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Fifth Chapter of the Amazonia District

16/02/2015: Brazil

The Fifth Chapter of the Amazonia Marist District (AMD) took place with the festive atmosphere of the two upcoming foundation anniversaries: the first 200 years of the Little Brothers of Mary (1817/France), and the 50 years of the Marist District in Western Amazonia (1967/Lábrea). These facts and memories enlightened and challenged our Chapter. We could not avoid being questioned by La Valla, Fourvière, Montagne, and Lábrea in our current Marist scenarios.

There were 28 people involved in these discussions held in Porto Velho from December 27 to 30. The participants included most Brothers of the Amazonia District (15), Brothers Inácio Etges (Provincial of Rio Grande do Sul), James Pinheiro and Márcio da Costa (Brazil Centro-Norte), Jorge Gaio (Brazil Centro-Sul), and several lay Marists: Wilson Junior, Verónica Rubi, Ida Cristina, Miralda Gomes and Sernízia Correa.

Important questions emerged from our dialogue regarding mysticism, prophecy, the following of Jesus, the new beginning, and other urgent appeals regarding the survival of Marist consecrated religious life: Will we have the courage to undertake a new beginning? What can we do to ‘awaken the dawn’? How can we be missionary disciples in a context full of resources, which are prey to people and groups with a mere mercantilist and consumerist view? How can we live out our mysticism and prophecy in Amazonia by being sentinels for the people, and stumbling stones for the exploiters, signs of hope bringing life in fullness?

The capitulants finally discussed how to simplify the structure of the District. They approved the dissolution of ABAEC Management (Brazilian Association of Assistance, Education and Culture), and the shift of its activities to the Management Legal Entities of the Province of Rio Grande do Sul. Regarding the canonical organization model of the District, they unanimously decided to submit to the Provincial Council a request for unification with Rio Grande do Sul, a decision that eventually will be up to the General Council of the Institute.

Brothers Danilo Correia (Vice-Superior) and Sebastião Ferrarini were elected to assume the pastoral care of the District as councilors, taking office together with Brother João Gutemberg, District Superior, in a Eucharistic celebration presided over by Father Antônio Possamai.

You can read a full account of the Chapter in the last issue of the District Bulletin.

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