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How Br Miquel Cubeles went from Spain to Lebanon



One of the Fratelli Project leaders tells his story

22/09/2015: Lebanon

One of the two brothers leading the Fratelli Project – an initiative aimed to help educate displaced refugee young people as an investment in their future – has released a letter telling about his transition from Spain to Lebanon.

His province, L’Hermitage Province, asked him to write a letter, now published on their website, to tell his story.

In it, Brother Miquel Cubeles reveals how when being asked to go there, “a clear ‘yes’ immediately came from the bottom of my heart.”

A new beginning...

I arrived from Lebanon on September 3, only five days ago. Today, on the feast of the Nativity of Mary, I want to spend some time writing about a number of things that happened to me recently, which I experienced both as a true call and as a gift from God.

Brother Emili invited us to live the bicentennial celebration as “a new beginning” for our Marist family and proposed three years of preparation to highlight some fundamental attitudes aimed at that goal: the Montagne Year to renew our commitment to the children and young people most in need; the Fourvière Year to grow in fraternity and communion; and the La Valla Year to develop a deeper and more incarnate spirituality.

This process has been very challenging to me, and I lived the Montagne Year in a particularly intense way. The words of Pope Francis inviting us to courageously go forth from our comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ have echoed in me. Likewise, the motto of the Easter youth retreat in Les Avellanes this year, “With Christ towards the Peripheries”, touched my heart in a very special way… Whenever I prayed, I had the feeling that this call regarded me and my community. I wanted a more specific answer to the Montagne Year, and this is precisely what happened when someone from the management staff told me: “there is an eighteen-year-old fellow who is in a lot of trouble, and we do not know who can accompany him, so we thought about you, although we will obviously understand if you said no because it is a very special case…”

The brothers’ community welcomed him for two and a half months. He is now smiling and leading a normal life again. “Why did you accommodate me, given the negative reports about me?” I answered: “because we didn’t read them…” He replied: “that’s what I needed, someone who could accept me as I am and believe in me!” He was a young Montagne for us during our Easter season.

On Easter morning, I opened the Institute’s webpage looking for something in line with the slogan “With Christ towards the Peripheries” that could really touch me. I thought they could have uploaded the final message of our Easter youth retreat in Les Avellanes. Instead, the letter on the ‘Fratelli Project’ showed up on my computer screen. I was stunned when I read it. What a daring initiative of the La Salle and Marist superiors!

“Find ways to create ‘alternate spaces’, where the Gospel approach to self-giving fraternity, embracing differences, and love of one another can thrive […] Respond to the increasing crises among displaced people in cross border situations […] Initiate a project that creates spaces to cater for displaced children”. I never thought I could get involved in this project, although it immediately elicited great joy and ‘family pride’ in me because of the boldness it implies. I immediately started disseminating the news.

A few days later, we received the letter Montagne, Dance of the Mission. Brother Emili has a wonderful way of inviting us to ‘conspire with the Spirit’, becoming Marists on the road, an evangelizing presence among children and young people in situations of vulnerability, walking towards “a new beginning” as mystics and prophets! Were that not enough, he left us a final question: “What would you do if you had no fear?”

Two days later, before I could find the time to answer this question, Brother Emili invited me to join the Fratelli Project. A clear ‘yes’ immediately came from the bottom of my heart. Formalities and the dialogue with my family took me only a few days. The ‘yes’ of my first religious profession, and even more, of everyday life, widened my heart. It was a very peaceful ‘yes’, without many questions, without stopping to consider my qualities and limitations, nor my age. I am grateful to my family and to the people who have supported me since I received the appointment.

Difficulties are becoming clear now, when there is so much to dream about and plenty of work to do. I arrived in Beirut at the beginning of September together with Andrés, a young Mexican de La Salle brother. We are just brothers who share the same path, trying to reach out for and live with the children and young people in need from Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Armenia. We are in tune with each other, and our confidence, prayer and fraternal support are arriving where projects and building bricks cannot go yet. The communities of Lebanon are welcoming and they are accompanying our first steps. However, it is our duty to define the path, together with other people who will support us. Children, young people and their families – or perhaps without a family – are already here: more than one and a half million refugees in a small country with less than five million inhabitants. In the last days, all this is happening in conjunction with the exodus of so many refugees to Europe, calling at the door of that continent. I am sure that European people will be generous and creative.

God knows what he wants from each of us, but we will never really understand why these things happen. It clearly see that God wants me to be in the middle of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. He brought me to Lebanon, and I take this as “a new beginning” because of the different country, language, culture, and the intercongregational aspect. All this is a challenge and a richness. However, the real “new beginning” actually means being open to God as instruments of his love, as true brothers committed to justice.

I tell you this in all humility, without quoting anyone, based on my life experience. Marist laity and brothers, we must let God work in us, and open new roads where God wants “a new beginning”. Thank you, Jesus, for letting me walk next to you in this moment of my life!


Brother Miquel Cubeles
September 8, 2015


The Fratelli Project is an inter-congregational collaboration involving the Marist and De La Salle brothers to which other congregations are invited. The Fratelli Project is not limited to operations in the Middle East and it is expected that it will be established in other places where children and young people suffer from conflict and are displaced or are refugees or migrants. 

The coordinators in Lebanon, Brother Andrés Porras FSC and Brother Miquel Cubeles FMS will work with a local advisory committee and train young refugees to invest in themselves for the future of their home countries. 

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