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Brothers and laity at Boa Vista

27/10/2009: Brazil

Living in Boa Vista is undoubtedly a constant learning exercise. Living in community, sharing, coming to understand and interiorize the Marist charism is a very tolerable weight. Now we really feel part of the Marist Family! Success was always, and is always, in our love. In our society marked by an excessive consumerism, a strong antagonism can be perceived between the Model of life and the Mode of life. Here we are finding a point of equilibrium. The progress in both pastoral and professional life is proof of this.

When we arrived in the city in July 2008 from Rio Grande do Sul, thanks to the support of the Association of Voluntary Service and Solidarity (AVESOL), we had to construct a life project. In the meantime, the only real professional possibility would be a possible opening for substitute professor in the Federal University of Roraima. Always supported by Brothers Ferrarini and Neori, we distributed more than fifty CVs throughout the city. The result was that, after a selection process, we obtained contracts, Marilei for the State University of Roraima and João for that and also for the Federal University. Moved by love and faith, in our two selves (now three!), in the life Project, in the desire to grow in community and to take an important step for the affirmation of mixed Marist communities, we were successful! Now we had the ease of mind necessary to live the mission.

We proposed to the community the project Angels of Art. Fruit of a sincere wish to propose to catechists and teachers a new way of “forming church”; and also – in particular – of the wish to create a space so that young people and children would no longer be on the margins of society. Through art and Christianity we unite to attempt the challenge of transforming the reality of the outskirts of Boa Vista. With the collaboration of our Franciscan friends, especially Fra Armando, we began forming catechists in the techniques and dynamics of the theatre. At the same time, the base work of Brothers Neori and Ferrarini sustained and drove the project. Adding up the little actions produces a large project, multiplies the success, shares out the responsibilities, and reduces the inequalities. That is the mathematics in which we believe!

Currently, the Angels of Art project involves 20 social workers and looks after 150 persons permanently. “To carry out a social work in conjunction with the Marist Brothers is above all our commitment as a couple who believe in union as a principle and in love as the means of a Christian transformation of the world”, we wrote in a letter sent to the Marist Province of Rio Grande do Sul. The project, according to the couple, springs from the wish to collaborate in the work of the Catholic Church and to transmit the Marist charism.

Those taking part in the Angels of Art are people coming from the new Catholic communities of the sector where the Mixed Marist Community is inserted. The project team is already in its seventh session of training catechists and young people in the dynamics of the theatre, and the commitment of the volunteers consolidates the initiative as a means for bringing children, adolescents and adults into contact with the Marist story and getting to know it better.

We are complete! We are complete as couple and as community. We feel stronger than ever in following our way. In achieving our dreams and in the expectancy of the latest member of the Marist family. From here, beyond the line of the Equator, we send friendly greetings and our thanks to all who believe in a possible dream. Thank you, Marist family!

João Lagranha and Marilei Veroneze

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