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Participant says laity course is wonderful, perfect



Positive response after first week of Marist gathering

25/05/2015: General House

Marist laity taking part in a first-of-a-kind course in Rome with over 50 people from around the world expressed delight half way through.

“It’s been wonderful and perfect,” Timothy Num-Darkwah told the general house press office at the end of the first week.

“We’ve learned a lot of things, especially yesterday when we learned about the history on the Marist mission and the role that each one must play in the journey together,” he added on May 22.

The conference includes 55 lay Marists from around the world and some Brothers form the General House gathered in Rome from May 19 – June 2. Its aim is to teach them how to form other Lay Marists in their own homeland.

A few visas were denied to participants from countries including Nigeria, PACE and South Asia, but Donat Mweze, from the PACE was able to arrive on May 22.

Timothy, who teaches French and English in Saint Joseph’s seminary in Mampong-Kumasi, Ghana, revealed his favourite part so far has been “the prayer aspect.”

“Before you have the willingness to go out of yourself, you need to strengthen your faith through reading the Word of God,” he stated.

Claudine Cholette, from Canada, echoed his thoughts affirming it’s a beautiful opportunity to meet people from around the world with her same mentality.

“The majority of the people in Quebec don’t go to church and say they don’t believe so we have to help them reconnect,” she said. “It’s really inspiring for me to see here that people in other countries still believe.” 

Claudine, a pastoral minister for youth in Marcellin Champat School in Quebec, also praised brother João Carlos do Prado for his talk.

“He asked us if whether we sing the same song and the same melody within the Marist world, and told us that we need to find the same harmony,” she explained.

“It’s a similar way I need to work with my students (and) it was a very interactive presentation,” she added.

The conference has so far covered topics including current lay theology, Marist charism, the Institute’s parameters and Marist lay vocation.

Speakers included Claudio Betti, Emili Turú, João Carlos do Prado, Antonio Ramalho and Chema Pérez-Soba. 

Part of the group then went to Assisi for a day trip on May 24, while others visited sites in Rome.

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