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20 September

Saints Andrew Kim, Paul Chong & companions
1936: Brother Eusebio was murdered in Barcelona. We also remember 58 other brothers who were killed in different places and at different times
2000: John Paul II blessed the statue of Saint Marcellin placed on the exterior wall of the Vatican Basilica

Marist Calendar - September

First Profession in Cuba



Interview with Brother Jesus Bayo

20/04/2009: Cuba

Recently, for the first time since the Marist Brothers returned to Cuba, a profession of first vows has taken place. In connection with the profession, we interviewed Brother Jesus Bayo who was Novice Master to Yoandy Gonzalez, the newly professed.

Marist News (hereafter MN): Brother Jesus, what significance does this first profession by a Cuban have for the Marist Brothers as religious congregation?
Brother Jesus (hereafter BJ)
: It means that God has offered us a gift. The gift opens us to a new sense of Church, to greater universality and to intercultural realities; to plurality and to greater diversity in our lives as Marist Brothers.

NM: Was it kind of difficult for you to be the Novice Master for a Cuban, in view of your not being from his country?
I must say quite frankly that it turned out to be easy enough, because from the start Yoandy proved to be an open person who was well disposed to make a truly good novitiate. In the course of the entire process, yes, we also went through some difficult moments. Yet the issues that arose were resolved well enough. The most important element is to establish clearly the priority of “following Christ as Mary and Champagnat did. What’s important for Marist Brothers is that we be brothers in Christ, and that we be available to work in any diocese in the world. Geography, space and time, culture and race: such things are incidentals in contrast o the following of Jesus Christ in whom we have become sons of the heavenly Father.

NM: What country are you from, and how did you come to be assigned to Cuba?
I was born in Spain, but I have dual citizenship, Chilean and Spanish. The dual citizenship is the consequence of the twenty-eight years I spent in Chile prior to my coming to Cuba. I belong to the Province of Santa Maria de los Andes, but I was on the list of Brothers who volunteered for Mission ad Gentes. Brother Superior General asked me to come to Cuba where I arrived on February 2, 2007.

NM: Where you aware that you would be Master of Novices to Yoandy?
Yoandy and Brother Efraín went to the airport to pick me up when I arrived in Cuba, but I was not aware of the novitiate assignment nor did I know anything about Yoandy’s formation program. Brother Luis Garcia Sobrado had told me that I might work in Cuba as a collaborator in the forma-tion of our novices and in a Havana-based formation center for religious. That’s about all I knew. I was convinced that I would not be Novice Master. When I got to Cuba, however, things changed.
NM: Do you have any regrets about having taken on the assignment?
Quite the opposite. I am grateful to God; I am grateful to the Superior General who gave me the assignment, and to Yoandy as well who made my task of being his guide quite easy. .

NM: Where will Yoandy go now, so as to continue his studies and his formation?
At the end of April, he’ll head to Guatemala to start his scholasticate. The move to Guatemala reflects the fact that the General Council has terminated its responsibility for the mission of FMS Cuba which has now gone over to the Central American Province.

NM: So, you are going to cease being members of the FMS Provinces to which you originally belonged?
No. For the time being, we will continue to be members of our original FMS Provinces. A discernment that will take place at a later date could, however, result in our changing Provinces.

NM: Who are the Brothers presently in Cuba and what Provinces were they in, upon assignment to Cuba?
At the present time, we have two communities in Cuba. One is in the city of Cienfuegos; the other is in Havana. In the Cienfuegos community are two Brothers from Mexico, Brothers Carlos Martinez and Hector Avalos, along with Brother Salvador Salinas from Central Americana. In Havana are Brothers Efrain Martin from Central America, Carlos Scotta from the Amazonia District, and Jesus Bayo from Santa Maria de los Andes. Living with the Brothers in the Cienfuegos community are two young men who are “pre-novices” in vocational discernment.

NM: Since Yoandy’s profession, you no longer have any novices in Havana. What purpose will the community serve in the future?
We are hoping that soon enough other novices may be coming. In addition, our community is open to other pastoral service in the context of parish and diocese. We collaborate particularly in the Christian formation of two groups: young people through catechesis and workshops; and those who work in various ministries as catechists, youth ministers, seminarians. Regarding all such apostolic activities, our community will now begin a discernment-evaluation process. We need to make a real serious review, as has been asked of us by Brother Hipolito Perez, the Central American Provincial upon whom our community is dependent.

NM. Thanks very much.
And my thanks to you in turn.

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