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Meeting in Rome of the International Commission of Marist Apostolic Spirituality

14/03/2006: General House - Photo gallery

From the 22nd to the 25th February, the “International Commission of Marist Apostolic Spirituality” met in Rome to finalise a draft document on Marist apostolic spirituality which will again be worked on in fine detail before being distributed to the brothers and laypeople. This was the third meeting of the Commission since its formation.

The General Council received as a mandate from the General Chapter to develop a pastoral and user-friendly document on Marist apostolic spirituality. The General Council entrusted this work to the “International Commission of Marist Apostolic Spirituality” which is in charge of supervising this project that has as its aim to deepen the knowledge and the experience of Marist apostolic spirituality as much for the brothers as for the lay Marists who live the spirituality of Marcellin Champagnat.

A decisive part of this project is the realisation and the distribution of a pastoral, user-friendly document that will be addressed to different cultures and various experiences of life as well as to the spirituality of the brothers and lay Marists.

The approach of the document is similar to that of the book “In the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat, A Vision for Marist Education Today”, but this text consists of four chapters, with each one being summarised by a symbol: water (from the Gier), the rock (of the Hermitage), the table (of La Valla) and the fire (of the Spirit who guides the mission). In the fifth version of the project, the titles of the chapters are: Chapter 1 – Brothers and lay Marists, pilgrims in life and in faith; Chapter 2 – Seeking God and the meaning of life; Chapter 3 – Companions on the journey at the heart of the world and of history; Chapter 4 – Burning hearts for the mission.

The characteristics required of the document are that it be “precise in its content and attractive in its presentation.” To help them conceptualise the document, the International Commission formed a “Communications Group” of five brothers, who have been asked to make some pedagogical suggestions regarding the publication of the document.

The members of the Commission are Agnes Reyes (Philippines), Bernice Reintjens (Netherlands), Sister Vivienne Goldstein (member of the General Council of the Marist Sisters) and Brothers Maurice Goutagny (France), Benito Arbués (Spain), Bernard Beaudin (Canada), Vanderlei Soela (Brazil), Miguel Ángel Santos (Mexico), Spiridion Ndanga (Rwanda), Lawrence Ndawala (Malawi), Nicholas Fernando (Sri Lanka) and Graham Neist (Australia). Brothers Luis García Sobrado and Peter Rodney represent the General Council.

The “Communications Group” is formed by Brothers Antonio Martínez Estaún (Director of Communications of the Institute), Joadir Foresti (Brazil), Jean Pierre Destombes (France), Diogene Musine (Rwanda) and Andrés Carpintero (Spain).

For various reasons, the following members were not able to be present at this meeting: Agnes Reyes (Philippines) and Brothers Lawrence Ndawala (Malawi), Nicholas Fernando (Sri Lanka) and Diogene Musine (Rwanda).

The next meeting of the Commission is planned for November 2006 with the aim of being able to present its final work to the General Council so that it can study it during its Plenary Sessions in January and February 2007.

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