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Spirituality Course at San Lorenzo de El Escorial

17/10/2007: Spain

Since the month of August, a new group of fourteen Brothers, ageabout 50 to 65, have been taking the spirituality course at San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Arriving from Latin American and Spain, the Brothers represent nine different Marist Province. From América Central, Efraín Romo and Santiago Otero; from Brasil Centro-Sur, Nelso Crestani; from Compestelo, José G. Prieto; from Cruz del Sur, Humberto Benedetti; from L’Hermitage, Gabriel Farré and Josep Rebugent; from Ibérica, Emilio García, Laureano Palencia and Manuel Andrés; from México Occidental, Eduardo Navarro; from Norandina, Ángel García; from Santa María de los Andes, Hugo Bernaola and Jesús Marcos.

The course is under the direction of the following team: Javier Espinosa from América Central, Afonso Levis from Brasil Centro-Sur, and from Ibérica Alfredo Villanueva, Florentino Andrés and Eleuterio Sánchez. The kitchen service and the laundry service are looked after by Pedro Pérez and Dori García, both from León.

This formation program has been set up in order to provide time for quality community experience, for deepening the understanding of one’s life-choices (in both the personal and community dimensions) in creative fidelity to the Marist Brothers’ apostolate.
The first weeks were spent in getting to know one another personally, in creating a good group spirit, and in various communal activities. We’ve already made the pilgrimage to the places connected to our Marist roots. We’ve also reflected on the contents of two essential aspects of the Marist Brothers’ life: spirituality and Constitutions. At present we are beginning to cover topics on religious life.

Various elements of the program have been a lively source of support for the participants: a warm, fraternal atmosphere; a simple manner of relating to one another; the desire to take advantage of the opportunity that is being offered. Of course, there is no lack of time for prayer, celebrations, time for oneself and recreational moments which have taken a form that pleases everyone: the bocia (or “pétanque”) tournament at which we spend a fair amount of time. It is interesting to think that this particular pastime comes to us from Marcellin Champagnat; he found in appropriate that the Brothers enjoy such simple games (Life, Chapter 1, second part).

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