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21 October

Saint Viator

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September – October 2010

 

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Manziana: Spanish and Portuguese course for brothers of the 3rd age

21/09/2010: Italy

Surprise. This is the term which best suits this course: Manziana 2010. Present here are 26 brothers, including a Marianist priest and a brother, togther with the three responsable for the organization and direction of the course, called “AMANECER” (Dawn) for those who have already reached the “third age”.It is already a surprise to have reached the age near or recently passed of 70 years. We are already on these heights, the epoch of jubilation (of “jubilee”), of leaving tasks we have performed all our life, to discover ways in a MISSION that never ends. It is a group with ability that on reaching and looking from this point, cannot refrain from exclaiming “Thanks to the life which has given me so much” (V. Parra).It was no less a surprise to receive at home (in this house) already in the first days Br. Emili Turú, Superior General, bringing us the reflection from our last General Chapter, with its call to “journey in haste” in a religious life of authentic newness, so to give response to a world which demands fullness from the disciples of JESÚS. Connected to this call, we also reflected with Br. Ernesto Sánchez, Councillor General on the “Marist community” which we ought to be, animated by the MARIAN SPIRITUALITY (Br. Giovanni Bigotto) so as to continue living the demands of the MARIST MISSION in the face of a mass of challenges. Mission has not finished, and today requires of us sanctity and offers us ways of renewal. We also received from Br. Giovanni much information about our saints and the present state of their causes: Br. François, Br. Basilio, our martyrs in the different parts of Marist geography. Another reflection which is acquiring maturity, we received from “Chema”, naturally about the presence of the laity in our Church and in the Congregation, pushing towards community in MISSION and in Marist SPIRITUALITY.So from surprise to surprise, we go discovering an actuality which is also ours, when the time comes to spend 10 days in the Marist places: L’Hermitage, La Valla, Le Rosey. New surprises. In those places of the cradle of the Institute we could exclaim “In the beginning” (Gen. 1,1), thus it all began. In the modesty and humility, in the poverty and the sharing of La Valla, as it is still manifest, or in the Hemitage, renovated without losing its originality. We discovered the beginnings of a grace which has come down to us, challenging to a renewed response of Marist life with the same creativity of the Spirit it had in its origins. From the modesty and poverty came the response which God asked for, to a world questioning and anxious for instruction and Christian education. Rosey, La Valla, L’Hermitage, cradle evocative of our Marist origins. Le Puy, Fourvière, places which show society through the ages the need for God, open to Him from their often basic needs, such as health, hunger, and education. They were the sources of our Marist and other ecclesial Congregations and Societies which reveal to us today the ways of the past and question us about the challenges of the future.One further aspect, and not the least, to emphasize is the presence at the Hermitage of the Marist community formed by Brothers from different provinces, but also lay people, including a married couple, who give a brotherly welcome, and the joyful witness and inspiration of a shared Marist life, at the service of love for our sources and at the same time of the continuing relevance of the Marist charism, without geographical boundaries or the differences of states of life.So from surprise to surprise our “Amanecer” course of the “third age” has seen itself developing in this first month. We have yet another in which, surely, we will continue being surprised by the Spirit. He hopes of us, as a religious congregation and as religious, an openness to living so many surprising stages under the maternal protection of Mary, living always “under your protection, Holy Mother of God”.___________Br. Rigoberto Limón Limón fms

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