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4 December

Saint John Damascene and John Calabria
1889, opening of the first Marist school in Colombia

Marist Calendar - December

Charism, leadership and renewal



Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General, writes for “Vida Religiosa”

22/02/2008: Spain

The Spanish magazine Vida Religiosa, in its issue of February 2008, “includes a document that helps analyse the sense of religious life”. “Vida Religiosa” is a periodic publication, encouraged by the Claretian Missionaries, addressed to consecrated men and women all around the world. After sixty years of activity, the magazine now reaches 8500 communities in 90 countries and is disseminated in different ways all over the world.

Among the different documents presented in the February issue, there is an article by Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General, titled “Charism and leadership: the Holy Spirit lives in us and encourages us today”. In the article, the author addresses himself to all the religious, but in his reflection he refers several times particularly to those who assume the “service of government” and who “are called to lead the provinces, congregations and institutes”.

In his very characteristic way, Brother Sean employs a number of anecdotes concerning people who have lived a significant experience in this respect. Starting from these anecdotes and by clarifying a few fundamental concepts, he offers his thoughts in quick and sharp strokes. His idea of charism as a “gift that the Spirit grants freely for the good of the Church and the good of all” leads him to conclude that “it has little to do with issues of management and bearing and a lot to do with mission”. To encourage the charism of an institute, which has “endured the trial of time and has been shaped by many different people” requires spiritual leaders to be endowed with “faithfulness to the Lord, attentiveness to the signs of the times, audacious initiative, steadfast gift of self, humbleness to bear adversity and the capability to feel part of the Community of the believers”.

Today no one lives in easy times: neither societies, nor the Church, nor consecrated life. But Brother Sean sees “some promising signs on the horizon”. To accomplish tasks of animation in these times is a complex business. The true challenge of religious leadership and spiritual animation today is identified by Brother Sean in “becoming men and women who are more and more capable of loving”. And he adds “Our mission is, above all and first of all, a mission of the heart”.

Brother Sean Sammon, with his fine understanding of animation of an Institute, offers an extremely attractive reflection and an extremely acute approach to the topic.

Further information on “Vida Religiosa” is available on the site

Read the text in Spanish - Word - 90 kb

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