Montfort Brothers of St.Gabriel

Historical steps of the Implementation of Partnership in the Congregation

The Brothers of St. Gabriel in their 29th General Chapter (2000) introduced the idea of partnership in the Congregation and invited the Brothers to realize the partnership through the formation of the laity, through sharing of Montfortian Gabrielite Charism and mission. Pope John Paul II also called upon the Superiors General of the Montfortian Family saying, "I encourage you. Make this treasure (Montfortian Charism) to bear fruit; it must not remain hidden." During the 30th General Chapter, the Congregation invited the Brothers to live more and more in partnership with others and this is to be extended to all people of good will (Message of the 30th General Chapter N 37).

It is heartening to note that in many Provinces of the Congregation the seeds of partnership and collaboration have been sown and they have begun to sprout. The following are the different experiences in various sectors of the Congregation.

In America, the Province of Canada, which has had an organized group of Gabrielite Montfortian Associates for more than 30 years, has now attempted to re-group within the "St. Gabriel Network", the various persons who share the mission and the spirituality of the Brothers. In Brazil, the "Groups of Friends of Montfort" are quite active. They are animated, in partnership, by Montfort Fathers, Daughters of Wisdom and Brothers of St. Gabriel.

In Europe, Partnership aims to share mission and spirituality. In Spain, groups of young former students, called "Faith and Friendship" meet regularly for planning, reflection and action. Groups of Associate Members "The Montfortian Family" organize meetings according to geographical sectors, for formation, prayer and at the national level, for outings and pilgrimages. The Brothers play the roles of animators and formators. In Italy, the Brothers work in partnership with the laity in animating activities for students after school time. In France, thanks to the structure called "Guardianship" which has been set up by the Church, the Provincial Superior can appoint the laity as the Directors of the Institutions who are under his responsibility. Laity are appointed as the headmasters of our Institutions. There has been a real deepening of the Montfortian Gabrielite Educational Project. A solidarity network, with other associations, is quite efficient in fund raising for helping projects in developing countries.

In Asia, considering the social and religious situation, the Brothers work with the laity mainly in the educational field. In Thailand, formation programs on the Montfortian Gabrielite Educational Project are organized for the lay people in charge of the Institutions. In Singapore, a real Partnership has been set up with the laity in charge of the schools managed in the past by the Brothers. The setting up of "Montfort Centre" which organizes retreats, and reflective sessions on a weekly or monthly basis has strengthened the associate movement. In India, a network of partners is slowly taking shape at the national level. The network is largely open to all those who are in link with the Brothers. In all the Provinces structures have been established and in some Provinces the movement for Partnership and Associates has taken deeper roots. Everywhere, the idea of collaboration and networking has made its way.

In Africa, many initiatives have been taken in the three provinces of Senegal, Brazzaville and Kinshasa. Groups of Associate Members are being organized. In Burundi and Ruanda, the brothers are involved in spreading the Montfortian spirituality and networking.

Implementation of the Message of the 30th General Chapter

The Congregation has taken very seriously the invitation of the 30th General Chapter: "We are invited to live more and more in partnership with others and this is to be extended to all people of good will." (Message 37)