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21 September

Saint Matthew, Apostle
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Visit of the General Council to the Belén community



Marist Sisters of Champagnat

31/05/2005: Guatemala

During the General Council’s recent visit to Guatemala, a meeting was organised with the Belén community (Bethlehem community) that took place during the afternoon of the 10th May in the community house located in a well-populated neighbourhood.
The Belén community is a response to the wish of a group of women to commit themselves to religious life inspired by the charism, mission and spiritual inheritance of Marcellin Champagnat, expressed in the same name by which they want to be recognised: Marist Sisters of Champagnat.
The current community, present in Guatemala for ten years, consists of Anita Maza (Guatemala), Daisy Contreras (El Salvador) and María Laura Soto (Costa Rica), who have all lived in this community for many years and as well, Guillermina Zelaya (El Salvador), Juana Olivas (Nicaragua) and Verónica Nieto (El Salvador) who are in a period of formation.
In their words, the experience of these ten years and the enlightenment of God have invited us to live in a particularly attentive way to the realities of the children and young people of these neighbouring areas and to look for alternatives that promote their human development, bringing them closer to the face of our loving God, as Father Champagnat asked of us.”
It was the first time that the entire General Council had had the chance to meet with the group of Sisters in their own house. It was truly a happy family gathering. It began with a time of shared prayer which was followed by more informal sharing during dinner. At the end, there was an opportunity for the community to explain its current situation and projects. Brother Seán thanked the sisters for their warm welcome, and encouraged them to continue in their search for fidelity to Marist charism. As a souvenir of the visit and as a visible sign of communion, Brother Seán presented the community with an icon of Mary, “the one who has done everything for us.”

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