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‘New Models’ meeting comes to an end commemorating Fourvière



Final day of encounter was like a Eucharist, says organiser

15/07/2015: General House - Photo gallery
New Models

A five-day encounter with Marists from around the world concluded with a Mass commemorating a significant event for the Institute that took place in France in 1816.

During the Mass, the Superior General gave an image of Our Lady of Fourvière for each province, recalling the shrine in which 12 Marist aspirants, priests and seminarians made their promise to devote themselves to the foundation of the Society of Mary in 1816.

Br. Emili, with this gesture, made reference to the Year Fourvière, which will officially begin on July 23.

It officially closed the July 10 – 14 encounter, which was a set of discussions on the project ‘New Models of Animation, Governance and Management’ aimed at reflecting on ways of involving the laity and of globalizing the Institute.

One of the organizers of the event, Brother Miguel Ángel Espinosa Barrera, said that the aim of the encounter was “not the solution to anything, nor a guideline of the Institute’s governing body” but rather aimed at “changing people and getting them to move from their minds to their hearts.”

“My hope is that we centre our energies in the mission and liberate brothers and laity so that they are in more direct contact with children,” Br Miguel Ángel told the general house press office on July 14.

Brother Michael Green, a member of the commission involved in the project, underscored that the encounter was both positive and negative.

“There was a spirit of openness and a recognition that the Marist family is larger and we’re looking at models to accommodate that,” he said.

“There have been some imaginative ideas put forward to us, but I think that the final conclusions are fairly concrete and small,” added the brother, who works as national director of Marist Schools Australia and executive director of Marist Ministries.

According to Br Michael, “we’ve stayed on safe grounds” because “there is so much diversity in the Marist world and there is reluctance for one part to get too far ahead of another part.”

He praised Superior General Brother Emili Turú calling his thinking “radical” and noting that the Marists “should take those ideas further.”

He said the ideas were on how Marists can see themselves as charismatic and the Institute as part of something bigger rather than the only authority.

Br Michael underscored that one of the biggest challenges of the encounter had been to “get our thinking big and to not have small-target thinking.”

Br Miguel Angel told how “the whole day has been a sort of Eucharist divided in three parts: the liturgy of the Word, intercessions and the offertory.”

New Models

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