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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

Fourth day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting

 

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Thursday, October 6

08/10/2016: France

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Two elements marked the fourth day of the Laity Continental Commissions Meeting in Hermitage: the reflection on the theme “lay articulation” and the pilgrimage to the birth place of Marcellin and the place where he has encountered the young Montagne.

The morning prayer was coordinated by Br. Ventura Pérez (Mediterranean) that, with the reading of Romans 12, invited us to look toward the top and recognize the many gifts received. The group also gave thanks God for the gift of vocation of Br. Daniel Martin (Central America), that has celebrated 25 years of religious profession in this day.

 

The work of the participants continued the theme of bonding, belonging and association, underlining the issue lay articulation. The focus of the activities started from the will that was evidenced during the preparation process to this meeting: to promote structures that encourage communion and develop participation. The morning work was coordinated by Mike Greeff (Southern Africa), Marta Portas (Hermitage) and João Luis Fedel (Brazil Center-South).

Two very striking experiences served as inspiration for the group: Mike Greeff told his life, emphasizing how his life gained full meaning when he has approached to the Marist experience and he began to “live with the heart”, being overwhelmed by the love for the mission, finding himself in community with a spirituality. Then Gustavo Balbinot (South Amazonian Brazil) told the group about his intense personal experience and has showed how Jesus is his strength and how the Marist community was by his side in difficult times and makes him feel the presence of Champagnat, showing him that in life is very important to know for who one awakes everyday.

Then the team responsible for the work forwards the discussion on the lay articulation. The experiences served to show that the most important thing is the heart, which must give meaning to any structures.

Considering this fact, the basic question that was released is: How we help the life we lead to be a real life? Or in a more purposeful way, what do we need to generate more life? The Assembly of Mission in Nairobi was already asked that could be recreated the structures that we need for a service of greater vitality to the charism.

Entering the concrete work, the team summed up in 4 points the proposals for lay articulation. The groups began to analyze them and propose changes, trying to improve the proposals. There were many open questions, from the language to the discussions, for example, how to encourage communion among Brothers and lay people preserving at the same time the uniqueness of the lay life. Another reflection that worth mentioning is the difficulty of talking about a structure for the laity, because isn’t clear what kind of structure is wanted.

Concluding the morning, all the proposals by the working groups were added to the four points and gathered on key issues. These considerations will serve to the team that will reformulate the proposals to be presented to the chapter.

After lunch, the group took the bus to go on pilgrimage to other important Marist places. First it went to Rosey, the birth place of Marcellin Champagnat. The proposal was not only make a visit or a pilgrimage, but also provide a time for further discernment about what was lived these days. That’s why privilege was given to silence and meditation, which were especially experienced walking from Rosey to Marlhes. Finally, the participants went to the place that reminds the meeting of Marcellin with the young Montagne, an emblematic sign of the Marist mission.

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