On November 21 Lavalla Village – a complex of 17 buildings for secondary students, in Cambodia, was incorporated to the Lavalla School which is a Primary education facility for students with physical disabilities and are mainly from the rural provinces where they are excluded from education.

“If their disabilities weren’t so obvious – lost limbs, blindness, cerebral palsy, burns and scarring – you could believe the children you encounter don’t have a care in the world; they are smiling, warm, happy, affectionate; truly grateful that you are visiting them. And the Cambodian staff, are very similar. Many of them also have disabilities but they are calm and positive”, said Brother Peter Carroll, Australian Marist’s Province Leader who was at the Opening of Lavalla Village.

The Lavalla Village was the last of Br. Terry Heinrich’s major projects (deceased 20 November 2018), well supported by many. It is, a series of buildings grouped together that provide accommodation, study spaces, cooking and dining facilities for the secondary students who travel out each day to attend the local high schools. It provides much improved facilities for the older students, and a degree of independence”.

“My visit coincided with the final Board meeting of Marist Solidarity Cambodia for 2019, and I had the opportunity to express my gratitude to the members for their generous commitment and welcome contribution. In addition to Brian Kinsella (Chair), Tony Burrows (Executive Director) and Allen Sherry, other members are Sister Regina Pellicore (Maryknoll), Brother Max Meier (MDA from Pailin), Ms Sophea Yi (local businesswoman) and Mr Chhom Sopagna (Finance Manager).

The meeting confirmed that the project is in good hands at both management and governance level” says Br. Carroll, while mentioning that they would not be able to continue the work without the support of some very generous benefactors.

“My few days there, the events I attended and the people I encountered, were most encouraging. Our Brothers, Brian, Tony and Michael, bring something very special to the community. Each have their own special gifts, and each are contributing actively and generously to the project. I’m most grateful to them as I know we all are. As I stated at the Opening, Marcellin would be proud of this special Marist project.” Add the Australian Marist’s Province Leader.

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The Institute of the Marist Brothers (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), founded in France in 1817 by St. Marcellin Champagnat, is the second largest congregation of Brothers in the Catholic Church.  

An encounter with a dying young man, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, who knew nothing of his faith and was barely able to read, proved to be the defining moment for Marcellin Champagnat.  Soon after the boy’s death, St. Marcellin put into motion his vision.  “We need brothers,” he said, who will give their lives in the service of children and young people, especially those most in need and neglected by society.  

Champagnat, a man of great faith and trust in God’s providence, dedicated his early followers to Mary, sending them among young people, especially those least favored, to “make Jesus known and loved.”  The initial focus of his work was to provide education for children in rural, areas since this was a pressing need at the time, and provided an opportunity for their faith development.  

Today the community numbers about 3,000 members.  They are joined by a network of nearly 40,000 lay people and reach over 700,000 children and young people in 80 countries.  You will find this Marist network working in schools and universities, pastoral and social centers, youth movements and youth programs and wherever they find young people most in need.

El Instituto de los Hermanos Maristas (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis), fundado en Francia en 1817 por San Marcelino Champagnat, es la segunda congregación de hermanos más numerosa de la Iglesia Católica.

Un encuentro con un joven moribundo, Jean-Baptiste Montagne, que no sabía nada acerca de su fe y que era apenas capaz de leer, se reveló como el momento decisivo para Marcelino Champagnat. Inmediatamente después de la muerte del niño, San Marcelino puso en práctica su visión. “Necesitamos hermanos”, dijo, que den sus vidas al servicio de los niños y jóvenes, especialmente los más necesitados y olvidados por la sociedad.

Champagnat, un hombre de gran fe y confianza en la providencia de Dios, consagró sus primeros seguidores a María, enviándoles entre los jóvenes, especialmente los más desfavorecidos para “dar a conocer a Jesús y hacerlo amar”. El primer objetivo de su trabajo fue ofrecer una educación a los niños de las zonas rurales, porque era una necesidad urgente en aquel tiempo, ofreciéndoles así una oportunidad para crecer en la fe.

En la actualidad los miembros de la congregación son unos 3.000. Junto a ellos trabaja una red de unos 40.000 laicos que atienden a más de 700.000 niños y jóvenes en 80 países. Esta red marista trabaja en colegios y universidades, centros sociales y  pastorales, movimientos juveniles y programas de formación para la juventud y en cualquier lugar en el que encuentren jóvenes necesitados.

Congregazione dei Fratelli Maristi (FMS: Fratres Maristae a Scholis) fu fondata in Francia nel 1817 da S. Marcellino Champagnat ed è oggi la seconda congregazione maschile (di fratelli) della Chiesa per numero di professi.
L’incontro con Jean-Baptiste Montagne, un giovane di 17 anni in punto di morte, analfabeta e senza formazione religiosa, fu un momento cruciale per Marcellino Champagnat. Poco dopo la morte del giovane, egli volle dare seguito ad un’idea che gli era balenata in seminario. “Abbiamo bisogno di fratelli”, disse, “che diano la loro vita per il servizio ai bambini e ai giovani, specialmente quelli più bisognosi e dimenticati dalla società”.
Champagnat, un uomo di grande fede e fiducia nella Provvidenza divina, consacrò i suoi primi seguaci a Maria e li mandò tra i giovani, specialmente i più emarginati, per “far conoscere ed amare Gesú”. Fin dall’inizio la sua missione fu incentrata su bambini n età scolare delle zone rurali, poiché l’istruzione era una necessità urgente al tempo e poiché rappresentava una formidabile opportunità di evangelizzazione.
Oggi la Congregazione annovera circa 3.000 religiosi affiancati da quasi 40.000 laici; insieme essi assistono più di 700.000 bambini e giovani in 80 paesi del mondo.
I Maristi, religiosi e laici, prestano la loro opera in scuole e università, centri pastorali e sociali, movimenti e programmi giovanili e ovunque ci siano bambini e giovani bisognosi da assistere
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