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18 June

St. Elizabeth of Schoenau
1900: the first Brothers leave for Bom Principio, Brazil

Marist Calendar - June

Marist Bulletin - Number 205


The second course for Community Leaders

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From the 28th April to the 26th June 2005, a group of brothers participated in a course for Community Leaders at Escorial. At the end of this time, we asked them to share their experiences with the larger Marist family. We thank them for their openness and especially because they accepted to summarise in a few lines the richness of these two months of their lives.

Brother Raúl Figuera
I have renewed hope for living as a Marist Brother. I would like to share this and help my brothers to rekindle this hope that is born from a life that is full of meaning. One of the fruits that I would like to share is the joy of living as a brother.

Brother Félix Ortega
The most important aspect of the meeting was firstly the person of each brother. In each one of them, I discerned the desire, the hope and the will to share Marist community life as wished by Saint Marcellin. I would even say with insistence that we feel responsible for the life of our confrères in community.
As the course progressed, I felt two very pressing calls: a) to ensure that every day the community must have preference over any other activity entrusted to us, b) to defend my community and care for it, by accepting and helping each of the brothers whom God has called to share my religious life.

Brother João Carlos do Prado
A profound institutional experience. A time for examining the Marist reality of the Province and to perceive the calls of God for the future.

Brother Saturnino González Bajo
I am convinced that the Marist community life is worth being lived fully, that it is possible to be a Marist Brother today, that every person, and more so for a religious, must always be busy about knowing and searching for God.
The second idea is that we all need each other; thats why we must accept ourselves as we are and love ourselves as we are each day.

Brother Óscar Martín Vicario
During our courses, the idea of finding a treasure (the treasure) often came back to me. It is a fundamental idea in our journey as a person, a Christian and a Marist. In effect, I feel that the most important part for building community is by discovering myself, rediscovering each brother and the community as a treasure, a talent, a gift (because where your treasure is, so will also be your heart).
Nobody changes in a day, or in two months of a course… That is perhaps why I did not value the contents (though they were very good), or the many skills that I learned (techniques, processes, dynamics) as much as the experiences of brotherhood, caring for my brother, contemplation, caring attitudes, being attentive, a new way of doing… (Evangelising our senses).
Whoever has a friend has a treasure (and he has one more brother). That is the challenge of living the little or the lot that I learnt and understood. Because the community leader is called above all else to be human and humanising, searching for meaning and for God, on a journey but also as a companion on the journey. (And to exalt life)

Brother Jorge Gaio
Fraternal life is essential for strengthening personal, community, spiritual and apostolic growth. In this environment of fraternity are also my encounter and relationship with God, with my brothers, with humanity… and this ambiance produces adhesion.

Brother Adalberto (Beto)
I take from this experience the joy of being brother among brothers and the richness of sharing life. It is good to feel that we belong to the same family and that we share the same dreams.
Religious life passes through crises, as do all other modes of life but it loses neither its importance nor its beauty nor its meaning. It is worth consecrating yourself to the service of life so that it is experienced to the full.

Brother Miguel Ángel (MAEB)
The joy of being a Little Brother of Mary. The cordial and fraternal encounter with my brothers. Journeying and dreaming together! The enthusiasm to have celebrated the life of faith with the Spirit of Life.

Brother Ignaci Pruna
Being one with my brothers, being in harmony since we can go very far together in the challenge of uniting our lives and of personal and community growth. (GROWTH: human and Christian development in the way of Jesus Christ).

Brother Eliseudo
A lot of satisfaction and joy about the hospitality received during the two months of the course; the fraternisation experienced, the respect for the mystery of each person were very important attitudes that focus on the good of the other.
Our name as brother is sublime and, for that, we must take care of it with a lot of affection and tenderness, leaving everything so that we can live together in this new Marist family which is our only richness. Being for the other brings much joy and peace.

Brother Jesús García-Garayo
What I have felt during these two months at Escorial is the impetus to be more responsible for my community life. I would tell my confrères in community that we need each other to remain faithful to the Lord and to grow spiritually in community.

Brother Antidio Bolivar.
Of all the precious memories that I have, the greatest the most beautiful and that which I hold close to my heart is the richness and the life of each brother with whom I shared the renewing force of so many graces placed into our hands during this time. I also know the force and the patience to know myself a little more, to take myself on and jump into life in a creative way - just as I am.
Another gift that I take with me is the life that suggests to me at every moment to love my brothers and to accept them as they are and to start form the reality of the situation to gently build the pathway as a brother.
Finally, I take with me a lot of documents, but, and above all, I want to thank sincerely those who filled my eyes and heart with optimism and also realism to continue to speak freely about the Marist life of today.

Brother Jaume Bofarull
It is possible today to live Marcellins dream in our communities. Our ways of entering into relationship and living may differ because fraternity is possible. The past is without importance, only the future remains. And it depends on the life responses that we give now. It is possible to be reborn. It is possible to renew everything. To be a Little Brother of Mary is to be passionate. I have seen that at Escorial.

Brother Reinaldo Becerra.
I feel challenged by the reality of community life through reflection, prayer and fraternal living during this course. I want to share the gift of being brother and the vital importance of learning to grow in communication, acceptance and confidence.

Brother Dionísio R. Rodrigues
The most important thing for me during these moments has been living in an international community and being able to share what we have as the most important as people: our values, our limitations… Noting that we not only live in a family (effective) but also that we are a family (affective). It is there where we must reaffirm that the charism, left to us by Marcellin, is a gift from God as an evangelical presence for the world.

Brother Pedro Martínez
This course has been for me a necessary stop to face the inertia of life. Re-finding the things that I have been neglecting. The possibility of entering myself to discover how God acts in my lifes story and for that to say thank you. The spirit for continuing to live brotherhood with my brothers in community and with the people with whom I come into contact.

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