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Joint Formation Experience

 

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Asia Brothers–Lay Marists

20/11/2014: Philippines

Eleven brothers and eighteen lay Marists gathered last October 20-24, 2014 for a Joint Formation Experience at the Sarangani Highlands, General Santos City, Philippines . With nine countries represented, namely, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea, China and Australia, the event was a significant occasion where participants reflected together on themes around Spirituality, Faith and Vocations, Brothers-Lay Communion and Co-responsibility, and New Marists in Mission.  The Asia region participants were grateful for Br. Michael Callinan, FMS, from Austalia, for accompanying the processes of the joint formation journey.

The joint formation experience was a great opportunity characterized by shared responsibility and leadership, a strong sense of unity and community, deep and creative sharing of faith, transparency to the movement of the Spirit, genuine communion in an international atmosphere of cultural diversity, and sincere expression of longings and hopes for the future of Marist life in Asia and beyond.

Participants recognized the challenges, among others,  to live the Marist charism in deeper communion as Marists, Lay and Brothers; to be agents of change for poor children and young people; to be responsive to contemporary needs of peoples in new lands through integral evangelization; to spread the good news about the equal call to Brothers and Lay Marist in sharing the charism of St. Marcellin Champagnat;  to further respect peoples of all cultures and cooperate across religious boundaries and to sustain and strengthen the connections to one another through local and Asia regional cooperation.

 At the conclusion of the week-long process, participants planted a tree and a marker about the joint formation gathering was installed, leaving a meaningful commemorative symbol of the significant event for the life of brothers and lay in Asia.

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A Statement from the Participants

We, the participants of the 2014 Asia BrothersLay Joint Formation Experience, gathered as one Marist family from 2024 October at Sarangani Highlands, Philippines to:

  • foster charismatic vitality through reflections on Marist spirituality, personal growth in faith, discovery and living of one’s vocation, and discernment of new calls;
  • be open to the challenge of integrating Asian Spirituality in the Marist way of life;
  • generate lived expressions of community, in order to be attentive to the call of God to live in communion: Brothers and Lay Marists together;
  • deepen co-responsibility in building the future of the Marist charism in Asia;
  • explore ways of bringing renewal and vitality to Marist life in support of Marist mission;
  • reflect together on the key themes and challenges drawn from the II Marist International Mission Assembly;
  • propose action plan to foster greater vitality of Brothers and Lay Marists; and
  • suggest possible formation processes applicable to each respective AU.

The joint formation experience was a great opportunity characterized by:

  • shared responsibility and leadership
  • a strong sense of unity and community
  • deep and creative sharing of faith
  • transparency to the movement of the Spirit
  • genuine communion in an international atmosphere of cultural diversity
  • sincere expression of longings and hopes for the future of Marist life in Asia and beyond

With God our light, we, Brothers and Lay Marists of Asia, want to continue journeying together and awakening the dawn of a new shared future.

We Marists believe and affirm that:

  • each one of us is called to the common purpose of making Jesus known and loved. Our personal faith encounters are strengthened and nurtured by our unique experiences with God and the people we meet on life’s journey
  • Marist vocation is a gift from God given equally to Brothers and Lay Marists, lived distinctly and in common, and which is to be shared within the Church and the whole world
  • we share the gift of Marist charism and live Christian spirituality in the manner of Mary inspired by St. Marcellin Champagnat, working in mission within and outside the church and alongside those of other faith traditions

To usher in a new relationship between Marists, Brothers and Lay, it is imperative that:

  • we be open to the loving call of God and a joyful new communion of understanding and trust be- tween Marists, Lay and Brothers
  • we allow the natural attraction of the Marist charism to be expressed through our friendship and ac- tive encouragement of each respective vocation
  • we commit to new models of initial and ongoing formation specifically for Lay Marists, and Brothers and Lay Marists together.
  • we advocate for new structures of co-responsibility and communion

We are challenged to:

  • live the Marist charism in deeper communion as Marists, Lay and Brothers
  • be agents of change for poor children and young people, responsive to contemporary needs of peoples in new lands through integral evangelization
  • spread the good news about the equal call to Brothers and Lay Marist in sharing the charism of St. Marcellin Champagnat
  • further respect peoples of all cultures and co-operate across religious boundaries
  • sustain and strengthen the connections to one another through local and Asia regional co-operation

We request the leaders of our region of Asia to consider:

  • new and expanded leadership of Lay Marist life in the region to further the animation of Marist charism and spirituality for the sake of mission
  • initiating a plan for developing Lay Marist vocations alongside Brothers’ vocations specific to the different contexts in the region of Asia
  • specific formation opportunities for Lay Marists, depending on the need and level of experience in different parts of the region of Asia
  • further joint formation processes for Marists, Brothers and Lay, in different parts of the region of Asia
  • tailored formation and pathways for Brothers and Lay Marists to prepare them for ministry leadership
  • enhanced support for Lay Marist volunteers for mission across the region
  • the development of different community models in which Brothers and Lay Marists commit to new mission
  • development of CMMF and other Lay Marist associations across the region of Asia
  • supporting the developing international Marist Association which will provide a formal pathway of belonging for Lay Marists, as well as ‘Friends of Champagnat’ for those beginning their Marist journey in a ministry.
  • implementing technological presence as a powerful tool for spreading Marist spirituality and charism across the region of Asia, especially mobile platforms

Now is the time to JUMP! Together, let’s go in haste to new lands!

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2014 Asia Brothers-Lay Joint Formation Participants

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