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International formation meeting in Les Avellanes

21/06/2013: Spain - Photo gallery

Called by the  Secretariat of the Laity of the Institute, representatives of the lay animation of the Marist world of America, Asia, Europe and Oceania gathered in the Marist house of Les Avellanes, with the members of the Secretariat, Br Antonio Ramalho, councillor general, Br César Rojas, of the Secretariat Brothers Today, and the translation team from 28 May to 2 June. M. José Maria Soba and Br Juan Miguel Anaya helped the reflection on certain topics.

After the presentations and taking notice of the times in which we live, the meeting considered the themes of the lay Marist vocation, the processes of accompaniment and formation of the laity, the need for recognition of their  engagement by means of bonds, and the communion of brothers and lay people living the Marist charism together.

The dynamic for the activities was essentially based on experience. On the work  table, in the  groups, in the moments of informal dialogue, the dominant concern was the sharing of experiences, situation, projects implemented in the Marist world with regard to the laity. The fruit of this proposal of formation was the move towards a common language, the recognition of differences between regions and provinces and the wish to advance, despite the difficulties encountered in each situation, towards a horizon clearly marked by the last General Chapter and the guidelines of the Secretariat of the Laity.

The most important impression left by this meeting is that, in the development of lay animation, there is a surge of quality when the concept of vocation appears, that is, the call of God to live the Marist charism and the personal response.

Many things have been done, and that continues : participation of the laity in management and mission, formation of the laity in Marist values, history and pedagogy, creation of climates of friendship and joy in the meeting of brothers and laity, joint celebration of life and faith… But, when one makes the leap of feeling oneself called to live the following of Jesus in one’s own proper lay condition and with the charismatic references of Marcellin Champagnat and his community of brothers, one can say in truth that one is living, in the present-future, a  charism which enriches the Church and renders service to poor and abandoned children and young people.

In these exchanges, one also notices hesitations to grow in the Marist vocation, to live together as brothers and laity, to offer mutual recognition, to discern, and to take on  responsibilities in communion to establish projects of life and mission. The lived experience  continues to tell us that our Marist future is a future of communion.

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