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18 June

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

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Marist Bulletin - Number 27



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Brothers Seán Sammon and Luis García Sobrado lead orientation sessions
From September 10th to the 20th, the General House hosted orientation meetings for new Provincials and District Superiors. Twenty-three brothers attended, having taken office after the last meeting of this kind in 2001. Some came from recently created Administrative Units. Most of them first met each other when they were delegates and worked together for a month and a half at last year’s General Chapter.
A series of intensive meetings included presentations by Brothers Seán Sammon and Luis García Sobrado, as well as reports by representatives of the various services provided by the General Administration – the Secretary General’s office and those of the Econome General, Postulator, Solidarity, the Archives, and Publications.
On September 12th there was a Mass and supper at the General House of the Marist Missionary Sisters (SMSM) for the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. It was an occasion for members of the four Marist Institutes to celebrate as one their shared Marian roots. Sunday the 15th was a day or rest.
For the Provincials and District Superiors this was an important time for prayer, reflection, receiving and exchanging information, and also for having opportunities to confer individually with Brothers Seán and Luis.
Guidelines from the 20th General Chapter served as the backdrop for these discussions on animating and governing Provinces and Districts in the world of today.

Also at the General House
Immediately following the meeting for new Provincials, the twelve Provincials from Europe gathered at the General House from September 21st to the 23rd. They devoted their time to working on restructuring plans for Marist Europe, the Statutes of the European Conference of Provincials, missionary activity in Eastern Europe, how to instill Marist values in the young, Novitiate programs, ongoing formation, and financial concerns.

Unsettling news
In a letter dated September 26th, Brother Manuel Jorques, Provincial of Levante in eastern Spain, writes that “the situation in Ivory Coast, especially in Bouake, is grave, confusing, and worrisome. I ask everyone to pray to the Trinity and our Good Mother for the Ivorian people and our Brothers there. I’m staying in touch with them on a daily basis. I’ll keep you up-to-date.”

6th Encounter for MAS
24 brothers met at the Marist secondary school in Carcavelos, Portugal from July 31st to August 7th to celebrate the 6th Encounter of the Marist Apostolic Spirituality Network. Brother Emili Turú from the General Council attended this gathering. Considerable time was devoted to reflecting on the Message of the 20th General Chapter.

France and Catalunya
Francheville, near Lyon, became the geographical heart of the Marist Provinces of Beaucamps-St. Genis, Notre Dame de l’Hermitage, and Catalunya from July 25th to 29th with a view toward restructuring for the future.
About 200 brothers took part in the meeting, marked by a variety of activities. Brother Seán Sammon was present, along with Brothers Emili Turú and Peter Rodney from the General Council. During his talk, Seán stated that “above all, restructuring means a getting back to the heart of things…, an key moment in the renewal of our Marist life.”
The missioning ceremony for three of our brothers setting out for Algeria was an especially moving experience.

The Brothers are back
On September 8th, Brothers Aléx Gómez and Xema Rius from Catalunya, and Arturo Chávez from Central Mexico left Barcelona bound for Algeria, to renew our Marist presence there after an absence of several years following the death of Brother Henri Vergès.

New Province born
This new Province, the result of restructuring, came into existence on August 15th and brings together our brothers in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. 40 brothers and six lay people assembled for the first Provincial Chapter. In their greetings from the Chapter they affirm: “In confronting evidence of weariness and discouragement, fear and individualism, injustice and poverty, Santa María de los Andes serves as a prophetic sign of hope, communion, and a new and dynamic reality.” Brother Pedro Marcos is Provincial of this new Administrative Unit.

A Third Age program is now taking place in Manziana (about 40 miles north of Rome), from August 10th to October 10th. Twenty-two brothers from ten different countries are participating in a wide variety of activities. The average age of the group is about 73, but an open and youthful spirit is clearly in evidence.
This 2002 session is now concluding with a 10-day pilgrimage to the Hermitage and other sites sacred to Marists.

- The Publications service at the General House has just released a new video “Choose life.” The 27-minute tape summarizes the proceedings of the 20th General Chapter and includes a series of interviews with those who participated in it. The tape is available in five languages, with versions formatted in PAL, SECAM and NTSC.
- Marists in France have come out with a CD ROM entitled “Choisis la vie,” featuring songs based on the slogan of the 20th General Chapter.

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