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Meeting of the fraternities of the Marcellin Champagnat Fraternity Movement of the Province Ibérica

02/10/2007: Spain

The annual meeting of the Fraternities of Marcellin Champagnat of the Marist Family of the Province Ibérica (part of Spain and Romania) took place from the 14 – 16 of September. These meetings have been held since 1990, in the former Province of Norte; after restructuring, the Province Ibérica continued them and since its creation, this is the fourth meeting of the fraternities of the new province.

This year the meeting was changed from its usual place in Lardero (Logroño) to the house at Sigüenza (Guadalajara). Eighty members participated from the fraternities of Bilbao (2), Zaragoza, Pamplona (3), Logroño and Madrid as well as other groups of people who are interested in the fraternities and who were specially invited. This year Brother Pau Fornells, Secretary for the Laity, was present. Since it was a meeting with many families present, the number of participants was increased with the presence of 30 children of all ages.

The theme chosen for the meeting by the Provincial Team for the Laity, “The Lay Vocation,” was developed individually and in small groups after a talk given by Chema Pérez-Soba, a member, among others, of the editing group of the document “The Marist Lay Vocation.”

The common setting of the work, after sharing the personal experience of vocation, demonstrated a fine tuning among the participants, as well as well as a great coincidence in the elements that define lay identity. They highlighted the advances made in the Church regarding the laity, and the difficulty and reticence that remained unresolved. It remains indispensable that the laity assume responsibilities in the Church that by right belong to us, since we feel called to build the Kingdom and we want to live radically. They are long processes, but we’re conscious of the steps that we have already taken along this road

These days also served to share and communicate different experiences, in particular the presentation of the International Marist Assembly in Mendes by Mayte Ballaz, Chema Pérez-Soba and Pau Fornells, all of whom were participants; the experience of the work in Romania by Ana, Lucila and Mª Pilar from the fraternities of Pamplona, Madrid and Zaragoza and the works of the Secretariat for the Laity and the Provincial Team for Fraternities.

There was also time for Marial prayer at the nearby sanctuary of “la Virgen de la Salud,” en Barbatona, and the celebration of the Eucharist at the end of the meeting.

As is usual in these meetings, the family atmosphere, the joy of the meeting and the simplicity in sharing dominated the entire time. The purpose of this annual meeting is to begin the new year with renewed energy and mark the official opening of the activities of each fraternity.

Andrés Gil, Secretario Comisión Animadora

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