This year’s message of the Superior General for the feast of St Marcellin Champagnat on June 6 centres around the celebration of the Fourvière Year and the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
“Champagnat and his young priest friends dreamt of a Church with a Marian face, that is to say, with a profound heart of mercy,” underscored Brother Emili Turú. “They dream of a Christian community that would have mercy as the basis of their life and mission.”
Brother Felix Donald Banish reminds us of the Pope’s symbolical gesture that calls on reconciliation to inaugurate the Jubilee Year in the capital of the Central African Republic in November 2015.
Assuming that mercy gives life, Brother Emili invited two Marists of Champagnat (Carole Wark and Giusy Orlando) to talk about the experience of being a mother, because they can explain the apparent relationship, in the etymological root of the Hebrew word, between womb and mercy.
In the second part of the message, the Superior General highlighted that the Jubilee Year invites us to be merciful like the Father, “and to concretely love all people, allowing ourselves to be moved by their needs” opening our hears like the Pope asks, “ to those live on the outermost peripheries of society; peripheries that modern society itself creates.”
Brother Emili reminds us that there are many Marists that are already living this appeal that the Pope made.
In this context, he offers space to the Brothers of Africa, René M’Bumba Nsasi (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Straton Malisaba (Rwanda), so that they remind us of the challenge of the ideal of Marcellin, looking for the closeness of the most vulnerable.
“Our Brothers in Africa also remind us that great means are not necessary to exercise mercy,” affirmed Br Emili. “A sensitive and fraternal heart is sufficient, and a great trust in Mary, our good and tender Mother.”
Finally, the Superior General, recalling that the Fourvière project is a project of mercy, is grateful for the gift of the different Marist branches, that in the last 200 years “have tried to be a merciful presence of the Father with the style of Mary.”
Br Emili concludes by stating “may Saint Marcellin and the witness of so many Marists of Champagnat in the whole world make us more faithful to the spirit of Fourvière, and more merciful.”