Valladolid 2015: Meeting of retired Brothers
After the meeting of younger Brothers of the Province at Moyle Park (Dublin), at the end of March, the C.E.M had organised, from 6th to 12th April, a meeting for Brothers aged over 70 at Valladolid.
There were about thirty Brothers who participated in the meeting which was cheerful and friendly. As well as the retired Brothers, the six Brothers from the Animation Team with their leader Brother Antonio Leal and three translators were also present. Our Province of West-Central Europe was represented by Brothers John Hyland, Henry Stewart (Angelo), and Luke Kenny (Mel) from Ireland, Brother Alan Hargan from Scotland and Brothers Robert Ligon and Albert Thomé from Belgium.
The meeting was mainly concerned with getting to know the Brothers from the different Provinces, which allowed us to have interesting exchanges about the mission experiences of retired Brothers. One must single out the contributions of Brothers Henri Bonnet (Hermitage) and Benito Hinojal (Mediterranea) who work respectively in Algeria and Romania.
In this year of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Jesus, the organisers had the good idea to invite Brother Manuel Mesonero and Madame Chello to give us a presentation on the mystical experience of Saint Teresa of Jesus and of Marcellin Champagnat. Should one not see in this an invitation to be a Brother who is a mystic and a prophet in today’s world, as proposed by the General Conference? It was certainly a beautiful and poignant preparation for our visit to the Convent of the Incarnation at Avila and the University of Mysticism situated only a further 100 metres away. Another outing took us to Salamanca and to the Carmelite Convent at Alba de Tormes where Saint Teresa spent the last years of her life.
The final discussions were on the letter of Brother Emili entitled: “Just a Tent as the Heart of the Future”. In this letter he quotes Saint Augustine: “Hope has two precious children: indignation and courage. Indignation on seeing how things are, and courage to not allow the situation to continue.”
In conclusion: As retired Brothers we can ask ourselves the following questions: “What are the challenges of my Marist life today?” and “How can the lived experience of these recent days help me personally?”
Brother Albert Thomé