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A Marist international youth community in Mindelheim



South African young Marists volunteer in Europe for the first time

19/05/2018: Germany

Two South African youths arrived to Mindelheim, Germany, earlier this month marking the first time ever that South African Marists volunteer in Germany.

Palesa Shabangu, aged 21, and Shari Maluleke, aged 18, arrived on May 3 and will be looking after kindergarteners in two schools until December. Palesa will be at the Marcellin-Champagnat-Kindertagesstätte and Shari will be at the Johann-Baptist-Luxenhofer-Kindertagesstätte.

Another young Marist volunteer arrived from Mexico earlier this year and two others – one from the United States and another from South Africa – will arrive in September.

Upon their arrival, they were received by Marists as well as the mayor of Mindelheim, Stephan Winter.

Brother Chris Wills, director of the Collaboration for Mission, International secretariat, underscored that “Germany wishes to open itself to the rest of the Marist world and using the Cmi volunteering system is one way of doing it in both directions.”

Palesa and Shari will be living in a Marist international youth community. These communities are not student accommodations, nor are they part of fraternities or the Marist Champagnat Families Movement (MChFM).

“But they have a shared spirituality and culture so it’s more than just a boarding house, it’s a Marist community,” stressed Br Chris on May 14. “Just as Marist Brothers’ communities are different in different parts of the world, so are these, but they’re all Marist.”

“You instantly feel at home in them,” he continued.

Other Marist international youth communities are in Melbourne (Australia), Johannesburg (South Africa), Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke and Drummondville (Canada) , Esopus (United States) and in Mexico City, in the provincial house of México Central.

The community in Johannesburg, called the Marcellin House, hosts volunteers from different countries such as Australia, Brazil, Spain and Germany.


In the picture, from left to right: Kathrin von Erffa, Manuela Haydu, Ute Bergmaier, Shari Maluleke, Beate Fuchs, Stephan Winter, Palesa Shabangu and Brother Michael Schmalzl.

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