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Nurturing Lay Marist Life


The Franciscan Centre environment in which we were living and working over these days in February 2012 gave our discussions on the third day a fitting context.  The 7.00 am Mass attracted not only our own participants but Friars and locals from the nearby suburbs of Auckland.  Together, we, religious and lay across our two traditions, marked the beginning of Lent with our Ashing Ceremony. After breakfast we began by recognising the giant strides lay Marists have taken in our countries over the last decades. Yet the challenge before us was to know which next steps to take. A key insight shared during the day was to link lay Marist life with human life.  Lay Marist life does not have to be continuous, but it can, if one wishes, last throughout the whole span of one's life.  Over recent years we have often linked lay Marist initiatives to people in particular ministries, such as particular schools, but now it is clear people come together for Lay Marist activities from a range of Marist ministries, or simply as Marist people. The day concluded with affirmation of the widening range of Marist formation programs now available, the desire by some lay Marists for personal accompaniment, the seeking of linkages by lay Marists with Marist Brothers and the centrality of personal relationships for us all.

John McMahon

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