ROME - Among the initiatives of the European continental year, the meeting of the "Brothers of Europe" was held in Rome. Father Marco Pasinato, Assistant General, in charge of Europe, talked to us about the meaning and development of this event.
Tell us about this initiative?
Europe is the continent with the largest number of Montfortian brothers. Thus, starting the year dedicated to the European continent, the general administration wanted to honor this specific vocation within the SMM by recognizing its importance for the history and the Montfortian mission. In Montfort_EurHope20, our dear brothers should not be missed! After consulting the entities and the brothers' opinions, the following coadjutor brothers accepted the invitation: Anthony HANLY from Great Britain/Ireland, Daniel BUSNEL from France, Fabio GAIANI from Italy, Jan LATHOUWERS from the Netherlands, Johannes BOSSMANN from Germany and Karlos De MAEGD from Belgium.
How was the meeting?
It had four highlights. 1) First of all, the welcome and the presentation of the brothers who came to the general house with their respective superiors. 2) Then during a meeting in the presence of the members of the General Council, the six coadjutor brothers shared their vocation and their mission. 3) A third moment was the visit to the archives of the general house with the exhibition of the founder's manuscripts, including the hymns used by Brother Mathurin Rangeard. 4) The meeting ended with the pilgrimage in the footsteps of Montfort to Rome. A booklet containing a history, edited by Father Efrem ASSOLARI, on "Brother Mathurin, first disciple of Montfort" and the written testimony of the six brothers can be downloaded from the Congregation website.
What message this event is launching?
The first event of the continental year gives visibility to the coadjutor brothers, as a vocation to be rediscovered in our congregation. Their presence brings back the essence of our vocation and our mission: the fraternal relationship with Jesus and among us.
How do we find all of these in our Montfortian tradition?
Indeed, in the life of our founder, we find many episodes in which he showed esteem, reverence and friendship with his brothers. In his Rules, he reiterated that the Montfortian mission cannot be separated from the service above all of the catechist brother, calling him "the most important of the mission" (cf. RM 79). But there is more...
In the episode, full of humour, in which Montfort turned to his brother Joseph Grignion, a Dominican priest, by calling him "brother" and provoking the reaction felt by the latter of not having called him "father", our Founder showed that he is a forerunner in fighting the cancer of clericalism in the church and a source of inspiration for us Montfortians of today.
What can be done to better know, appreciate and promote the vocation of the brother in the Church?We could read the document of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, "The identity and mission of the brother in the Church. You are all brothers (Mt 23:4)”. As Montfort did not hesitate to call many people to follow him and was not discouraged that only a few persevered, we should not hesitate to call for this Montfortian vocation today. It's the mission that needs it!