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The mission ad gentes project already starts to become a reality

31/01/2007: Philippines

On the 8th December, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the retreat house of the Dominican Sisters at Davao (the Philippines), there took place the Eucharistic celebration of “sending on mission” of the first group of sixteen brothers who responded to the invitation of the Brother Superior General and who took part in the experience of discernment and preparation for the Marist mission ad gentes from the 7th August to the 15th December 2006.

Father David Kinnear Glenday MCCJ, former Superior General of the Combonianos Fathers animated the retreat from the 2nd to the 8th December; a retreat of silence and of prayer, of discernment and of accompaniment, centred on the most essential and the most real, and marked by the presence and attentiveness of Mary and of Marcellin for the new project of Marist mission ad gentes which was born once more to travel by new roads. It was also the animator of the retreat who presided at the Eucharistic celebration at six o’clock in the evening; this celebration was very well prepared, adapted and animated in the readings, prayers and hymns. Among those present were brothers from various Marist communities of the Philippines, representatives of the other branches of the Marist family, other religious and acquaintances and friends.

The homily was given by Brother Seán who recalled the aspects of the missionary spirit of the Church, the sense of mission in the spirituality of Marcellin and its topicality for the world of today. He then invited the various missionary groups, by country, to stand around the altar facing the assembly for the gesture of missioning. All present extended their hand towards the future missionaries and pronounced the prayer sending them on mission ad gentes to Cambodia, Bangladesh, Korea, Oceania, Canada and Haiti.

At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, Brothers Seán and Luis called each of the new missionaries close to the altar to give them each a small bust of Saint Marcellin as an historic souvenir of his presence in the mission that each brother of this first group of missionaries will undertake in 2007.

Then there was the traditional Marist family meal to celebrate and share with all present in the joy of Marist simplicity this event that is so important not only for the brothers sent on mission but also for the whole Institute, for the Church and for the world.

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