19 March 2015

Belgium


A Marist encounter in Mouscron

For five years, Brothers from Habay-Arlon have met with some 5th Year Secondary pupils from our former school at Mouscron, the “Institut des Frères Maristes”, during their annual retreat.

    

This year, the “Montagne Year”, having been invited by the school, four Brothers: Robert Thunus, Yves Vanderplancke, Roberto Di Troia, and myself, left Southern Belgium and headed for this town situated in the north of the country near the French border. Although the Brothers left this area 16 years ago, a remarkable “Spirit of Champagnat” still remains in this school. The school Pastoral Team, led by Mr David Mylle, teacher and permanent deacon, had prepared for this encounter with great enthusiasm and care.

For two days – Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March – we met with the Primary and Secondary pupils in their classes and in the room specially prepared for the Marist Exhibition. Beforehand, the pupils had watched a video on the life of Marcellin. We were able to answer the questions posed by the very interested children and young people.

The programme ended on Friday evening after lessons, when we shared our impressions with members of the Management Team and different departments as well as a number of teachers and tutors. Brother Robert, with the help of a slide-show, presented the elements which make up the Marist vision of education. He said a few words about the teaching values that are lived in the school already, and encouraged them to continue to pursue them with the same enthusiasm.

His Lordship Guy Harpigny, Bishop of the diocese of Tournai, closed this marvellous event with a Eucharistic celebration, specially prepared for the occasion. A hundred crosses made by the primary children were blessed and will be placed in all the classrooms.

At the reception which followed this celebration, Mr André Denauw, chairman of the Board, said a few words to thank everyone for the two days that had been lived out in a beautiful Marist spirit.

In the evening we returned home overjoyed and thanking the Lord, Marcellin and Mary for this Marist dynamism which is still present in this school, where the Brothers sowed the good seed for 110 years.

All this augers well for new initiatives at Mouscron and in other Marist schools in Belgium.

Brother Albert André

 

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