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Community Leaders, Bridge Builders



Formation Program for Community Leaders in Europe

07/12/2019: Spain - Photo gallery

From 20 November to 12 December, a group of 15 Brothers are attending a formation course on community leadership organised by the General Council at El Escorial (Spain), led by the formation team from Manziana and the Secretariat of Brothers Today. Participants come from all 5 Marist Provinces of Europe.

Based on their own life experience and the assistance of the facilitators, participants are broadening their abilities and knowledge to become better in their role. Over recent days, four Lay Marists sent by their Province have joined the program.

The program has four well-defined elements: sharing of experiences; fresh ideas from experts; extended periods of silence, personal prayer and reflection; contact with experiences outside the Marist ambit.

“For me,” said Br Carlos, “it is a special privilege to attend this course. I have been able to share with Brothers with much more experience than me, share my feelings and happenings from my life with the others, and reflect together on the practical, everyday matters of our communities. It will certainly help me be a more aware and human community leader.”

To serve as a bridge in Marist communities, following the call of the XXII General Chapter, the community leaders needs to have personal talents but also some theoretical understanding and practical know-how from various social sciences.

With regard to the community leader as a bridge-builder, the course program notes the following, “Bridges unite territories, people, towns, and modernise structures. They reduce distances and facilitate contacts of all sorts. Based on his own experience, community leaders reduce distances, facilitate interpersonal contacts, create bonds with their Brothers, with the lay people around the community, with the world outside, and so foster fraternity. In this way, the community can be a beacon of hope and a home of light for the wider community and Marist ministries.”

The participants are aware that in their Provinces, there are other Brothers and Laypeople, community leaders or not, who would value the training they are receiving. So, the challenge is: how to share all that they have learnt and experienced with these treasured companions who have stayed at home.


Br. Joaquim Sperandio – Manziana Community

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