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Co-nourishers of the Charism: Marist laity



Article on the lay experience of the Marist charism

22/05/2016: Brazil

The article of Eder D’Artagnan Ferreira, a layperson of Brasil Centro-Norte, investigates the lay experience of the Marist charism, pointing out its specific elements based on the experience of 26 participants of the Course for Lay Animators, which was organised by the Marist Institute’s Secretariat for Laity in 2015. 

The Qualitative Epistemology of González Rey was used as reference to analyse the data. The information was grouped in three areas regarding the sense of: mission, shared spirituality and life of which he talks about the place and the role of the laity within the Marist mission; the characteristics of Marist spirituality that stress the laity’s experiences and practices of faith; the space and dynamics of a shared life; the characteristics that, according to the group, identify the laity; the sense of recognizing one’s self as a lay Marist; and the contributions of the laity for the vitality of the Marist charism. 

According to the investigation, the Marist lay life results from a personal vocational call that shapes a specific lifestyle, commits the laity into the mission and demands interaction with the Brothers.

It also confers a sense of institutional belonging, promotes a personal fulfilment, develops the co-responsibility for the life of the Institute and contributes to the relationship between Brothers and the laity, the vitality of the mission, formation processes and the designing of the Marist world’s future. It is understood that lay people are co-nourishers of the charism, a neologism created with the sense of nurturing together and to explain that they not only feed their vocation, mission, spirituality and life choices, but they also bring forth vitality, growth and sustainability.

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