Edmund Rice Justice Bulletin carried a provocative headline
as we were going to press with this edition of Edmund Rice
Network News. We have adapted it for our purposes here...
The challenges that
Edmund Rice discerned he had a mission to correct in the world
are no less today than they were when he was born 242 years
ago. A large part of the world still hungers for food
and for those basic pre-requisites like a sense of personal
dignity, self-esteem, basic education, even basic life skills
that are absolutely essential for survival.
As the pages of this
newsletter constantly testify, the Christian Brothers today
are in the middle of a long process of discernment of seeking
out where their particular charism needs most application
in the world today. Men and women are still required who are
prepared to sacrifice personal security and familiar surroundings
to travel to remote places where there are masses of people
crying out to be lifted up so that they too can grab hold
of the lowest rungs of civilised society.
Those of us working
in the Edmund Rice Network in an affluent, educated, socially
sophisticated nation like Australia are indebted to the Christian
Brothers who came to Australia over the last two centuries
and lifted Catholics, and many others as well, until we could
share in the basic rights and "common" wealth of
this fledgling nation.
As we move forward into
this third millennium of Jesus Christ we need to acknowledge
our debt and support the continuing mission of Edmund Rice
and the Christian Brothers.
Could we suggest there
are two basic things that lay members of the Edmund Rice Network
might focus on as you reflect on the stories in this newsletter:
- We are in a long
process of discernment also as we take over the legacy of
what those pioneer brothers built in Australia and provide
new focus for the particular challenges our own nation faces
today in an increasingly secularised world. The Christian
Brothers may have provided us with the basic life skills
but our nation today continues to face a form of spiritual
poverty that our Church is increasingly challenged in addressing.
- What can we do to
encourage, and support, the new volunteers from within our
society who will take up the challenges that Edmund Rice
spelled out by that still ticking clock in our headline?
Can you volunteer some of your time to serve alongside the
Brothers in these new mission fields? How can we encourage
those who are called to make the life-long commitment within
the constraints of religious vows?
To read the original
article from the Edmund Rice Justice Bulletin click HERE.