With a significant participation of 60 Religious Brothers from more than 30 countries and 14 religious congregations, the formation programme for companions began this Saturday, 9 September, 2023, at the Generalate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers) in Rome: “Walking together”, led by the inter-congregational team “Tutti Fratelli” (“We are all Brothers”).

“This accompaniment programme responds to a request from the Union of Superiors General (USG)“, says Brother Luis Bolivar, FSC, explaining that this initiative seeks “to discover, on the one hand, the need to be accompanied, but also to offer tools, skills and resources for the accompaniment of young Religious Brothers in the current context“.

During the next few weeks, until 7 October, four central formative blocks will be developed: (1) we are a community of brothers around Jesus; (2) the person of the companion; (3) the young religious with whom we walk; and (4) discernment, synthesis and future plans.

Fraternity in ‘inter’ key

“This will be an opportunity to live the fraternity in an intercongregational and intercultural key, through meetings with experts in the field, sharing in groups and personal work”, continues Brother Luis, who is part of the ‘Tutti Fratelli’ team. “We hope that each participant will allow his heart to be touched by the Spirit, the authentic and principal architect of accompaniment and discernment, recognising that we participate in his mission and that we ‘walk together’ under his guidance and inspiration”.

Armin Luistro, Superior General of the De La Salle Brothers, also shared a fraternal greeting from Colombia, during his visit to the Lasallian Region of Latin America together with the General Council. “I do not want to miss this opportunity to greet all of you, my very dear Brothers, who are gathered in Rome to talk about how we can be brothers to each other,” he said.

“My hope is before we can accompany our own young Brothers, you can also experience and witness what brotherhood is; not only among our congregations, but among each other and hopefully with the rest of the Church,” said Br Armin, with the conviction that “that is the call of the synod: a call to witness the gift of our fraternity among ourselves, but also in the world“.

In conclusion, the Superior General of the De La Salle Brothers encouraged the participants of the programme to take up the challenge of “accompanying our own Brothers, especially when they are already in active community (…). We need to learn from each another, and we need to be real brothers to all those we meet“.