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Marist Studies at the University of Salamanca

26/02/2010: Spain

The Institute of Marist Studies (IEM) is making its breakthrough appearance here on the FMS Webpage. The IEM functions as the Teachers College of the Pontifical University of Salamanca. Via the present item on the Webpage, the IEM would like to tell you about some programs which it intends to initiate in the next few months.

1. THE CHAMPAGNAT-DOCUMENTATION COURSE (B CYCLE) focuses on the person of Marcellin Champagnat through an examination of Marist documents. As a continuation of the A Cycle, the course aims at imparting a deeper knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the shared Marist charism is lived out. The course will provide participants with the chance to reflect and deepen their understanding of (1) the goals that Marcellin held out for himself and (2) the concrete ways in which he faced up to the problems of his times. The reflection side of the course will be organized in groups, providing the chance for mutual interaction. The course-focus will be on the documents of 1837 and 1838, used as a means of better grasping aspects of Marist Spirituality in its historical dimensions. The course will necessitate physical attendance and on-line involvement. The segments requiring the students to be physically present will held twice: February 26-27 and July 1, 2, 3: both segments at the Central Marist Residence in Xaudaro, Madrid. Brother Fernando Hinojal Citores, a Brother of the Mediterranea Province, will direct the on-line part of the course which will take place between the first and second sessions, via a virtual platform. Brother Fernando will share a wealth of both practical experience and theoretical knowledge. The Champagnat-Documentation Course targets those involved in the schools, as well as those who have a general interest in the topic (PDF).

2. First Cycle of IEM’s ‘Coffee Break’ Course - “Marist Life: the Lay State and Mission Lands.” The Coffee Break Course will offer, over the course of a single year, three get-togethers dealing with topics related to the goals of the IEM. Guest speakers and students will have a chance to reflect, debate, express their opinions. In this way a certain community sense will develop, along with mutual awareness and a reinforcement of commonly held beliefs. Three sessions will be conducted. The first, to be led by Brother Laurentino Albala, ex-Provincial of the FMS Norandina Province, will deal with the topic, “Go in Haste to a New Land: Latin America.” Brother Oscar Martin Vicario, Provincial of FMS Compostela, will handle the second session on the topic, “Marist Life in Light of the XXI General Chapter.” Brother Pau Fornells will direct the last session entitled “Marist Laity and Mission.” Brother Pau is in charge of the FMS Laity Bureau in Rome. The “Coffee Break” sessions will take place on March 3, 10 and 17 at Colegio Marista Champagnat in Salamanca, Spain (PDF).

3. CHILD RIGHTS’ DAYS – will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, and the twentieth of the Child Rights Convention. The purpose of the course is to understand better the issue of Child Rights, to reflect upon it, raise awareness of the topic, advocate for children, and carry out concrete proposals on the topic.

IEM and the Teachers College will add their voice to that of other organizations involved with the same issue; for example, the International Catholic Bureau for Children (BICE); the Foundation for Marist Solidarity International (FMSI); and Marista SED, a non-governmental organization. Such joint efforts will be a way of assuming a leadership role in organizing campaigns on behalf of the neediest children. The Child Rights’ Days will take place in Salamanca, Spain, on March 11 and 12 (PDF).

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