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23 September

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Marist Calendar - September

“Animating the life of our communities”



Meeting of community animators from the Province of Central America

19/03/2009: Guatemala

In Guatemala City, from February 5 – 8, Marist brothers and sisters of Champagnat met as animators of communities. As stated in the motto or the XXI General Chapter, our objective is to animate ourselves to live out the mission with “new hearts for a new world”.

What impacted all of us greatly is reality that our first mission is to accompany the brothers or our own communities in the growth of their consecrated lives. This understanding has made us put in the right place the many works and various apostolates we are involved in but that are secondary to the real work that has been confided to us.

The first day of our meeting revolved around the issue of conflict resolution within community life. Animated by the different dynamics which were presented to us, we understood the importance of liberating ourselves from the prejudices and the “labels” with which we brand our brothers and which stain our relationships. At the same time, we were able to experience the gift of fraternity and the friendship shared over the years and were able to express our gratitude to the brothers with whom we have shared our lives.

During the second day Sister Raquel Saravia, a religious of the Holy Family of Elmet, shared with us her impressions about the Religious Life in light of the Aparecida document. Being a personal witness to our meetings she was able to communicate to us her personal experiences. We also spoke about our dreams for Religious Life in Latin America. Perhaps in this way we were able to realize the variety of ways we see religious life, many from the fruits of our life experiences, cultures and historic times that touch our lives. Never the less, we recognized the importance of such diversity.

The final days of the meeting were spent organizing a visit to the new community that the Marist Brothers of Champagnat have opened outside Guatemala City.

We all return to our respective countries happy with our sharing, hopeful of animating and bringing to reality a truly fraternal religious life, meaningful for this new millennium. In the spirit of Father Champagnat and supported by Our Good Mother we continue forming a new Marist life for the countries of Central America, Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Brother Juan Antonio Sandoval

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