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Province of South Asia



Assembly of Marist Lay Partners

25/06/2007: Sri Lanka

11th June 2007 was another red letter day in the History of Marist Annals in Sri-Lanka as the Lay Partners and the Brothers assembled at Maris Stella College in order to widen their knowledge of the role of Lay Partnership.
It was in fact the result of a dedicated Lay group who met together almost every month since July 2006 up to this month.

Accordingly nearly 60 persons were present on this august occasion. They celebrated their Lay Partners’ Assembly with a meaningful Eucharistic Service and a social gathering for the first time in Sri Lanka.

The liturgical celebration was conducted by Rev.Fr.Ravceen Perera, the director, Phosphate, National Seminary, Kandy. Father Raveen gave a simple explanation based on the gospel analysis of Jesus who was sociologically a lay man and called other lay men to participate in his saving action.

He also said the laity should join the religious and the clergy in promoting the teaching work began by St. Champagnat and aim at education and evangelizing the poor children and youth of both sexes in their rather pitiful age of materialistic and consumerist danger.

The plenary session was held at the College assembly Hall. With a short introduction given by Brother Joseph the animator of the Lay Partners’ movement, Rev. Brother Michael De Waas the Provincial Superior explained more about the Lay Partnership quoting from the Superior General’s article (UP DATE 295) dealing with a clearer identity for Marist Laity. The point was made that after Vatican ii the definition of Christian Laity under went a change based on the sacrament of Baptism and its priestly, prophetic and pastoral qualities of the baptized.

Mr. Dulip De Silva, a lay partner, elaborated in detail what the Marist Lay Partners have been doing so far and what is expected of them.
This was followed by a short reflection after which the Lay Partners made meaningful proposals in the area of their ministry in Sri Lanka during this drug addicted computer
wherein our children and youth are on the road to abuse, debauchery, drunkenness and the materialistic out look on human life.

They proposed that teaching done in schools should be re-oriented towards character formation in Fr. Champagnat’s way. They urged that the Marist charisam be made known to a larger group of Catholics in Sri Lanka.

They explained Lay Partnership is not an answer to the decreasing number of religious in any congregation but a realization of the truth hinted at by his Holiness Pope John Paul the second who said that in the future the church will become the church of the Laity.

They also agreed to meet more frequently and discuss the future possibilities in this ministry working together with the Brothers of the province of South Asia.
This grand day came to a close with the family lunch.

Brother Joseph Peiris

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