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Manziana: closure of the Spanish and Portuguese Third Age

26/10/2006: Italy - Photo gallery

Every trial that is overcome leaves one totally satisfied. At the time of saying goodbye to the group of brothers of the Third Age for the Spanish and Portuguese languages, a feeling of gratitude immediately surged forth towards the Giver of every good and to the Good Mother for the experience throughout this journey in fraternal community, both Marist and Marianist.

Brothers Inocencio Martínez Calvo and Carlos Wielganczuk, director and sub-director, before returning to their respective communities in Paraguay and Brazil, gathered the memories of the course in an evaluation in which a global feeling of joy, of gratitude, of satisfaction and goodness appeared.

The two months encounter at Manziana “was for me a time of grace”, “I felt loved and listened to”; “I leave with a feeling of admiration and of gratitude for the service, the welcome, the details evidenced in the common life, the devotion, the refinement, the family spirit, the mutual enrichment.” “One of the points that I admired the most in the group was the service of others, these little things realised for the good of the other and what I would call the little shoots of love.” Al were unanimous in expressing their satisfaction for the different outings, excursions, pilgrimages, especially the stay at the Hermitage, which received the applause of all.

Some other appreciations carried complementary nuances and insisted on the fact that “this was a renewal course during which I reflected a great deal on my life, I prayed with a greater intensity and I found inner peace once more.” “I can say that I was satisfied with the two months at Manziana: they offered me more than I could have hoped for. Place, climate, ambiance, all were excellent.” “It is extraordinary to encounter God again in his heart, to know how to encounter him always and not to lose him.” “I have been happy living in the fraternity. We have had the luck of having formidable brothers amongst us. I have been interested by the apostolate and social mission that our brothers carry out, especially in America.” “For me, the course was excellent. The talks, appropriate and given well. The group, very united. The union could not have been better. The co-ordination, excellent.”

“I needed this break; I saw examples of extraordinary service and availability, which concretised our way of being Marist: humility, simplicity and modesty. They are experiences that remain engraved and they cannot be forgotten.”
“We were welcomed with affection and sympathy: the course was characterised by a tranquil and animated rhythm. The days were excellent: talks in the morning and personal reflection in the afternoon. Each one, rich with his differences, brought a sympathetic touch to the group.” “The celebration of the Eucharist and the other community celebrations were varied and rich in participation.” “An experience that will be a very strong impetus for the rest of my days.” “I feel stimulated and full of energy to live my life, knowing that all is a gift from God. The pilgrimage and stay at the Hermitage committed me, once more, to live my life as a Marist Brother the most intensely possible.” “The talks adapted, the meals very healthy and substantial, no one fell ill. The times of rest and the free days, very appropriate.”

There were also contrasting opinions: “The themes of the course had the air of a pigsty: you could say they were chosen to occupy the time rather than reach precise objectives. Whatever they were, these objectives did not seem to respond to my needs or my expectations. Anyway, thank you for what was done: it wasn’t nothing!”

And the brothers concluded by a large chapter of thanks full of expression of praise: to the team responsible for the course, to the Brothers Provincial, to the General Council, to the chaplain Father Pascal and also to the presenters and finally to Inocencio, Carlos and George for their devotion. “Thank you very much and may God repay a hundredfold those who participated in the preparation and running of this beautiful course at Manziana.”

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