A tandem journey into the future
The 6th Provincial Chapter took place in Freising, Germany from March 28th – 1st April. It was attended by Marist Brothers and lay people, whom we can perhaps now collectively call, “New Marists”, from across the Province. Other guests included Brother Emili Turú, Superior General, Brother João Carlos do Prado, Director of Mission Secretariat, Brother Ernesto Sánchez, General Councillor in Rome, and Brother Gabriel Villa-Real Tapias from the L’Hermitage Province. In all they were a vibrant, energetic and representative group of Marists.
The facilitation process of the Chapter was a technique called “future search”. The Chapter took us on a journey through our past, present and future. Our journey was a reflection on both our Marist and personal life; for most the two were intertwined.
Appropriately the mass and a morning prayer focused on the Emmaus story and this allowed us to gather our reflections from throughout the process and focus on where we are now on our Marist Journey and what our personal Marist mission is for the future. Some of the most common areas for the future highlighted were: lay leadership, spirituality, international connections, care of the Brothers and mission on new frontiers.
The process encouraged us to be creative in our focus for the future. From this came lots of fun, laughter and a wealth of imagination, the most memorable one being the tandem journey. We depicted the image of all Marists (Brothers and Lay) cycling alongside each other on a journey carrying a backpack which contains all the wonderful elements of our mission, which are energizing and fulfilling our work as Marists. Our creativity sparked ideas, allowed for ease of relationships, created a family spirit, was memorable and most of all fun! A must for all Marist activities for all ages!
The wide variety of Marists in attendance allowed for a broad knowledge base, which created a well-informed picture for tasks going into the future. The key recommendations for the Provincial Council that naturally flowed from our journey into the future were unanimous.
The Provincial Chapter recommended the Provincial Council looks into the following five key areas:
1. Collaboration with CEM (Marist European Conference) to develop proposals for networking of schools and projects in Europe.
2. Planning formative programmes and events to promote Marist Leadership.
3. Developing new structures to facilitate all Marists in the Province to discern, to decide and to act together for Mission.
4. Finding ways to support and develop projects for young adults.
5. Deepening and promoting our Marist Spirituality and our way of being Marist in the world.
Brother Emili asked us to focus on the areas of community, care, courage and commitment. Asking us to have the courage to be committed and inviting us to take risks and to go beyond our fears. Now looking to the five chosen recommendations, I ask that we are committed in our mission and creative in how we carry it out, doing so in tandem with each other, in a new way together as Marists.
Director of Marist Education