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The book “Brothers” reaches the community



Fourth volume of the History of the Institute?

09/11/2017: General House

The book “Brothers” is a gift of the Institute for the Marist Brothers on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Institute’s foundation. Presented to the Institute during the General Chapter, it is currently reaching Marist communities around the world.

It was made by the Brothers Today Secretariat, edited in a single volume in four languages by the Marist publishers Edelvives, Gram Editora and FTD Educación.

It is a photo book, with photos by professional photographer Conor Ashleigh, a former Marist student from Australia.

Brother Antonio Estaún, general postulator and member of the community of the General House, shares with us his reflection on the book. For more information on the resources used during the celebration at the General House, click here.

A book attracts my attention for the title, I contextualized its contents through the index, which informs me of the why and how of its realization in the presentation. From this information I deduce its usefulness and I decide to read it entirely or partly and whether or not to apply it in practical life.

The title is usually the last thing that is decided when making a book and sometimes it is the result of a long discussion or a considered discernment.

In this case, the selection was made after the impact of the Institute’s ecclesial experience that it witnessed alongside other lay institutions of consecrated brothers, and after the publication of the Vatican document Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church from which the book takes the structure of its contents, distributed around three topics:

Spirituality, community and mission. In this sense, the title of this book is indebted to ecclesial communion. The content that the images reflect does not refer only to the life of the Marist Brother. There are photographs that clearly speak of the Marist Brother incardinated in the ecclesial community and in close relationship with the laity. If the experience that the book tells would have been only Marist, I think the proper title would have been: “Little Brothers.”

After reading the presentation of the book by Brother Emili Turú as superior general, this volume may well be considered the fourth volume of the Institute’s History prepared and published to commemorate the second centenary of the foundation.

The work is presented as “a look at Marist life” with horizons open to the whole world. The author, Conor Ashleigh, “former student of a Marist school in Australia”, a fan of photography and cinema, visited 19 countries. During his travelling, he met Marist Brothers from 40 countries and captured moments of their lives in his photographs.

But the author offers us his work as “a visual story that expresses the life and mission of the brothers throughout the world,” as a “visual meditation for both brothers and laity” embodied as a “visual testament” offered by a lay person to the Institute in this second centenary of its foundation.

This volume is the Institute’s history narrated not through the protagonism of the leaders and the structures of government, animation and management, as prevails in the three volumes of History recently published, but rather by the protagonists of spirituality, community and Marist mission on the field in their daily accomplishments as shown by the first image with which the book opens: anonymous, on the way, without chevrons or uniform, light luggage, but together on a neighborhood’s paths.

It is recommended that the book remains active in the life and action of the Brothers as a source of inspiration “of Marist life in this new century” that the Marist Brothers have just begun. Among the possible uses that can be made of the book could to tell, within groups, fraternities, communities, meetings and assemblies, the stories, anecdotes and the “little flowers” of Marist life that this book gives us. What is it that you see? What does it tell you? What do you tell them? What does it teach us? How is it similar to our life? ...

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