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Marist Bulletin - Number 193


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05.04.2005 - Vatican
2nd April 2005, 9:37pm

The Sistine Chapels chimney, after a little uncertainty, seems to indicate clearly that the Pope has been elected: the smoke is white. It is 6:18pm on the 16th October 1978.
Crowds head towards Saint Peters Square. It is curiosity that urges the people to cross the symbolic border with Italy: the desire to see the new Pope.
At 6:45pm, applause follows cries of joy after Cardinal Pericle Felici pronounces the famous formula: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam.
But it is concern and surprise that can be read all the faces when the Cardinal says: Dominum dominum Karolum, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, Cardinalem Wojtyla.
The most obvious thing was that he was not Italian, but also hardly anybody knew him.
But when he appeared in person a few minutes later on the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica and announced to the crowd Sia lodato Gesù Cristo (Praised be Jesus Christ!) followed by that statement that showed his desire for inculturation I do not know if I will be able to express myself well in your…in our Italian language. If I make a mistake, correct me!, all doubts disappeared and the faithful of his diocese returned to their homes visibly content.
Since then 9,664 days have passed: it is now the 2nd April 2005. The flow of people towards Saint Peters Square is far larger than then. Their faces are serene, but also concerned. They walk slowly; there is less noise. It is not curiosity that is urging the people to come but affection. The person to whom they wish to show their closeness in spirit is no longer an unknown; even if for many of them he is not the Father whom they love and who has given direction to their life, they know that a great man who has played a decisive role in the building of human history is living his last few hours of life.
And he, who had blessed the faithful on that 16th October so many years before after having expressed his yes to the request of the Cardinals, now repeats nearly the same rite. He knows that in the square the faithful have gathered, especially young people, who are praying for him and he tries to bless them. Then once more he expresses his YES and gives himself totally into his Fathers hands: it is the last AMEN of his life. He leaves us to enter the Kingdom of life that will last forever.

06.04.2005- Mexico
Meeting of the Postulation Team

The brothers of the Postulation Team, Mariano Santamaría, Alain Delorme, José Flores García, Jorge Flores Aceves and Giovanni Maria Bigotto, met in Mexico from the 7th to the 16th March 2005.
We concentrated mainly on three points:
1 - The proximity of the beatifications of Brother Bernardo and Laurentinos group for whom we must prepare a climate of spiritual welcome: awareness and prayer, and also prepare the concrete aspects: books, pictures, relics, DVDs, scarves, portraits… We do not yet have a date but it would be better to be ready.
2 - The 10th anniversary on the 21st January 2006 of the death of Brother Basilio. Many initiatives will be taken in Mexico and throughout the entire Institute.
3 - The 10th anniversary on the 31st October 2006 of the death of our four brothers at Bugobe, Congo: Brothers Servando Mayor, Miguel Ángel Isla, Fernando de la Fuente and Julio Rodríguez. With the Brothers Provincial who are more directly involved in this, we will see if it is appropriate to start a cause and how we can highlight this 10th anniversary.
All of this is part of our Marist history and patrimony, which enriches our Marist reality.
The brothers of Mexico, in particular Brothers José Flores García and Jorge Flores Aceves, welcomed us in a very warm and fraternal way.
- It was possible for us to meet the family and friends of Brother Basilio and the places where he lived as a child.
- At Guadalajara, His Eminence Cardinal Sandoval, also received us in a warm and friendly way.
- We were able to have a long discussion with the Justice Promoter of the Diocesan Tribunal who is looking after the cause of Brother Basilio and then with the notary of this tribunal.
- We made many visits to the communities and colleges of the brothers, giving us a chance to witness the daring apostolate of our Mexican brothers.
- In the sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so dear to all Mexican Christians, we prayed for the entire Institute.
We returned with the image of a Mexican people who are warm, happy and energetic but also with the conviction that there is a lot of work ahead of us and that all of us need to open our hearts to what is needed for the events of the beatifications and anniversaries. To our brothers in Mexico a very sincere thanks.

07.04.2005- Vatican
The slogan the most lived and most repeated

Information technology tells us that the expression Do not be afraid was repeated nearly 400 times in the speeches given by John Paul II. But more than the number of times, it is the circumstances in which this invitation, given for the first time in Saint Peters Square on the 22nd October 1978, was applied that really strike you. The Latin-American bishops heard it during their meeting at Puebla; John Paul II shouted it during that difficult journey in Poland in 1983; he repeated it forcefully to two million young people at the World Youth Day celebrations in 2000. But it is also the title given the volume of conversations he had with André Frossard (1983) and the subtitle of the manuscript sent to Vittorio Messori with his answers to the interview questions, contained in the book Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994).
It is an invitation that John Paul II repeated everywhere: in Europe confronted by secularisation and to the young Churches battling the drama of poverty; from the stages of the huge stadiums I the United States of America to the beaches of the islands of Seychelles. But these words were addressed more often to the people who had suffered greatly throughout their history: in April 1977 at Sarajevo and in 1998 as soon as he set foot on Cuban soil.
It is an invitation that John Paul II had put into the hands and hearts of all with whom he spoke: from the Cardinals in the first consistory to every baptised person through his Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici; it is present in the letter to families and addressed to all people of good will since the first message for the World Day of Peace.
But above all, it is the call that he never ceased to direct strongly to young people. In his message for the World Day of Peace in 1985 we find it repeated seven times.
But he was speaking about himself when he asserted: I told myself that I should not be afraid…. And this is exactly how it was! With the authority of one who lived the Gospel without compromise, he demonstrated until his final moment that he was not afraid because he had given himself totally to Christ.

09.04.2005- Brazil
Marist Economes in Brazil

More than twenty-three brothers and laypeople, representing the Finance Offices of three Marist Provinces in Brazil and the Administration Offices related to the Provinces and the District of Amazônia, gathered for the Meeting of Marist Finance Departments of Brazil in Porto Alegre. The main objective of the meeting was to analyse the administrative and financial management of each region and to look for solutions and common projects.
The subjects discussed included: philanthropy, the System of Social Assistance, school insurance, commercial partners for the financing and licensing of software, social equality and the policy of rebates in school fees. One of the concerns of the participants is continuing the work of reorganisation of the new Provinces.
For the Provincial Econome of the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Sul, Brother Délcio Balestrin, We need to look to integrate our work throughout the country. It is easier to realise common projects when there is strength in common. It is the way to unify our procedures and to find unity within the Province itself. We need strategies to render Marist education viable and to confront an education that is purely commercial. Many only aim for profit, but Marist schools look to the integral formation of citizens.
The Provincial Econome of the Marist Province of Rio Grande do Sul, Brother Lauro Hochscheidt, hopes that at the national level of Brasil, the Administration Offices can become aware of the existing reality in the administrative and financial domains, in order to find common solutions that may have great value for the Marist mission in the country.
The sharing of experiences and the attempt to walk together will give weight to Marist unity, claims Brother Joaquim Oliveira, the Provincial Econome of the Marist Province of Brasil Centro-Norte.
For the Marists of the District of Amazônia, the realities they must face are a little different to the others. In the words of Brother Gentil Meneguzzi, the District Econome, Our presence here is important in order to know what the situation is in Brazil and to try to find solutions for ours.

11.04.2005- Switzerland
Marist Brothers Join Franciscans International in NGO Partnership

The Marist Brothers and Franciscans International announce the formation of a major new Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) partnership.
In their new joint venture with Franciscans International, the Marist Brothers will specifically focus on advocacy efforts related to childrens rights and the right to education. Franciscans International is the Franciscan voice at the United Nations (UN) - working to influence decisions that are made by the international community, particularly policies concerning the poor, the promotion and protection of human rights, the environment and peace.
As part of the partnership, the Marist Brothers will present co-sponsored interventions; obtain assistance and facilitation on advocacy initiatives with governments, NGOs and UN agencies; receive reports of UN meetings that are of importance to the delegation; and have access to administrative services in the Geneva, Switzerland-based office.
The Marist Brothers count as a blessing our new relationship with Franciscans International. Prophetic efforts on the part of those associated with Franciscans International over so many years serves as a model for all Church people working to influence international policy in light of Gospel principles. We welcome this opportunity and look forward to our work together, remarked Brother Seán Sammon, FMS, the Superior General of the Marist Brothers of the Schools.
The partnership between the Marist Brothers and Franciscans International is part of a long-term strategic plan to develop a network of faith-based organisations at the UN. Presently, the Dominicans for Justice and Peace and the International Catholic Migration Commission collaborate as organisations within this network. Franciscans International will also aid the Marist Brothers in obtaining Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) status at the UN.
Inspired by Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, Franciscan men and women - religious and secular - serve in schools, hospitals, Justice and Peace offices, shelters and other services for the poor. There are nearly 1.2 million Franciscans in over 140 countries around the world. Franciscans International is sponsored by the Conference of the Franciscan Family - representing the Friars Minor, Capuchins, Conventuals, TOR friars, Secular Franciscans and the IFC-TOR - meaning that all Franciscans are members of the organisation.

12.04.2005- Vatican
The Marian thread through all his life

In speaking of the origins of my priestly vocation, I cannot forget the Marian thread. The veneration of the Mother of God in its traditional form came to me from my family and the parish of Wadowice… On the hill there was a Carmelite monastery and from here spread the devotion to the Carmelite scapular… When I was in Krakow, I joined a group of the Living Rosary in the Salesian parish where there was a particular devotion to Mary the Helper… I was convinced that Mary leads us to Christ, but in this period I started to understand that also Christ leads us to his Mother… There was a time during which I questioned my worship of Mary, believing that it compromised the supreme worship due to Christ. But I found help in a book written by Saint Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort… Yes, Mary draws us closer to Christ, leads us to Him. This explained the origin of Totus Tuus. It is the abbreviation of the longer form of the prayer of trust in the Mother of God: Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea Tua sunt. Accipio te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor Tuum, Maria. (Gift and Mystery)
Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (cf. Mt 24, 42) - these words remind me of the last call, which will happen at the moment the Lord wishes. I desire to follow Him, and I desire that everything making up part of my earthly life should prepare me for this moment. I do not know when the moment will come, but like everything else, I place it too in the hands of the Mother of my Master: Totus Tuus. In the same maternal Hands I leave everything and everyone with whom my life and vocation have linked me. In these Hands I leave, above all, the Church, as well as my Nation and all humanity. I thank everyone. Of everyone I ask forgiveness. I also ask for prayer, that the Mercy of God may appear greater than my weakness and unworthiness. (Spiritual Testament)
As Marists we certainly cannot forget the words that John Paul II addressed to us in Saint Peters Square on that unforgettable day, the 18th April 1999: I am pleased to greet you pilgrims who have come for the canonisation of Marcellin Champagnat… May the Blessed Virgin Mary be for us all our Ordinary Resource, as Father Champagnat liked to say with confidence! All for Jesus through Mary, all to Mary for Jesus! May our Marian spirituality be inspired by the new saints motto…

14.04.2005- Brazil
Meeting of leaders of the Marist Provinces of Brasil

The leaders of the three Brazilian Provinces and of the District of Amazônia met at Porto Alegre from the 13th to the 18th March with the view of creating an interprovincial organisation. The rules of this organisation had been fixed in October 2004 and needed to be studied. The interprovincial and Provincial Secretariats organigramme was updated through the insistence of the sharing of responsibilities: a Brother co-ordinator of Consecrated Life, a Lay co-ordinator of Mission and a Lay co-ordinator of Management.
Regarding the physical structure, the interprovincial Office will be situated in Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, in a place yet to be determined. At this meeting, the participants decided on the commissions to be developed and the first actions to be taken in order to confront the Marist challenges in this country.
As well as focussing on the areas of management, mission and consecrated life, various topics were discussed including an official Marist symbol and the visit of the Superior General, Brother Seán Sammon, to the Provinces and District of Brazil in 2006. We also attempted to evaluate the steps taken since the restructuring of the Provinces. The actions and forms of management will be discussed and compared at a future meeting during which the participation of all those responsible for the administration of the Brazilian Provinces will be very important.
The spirit and the results of the meeting were summarised by the words of the Provincial of the Province of Rio Grande do Sul, Brother Roque Salet: I see the path taken up to the present with joy and hope. The continuation of the process is moving from a union on paper to a union in spirit, union of hearts and union of ideas. Of what use are the physical, economic and financial structures if there is no commitment in spirit and soul? The central question is life. We need to continue in unity, by respecting the differences, by being Champagnat today and in uniting our strength, our projects and our ideas.

15.04.2005- Philippines
Filipino Marist Youth gather to celebrate

More than 600 students including their teacher moderators from different Marist Brothers schools of the Philippine Province gathered at Notre Dame of Marbel University gym in Koronadal City, province of South Cotabato to celebrate Marist Vocation Year through prayers, songs, dances, visits to the poor communities, exhibits of photo of their schools outreach activities to the poor and lots of fun-filled activities aside from listening to various speakers including Bro. Theoneste Kalisa, fms, General Counselor and the chair of the Vocation Commission. The two-day activities dubbed as Marist Youth Congress capsulized the theme Marcellins Dream: Live it Today.
One of the special features of the Marist Youth Congress is the Marist Songfest where Marist students and alumni participated in the original song writing contest. One of the criteria in determining the winning piece is its faithfulness to the theme Marcellins Dream: Live it Today.
Towards the end of the congress the participants, through the assistance of the Marist Vocation Year Oversight Committee, formulated their preamble and resolutions. The Marist Youth Congress 2005 preamble states the following:
We, the participants of the Marist Youth Congress 2005, inspired by the charism of St. Marcellin Champagnat believe that the youth is a potent force in the evangelizing mission of the church; that to be responsive to the call of the times, every faithful must be filled with confidence and renewed sense of purpose to truly make incarnate the gospel values in our lives; that simplicity of lifestyle, humility, modesty and love of work as exemplified by St. Marcellin are important values in transforming society; that the value of prayer and love of the Eucharist are basic dimensions in strengthening the faithfuls Christian Vocation and at the same time sources of religious vocations; and that St. Marcellins charism is forever relevant and everyone especially the Marist Youth is called and challenged to continuously witness his dreams.
Furthermore, the participants of the Marist Youth Congress 2005 commit themselves to the following: to be an evangelized evangelizer to our peers and to the community; to participate actively in all endeavors that promote holistic development of societies and renewal of the church; to live and radiate the charism of St. Marcellin in our own unique ways; to work for vocations in the church most especially for the Marist Vocation; to embrace a Christian life centered on the Eucharist; and to value love of work and concern for the least favored as a way of becoming Marist.

16.04.2005- Vatican
I saw an enormous human carpet of celebrating people (WYD 2000)

No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them. Those Days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations.
In the young there is, in fact, an immense potential for good and for creative possibility. Whenever I meet them in my travels throughout the world, I wait first of all to hear what they want to tell me about themselves, about their society, about their Church. And I always point out: What I am going to say to you is not as important as what you are going to say to me. You will not necessarily say it to me in words; you will say it to me by your presence, by your song, perhaps by your dancing, by your skits, and finally by your enthusiasm.
We need the enthusiasm of the young. We need their joie de vivre. It is not true that the Pope brings the young from one end of the world to the other. It is they who bring him. Actually, in truth, it is not the Pope who is being sought out at all. The one being sought out is Christ. The very day of the inauguration of my papal ministry, on the 22nd October 1978, at the conclusion of the liturgy, I said to the young people gathered in Saint Peters Square: You are the hope of the Church and of the world. You are my hope. (Crossing the Threshold of Hope)
Whoever wants to investigate why John Paul II fascinated young people so much needs to reflect on the values that he inevitably passed on: endurance is stronger than appearances. The young people of every generation have always walked along the beam of life maintaining a precarious balance, risking falling at some point or another. Karol Wojtyla was able to break through ancient barriers and find the open spaces of imagination and freedom to be himself and in his own time a messenger of Christ. Thus, he showed that what counts more than communication, more than just words, is presence: being there to propose goals in life.
He never asked: Where have you been? He only ever asked: Where do you want to go? In fact it was he who showed the way, the way that he had travelled not so much as teacher but as witness. And the drive and enthusiasm that he succeeded in passing on was the top quality fuel needed to continue to account for the hope present in each one of us.

17.04.2005- Vatican
World day of prayer for vocations

Dear adolescents and young people, it is to you in a particular way that I renew the invitation of Christ to put out into the deep. You find yourselves having to make important decisions for your future. I still hold in my heart the memory of the many opportunities I have had over the years to meet with young people, who have now become adults, some of them your own parents perhaps, or priests or religious, your teachers in the faith. I saw them, happy as young people should be, but also thoughtful, because they were conscious of a desire to give full meaning to their lives. I came to recognise more and more how strong is the attraction in young people to the values of the spirit, and how sincere is their desire for holiness. Young people need Christ, but they also know that Christ chose to be in need of them.
Dear young men and women! Trust Christ; listen attentively to his teachings, fix your eyes on his face, persevere in listening to his Word. Allow Him to focus your search and your aspirations, all your ideals and the desires of your heart - John Paul II - Message for the world day of prayer for vocations

18.04.2005- Italy
Marcellins dream: Live it today!

Six years have gone by since Marcellins canonisation. The light and warmth of that grace-filled event continue to bless our Marist Family. I enjoy listening to men and women who want to be Champagnats today. That might seem like just a trendy slogan or a shooting star springing from the excitement of the 18th April 1999.
To me, its something much more than that, and it continues to develop. It is showing itself in deeds rather than words. I know people who have given up promising careers to dedicate themselves to the pastoral care of souls. How can we not be amazed by the fact that Saint Marcellin is the fountain of inspiration for more and more laypeople, inspiring them to take on commitments in solidarity, do volunteer work, and care for marginalised children? How can we not be overjoyed by their choice to be in education, encouraging young people in their search for God? How can we doubt that these laypeople who are choosing to live out their Baptism in Marys way and Marcellins footsteps are truly a treasure for our Institute?
We brothers feel proud and happy to share the gift of Marcellin with laypeople, but sometimes we just stand around wondering what we should do about this new and hope-filled reality. Maybe we need someone to come along and shake us up, make us shed the fears that are holding us back, and tell us what was told to the Apostles, Why do you stand here looking up at the sky?
Let us rejoice, because Saint Marcellin belongs to us all, especially the young!

19.04.2005- Vatican
But it will be daunting to appear at this window

None of us can ever forget how on that last Easter Sunday of his life, the Holy Father, marked by suffering, came once more to the window of the Apostolic Palace and one last time gave his blessing Urbi et Orbi.
After twenty-seven years of Karol Wojtyla, it will be daunting for the next Pope to appear at that window to which Ratzinger referred in his homily during John Paul IIs funeral. The people of Rome and of the world, who followed the funeral, gave us a message: we do not want to remain orphans.
The millions of pilgrims, as the world leaders did, returned to their houses, the televisions were turned off. It was a Requiem not an apotheosis, and all, including the Cardinals, were mourning an exceptional father. The Church is not a Star System governed by a Pontifex divus: there is only one God and Wojtyla was a devoted servant of God, Bishop of Rome and thus Pastor Pastorum. And if there is a John Paul III and even a Vatican III, they will not be in the sense of a Napoleon III and a Second Empire.
And while the Church in mourning appears to be perfect in words and choreography, now is the time to think to the future to show that the perennial youthfulness of the Church is consistent with its antiquity. The Christian world is waiting for a man to appear at this window and in this square, a man who knows how to govern an institution, but above all else who can be in a position to pass on Truth, that capacity to enthuse hearts and infuse energy to give witness to the One who is and always will be the Way, the Truth and the Life. It will be difficult to appear at this window, but whatever be the face of the new Pope, the formation he has received, the language that he speaks… it will always be the words of Jesus that are his support: You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of the underworld can never overpower it.

21.04.2005- Italy
The official site of the Institute celebrates its first birthday

A new edition of the official website of the Marist Brothers was launched one year ago. The first edition appeared during the General Chapter in 2001, its objective being to publish the news of the Marist Bulletin more effectively.
Once the Chapter finished, the need was felt for a webpage that reflected well the complex reality of the Institute and one that would make Marist works well known. After some intense work in the Institutes Department of Communications, the website was launched on the previous anniversary of Marcellins canonisation, the 18th April 2004.
After one year, the response to this site remains very positive. We are able to maintain a link between the different realities of the Marist family through the Internet in a concrete way. Each day, around 800 people visit our website and search through on average 5 pages, thus giving a total of 4000 pages visited each day. During the first year, 200,000 visits were made to the champagnat.org site to visit a million pages. Thanks to the work of translators and correspondents, brothers and laypeople, we have been able to refresh the homepage every two days. As well as the news that appears on the homepage, which has already reached 175 news items, a lot of other news is published elsewhere so that the website is enriched with new material nearly daily.
Another important communication tool that is found in the website is the Marist Bulletin. The weekly online edition is sent by e-mail to 3,400 people, in the four official languages of the Institute. The first edition was sent during Christmas 2001 and today we have reached Number 191. All of these editions have been archived and can be consulted on our website.
A first step has been achieved. The task now consists of continuing to improve our site in order to attain the goals we are seeking that, according to the theory, view the means of communication as a long process driving humanity since the time of the Tower of Babel, when the confusion of languages and its reciprocal incomprehension reigned, until the day of Pentecost, when universal communication dominated despite the diversity of languages. That is why we have started a process of evaluation, in which we invite you to participate.

25.04.2005- Sydney
The Novitiate returns to Mittagong

The Marist Brothers opened their first school in Australia in Harrington Street, The Rocks, Sydney on the 8th April 1872. Some three months later, on the 16th July, the Novitiate was begun. The Sydney Novitiate was given formal approbation on the 6th February 1876 and Brother Ludovic was officially appointed Master of Novices on the 16th June 1877. In 1878, due to an increase in numbers, the Novitiate moved to a twelve-acre property at Hunters Hill, where St Josephs College still operates today.
The Novitiate remained at Hunters Hill until November 1906. On the 26th November 1906, the Novitiate was formally transferred to the property at Mittagong, named Our Lady of the Hermitage in honour of our Mother House. Mittagong is 110km south of Sydney at the gateway to the New South Wales Southern Highlands. The Novitiate remained at this site until December 1984, when it was decided to transfer it once again to Sydney. During this time, it had welcomed and trained many eager novices, including Brothers Quentin Duffy, Hilary Conroy, Charles Howard, Jeff Crowe and one of the present General Councillors, Peter Rodney.
On the 12th March 2005, a ceremony took place once more at Mittagong during which Justin Golding was formally accepted into the Novitiate. Present at this ceremony were Brother John Thompson, Provincial of the Province of Sydney, Brother Anthony Shears, Novice Master, Brother Darren Burge, present Province Director of Vocations and Marist Life, Brother Peter Ernst, the previous Province Vocations Director and the brothers from the two communities presently living on the Mittagong property. During the ceremony, Brother John presented Justin with a Marist insignia and Brother Anthony presented him with a copy of the Constitutions, symbolising his formal acceptance as a novice.
It is fitting in this Marist Vocation Year that the Province of Sydney can welcome a novice once more into its ranks, and that nearly 100 years after the first occasion, the Novitiate has once more returned to Mittagong.

26.04.2005- Colombia
REMAR Youth Easter at the Marist school in Cali

From the 23rd to the 27th March, we celebrated the REMAR Youth Easter celebrations at the Marist school in Cali, Colombia.
Remar is a youth ministry movement to promote Marist vocations in Latin America. It started in Colombia in 1977. The movements formation stages include a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus during the second and third years. This was the reason for the gathering of 170 young people from different parts of the country to share their lives and their hopes in the light of the Gospel and the Pascal event.
The Remar Youth Easter was the occasion for launching the second phase of this movement for those young people who are in the post-school stage: at university or already employed.
We truly experienced a festival where the joy of young people meeting together was expressed in song and dance, through the music of Kairoi, reflection, games, the sharing of meals and places of rest, as well as being a profound experience of each of the Holy Week ceremonies.
It is the Lord!… This is the acclamation in the Gospel of John when the resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples. We can also proclaim this through the way in which we live the Easter experience. It is the Lord… who was present amongst us; in the joy of the Resurrection, we commit ourselves to live today Marcellins dream of making Jesus Christ known and loved.

27.04.2005- Mexico
Sharing the faith during Holy Week

Students from the Colegio Cervantes Costa Rica de Guadalajara, Jalisco (México Occidental), dedicated themselves totally to sharing their faith with the people of six small rural communities during Holy Week.
Having prepared themselves for some months beforehand, these young people experienced Gods work among the poorest and humblest people of our state of Jalisco. Truly God was there, talking with them and through them. Despite their lack of knowledge in some areas, they brought with them their boundless creativity and a heartfelt longing to share in the life of this people, and thus they themselves experienced the work of the Spirit through their work and commitment.
During the entire week they lived in the houses and places offered by the people, enjoying the simple food they generously provided. Some places were without water and light. The students, teachers and brothers all were touched by the sincere love shown to them by the children, young people and adults during their work in these communities.
Their work with the people of these communities included catechesis, discussions, games, socials, visits to the houses of the people and the preparation of the Holy Week ceremonies. They were also accompanied by two priests of the parish to which these communities belong.
Weariness, fleas, the bare earth, the sun, the danger of being bitten by scorpions were not enough to exhaust the enthusiasm and dedication of all these young people who had encouraged the openness and total commitment of this people, seen in the emotional goodbyes marked by tears and hearts touched by love, after having celebrated Christs resurrection.
Each person experienced the fact that God is passionate about you and me, whether we be rich or poor, sinner or saint, loved by others or not.

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