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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

On behalf of poor children and young people



Institute’s new liaison with the UN Human Rights Council

26/01/2009: General House

Dear Brothers and Members of the Marist Family, Please join me in welcoming Brother James Jolley, former Provincial of the Province of Melbourne, as the Institute’s new liaison with the UN Human Rights Council and other international organizations in Geneva furthering efforts on behalf of poor children and young people. Jim brings many years of experience in education and leadership, as well as the spirit of our Marist life and mission to this relatively new work within our congregation. He will take up his responsibilities in the middle of 2009 after completing his present commitment at the Catholic Schools Office in Darwin, Australia.

Jim’s life of ministry includes teaching and administration in a variety of settings. Prior to his current work in Catholic education on the regional level, he served as headmaster at the Marist School in Alice Springs, Australia, an institution that counts among its students the children of a number of aboriginal families. He is a skilled administrator whose capacity to foster a vision and set priorities, coupled with his ability to attend to the necessary details of any task, give rise to a creativity that is practical in nature and an effective response to the situation at hand.

In addition to his work in education, Jim served for two terms as Provincial of the Province of Melbourne. During that time he was active on the Board of the Marist Asia Pacific Center, especially during those years when the work of integrating post-novitiate formation in the Asia and Pacific regions was getting underway. His many contributions on the Board helped foster a spirit of cooperation. He has a knack for being plain spoken and helping others to get to the heart of the matter.

Most especially, however, Jim’s love of our way of life and his dedication to our Marist mission are two important gifts that he will bring to his new work in Geneva Having lived our life for more than a few years now, he is a man of prayer and faith whose life is guided by the values of the gospel.

I am grateful personally to Jim for his willingness to take up these new responsibilities. Having just set out on a work in Darwin, he might just as easily have asked me to find someone else to address our efforts in Geneva. His willingness to put aside a ministry he clearly loves and to uproot and move, represents the spirit of mission that has always marked our Institute in its finest moments. At the same time I am grateful to Brother Julian Casey, Provincial of Melbourne, and to the brothers of that Province for their willingness to share Jim with the Institute at large.

As we welcome Jim, I also want to say a word of thanks to Brother Cesár Henriquez who has served as our Institute’s first representative in Geneva. Being a pioneer is never easy and Cesár has approached the challenge with skill, energy and passion.

He has labored tirelessly over the past three years to shape this new office within our Institute and to give it life. He brought to the work not only the qualities mentioned a moment ago but also the type of critical eye that is so necessary in any new undertaking.

During the years of his mandate he worked with brothers and Marist laymen and women in various regions of the Institute to help them understand our reasons for being in Geneva and the good we could do for poor children and young people by our presence there. At the same time he was able to learn firsthand about the exploitation of many children that often goes unnoticed.

Cesár also left a work that he loved to respond to a request on my part that he take up responsibilities in Geneva. I have admired his efforts these past three years. He has been frank and straightforward in communicating, rooted clearly in Marist and gospel values as he sought for solutions, and passionate in implementing the program. Many thanks, Cesár.

A final word of thanks to Brother Dominick Pujia of the Bureau of Solidarity for his initial work in helping to establish the Geneva office and for his ongoing supervision of its efforts. His experience and commitment to the project have been gifts not only to Cesár but to us all.

Let us continue to pray for this new effort within out Institute and for those involved in it. At the same time, let us pray for all children and young people in difficult situations today and let us ask God for the grace of courage as we respond to their needs.

Blessings and affection,
Brother Seán D. Sammon, FMS
Superior General
10th December 2008

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