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Some Marist News from January
- January 1: Bro. Gilber Galarza Pérez of Bolivia professed his first vows in Santa Cruz de la Sierra after having completed his novitiate in Cochabamba.
- January 2: In the context of a prayer service, the Marist Province of East Asia welcomed 19 new Friends of Marcellin into the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family as 128 pre-existing members renewed their commitment. While most of these Lay Marists participated virtually, some were able to personally join the ceremony at the Province Center in General Santos City.
- January 2: The Province of the USA celebrated the anniversary of the Marist Brothers' foundation by launching a new formation program for Marists of Champagnat—Brothers and Lay—to journey together toward a new understanding of the Marist charism.
- January 11: Dennis Sánchez of El Salvador and Tato Torres of Guatemala began their postulancy in Chinautla, Guatemala.
- January 11: Bro. Christian Mbam of Nigeria concluded his mission with the inter-congregational project Solidarity with South Sudan. He had been in South Sudan for eight years.
- January 18-23: The Department of Marist Vocations Animation in our Province of Brasil Centro-Norte once more offered a training for vocation ministers of various religious congregations. This year, 64 participants took part virtually.
- January 24: Bro. Joe Teston of the USA celebrated his 100th birthday! Joe is the first Marist Brother in the USA to reach 100 years. He spent 24 of those years serving in the Philippines.
- January 25: The Marist Brothers observed the 25th anniversary of the death of Bro. Basilio Rueda Guzmán, Servant of God. Basilio was from Guadalajara, Mexico and served as our superior general from 1967 until 1985.
A Moment in Marist History:
Father Champagnat was a practical man who necessarily attended to practical needs. Although the letters he wrote to his brothers were filled with affection, spiritual guidance, and the occasional fraternal correction, he often needed to address more mundane matters, particularly with those outside the Institute. In this letter of 1836, Marcellin writes to a physician who has been treating the brothers in the motherhouse. There has clearly been a misunderstanding that he is keen to address in a way that will prevent future problems. Champagnat brings to the situation a compelling mix of sensitivity, humility, and assertiveness. The way he manages to show appreciation for the doctor while also standing up for his own needs provides valuable insight into the personal qualities that made Father Champagnat so beloved to those of us who follow in his footsteps.
Your letter under date of 25th July informs me that it seems that the waters of Aix-les-Bains did you more good than last year. I bless and will bless the sovereign Master for that. I just received a letter which you were good enough to bring and forward to me; allow me once again to express my appreciation in writing.
You tell me, to my great astonishment, that you are no longer our doctor, since, you say, we have more confidence in someone else. I assure you, Doctor, that I do not understand these words... Are you reproaching me for the friendly visits of Mr. Mocquin, or are attributing to me the lack of confidence of one of our incurable men in an operation which you knew would be useless?
Finally, Doctor, I wonder if you are glad to have some sort of reason to let me know that I do not pay you enough? I knew that, and I told you as much; but in any case, I think I have paid you according to our agreement.
I will wait for your bill. He who helped me to pay larger debts will also help me to pay this one. If, despite my lack of monetary gratitude, you are still willing to care for us, we beg you to leave us the right to choose, whenever you cannot come yourself. Please also tell us how much you ask per visit, since you yourself broke our first agreement by not abiding by its conditions. I think I paid you for your subsequent visits at the rate of five francs each, a sum I decided on myself, since I could not get a bill from you.
I have said and I will always say, no matter what happens, that you have given us very good service, and that I would like to be able to show you my gratitude with something more substantial than words.
Meanwhile, please accept the assurance of the respect and attachment with which, Doctor, I have the honor to be your most devoted servant.