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Extended Secretariat of Laity Meeting

09/06/2017: Kenya

This year, our meeting took place in Nairobi from May 29 to June 4. It was an opportunity to encounter and to be in communion with Marist life in the African continent. We spent the first two days sharing experiences and projects both from the African Commission and the Secretariat of Laity in an atmosphere of fraternal dialogue and attentive listening. Then both groups joined efforts to lead a workshop with the young brothers and formators from the MIC – an experience that turned out to be very motivating regarding the future of communion between brothers and laity.

Throughout the agenda, we kept in mind that the Institute is preparing the next General Chapter, and that we are facing the challenge of a third century of Marist life that is just beginning. There were several expressions that deeply resounded in our discussions: new beginning, personal conversion, institutional renewal, inspiring communities, lay vocation and communion around the same charism. The proposals from the Secretariat of Laity – which the General Council asked us to present the Chapter with – are an attempt to ‘translate’ these topics coming from the numerous consensus-seeking meetings we have carried out across the Provinces.

Saying good bye to the four members of the Secretariat who completed their second three-year term was an emotional moment. They are Paty Ríos (Mexico), Raúl Amaya (Chile), Agnes Reyes (Philippines), and brother Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa (Madagascar). We highlighted the process of maturity, stability, and depth that the group developed these years as we walked together – a pathway that involved spending many hours meeting and discussing, besides a great experience of friendship, love and fraternity.

The fact that new members are presently joining the Secretariat made us reflect about new ways of organizing our work and animation mission, in line with the challenges posed by the lay process the Institute has experienced these years, and with the call from the Spirit to embark in a new beginning.

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