After a year of cancellation and another year of meeting with many restrictions, the motto of the Meeting of Fraternities of the Iberian Province in Lardero (La Rioja) on September 17 and 18 could not be other than: WE SHARE HOPE AND JOY.
Ángel Fernández Lázaro outlined some guidelines to support this idea by reflecting on the Marist communities and their response to the call of the world to be JOYFUL AND HOPEFUL Fraternities and Communities. A call to not only keep our faith alive and warm but to be a bonfire that others try to approach to nourish the warmth of their Christian life. The echoes of these ideas rang in our ears and after some personal work, the enriching experience of meeting in groups with other fraternities.
Already on Saturday afternoon, wanting to open our eyes to other ecclesial realities, Raul and Laura, Piarist laymen, presented us the reality of the Piarists of the Emmaus Fraternities. Finding in them words like Community, Fraternity, Lay Ministry made us interested in their presentation and we saw ourselves reflected and confronted. Above all, it was a great opportunity to feel ourselves as a Church on the way, in search of answers.
But the afternoon had more surprises in store for us; a fun way of participating with the groups of young people in the search for our Marist cultural roots. By means of pictionary activities, dances, mimes and the like, we were able to “scratch” within ourselves to share with the young people our Marist enlightening lights: examples of love for Mary, of simplicity, of dedication. A true witness of closeness and union around the same table. Saturday closed with the Eucharist in which Fraternities, communities, young people and families met.
On Sunday, Brother Provincial Abel Muñoz presented the synthesis of the General Assembly.
He indicated to us the task of LOOKING BEYOND with a sensitive, prophetic, global, inclusive and hopeful look. To look to see reality and to respond with the clear objective of caring for the needy. A call to be bold and look to the future of the world of the Church and of the Marist world, facing the future together. Thus, he presented the ideas of the strategic plan: A FUTURE WITH YOU and the lines of action that underpin it: Spirituality, Charismatic Family, Education and Evangelization, Transformation of Society, Care for People Management of Change. We feel fortunate and grateful for this contribution of light and transparency.
The experiential formative offer that the Laity Team has proposed, together with a pulse-taking of the progress of our fraternities, has put an end to a meeting lived in fullness, hopeful, stimulating and life-generating for our fraternities and their local realities, where we understand that our work is to generate life and be a witness of the Gospel.
By: Lucía de la Iglesia