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Towards a “new beginning” for the Champagnat Movement

11/04/2015: General House

The revitalization process of the Champagnat Movement began in 2012. This lay movement includes over 3000 lay men and women in 22 countries. An international commission lead by Ana Sarrate and under the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Laity, is accompanying the process. This commission seeks to involve all fraternities (about 270) in the proposed update of the Movement.  The first phase focused on awareness of reality, to recall the history of each fraternity and to read its process. During the second phase, clues for revitalization and for the future were requested. This is the third year in which the commission is working on two aspects, based off the contributions of the Provinces: on the one hand, rework the Life Project of the Champagnat Movement, now with a lay language and considering the new benchmarks which have emerged in the 30 years of the existence of the Movement. Alfredo Garcia (Mediterranean) as coordinator, Edison de Oliveira (Rio Grande do Sul), Agnes Reyes (East Asia), Claudia Rojas (Norandina) and Sylvain R. H. (Madagascar) are all working on this first aspect. 


The goal of the second aspect is to offer a training and organizational proposal, with personal stages and commitments, and vocational key clues for a better articulation of the fraternities at a local, provincial and international level. This group is led by Ana Sarrate (Iberian), Michel Beaulac (Canada), Paty Rios (western Mexico), Layza Gómez (North Central Brazil), Linda Corbeil (Canada) and Chema Pérez-Soba (Iberian). Adalberto H. Amaral (North Central Brazil), is also in the group as a member of the Commission. The reflection on the training proposal for the Champagnat Movement is integrated into the dynamics of other provinces of the Institute, who are participating in the design of a Global Framework for vocational discernment for lay people. This framework, promoted by the General Council, will be presented in the next chapter of 2017. We can refer to an opportunity of a “new beginning” for the Champagnat Movement. This is the challenge of the international commission that will meet late July this year in Rome to try to shape the end of the update process.

The desire to convert the Champagnat Movement in an international, intercultural and interfaith movement, with its members and the brothers taking up the challenge of being guarantors of the Marist charism, is part of this challenge.

After 30 years of the Movement the update process echoes the words of Brother Charles: "We are aware that the final document should come from your own hearts, of your own faith, from your own experience, from your experience of Champagnat's spirituality. We consider this document as the first step that you yourselves will complete in the coming years" (Circular, October 15, 1991).

The group of lay of the international commission wants to keep affirming the richness that lay life gives to the Marist charism in the middle of the world.

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