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Midlife Programme 2010 in Manziana

03/04/2010: Italy

After a year during which the building remained empty, the Marist Spirituality Center at Manziana, Rome welcomed its first group of Renewal Programme participants for 2010 on the 1st of March.
The next day the Marist Family Midlife Renewal Programme was officially opened with a prayerful Eucharistic celebration. Each participant from the four Marist branches was named and welcomed by their respective Superior General or Representative.

We are 19 participants: Br.Timothy Song (Korea), Br.John Chong (Malaysia), Br.Albert Ongemba (DR Congo), Br.Raphael Mariso (Zimbabwe), Br.Sumith Senadheera (Sri Lanka). Sr. Clotilda Diedhou (Senegal) Sr.Noela Iosefo (NZ/Samoa), Sr.Salome Dilagi, Sr.Mariana Maramaanicava and Sr.Mareta Nai Raikivi (Fiji), Marist Sisters. Fr.Pius Gregory Jones (Australia), Fr.Chris Skinner (New Zealand), Br.Petelo Sanele Sekeme (Wallis-Futuna), and Fr. Patolo Matiasi (Samoa), and Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary Sr.Nau Apikotoa and Sr.Loloahi Tautalonoa (Tonga), Sr.Ludeline Paterno (Philippines), Sr.Etevise Ioane and Sr.Pelenatete Peni (Samoa).

The programme is led by a team from the 4 branches of the Marist Family. Br. Barry Burns FMS (New Zealand), Fr. David Kennerley SM (New Zealand), Sr. Marie Challacombe SM (England) and Sr. Janice Ruff SMSM (Australia), and will run for 5 months from the 1st of March to the 24th July 2010.

This renewal program has been put together in the hope that it will further enrich our relationship with Christ as Marists. It will include a pilgrimage to our Marist places of origin in France.

Essentially the aim of the programme is to accompany us in our mid-life journey of Christ-centred transformation for mission by:

- creating together a welcoming and dynamic community where differences of charism, culture, gender and nationality may be honoured and explored,

- offering us reflective, prayerful and creative processes along with new learning which will enable us to listen to, and share with others, our own inner resources of wisdom and truth, and help us face our human, spiritual and vocational questions in liberating ways,

- exploring the depths and potential in our respective Marist spiritualities for building the Marian dimension of Church in our contemporary world,

- helping us realise our own potential in being an effective agent for change in our communities, ministries and Congregations.

And, finally, the hope is that we will return home in such a way that the fruit of the program will endure in our lives as committed Marist apostles.

A tall order, you might say! But already we are at home with one another, our exchanges are lively, open and often full of laughter, and we have taken up the challenge of healthy and wholistic living- yoga, gardening and exercise stretch our limbs, while prayer nourishes our spirits. The inner work of transformation continues as we begin the serious task of facing our personal issues.

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