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Testimonies of the Marist Vocation Animators encounter

26/12/2016: General House

The Brothers Today Secretariat organised the meeting of Marist Vocation Animators, which took place at the general house from Nov. 10 - Dec. 14. Today’s bulletin is dedicated to this encounter, attended by 37 people, brothers and laity from 27 different countries. For more information, click here.

 

Testimonies of the Marist Vocation Animators encounter

“I am happy I was able to share and appreciate the shared experiences and content. It is a time of necessary oxygenation, interiorisation and learning for my walking as an individual, as a brother and as a vocational animator.” (Brother of the Arco Norte region)

“It has been a very valuable and meaningful life experience. It has helped me to enter into my interior, strengthen my spirituality, deepen the vocational contents and contributions in order to be able to walk together, brothers and lay people alike, in the vocational animation.” (Brother of the America-Sur region)

It was a rich experience of fraternity and institutional inter-culturalism where we have been able to share our vocational experience and our practices, and personally question ourselves to seek together how to animate a new vocation ministry in our own realities. (Brother of the Europe region)

“I am very thankful for all the experiences. Thanks you very much. It was an enriching and encouraging experience as I begin my mission as a vocation animator. I was very happy to join this group with the others brothers and sisters and our Marist Friends” (Brother of the Asia region)

“For me, it was wonderful to be able to give the ‘Vocation Animators’ new ideas. I find the experience of sharing our ideas from across the different regions to have been a good experience of internationality and community life, all with the same charism of Champagnat.”(Brother of the Africa region)

“It was a very enriching experience. Brothers and Lays coming together to share life and also just to share the family spirit. Learning from each other and facilitators about the vocation animators” (Brother of the Oceania region)

“The guitar needs to be tuned in order to sound harmoniously. This meeting has been a visit to the “luthier,” God who adjusts the strings and teaches me that not only can I play classical music, but that jazz, salsa, pop exist, too... It’s not only about learning or improving new melodies, it is about allowing the “luthier” to transmit his spirit “making all things new” (Lay man of the Arco Norte region).

“I think the experience has been very significant. I have learned and consolidated knowledge and experiences from other parts of the world. It has been a gift from God made through the community of the Marist Brothers.” (Lay man of the Arco Norte region)

“It was a real gift and a shared experience of the Kingdom of God that we were able to share with Marists of Champagnat. Thank you very much for this gift, for this precious opportunity to share MARIST LIFE!” (Lay man of the Europe region)

“It was a very positive experience. The internationality of the group made it possible to share the vocational animation in each place and to get to know the experience of people who have already begun a journey in this mission.

The theoretical part served me to situate some topics with greater clarity, to reflect on intuitions, to see and reaffirm the importance of spiritual accompaniment.” (Lay woman of the Europe region)

“I experienced living so much intercultural diversity and ways of thinking, feeling and acting in such a deep way. Gratitude for the friendships, for “being” Marists and for giving me the opportunity to affirm and to confirm my identity as a Marist. I feel satisfaction and I want to live my life with simplicity and openness to what is different and complementary” (Lay woman of the America-Sur region)

 

 On the shoulders of Champagnat

“During the course, it was significant for us to visit the statue of Marcellin right on the wall of Saint Peter’s Basilica, and especially the figure of a boy on the shoulders of Champagnat: it is a child supported by the strength of the foundational charism who sets his sight on a future full of dreams. Inspired by this image, we recognise ourselves as a community in the work for evangelisation. 

Hence, this is how brothers and lay wanted to reflect and work all together in the vocation ministry for our provinces and for the Institute. What is the dream of the Marists of Champagnat today for the vocational ministry? If we get on the shoulders of Champagnat, what would we see? What would we dream about?

 “However, the most significant questions could be:  What or whom do I hold dearly in my heart? Where is my passion? Only when one knows where they put their passion, can one accompany a vocational discovery, starting with their own passion and then with the passion of others. There is fire in passion, and fire is something that attracts us. Everybody, especially young people, get close to the fire because of the light and its warmth, and because fire is something that attracts. This is what they do with their lives: to search for light and warmth. The strength of the fire transmits this prized passion. Where do we put our passion into?”

 “Vocation ministry is understood as a means of following the example of Jesus and taking Mary as a model. It is an action from the Christian community animated by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of your stage of life, this ministry provides people with the instruments they need to achieve a comprehensive realization of themselves. It also functions as an accompaniment to a person responding to this call to a fullness of life.”

“Everything mentioned before brings us to conclude with a sentence superior general Brother Emili Turú said during his last gathering with superiors general. He said that it is necessary to “reformat” religious life today. According to this statement, we have to dream of a new spirituality, a new community lifestyle and different types of missions we want to carry on. This is the greatest challenge of the Marists of Champagnat today: to be universal witnesses of Jesus’ love, to answer the calling of God to be vocation in ourselves through the charism of Marcellin and to take the Good Mother as our main model.

DO YOU WANT TO WAKE UP AND LIVE THAT DREAM?” 

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