This meeting brought together communities from Spain (Fuenlabrada and Ponferrada), Belgium (Arlon), Germany (Dessau), Rumania (Bucharest), and Hungary (Karcag). The members of the new community that will be established in Athens later this year were also present. The purpose of the meeting was to share experiences and to reflect on the calls of the XXIst General Chapter to "go in haste to new lands" and "to explore new ways of being brother."
The members of the communities of Dessau and Arlon from our Province participated in the meeting, and benefited from the opportunity to meet other brothers who have received a mission from their Province to serve young people in new apostolates. Some, like the community in Dessau, involve brothers from different countries, with the challenges of finding a way of working and living together that respects different cultures and traditions. Others, like the community in Arlon, continue to work in their own country, while discerning together how to respond in new ways to the needs of young people.
The members of the Marist European Conference (C.E.M.) that invited the brothers to the meeting will explore the possibility of creating a network of these communities. This will enable the C.E.M. to offer more effective accompaniment, to listen more carefully to the experiences of the members of the new communities, and to create a forum for support and formation. A network of new communities has the potential to assist the leaders of Marist Europe to better understand how to respond to the calls of the General Chapter and the needs of young people today.
Brother Brendan Geary