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Marist Calendar - September

Leaders for a global family



João Carlos do Prado, general councillor

21/04/2018: General House

During the Chapter in Rionegro, the brothers elected the superior general and his council. It is the leaders of the Institute who, during the next eight years, will put into practice the Institute's appeal, “Journeying together as a Global Family.”

We invite members of the government to introduce themselves and tell us how the challenge of this new mission has been so far. Today we present the text written by Brother João Carlos of the Brasil Centro-Sul province, elected as general councillor.


João Carlos do Prado, general councillor

I come from a large family, with 13 children. We are of Italian, Portuguese and African origin. I belong to the Brasil Centro-Sul province. I met the brothers when I was studying with the Franciscans in the city of Jaborá. I studied religion sciences, Portuguese literature and obtained a master’s degree in education from the PUC in Curitiba.

In the field of mission, I worked in the coordination of the religious orientation service at the Marist School of Joaçaba where I also taught religious education. Later, in that same city, I coordinated a centre for vocational and youth leadership.

I was the coordinator of the pastoral sector of the province from 2003 – 2008. I was a member of the provincial council during the same period. I also coordinated the mission area of UMBRASIL for two years, until 2008.
In 2009 and 2010, I worked as the executive secretary of UMBRASIL. I then became director of the Institute’s Secretariat of Mission (2010-2017) and was elected provincial of the PMBCS in May 2017.


How was the experience of the election during the Chapter?

It was not an easy experience. A few months ago, I had been elected as provincial of Brasil Centro-Sul. Expectations had been created, both by me and by my brothers and lay people in the province. On the other hand, the invitation of the brothers in the Chapter, the dialogues during the Chapter and prayer helped me to discern the need to be open to God's will at the service of the whole Institute, welcoming the result of the election in the General Council.

The experience that we are living today as a General Council in all the dimensions and future horizons that are glimpsed for the animation and government of the entire Institute bring me joy and serenity for this beautiful mission that God entrusts us with. I am grateful for the invitation of the capitulars to be part of this mission and also for the welcome and acceptance of my brothers and laity in the province.


How is your new life in the General House?

I’m having a beautiful experience. I am very happy for the way we are organising our community, our personal rhythms and the mission that God has entrusted us with for the Institute. At the beginning of the journey, we spent a week in a meeting house in Nemi, near Rome, to be able to share our life, history and expectations of this journey that we are undertaking together.

We are trying to translate the calls of the 22nd General Chapter into the daily life of our personal, community and missionary lives. Together we want to strengthen the spirit of a “global family”. There is a climate of strong harmony, fraternity, attention and mutual support among the members of the General Council community. We are also dedicating a lot of time to dream together the future of the Institute and organize our strategic plan. There is a climate of much co-responsibility in the decisions about the Institute that are being taken in all dimensions and levels.

As for living in Rome and in the General House, it is always a very interesting experience, especially because of the cultural diversity and the context of origin of each one of us. The experience I had during the previous six years, at the service of the Mission Secretariat, helped me to understand this context a little better. I feel happy supporting my brothers whose experience of living in Rome is new. It is very important that what we dream for the Institute can be made reality in our daily lives as international communities in the General House.


Considering the chapter process, what would be the line of action of the General Council for the coming years?

The 22nd General Chapter has already offered the lines of action and themes for the next eight years at all levels of the Institute. I believe that the basic questions of the Chapter, “what God wants us to be and do,” remain in the discernment of the priorities we will have for these eight years. On the other hand, there are several projects underway and issues on the Council table that comes from the previous government and that must be followed up. Still, we need to be open-hearted and open-minded for new elements that will emerge over the next few years and will demand attention from the general government.

We must avoid the risk of closing ourselves in, looking at the new reality only as Marist Institute. We need to be in tune with the Church, society, our local communities, and above all, with the dynamic rhythm of the lives of children and young people in order to understand this moment and context of our history and give the answers that can best bring vitality to all the world. There is also a great expectation of dialogue, reflection and answers concerning the Marist laity and the vocation of the brothers.

We are looking for the best way of organisation and processes of co-responsibility processes between brothers and lay people for the mission, to carry it forward and to build a common vision of our presence and evangelising action among children and young people.

We need to take great care of the communities and the works. Because that is where life and mission happen and where God reveals himself and talks through the people who are part of those contexts.

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