association and belonging at the March meeting in Rome, equally an initiative of the General Council. Some seventy lay men and women and brothers, from almost all the provinces of the Institute, took part in this meeting, which made recommendations for the General Government and for the Administrative Units.

The working group is composed of lay people from Provinces which have set in motion lay processes of charismatic formation and vocational discernment. Taking part were Joe McCarthy (Australia), Eder D’Artagnan (Brasil Centro Norte), Nohemy Pinto (América Central), Ana Sarrate (Ibérica and the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family), Raúl Amaya (Santa María de los Andes), and, representing the Secretariat, Pep Buetas and Br Javier Espinosa.  

In agreement with the General Council’s proposal, the principal objectives touched on were:

  • To draw up the basis for a global framework of Marist vocational  process for lay men and women, which offers common criteria for both vocational discernment and for lay association and belonging to the charism a/o the Institute.
  • To define and specify courses for the fundamental elements of such a framework:
    • Fundamental criteria of vocational process or personal journey as a Marist.
    • an itinerary of charismatic formation,
    • the possible forms of association and belonging,
    • possibilities of organization of the laity linked to the charism.

The General Council considers that the final result of the process will be the presentation of a reference framework for the identity of the Marist lay person who feels called to live the Marist charism in the midst of the world. It will involve a recognition of such an identity within some form of association, and in communion with the Brothers. It will have a character of internationality, but taking into account cultural and regional diversity.

On the basis of the discussions held in Barcelona, a process of participation of other groups and commissions has been initiated.  This process seeks to be enriched by the experiences in this respect already existing in the Institute as well as the new experiences which may be born in other   Administrative Units within the same search for an identity of the lay Marist, in some form of association.

The result of the work was rich and intense from the experience contributed, the sensitivity in the listening, and the fire in the hearts of those forming the group. The help of Mariella and Br Paco Castellanos (Compostela) in the translation, and that of Raül Cabús (L’Hermitage) in the   secretariat were very important in facilitating the reflection. It is necessary to highlight and give thanks for the hospitality of the community of Casal in Barcelona, living sign of a Marist life made up of details and simplicity.

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Pep Buetas – Co-director Secretariat of the Laity

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