The Marist Inter-Branch Spirituality Committee is composed of one member from each of the four General Administrations: Fr. Jan Hulshof, s.m. (Marist Fathers), Sr. Vivienne Goldstein, s.m. (Marist Sisters), Br. Theoneste Kalisa, f.m.s. (Marist Brothers), and Sr. Marie Emmanuel Fuchs, s.m.s.m. (Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary). This committee, which meets four times a year, decided in 2003 to produce a booklet of texts that would evoke the spiritual tradition and charism of the four groups of professed religious, as well as of the Marist Laity branch traditionally called the Third Order of Mary. Committee members selected texts that touched them personally, and they hope that publishing them will foster mutual understanding and appreciation within the Marist Family as well as being useful in the formation programs of all five branches.
The book you are now holding is the result of the Committee's efforts. You will notice that each branch is offering ten brief passages, making a total of 50 texts. Each page has a title, an introduction to the text, the text itself, and a conclusion or personal application. In a few cases, two different groups selected the same text or parts of the same text, and in a few instances the same or similar title for a text. Because each branch chose its own ten texts independently and without previous consultation with the others, these repetitions can be considered as felicitous coincidences that point once again to our common Marist heritage.
The booklet is being presented in three distinct bilingual editions. With the exception of two texts which Fr. Colin composed in Latin, the other 48 texts presented here were originally written in French. The committee thought it could be helpful for a richer appreciation of our Marist origins to offer these French originals in every edition, complemented respectively by English, Portuguese and Spanish translations.
Maria Baden, member of the Marist Laity in Australia, submitted the texts on the laity or Third Order. Fr. Philip Gage, s.m., edited the booklet. The Marist Brothers have kindly seen to its printing and distribution.
Our hope as the Spirituality Committee is that Marists in all the five branches will find as much inspiration and joy in using this resource book as we did in compiling it.