Bro Hervé : “We must join hands to overcome this evil and sow joy”.
At a time when the health realities continue to strongly disrupt the life of the world, Brother Hervé Zamor, Superior General of the Brothers of Christian Instruction – La Mennais Brothers, presents here a review by reacting to the difficulties of all orders and the joys experienced in the Congregation and the Mennaisian Family, through the realities of schools, educational centres and communities. A strong word, in truth, that emphasises reasons to be confident. Read if you want to be positively stimulated!
Health crisis. «Let’s leave individualism! Let’s take action together»
“For the young, the Brothers and our families, this crisis is a call for fundamental solidarity. Situations are different from one country to another, and that changes every day. We must join hands to overcome this evil and sow joy. Each one playing his part, together we can push it away by being attentive to the other, respecting the barrier gestures, taking care of the sick.
It helps the world to leave individualism that kills the other one and kills us ourselves! We need to break this reality by solidarity, compassion, attention and the ideal place to live it are our communities, our schools.
Let us educate ourselves to this positive solidarity and let us come together to get through this crisis. It is to this end that I call upon everyone. Let us join hands to win this battle!”
Some works close, new pages open. Life is here!
“It is in the difficult moments of its history that the Congregation has proved very missionary. Yes, we leave Walsh University in the United States, we close Schools in Derval – France – in Southampton – England, communities in Hennebont – France, the house of Castelgandolfo in Italy… Let us not stop at the number of works or buildings! It is the fidelity of each Brother to his vocation that is paramount.
At the same time, let’s look at what is happening elsewhere: the arrival of a Postulant in Mexico, the opening of a new Community in Kenya and two others in Uganda, and the project of a third Community in Indonesia: life is here!
I often remember this image from Bro Merino, former Assistant General. “When the wells are dry, you have to go elsewhere to dig some others. It is the Lord’s will. Sterility calls to found. It is passing through death to rise up. The grain that dies, flows elsewhere bearing fruit. The paths of the Lord can be full of mysteries. We can think that everything is over, it is the icon of Mary and Elisabeth: it is our life.”
Projects of missionary foundation
During our zoom meetings of the Major Superiors of the Provinces and Districts of the Congregation, we continued our reflection on projects of missionary foundations, taking into account of course the health realities. I would remind you that our project is to foster by 2024 the foundation of a new work on each continent.
Till now, a reconnaissance visit to Asia has been made to Timor Leste, the poorest country on the continent. The contacts are encouraging. Further contacts are coming to Vietnam.
About Africa, there was a visit to North Ghana and contacts with Burkina Faso. All of that needs to be discerned. The future Africa Conference will be a major venue for this.
As far as Europe and America are concerned, some thoughts are also underway, with a less close perspective.”
Laity associated with the Congregation: the Church gives a new breath
“The Church encourages the laity who feel a call to join the Congregation and to walk with it: it is the meaning of the Vatican decree which has just been published and which approved the Statutes of the Association “Lay Mennaisians Associates”. It is a confirmation of ties with the laity.
With this approval, the Church clearly says that it is a journey of holiness for the laity who want to undertake to live according to Jean Marie de la Mennais’ spirituality. It invites us to develop fraternal bonds and to live this belonging as a vocation.
The Church points out a path and encourages those who wish to take one step further. She said in short to the Brothers: You have received a gift and the laity can share it and make it fruitful.
This decree does not change anything concretely, it is the confirmation of a course. Faced with the possible risks of going round, a course is proposed. Everyone knows what they are committed to do, to go further. That will promote growth.
Attention, however, the Mennaisian Family is not limited to the Lay Associates and it is not any promotion, it is a way! And the Brothers who accompany the laity make the journey together, we want to live “in the Mennaisian Family mode”, we make the journey with them.
In Haiti, for example, I knew the beginnings of the Mennaisian family, there was a certain distrust or fears. Little by little, many things have changed in the life of the Brothers and the Laity, so we rely on each other.”
«Praying Mary»: a gift to the Mennaisian Family on the occasion of the 200 years
“We – members of the General Council – wanted to give a gift to the Mennaisian Family. I asked myself: what gift would Jean-Marie de la Mennais have given to his Brothers? He would have given Mary to his Brothers. She is our Mother, our Patroness. Hence, we decided to offer Mary in the form of a booklet. It is an opportunity to encourage the Brothers and the Laity to welcome Mary into their homes.
Mary is a model of a total gift, the Brothers are consecrated to Mary. It is an opportunity to revive the love of the Virgin. I have always been struck by the fidelity of many Brothers to Mary. It touches me greatly. To go to Jesus through Mary.
I believe very much in the simple prayer of the Rosary. When I say it every day it is as if I were offering roses to my mother. I know that Mary represents a lot in all that we live with confidence today. She leads us to Jesus.”
Collected by Michel Tanguy, Director of Information