Bicentenary of the Institute and #MillionMarists
On the 2nd January, our Marist Institute will celebrate the bicentenary of its foundation. The Marists of Champagnat have been preparing this historic event for three years making way towards a new beginning. As in a triduum, the three years are giving us the opportunity to reflect on three aspects of the Marist vocation: mission during the Montagne Year (2014-2015), communion in the Fourvière Year (2015-2016) and, as of August 2016, spirituality in the La Valla Year.
The celebration of the bicentenary will take place in 2017. At Institute level, the General Council has decided that this event will be celebrated on three different dates:
* On the 2nd January, a date that connects us with our past, the General Council will celebrate it in different places around the world to highlight the internationality of the Institute: in La Valla, in Nairobi, in Lujan (Argentina) and in Rome. Superior General Brother Emili Turú will be in Bangladesh, where he will attend the launching of a school for the sons and daughters of workers of tea plantations. On that day, he will connect with all Marists through a video message.
* On the 6th June, it will be celebrated in Rome to highlight our presence in the ecclesial community. On that day, the three volumes of the book History of the Institute will be presented and a photographic exhibition on The Institute Today will be launched.
* On the 8th September, it will be celebrated in Rionegro, Colombia, on the occasion of the opening of the General Chapter and representation of all Administrative Units of the Marist world. It will be a special time of thanksgiving, of request for forgiveness and, above all, of commitment to the future.
Aside from this proposal of the General Government, each Administrative Unit is organising a celebration for the bicentenary. The different initiatives that are being developed in the Marist world will be published on the website of the General House, www.champagnat.org. The communications office is preparing a video on Saint Marcellin, an application for Smartphones (APP) to highlight a “new beginning”, and is considering promoting other initiatives. One of them, being launched now, is the hashtag #MillionMarists.
It is proposed to use this hashtag on social networks and to get one million messages, showing in this way how the dream of Marcellin Champagnat, which began with two youths in the small house of La Valla, has grown out and reaches a large family made up of many Brothers and lay people.
It is hoped to create an important movement or trend in the networks, especially on those three important dates of the year: January 2, June 6 and September 8. We will show our unity using the channel of social networks and sending a message for the occasion of the Institute’s 200 years through #MillionMarists. We can spread this call in fraternities, in schools and in all areas of Marist mission.
The communications office of the General Administration asks the support of the Provinces and Districts to help spread this initiative.
Source: www.champagnat.org, news article of 1st December, 2016