The final day of our 2012 Marist Gathering in Auckland began by considering spiritual pathways. Alan Parker invited us to consider a plant or a tree, to study it and then to see what it might teach us.
Over our days together Simone Boyd and Br Darren Burge have been working on an overall statement which summarises the spirit of our gathering. At our final session we agreed to the following joint statement.
'We are unified in our belief that God has touched us and given us a Marist heart. We are unable to live any other way, as we are Marists. We are guided by this same Spirit to explore new ways of living the charism.
The charism of Marcellin is a gift of God to the entire ecclesial community. Hence, our respective vocations are lived in a spirit of communion. A clear and strong identity for both Brothers and Lay people is essential for the vitality of this relationship to take us into the future.
There is an urgent need to define and develop the Lay identity to enable new pathways of engagement and belonging. We see the importance of a new paradigm for the Lay Marist vocation. We are committed to researching the practicalities of this and implementing the model.
There is a desire to provide opportunities for Lay Marists to explore their vocation at greater depth through a variety of formative experiences. We are keen to build on the strong foundation that already exists in our formation programs and develop new ways for all Lay Marists, young and old to access our spirituality.
This is our moment in Marist history. Now is the time to act. There is urgency within those gathered to identify specific ways forward, to abandon the answers of the past that do not satisfy and, with Mary, go in haste to a new land.'