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Community animators gather to learn from each other’s experiences



Brothers meet in Manziana and El Escorial for two months

17/03/2016: General House - Photo gallery

Community animators are meeting in Spain and in Italy for two months as part of an initiative of the Brothers Today Secretariat.

“The purposes of this include: a personal renewal, an opportunity for professional development as well as a providing a sense of solidarity in their common role,” said Brother Tony Leon, director of the Secretariat.

“Sometimes, in more isolated countries, brothers wouldn’t have opportunities to bounce off ideas,” he told the general house press office on March 7.

Spanish and Portuguese-speaking brothers are meeting in El Escorial, Spain, while English-speaking brothers are meeting in Manziana, Italy, from Feb. 18 – April 21. 

The programme will include presentations on community processes, communication skills and group dynamics as well as a pilgrimage to France with a group of lay Marists from April 5 – 13. 

“It’s a challenge for brothers to come together and listen with humility because how some may think you should run a community may not be applicable to other countries,” affirmed Br Tony.

“Some brothers live in first world countries, which are safe but with the challenges of ageing communities due to the lack of vocations,” he added. “Others come from anything but comfortable situations but with the blessings of many younger brothers.” 

The logo of the encounter is the Rondanini Pietà to symbolize the call for community leaders to represent Jesus, as stated in paragraph 52 of the Constitutions and Statutes. 

Br Tony noted he has “witnessed a sense of humility that the brothers experience when they listen to the stories of other brothers.”

The participants in Manziana are Brothers: Alex Arockiasamy (India – Asia district), Jean Luc Maombi Mutsirahera (Congo – PACE), Edward George (South Africa), Germain Bery Beda and Koffi Kouadio Pascal (Ivory Coast – West Africa district), Boniface Chirambo and Andrew Sikelo (Malawi – Southern Africa), Sales Fernando (Sri Lanka – South Asia), Farancis Rahamed (Pakistan – South Asia), Reuben Banda of Zambia (Southern Africa), Francis McIntosh and Robert Speare (Australia).


The team leaders at Manziana are Brothers Dennis Cooper (Australia) and Alfredo Herrera (East Asia).

The participants in El Escorial are Brothers: Alvaro Barragan and Rosendo Corona (México Occidental), Antonio Delgado and Armando Heredia (México Central), John Edgar Arrieta (Venezuela – Norandina), Franki Kelberson and Leomar D’Avila (Brasil Centro-Sul),  Rómulo Ismael Gonzalez (Guatemala – América Central), Mariano Morante (Ecuador – Norandina), Angel Diego García (Spain – Mediterránea), Alberto García (Spain – Compostela), José Félix Martín  and Ambrosio Alonso (Spain – Ibérica), Isaac Lara (Romania – Ibérica), Ruben Seipel (Argentina – Cruz del Sur), Carmelo San Millan (Colombia – Norandina). 

The team leaders at El Escorial are Ángel Medina (Paraguay – Cruz del Sur), Joarés Pinheiro (Brasil Centro Norte), Antonio Peralta (Bolivia – Santa María de los Andes).


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