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An Ad Gentes community to open in the Marist Province of Canada

25/09/2007: Canada

An important and exceptional meeting took place at the provincial house on the 26, 27 and 28 of August. This has led to the establishment of an ad gentes community in the Marist Province of Canada. Taking part in this meeting were Brothers Luis Sobrado, Vicar General, and Ivan Buenfil, secretary of the Institute’s Mission ad Gentes together with Brothers Réal Cloutier, Provincial, Bernard Beaudin and Gilles Ouimet. They held discussions with the members of the new community, Brothers Miguel Àngel Sancha (province of Iberica), Félix Roidan (province of Santa Maria de los Andes, Peru), Clement Nwadike (province of Nigeria), Maria Antoney Jeyaraj (province of Sri Lanka – due to arrive in Canada on 7 September), Léon Hébert and Richard Roy (province of Canada). Another brother, as yet unnamed, will join the community in January.

Working in a frank, open and cordial climate, those taking part sought to determine the practical means of implementing the perception of the will of God that had become clear through their discernment – a sharing made in a great spirit of truth and freedom, marked by respect for and openness to the opinions and feelings of each one of the participants. It was a question of determining the main criteria for the mission of the new community sent at the request of the province to continue the dream of Marcellin among young people in a society that in former times had been so religious and homogeneous, but has now become secularised and pluralistic.

After a first year of inculturation, language study and discernment, the members of the community ad Gentes will take up their mission of faith education and integral human formation among poor young people of Canadian and Quebec society. The envisaged Marist Work is to be clearly indentified as such, characterised by openness to and solidarity with lay people and similar educative undertakings.

Despite the average age of the brothers of the province, which is in the mid seventies, and despite the scepticism and wait-and-see attitude of some, it is agreed by all that this bold project is in keeping with the spirit of the last General Chapter of 2001: We choose life.
By the witness they give, growing old with such a marial and apostolic attitude of joy and faith in their life consecrated to the young, as disciples of Saint Marcellin Champagnat, these brothers add their thrust to the mission ad gentes of the whole Congregation.

Bernard Beaudin, fms
v.p.



Community Ad Gentes, Canada: Brs. Richard Roy, Clement Nwadike, Miguel Angel Sanchez, Léon Hébert, Fé Roldan, and, in future, Brother Maria Antoney Jeyaraj.

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