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Mary, Faithful Disciple

A statue of Marcellin Champagnat sculptured by Pauline Clayton which stands outside the chapel at Sacred Heart College in Adelaide. The photograph was taken by Br Bryan Leak.

A statue of Marcellin Champagnat sculptured by Pauline Clayton which stands outside the chapel at Sacred Heart College in Adelaide. The photograph was taken by Br Bryan Leak.

Towards the close of each year thirty or so Marists gather at Sacred Heart College in Adelaide for their annual retreat. For the 2013 - 2014 retreat we invited fellow Marist Br Robert O'Connor to lead our reflections on the theme 'Walking with Mary'.  Bob has filled many roles within our Marist Congregation but now as retreat leader and spiritual director, he is yet again exercising a special talent.  During these six days of retreat, Bob led us gently across the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. He helped us understand the Jewish culture of the day, the responsibilities Jews had to honour Torah and the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph to these requirements. Responding to Br Emili Turù's encouragement for us to become prophets and mystics, in his presentations Bob added references to mystics like St John of the Cross and St Hildegard of Bingen.  Throughout, Bob invited us to adopt an Ignatian approach to reflecting on gospel passages: read the text, imagine the scene considering what it would be like to be there, meditate and finally propose a response to God's call.  Overall, Bob has helped us to understand Mary's life - a journey from being a confused teenager, to a caring mother and finally a faithful disciple. Throughout Mary pondered, trusted and in so doing, helped build the reign of God. We are invited to do similarly.

John McMahon

Marist Life January 2014

Marist District of the Pacific

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