The Marist provinces of Europe have celebrated Holy Week with ‘real’ meetings after two years of pandemic. The pedagogy of presence is one of the defining characteristics of Marists.
This April, on the occasion of Easter, presence has been – literally – the most characteristic feature in the activities and meetings that have taken place around Holy Week 2022, after two years of pandemic.
In the case of Maristas Compostela, young people from the Camino, Fuente and Horizonte stages have once again lived their Easter experiences. Tui and Vouzela hosted the Easter Road on Palm Sunday weekend, with their eyes set on Jesus of Nazareth, making small stops on their life’s journey and becoming aware of the steps taken throughout their daily lives.
Fuente and Horizonte also met in Tui to live Holy Week, dedicating time to listening to the heart, sharing the life that springs up within us and contemplating Jesus in his Passion and Resurrection. The days were filled with songs, games, experiences at each stage and celebrations.
In the Province of L’Hermitage, the Easter of Las Avellanas, a young Easter with almost 50 years of history, was lived with overflowing enthusiasm. This year the Easter was again celebrated in person with almost 200 people in the monastery of the same name, most of them from Catalonia, but also with groups of young people from Greece. The objective was achieved: to renew our gaze and live as young people the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
Families also had their space to celebrate Easter. At Llinars del Vallès, near Barcelona, a group of 26 families (about 100 participants) met with the Marist community there to share dynamics and celebrations. Boys, girls and young people from the youth movements also celebrated the great feast of Christians in different group outings. Outings of sharing, reflection, celebration and fun.
At Maristas Mediterránea, Easter has been more than just a week. Since the beginning of April they have celebrated and carried out pre-Easter and Easter outings: the boys and girls of GA1-2-3-4 (5th, 6th of Primary and 1st and 2nd of ESO) from the schools of Alicante, Cartagena, Denia, Murcia, Valencia began pre-Easter in Guardamar and in Xátiva. A week later, the rest of the schools in Spain (Badajoz, Bonanza, Huelva, Sanlúcar La Mayor, Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada, Jaén and Málaga). At the same time, the GA4 and M1 levels (2nd and 3rd ESO) held their activities in Loja, Bonanza and Jaén.
After the pre-Easter, the older young people, March and Community (3rd and 4thESO, Baccalaureate and university students), began their own Easter Triduum experience. From different places (Guardamar, Bonanza, Jaen and Cordoba) but united to celebrate Easter. It has moved and shared a lot of life, with almost a thousand people: almost 750 young participants from 11 to 24 years old and almost 200 catechists and companions, from 18 to 80 years old. They all took away with them a Christian experience and a commitment: “go out to be salt”, a motto and an attitude for their pastoral activities and the world, to which they can go out and contribute.
The Iberian Province also had high participation numbers, with some 640 participants and 110 animators. The Easter of Welcome was the first one, where boys and girls of 5th and 6th grades of Primary School gathered in Mohernando (Guadalajara), Lardero (La Rioja) and in the schools of Navalmoral and Talavera. Afterwards, the young people of the Knowledge and Growth stages (ESO) experienced Easter again in Mohernando and in Orduña (Vizcaya). Finally, during Holy Week, a group of about forty young university students celebrated Easter, as well as a family Easter, all at the Marist house in Lardero.
This last meeting is one of the most important in Maristas Ibérica, since brothers, relatives of brothers, associates, fraternity members, educators and families gather to celebrate the Easter Triduum and to remember the immense love of God and the certainty that He will always be with us. In keeping with this year’s theme “Listen”, Marist Easter also takes time to stop and listen to the world, to listen to God as a family in order to build bridges and create networks that sustain us.
In general, the time of Holy Week has served to celebrate and to give thanks. To sing a deep THANK YOU for the dedication, devotion, time and enthusiasm of all the people involved. Thanks to the participants for their trust and willingness to attend; to the teams for their work of attention, service and listening; and to the Brothers for their accompaniment and testimony.
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