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29 January

Saint Julian
1826, Father Champagnat went to convalesce with Father Dervieux, parish priest of Saint Peter’s at Saint-Chamond

Marist Calendar - January

Experience of Saint Marcellin Chapagnat with Jean Baptiste Montagne



Novices of Matola

08/05/2007: Mozambique

Our novices from Matola, Mozambique, Southern Africa Province, were emotionally charged to re-enact the revolutionary experience of Saint Marcellin Chapagnat with a Jean Baptiste Montagne, laying dying in his seventieth year and yet entirely ignorant in matters of faith. Brother Osvado took the role of Champagnat as a priest while Samson took the place of Montagne as seen at the background of the photo.
He instructed him, heard his confession and indeed prepared him for his death. This took was a moving scene in the parish hall which was filled to the capacity by young people, parents and members of other religious groups.

Later Padington spiced this dramatized story with a brief explanation on how it touched Saint Marcellin to come up with the statement, We need Brothers! to help young people to grow into responsible Christians and citizens.

The drama opened the eyes of the parishioners and affirmed their assumptions as to why the Brothers show keen interests as they interact with the youth of the parish. We will not be surprised if soon we hear that the novices are given full responsibility to animate the youth ministry at the parish. I could feel that the experience touched the novices themselves too in a very intimate way that they will like being charged to be Champagnats to the legion of Jean-baptiste Monagnes of this part of the world. he lesson is that we have to allow our hearts to be broken by the sad experiences in which too many young people are going through now due to the influence of the modern digital culture.

It seems the novices were too much attached to the stage as they entertained the audience again with the hymn, With Mary besides me in my life, I follow in the steps of Champagnat which was translated in Portuguese, and the youth at the background supported the Brothers at the top of their diverse voices and within a short time everybody in the hall joined as it became a familiar tune to all. Bravo novices and know that you have potentials to be very instrumental in the lives of young people. Let the young people imitate Champagnat making good resolutions which will enable them to remain responsible Christians and citizens.

Brother Simeon Banda, fms

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