Bicentenary: The Table speaks…
On 7th January, 2017, a group of around 60 – 70 people met in Nijmegen to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Foundation of the Marist Brothers. Three Marist Brothers and two Marist Fathers were present, along with lay people, most of whom were young adults who had participated in projects in Nijmegen. The warmth of the welcome contrasted with the sudden arrival of winter in the Netherlands.
Arjan Broers, a theologian and journalist began the day by reading, The Table Speaks, an imaginative reflection on the foundation of the Brothers and their early history from the perspective of St. Marcellin’s table in La Valla, which has become such an important symbol throughout the Institute in recent years. The reading of the text was interspersed with moments of reflection and singing, led by Diete Sybesma. She chose short repetitive chants which created spaces for interiorisation of Arjan’s text.
After an excellent buffet lunch, which provided opportunities for people to talk and introduce themselves to each other, there was a range of workshops on a range of themes, for example, Discernment, Bibliodrama, dialogue and Lectio Divina. The day ended with a reflective liturgy which brought the times of the day together. Everyone lit a candle at the end of the service and took away a copy of Arjan’s text with a commemorative candle.
Brother Brendan Geary