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Workshop-retreat at Chosica, from the 18th to the 23rd January 2007

04/02/2007: Peru


Originally, a biblical workshop for superiors had been programmed, with the aim of finding in the Scriptures a few topics about the function of the Superior of a community amidst the brothers. With this intention in mind, the Inter-Provincial Commission for reflection and the animation of the brothers and the communities contacted Brother Josep María Soteras, from the Marist Province of LHermitage who, after having accompanied a retreat at Mar de Plata for the brothers of Cruz del Sur, then did the same thing at Chosica for the brothers of Santa María des Andes.

Our Brother Josep, with lucidity, insight and a fine capacity of analysis, animated the meeting of some sixty brothers; among them many superiors and an important group of invited brothers.

The course had as its fundamental intention the support of the work of the research of the identity of the Community Superior, from the work of some biblical figures taken from the Old and New Testaments; also the strengthening of the Superior’s mission amid the demands proposed by the current situation of society in general and of religious life. The possibility that this life attains a major place in the world as a proposition for new generations certainly depends on this capacity for adaptation. In this sense, we studied in an intense way, seeking aspects of personal and community development from an up to date reading of the Bible. The personalisation of these texts in life, particularly at strong times and in times of crisis, helps in the integration of the human experience and the spiritual growth proper to religious life.

We seek to integrate in the Superior’s mission the attitudes that lead to an up to date historical management as animators and mediators in the process of growth, thanks to the fraternal welcome in the simple things of daily life and including dialogue and accompaniment of a profound spiritual growth.

The day was divided into two moments. The first, the morning, was marked by attitudes of displacement as found in the Bible. In this work we carried out a biblical and hermeneutic exegesis, showing the origin of the texts, their structuring in history and what they can tell us today. In the second moment, the afternoon, we meditated on these texts which invited us to the analysis of our attitudes and community life in a very concrete way, seeking to arrive at tangible and interrogative forms. Many of these texts were worked on in reflection groups.

From a work of deconstruction, Brother Josep showed us the hidden aspects behind the structures of many texts of the Old and the New Testaments, and which in our tradition often remain veiled by traditional catechesis. This did not involve the discrediting of this, but the presence of new ways of approaching sacred texts, the possibilities of enriching and new discoveries which come to us in a way that is more conscious of recounted facts and of the intention of the sacred writers. Certainly this is a richness for the one who takes up the Bible with the intention of living the message of salvation which is proclaimed in it.

We would like to thank Josep María for his contributions in the formation of the brothers and laypeople in this work of renewal that brings us the incarnate message of our God and Father.

Brother Eduardo.

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