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23 July

Saint Bridget of Sweden
1816: Marcellin and his companions consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Fourvière
First brothers left for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1911) and the Solomon Islands (1938)

Marist Calendar - July

Marist Bulletin - Number 1



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Marist Bulletin comes to birth at a very special moment. We have just celebrated the 20th General Chapter which proclaimed our option for the poor with such intensity; also, we find ourselves at the very portal of the Christmas feast, commemorating as it does the the presence of LIFE in the person of Jesus. The objective of this publication is to share Marist life across all frontiers. Let us hope that it will be a meeting point for all those persons who feel attracted by Marcellin Champagnat’s charism. This bulletin is distributed free by e-mail to all those who have subscribed or who might still subscribe through our website: www.champagnat.org .

The celebration of this year’s Christmas takes place in the midst of wars and conflicts, in the face of threats of death and hunger. But the birth of Jesus gives notice that a Savior has arrived, one who has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Our challenge is to work for peace, to strive for justice, to be in solidarity, to foster intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and to bring dignity to the lives of those around us. Jesus found no room at the inn. May he find in our hearts and our hearths the place he deserves! This will be occur if we open our heart and our hearth to children and young people, to the men and women of our times.

The General Council met for a week just after the conclusion of the Chapter; this allowed first contacts and the drawing up of a preliminary plan. Plenary sessions will begin on 15 March, 2002. Before that, several (at least monthly) regular Council sessions would have been held; these require the attendance of the minimal stipulated quorum rather than the entire Council. The majority of the Council will devote several weeks to language apprenticeship or updating. Brother Seán will go to Cochabamba (Bolivia); Brother Antonio Ramalho to Capetown (South Africa); Brother Théoneste Kalisa to Salamanca (Spain); Brother Peter Rodney to Mexico City; and Brothers Emili Turú and Maurice Berquet to New York (USA).

On the 26th of November, Brother Seán’s birthday was celebrated. All the Brothers at the General House attended a Mass of Thanksgiving for Seán’s life and work. His talk about the role of his father and mother in the origins and development of his Marist vocation was a highlight of the occasion.

- Brother Giovanni Bigotto (Province of Madagascar) replaces Brother Gabriele Andreucci (Province of Italy) as Postulator General before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. His function is the preparation and presentation to the Holy See of official investigations into the sanctity of various Brothers.
- Brother Roque Salet (Province of Santa María, Brazil), replaces Brother José Contreras (Province of Western Mexico) as Superior of the General Administration community.
- Brother Wenceslao Calimpon (Province of the Philippines) replaces Brother Antonio Ramalho (Province of Northern Brazil), elected to the General Council, as Superior of the International College community.
- Brother Roberto Clark (Province of Central America) replaces Brother Emeterio Pérez (Province of Río de la Plata; Argentina-Uruguay) as personal secretary to the Superior General and assistant Superior of the International College.
- After many years of dedication to community tasks, these Brothers return now to their respective Provinces: Brothers Emeterio Pérez, Afonso Levis (formation secretary; belonging to the Province of São Paulo) and Fernand Dostie (personal secretary to the Vicar General; belonging to the Province of Southern Africa). Brother Seán spoke words of affectionate gratitude to these Brothers for their religious and apostolic dedication.

The house at Manziana, near Rome, is a centre for ongoing formation, utilized especially by English-speaking Brothers. A new leadership team has been named. Brothers Desmond Howard (Melbourne, Australia), Sunanda Alwis (Sri Lanka) and George Fontana (Poughkeepsie, USA) comprise this new formation team at Manziana. They replace Brothers John McDonnell (Esopus, USA), Tony Shears (Sydney, Australia) and Nello Facci (Melbourne, Australia).

Brother Claudio Santanbrogio, belonging to the community of Cesano Maderno (Italy), has recently completed the restoration of four art treasures at the heart of our patrimony: the statue of “la Bonne Mère” (General Council chapel); two paintings (one from the General Council chapel; the other from Father Champagnat’s room at the Hermitage); and the painting offered as an ex–voto gift by Brother François’s mother to the Lavalla parish.

The General Chapter having terminated, the Chapter website began, on 1 December, a transitional phase lasting until 31 August 2002 which will then make way for a new official website of the Marist Institute, coming on-line next September 1st, in accordance with plans being looked at by the General Council.
For the time being, our daily notes and a new Marist Bulletin will launch this revised site. Little by little, new sections will be created.
Currently we have more than 1750 subscribers. Given this magnificent welcome, we now wish to substantially increase the number of Bulletin recipients. You may contribute to this objective by presenting a free gift-subscription to anybody you know who might be interested in receiving it. All you have to do is to enter the webpage, and complete the subscription process by accurately typing in the details requested.

- Our website has just received in Rome, on 12 December 2001, the Multimedia International Award 2001 (category: websites) for excellence in the use of communications media in an evangelizing mission..
- Already despatched to Provinces and Districts: one CD ROM on the General Chapter (multilingual edition). It contains texts (more than 80 documents), photos (more than 2300 photos) and an audiovisual presentation.
- The Pontifical Catholic University of Río Grande do Sul (belonging to the Marist Brothers of the Province of Porto Alegre, Brazil) bestowed the degree Doctor Honoris Causa on Jesuit Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, Secretary to the Congregation for Catholic Education.
- Brother Eduardo Ramírez, District of Korea, has been nominated Honorary Citizen of the City of Seoul in a municipal ceremony recognizing his outstanding contributions to the cultural life of that city.

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