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Letter to the brothers and Marist lay people

29/05/2007: Spain

Dear brothers and Marist lay people of all the world:
“We are convinced that the Spirit is leading us in a common path and is calling us to common formation programs for brothers and lay people.” (Choose life, 29)

It was in response to this invitation of the 20th General Chapter that we came together in Les Avellanes from 14 May to 20 May 2007. We are 41 people, brothers and lay people coming from the four corners of the world. We have shared the richness of our languages and cultures in a friendly atmosphere. We have tried to go beyond our limitations to discover the true face of our brothers and sisters. In several days we have gone from Babel to Pentecost! The familial sharing and the vibrant and varied celebrations have helped us to know ourselves as brothers and sisters in the same Marist family.

One of the aims of this meeting was to share the rich and varied processes of joint formation for lay people and brothers in our Institute.

The second and most important part of the meeting was the discussion of the elements that are vital to these joint formation programs for lay people and brothers. This objective is to awaken, to discern, and to develop Marist vocation.

We firmly believe that the future vitality of Marist mission is rooted in the commitment of dedicated lay people and Marist Brothers. We believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the Marist world by calling us to complementary vocations which will fulfil Marcellin´s dream “to make Jesus Christ known and loved” and to be witnesses to the building up of the Kingdom of God.

We believe that lay and religious Marists have a unique vocation to live in communion. Faithfulness to God and to others is a sign of His presence among us. We understand that the vocation of lay people and brothers is for the mission: One heart; one mission! We believe that the Holy Spirit is inspiring us to new forms of community where we can live our faith and our commitment to mission.

In the months to come, you will be learning more about this initiative. We can make this new vision for Marist formation a reality by supporting our province´s Marist formation programs and by participating in them. We pray together to the Holy Spirit to guide us all as the future of Marist mission unfolds.

The way lies before us, and each one of us should feel committed to it. We want to share this exciting challenge with you. We do not know the future. We are creating it together. The only thing that is certain is that Jesus, Mary and Champagnat are walking with us.

Your sisters and brothers from les Avellanes


Emmanuel MWANALIRENJI (Southern Africa), Ana SARRATE (Ibérica), Antonio ORTEGA (Paraguay), Carolina VARGAS (Santa María de los Andes), Fernando HINOJAL (Mediterránea), Francisco PEREIRA (Brasil Centro Norte), Frank AUMEIER (West Central Europe), Henry HAMMER (United Estates of America), Ifeanyi MBAEGBU (Nigeria), Irma ZAMARRIPA (México Occidental), Jaume PARÉS (L’Hermitage), Javier ESPINOSA (América Central), Jean-Pierre DESTOMBES (L’Hermitage), João Batista DA ROCHA (Rio Grande do Sul), Joaquim PANINI (Brasil Centro Sul), John KUSI-MENSAH (West Africa) José LARREA (Ibérica), Julio LOPEZ GADEA (Mediterránea), Linda CORBEIL (Canada), Lúcia L. COELHO (Brasil Centro Sul), Manuel VILLARREAL (México Central), Mayte BALLAZ (Ibérica), Norbert RAZAFINDRALAMBO (Madagascar), Oscar DOMINGUEZ (México Occidental), Oscar MARTIN (Compostela), Pablo VILLARMARZO (Cruz del Sur), Pau FORNELLS (Norandina), Pedro MARCOS (Santa María de los Andes), Réal SAUVAGEAU (Canadá), Sérgio L. SCHONS (Rio Grande do Sul), Sylvain RAMANDIMBIARISOA (Madagascar), Teófilo MINGA (Compostela), Tony CLARKE (Sydney).

Les Avellanes (Spain)
From 14th to 20th of May, 2008

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