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Marist Spirituality Centre, El Escorial – 77th course

 

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“Kairós” of personal growth and of community experience

30/07/2007: Spain

As we announced in the previous chronicle, the “solidarity pilgrimage” left its mark:
“I learnt to exercise patience, understanding, kindness, respect, help; to allow myself to be loved. To feel human limitations; to give thanks for what I could realise.”
“That helped me to know and feel the suffering of these people, and according to the reality of each one, to share with them who I was and what I had through little acts of service and love… That allowed me to live the experience of Jesus in his love for the most abandoned.”
“That generated in me a profound reflection on the responsibility vis-à-vis my life and that of others. The level of attentiveness in interpersonal relationships and with myself posed many questions for me, and the positive or negative potential we implement in each gesture of dialogue.”
“That opened my eyes to another type of apostolic action, and the possibility of enlivening our Institute through new apostolic forms.”
“An exercise of listening and of presence, more than physical work.”
“I remain very impressed by the climate of patience, joy, goodness, welcome of everybody and in all the milieux.”

The Marist Centre has completed the series of contents planned for the course. With the experienced co-ordination of Brother Fernando Hinojal, and through a participative methodology, the theme of “Marist Spiritual Patrimony” was treated. The contact with the letters of Champagnat and other documents from our origins increased our knowledge of the charism and, in helping us to come closer to Marcellin, gave us the possibility of savouring the spirit of the Hermitage and of looking to the future in hope.

This deepening served as a preparation for the pilgrimage to the Hermitage, made from the 28th May until the 9th June, and made it more fruitful. Different means in this experience contributed to our personal and community growth. We would like to highlight the meeting with the brothers of various Marist communities; the visits to the Marist places and the contact with the objects and documents from our origins; the explanations and clarifications of Brother Alain Delorme and Brother Gabriel Michel; the various moments of celebration, prayers, manual work and living together; the presence of Brother Manuel Mendoza, from the community of Geneva, who presented the project concerning the rights of children and young people, integrated in the Franciscans International NGO accredited to the United Nations; and especially, the personal disposition of openness of heart, of welcome and of response, as well as mutual stimulation.
Shortly after we returned from this pilgrimage we left for Siguënza for our retreat. For six days, Brother Benito Arbués, with his wisdom, experience and life testimony directed this important time of personal synthesis, commitment to life and mission, listening to God and encountering Him.

The final days were consecrated to the final evaluation of the course and to the celebration of the closure. Starting on the 20th, each brother left for where he had been missioned, taking with him the fruits of the valuable, enriching and fruitful five-month experience at the Marist Centre of El Escorial.

We are grateful for the visit of brothers, families, and personal friends who offered us their friendly and fraternal presence. We would like to mention in particular Brother Inácio Néstor Etges who participated with us during the Marist Spiritual Patrimony week and the pilgrimage to the Hermitage; Brother Tercílio Sevegnani, Provincial of Brasil Centro-Sul; Brother Demetrio Espinosa, Provincial of Cruz del Sur; Brother Réal Sauvageau, with Linda Corbeil, a Canadian, and Lúcia Lima Peins Coelho, a Brazilian, who had participated in the meeting at Les Avellanes.

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