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VIII General Conference

07/06/2007: General House

Dear Brothers,
Greetings from Rome! Today we conclude the VIII General Conference of our Institute. 26 Provincials met here in the general house to share and discuss about our life. We send this message to you as an invitation to participate in the implementation of issues discussed here.

The motto of this Conference is Reclaim the spirit of Hermitage: we are called to go back to our roots. The basic themes are Restructuration and Regionalization. The aim is to help the provincials to have new vision of Leadership that fits the restructuring in the Institute. We took time to share experiences and to reflect on the best ways to animate our Institute in the present context. There is a need to re-consider the structure we have at the Institute level and at Regional level. If necessary we can make some changes to ensure Viability and to have more Vitality.

Change provokes uncertainty in us and we may resist changing. In the closing address of the General Conference, the Superior general affirms that a fundamental change of heart on the part of each of us and of all of us together is what will renew our way of life and Institute . He encourages us to enter into the Pascal mystery in a positive way. For the process of dying to lead to new life, we must arrive at a place of spiritual indifference… And that is what is meant by the spirituality of restructuring: accepting Gods will rather than my own, and doing so for the sake of mission .

We therefore invite all the Brothers of the Africa Region to participate actively in this process of discernment. The aim is to come up with a structure that will be best for the Marist Mission in the African continent.

First of all, we invite you to read and reflect on the letter of the Superior General about the issue. This can be done personally followed by a sharing and discussion in community. Some more topics will be given at a later stage to help you in your reflection. Please ask someone to be a secretary because we need a written report from you so that we may have a good picture of the opinions of the Brothers in the Region. Let us do this work with a spirit of prayer. Let us be open to the work of the Holy Spirit and be led by Him.

May this activity help us to Reclaim the spirit of Hermitage, that we let burn in us again the fire that was burning in the heart of Champagnat and the first Brothers.

Fraternally in Jesus, Mary and Champagnat!
Br Sylvain Ramandimbiarisoa
President, on behalf of the Conference.
Roma 2nd June 2007

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