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3 December

Saint Francis Xavier, Patron of the Missions
1956: the first Marist Brothers left for Bolivia
International Day for People with Disabilities (UN)

Marist Calendar - December

Wednesday, October 18



General Chapter: Voting on the Constitutions

18/10/2017: Colombia - Photo gallery

The day began with Eucharistic. Capitulants continued the electronic voting process on articles and statutes in chapter 3 of the revised Constitutions and Statutes. While the voting progress is slow and somewhat tedious, because each article or statute requires a vote, the passing of the revised text is the fruitful completion of a much longer process of consultation and dialogue.

Apart from voting on the Constitutions, the other significant moment of the day was the time given to ongoing discussions among the capitulants about a possible Chapter statement on sexual abuse and child protection. Discussion on this issue will most likely conclude tomorrow.


Br. Robert – Superior of the Brothers of De La Salle

Brother Robert Schieler, Superior of the Brothers De La Salle, spent three days in the General Chapter of the Marist Brothers. It was a gesture highly esteemed by the capitulants, who are staying in a house of that congregation, with whom the Marists of Champagnat collaborate in some projects. On Wednesday, before leaving, he recorded that interview with us.

I’m very happy to share a few words with you, while I’m participating in the General Chapter of the Marist Brothers. I’m grateful for this invitation, to be with you Brothers and to listen to your planning and decision making for the future of the Marist Brothers, and the whole Marist Family. I came because I think my Congregation, the De La Salle Brothers, and yours, share many things in common. I’m particularly grateful for the collaboration that has developed in our education ministry on the behalf of the needs of young people, the poor, and the vulnerable in society.

The charism you have, the charism that we have – think about it for a moment – our founders, yours and mine, were men who had reasonably comfortable existences, doing well in society. But they saw the needs of others who were not so comfortable, who were suffering and in particular were not privileged enough to have an education. Our Founders left their comfort zone; from their society and their privileges and entered the world of the poor, and the vulnerable. They didn’t do it alone. At that time in France, they gathered a group of young men, and with them created a new way to reach those that the society had cast aside and provided them with a quality education. That’s what you are about, that’s what we are about!

A nation’s greatest resource is its youth, yet so many nations do not invest in that wonderful resource. You, the Marist Family, and other religious congregations, like ourselves as well, try to educate as many young people as we can. Because today we live, as you know, in a very intolerant world. I think it is a gift of brotherhood that we have. We witness to the world, that men can live together in community for proposes greater than themselves. Not to be divisive, not to be a worry about each other, but to build up the human family, our communities. That is what our charisms are all about.

Today’s charisms are embracing beyond the world of the Brothers, beyond what our Founders first envisioned, now includes thousands and thousands of lay men and women. We can do and we are doing so much good. Our two families are particularly pleased with the collaboration. You know the Fratelli project in Lebanon and our rich programs for refugees from Iraq and Syria. We have other examples where we collaborate. I think this communion of charism that we share is going to bring many new graces to our two families and also, most especially, most importantly, for the benefit of those who are far from salvation, salvation in this world, salvation in the next.

What a wonderful experience to be a Brother! I am speaking of my Brothers and your Brothers. How often we go in to another community around the world, (4:16) and we are in a community where we’ve never seen these men before and yet we feel an affinity, a fraternity. That is what our charism is all about. That is the message we can send to the world: we can live in this world as Brothers and sisters; we must live in this world as brothers and sisters. As Pope Francis tell us, it is our common home.

Again, congratulations on your anniversary of two hundred years of wonderful education to young people in need. I’m sure the Holy Spirit will bless you with the abundance of new vocations to the Brothers and to the Marist Family. It will be a wonderful future for you. Thank you and congratulations! 

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