Sharing the challenges, hopes and possibilities for Marist Brotherhood in Oceania
From Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 April a gathering of younger Brothers from across the Oceania Region, (the Province of Australia and the Districts of Melanesia and the Pacific) was held at the scenic location of the Lomeri Novitiate in Fiji.
The five days provided us with a great opportunity to get to know each other and share the challenges, hopes and possibilities for Marist Brotherhood throughout the region. It was a unique experience to listen to each person speak about Marist life and mission through the lens of being a younger Brother. Included in our program was a visit to four of the Marist ministries and the two communities in Suva, where the Brothers first arrived in 1888. It was great to see how the spirit of St Marcellin has taken root in the local culture, especially in the schools and among the Champagnat Marists (Lay Groups). The highlight was visiting the Champagnat Institute ’second chance’ school for disadvantaged young people.
Our sessions were facilitated by Kevin Wanden from New Zealand and focused on the key areas of vocation, formation for leadership and community life. While acknowledging the present realities and challenges in each area, we also heard of the joys and hopes which brothers had for the future. As an outcome of our gathering a report and list of recommendations are being prepared for the Oceania College of Leaders.
We feel hopeful that our recommendations will lead to a renewed sense of being a younger Brother and continuing the mission of making Jesus known and loved among youth of our region. Thanks to the Major Superiors for organizing the event and to the Lomeri Novitiate Community for generously hosting the gathering. Bula! The ‘Younger’ Brothers.