The revitalisation of the District was, in a way, the aim of the recent District Chapter of Antananarivo. The capitulants adopted that as their slogan and worked towards it, although each of them may have been using the word ‘revitalisation’ in his own way. However, a glance at the results of the work of the Chapter shows that there was sufficient common agreement on the meaning of the term. The following thoughts are just the attempt of one capitulant to share what he got out of it, and they reflect his continued effort to understand what is meant by the “revitalisation of the District”.
Revitalisation is linked to life, and it implies there is something alive and in good health but which needs strengthening. So it means intensifying the real life of the District. There are no doubt limits to this, as in all things human. It is also undeniable that our District possesses qualities that enable it to move forward. The Chapter was not unaware of the limitations, and it made a review of the gaps and lacunae, but it also compared them with the strengths and opportunities of the District.
When it spoke of revitalisation, the Chapter had in mind a District that is in full health, vibrant and effective, and which has all its internal energy and its capacity for action intact. It is a District full of vitality, keen to move forward and to ‘go beyond the frontiers’, in the words of our recent General Chapter.
To get a better understanding of the meaning of revitalisation and all it implies, we can use the example of any famous football team such as Juventus or Real Madrid or Barcelona. Such a team is powerful, dynamic, alive. It may even have a superabundance of life and energy, but it is always trying to develop more, and it never stops training and improving. That for them is revitalisation, an increase in their capacity for action so as ensure success and victory. But to achieve that, they need training, discipline, cohesion and teamwork.
Applying all that to our District, I believe and maintain it is in good health. The District holds a place of respect and even honour in the Church in Madagascar and in RELAF. It is seen as a ‘senior’ District that is still vigourous, green and bearing fruit, as the Psalm says.
Just as teams in the sporting world get their effectiveness and success from the individul contributions of every player, so the revitalisation of the District’s spiritual life and educational mission will depend on the dynamism in the life of every individual Brother. Each Brother is invited and summoned to strive for personal revitalisation by living the life of a De La Salle Brother fully, authentically, with enthusiasm and with no reservation. This call to a programme of revitalisation is also addressed to every Community in the District. They must be visible and attractive through a contagious fraternity and a boundless zeal for education.
The revitalisation of the District is a joint task which involves everyone. The success of a team is the result of a happy sharing of the individual skills of the members. So the revitalisation of District will only take place through the contributions of individual members. I will conclude with some words in Malgache. Tao trano ity: ka samy mitondra ny anjara birikiny. “A common house must be built! Let each one bring his quota of bricks”.
Our common house is our District.
Brother Jean Marc, District Secretary