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3rd day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting

 

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Wednesday, 5 October

06/10/2016: France

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The pilgrimage to Fourvière shrine and the work around the theme of bonding, belonging and association were the main topics of the third day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting taking place this week in l’Hermitage.

The Morning Prayer, animated by some participants of the African continent used a rock, a key element in the history of the mother house of the Institute and in the lives of the first Brothers, as its theme, to symbolise the strength, stability and connection to the land.

 

The morning work was coordinated by Linda Corbeil, from Canada, and Elizabeth Falconer, from Australia. Participants were invited to reflect on the topics of bonding, belonging and association.

The working document, which was prepared before the meeting, states that the Marist charism is lived out of the heart, and it does not necessarily imply an association structure. However, it is also true that linking and associating with others allows us to develop mission projects, have a single voice in the Church, lead process of vitality for the charism, and give continuity to Champagnat’s intuitions. It stresses that the Lay bonding stems from a personal process of discernment. It is a personal and free choice that has to do with the person’s vocational process. A possible association would express the notion of a family charism, according to which different groups organise themselves around the same charism.

A video showing a flashmob organised by Banco Sabadell  was proposed in order to motivate the discussions and emphasise the beauty of the music that is born from the work of an orchestra and a choir.

Then, Joseba Louzao (Spain) presented the bonding experience that two groups of the Iberica Province in the past two years in order to give participants concrete examples of the existing experience throughout the Marist world. He showed how the Province creates space for those seeking to discern the proper role within the Church. He made it clear that it is not possible to be a lay Marist without the support of a community.

Linda then began to work with the group stressing that the participants’ mission is to give clues that show how to place the “new beginning” and recalled that they are all co-creators of the Marist dream.

Elizabeth began her presentation highlighting key words one uses to work: linking and belonging. She invited the groups to reflect on possible ways of belonging and asked that they underscored the essential elements. The participants' answers included words such as vocation, charism, community and commitment.

Then, giving space to show the kind of life the Marist world has, Linda and Elizabeth briefly presented the two experiences of association that currently exist in Canada and Australia.

The next step was the group work that was carried out to try to gather four concrete proposals for the next General Chapter related to the topic.

 

After lunch, the group headed to Lyon, on pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fourvière, where young clerics made their promise to establish the Society of Mary 200 years ago. The group in the small chapel next to the great basilica, also made their promise of fidelity to the charism of the Marist Family, following the dream of Saint Marcellin Champagnat.

Participants were given time to take walks and experience community life until 9.00 p.m. there in Lyon.

They also celebrated the birthday of two participants: Claudia Rojas (Norandina) and Heloisa Almeida (Brasil Centro-Norte | N. D. de l'Hermitage Community).

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