Province of Spain – Joint Training of Brothers and Lay Associates-Collaborators
On the 18th of November the joint training of Brothers and Laity took place, one of the two that we have programmed during the course. On this occasion we had two simultaneous meetings in Madrid and Barcelona, with a total participation of 59 people.
The morning of this day was dedicated to working on Circular nº 2 of the Superior General, Brother John Kallarackal: Brothers and Laity together in the service of the Montfortian mission and charism.
We focused on understanding the concept of association in the context of shared mission. After the reading of 1 Corinthians 12, 12-27, “For just as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of the body, though many, are one body, ….” […] We carried out a dynamic in which, in groups, we assigned 10 parts of the body with ten functions within the association. After the sharing, we identified ourselves with one of them. This allowed us to analyze the state of our partnership and to discover the attitudes to be established between the parts, as explained in the circular. The dynamic was very motivating and the dialogue was enriching for all of us.
We then reviewed the chronology of the movement of Associates in the Institution up to the last important event of this summer, the International Montfortian Meeting, RIAM, of which we were able to get an idea thanks to a video that testifies to the contents and the atmosphere of the meeting.
Afterwards, we went through the rest of the points of the circular:
- The historical perspective: lay people who accompanied Saint Louis Marie during his missionary activity and others who, after his death, contributed to the survival of his teachings and spirituality.
- The most significant period in the life of our founder, Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, and of the re-founder, Gabriel Deshayes.
- The charism received by Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, through which he gained a profound vision of the mystery of the redemptive incarnation.
- Our shared mission in the schools and the steps necessary for this to take place in an attitude of communion.
- And the need to form and accompany each other.
In the afternoon, we wanted to take a look at the past, at the legacy left to us by our predecessors in the mission. Hanging on a string were the decades from the oldest member of our mission in the Province of Spain, Brother José Paniego, to the present day. Each one placed his or her name at the moment when he or she was linked to this history that is so much our own. Later, several members recalled that moment and the reason for their involvement. But the cord was missing the time elapsed since the beginning of the history of the Brothers of St. Gabriel in the Province of Spain, 1903. The content of those origins was completed with the showing of a video in which this fragment of history was recounted. The narration went up to 1936, when many of our Brothers gave their lives for their faith.
At the end of the video, the silence in the hall and some tears were a sign of the emotion that we all experienced and that unleashed the memory of those who gave everything for an ideal, our mission.
A legacy has a much broader scope than its literal interpretation, because knowing our roots allows us to better understand where we come from and who we are now. This helps us to build a stronger, more collective identity.
Looking at our origins helps us to learn from our experiences and apply that knowledge to our present and future. Moreover, by looking back, we develop pride, respect and recognition of the efforts of our predecessors and their contributions.
And, of course, knowing our history will prevent us from losing or misrepresenting our reference points and from deviating from the ideal that has always animated our mission: that of evangelising through education in the hope of creating a fraternal community of Children of God. We are all, Brothers and lay associates and collaborators, sharing the charism given to Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, committed to an educational project whose aim is to promote justice, peace and the integrity of creation.
We go forward, history does not stop…
MCG Training Team