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Meeting of Marist Fathers and Brothers



125th anniversary of the arrival of the Marist Brothers in Canada

10/09/2010: Canada

On 2 August 2010, on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Marist brothers in Canada, a celebration of friendship was held at Château-Richer by the Marist Fathers and Brothers.30 Marist Fathers from Québec took part in the gathering with Fr. Kevin Duffy, assistant general of the Marist Fathers for Canada, Fr. Jacques Arguin, provincial, and Br. Bernard Beaudin, provincial. The reception began at 16.30 in the chapel decorated for the jubilee year.« On the occasion of their Province Assembly, the Marist Fathers have chosen to gather here in your chapel – said one of the Fathers – to mark with you your arrival in Canada, 125 years ago. To give special significance to this gathering, which I would say is an historic one, several Brothers and Fathers will now come forward to place a little lamp in the lamp holder in front, forming the letter M, for Mary, our Queen and Mother for all since the beginning. During this rite, we will chant the refrain: « If the Lord does not build the house, the builders work in vain ». We will repeat this chant after each of the verses of Psalm 127 (126) read by two representatives of the communities. »Our chapel choir this year delivers us five invitations in Latin: LAUDATE, GAUDETE, JUBILATE, CANTATE and JUBILATE DEO.Then the animator provided a brief history of the Society of Mary: « On 23 July 1816, so 194 years and 10 days ago, a dozen new priests ordained the day before, went to the old chapel of Fourvière, in Lyon, and there read together an act of consecration in which they promised to give themselves entirely to founding the congregation bearing the name of Mary. Jean-Claude Colin and Marcellin Champagnat, our respective founders, were part of that group. They kept their word. Let us listen to some articles of our Constitutions, read by a Father and a Brother:« Bearing the name of Mary, Marists desire to resemble her and follow Jesus as she did. When they contemplate Mary in the mysteries of Nazareth and Pentecost and her role at the end of time, they come to share her zeal for the mission of her Son in the struggle against evil and respond promptly to the most pressing needs of the people of God. » (S.M. n° 8)« In giving us Mary’s name, Father Champagnat wished us to live her spirit. He was convinced that it was she who has done everything for us, and he called her our Ordinary Resource and our First Superior. Since God gave His Son to the world through Mary, we want to make her known and loved as one who will lead us to Jesus. In this way, we put into action our motto: All to Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus. » (F.M.S. n° 4)After the reading of the two texts, the assembly listened to the account of the Annunciation (Lk 1: 26-38), proclaimed by Fr. Jacques Parent.Two Fathers and two Brothers then formulated intentions of prayer:• Regard your Church, Lord, as at the time of the Cenacle with Mary, hidden in the midst of the apostles; renew the fervor of your people. R/• You have invited us, Lord, to consecrate our life to the following of Christ after the manner of Mary. Renew in us the fidelity and audacity of our commitment to the service of our brothers and sisters. R/• Lord, inspire in the hearts of the young people of our time the desire to live the Gospel, without compromise in this changing and restless world. R/• Make us capable, Lord, of recognising the call of your love in the daily drama of our existences, in joy and sorrow, loneliness and friendship. R/The assembly was invited to recite slowly the « Our Father », the Christian prayer par excellence coming from the Lord himself. Following the blessing of the congregation, Fr. Arguin addressed a word to the assembly, followed by Br. Beaudin. The chant of the Salve Regina, sustained by the organ, rose up to the Virgin, our Good Mother.____________________Below is the text of the homily preached by Father Jacques Arguin, provincial:Dear Brothers,The present year marks the 125th anniversary of your arrival on Canadian soil, more precisely at Iberville. « 125 years of love in the footsteps of Champagnat ». All these years of the gift of yourselves in the formation of youth and the multiple services in the Church at the appeal of the Holy Spirit. Yes, it is good to give thanks!Today, gathered in Province Assembly and on the eve of a day having as theme « The Visitation », the Marist Fathers have set out for the hill country and prayed with you. Receive our most cordial congratulations for all your achievements and your presence in the school of Mary, in the steps of Marcellin Champagnat. We also express to you our lively gratitude for your so fraternal hospitality and all the care lavished on our sick confrères.Dear Brothers, may you continue to serve more and more. The universal Church and the societies of the world searching for certitude have need of your witness to the following of Jesus.« With Mary, new Marists towards a « new land »: They are the words inscribed in the Document of your XXI General Chapter. May these words inspire and stimulate all the members of the great Marist family!Happy 125th anniversary!Father Jacques Arguin offered Brother Bernard Beaudin a souvenir of this historic meeting of the two communities: a gilded metal plaque on a wooden base, with, beneath an image of Mary, the following text:In summer 2010, the Marist Fathers pay a visit to Château-Richer. They come to pay homage to the Marist Brothers on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of their arrival on Canadian soil.The Marist Fathers also express all their gratitude to the Marist Brothers for the hospitality and good care received here at the Foyer Marcellin-Champagnat. The Marist Fathers of East Canada, Québec, 2 August 2010._______________________Br. Bernard Beaudin offered his thanks for this gesture of friendship and thanks on this memorable anniversary.The programme continued with a visit to the Galerie Champagnat and the Centre Historique Champagnat. An aperitif of friendship and good cheer prepared us for a country dinner at the Gazébo (authentic Canadian menu!): beans in lard, maple syrup crêpes of Château-Richer. The whole instilled with that good humour of the Québécois who are, so the song goes, « refined, galant, hospitable. »This historic meeting ended in a climate of « see you again, until next time! »Br. Laurent Potvin6 August 2010

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