Thirty lay people from Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela celebrated their lay connection to the Marist charism in Los Teques, Venezuela, during the last provincial chapter of Norandina.
The ceremony took place in the Champagnat school in Caracas, accompanied by relatives and the brothers of the community of Los Chorros and the school. Brother Ernesto Sánchez, superior general, and Brother João Carlos do Prado, general councillor, also took part.
It was a Mass in which the laity shared their life experiences and said their commitment with the following words:
“We are Christians who have heard the call of God to give our lives to be signs of joy, hope, fraternity and mercy, in the following of Jesus and his Gospel at the service of the neediest. We, lay Marists of Champagnat, are a family of men and women of faith inspired by Saint Marcellin Champagnat and by the hand of Mary, Our Good Mother, we live in the Marist Norandina province. We are aware that we have been given the gift of the lay Marist vocation. For this, we commit ourselves to:
- Be disciples of Jesus at the service of his gospel.
- Make of our homes, family and community, a Nazareth.
- Cultivate our interiority and personal relationship with God.
- Live the experience of the evangelical fraternity among ourselves and for others, being in solidarity with the poorest children and young people and responding with boldness and creativity to emerging needs.
- Promote new forms of expression of our family spirit as Marists of Champagnat, based on communion as a fundamental element of our charismatic expression.
- Revitalize and make known the Marist charism, as a way of expressing the Marian face of the Church.
- Promote and nurture Marist vocations, working together, where the centre is the person in following Jesus.
Being aware of this experience, we thank God:
- For the lay vocation that fills us with fullness of faith and personal fulfillment at the service of the Church.
- For allowing us to make the Marist charism our life choice.
- For the Marist communities, especially the Marist Brothers of the Norandina Province for their openness, testimony and welcome.
- For the life of our companions, who have witnessed our vocational processes.
- For our families, the seedbed of Marist vocation, for their unconditional support in this long walk, giving us time and for being a push of life.
- We thank Jesus for being our guide, to Mary for being our ordinary resource, to Champagnat for the spiritual inheritance that moves us to give life and to give it in abundance.
- Finally, we are grateful to feel called to be part of the global family of the Marists of Champagnat.”
Below is a video with pictures of the celebration.