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Sowing the Joy of Fourviere
(Sembrando la Alegria de Fourviere)
By Fr. Tony O'Connor, SM

On July 23, 2016, all Marist Congregations, brothers, fathers and brothers, sisters and missionary sisters, together with our Marist laity celebrated the promise of a dream, known as the promise of Fourvière.

On that day, 12 young men made a pledge at the Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière, Lyon France, a pledge to found a congregation dedicated totally to Mary, the Mother of God.

From this promise two hundred years ago many Marist congregations were born and there are now many Marist Laity all over the world and many Marist projects including this humble Marist parish of San Felipe de Jesús in Cameron Park, Brownsville, Texas on the southern border of the United States with Mexico.

On July 6th we began celebrating: 210 people: 120 children and 90 youth  celebrated the promise and the dream of Fourvière with "Sembrando Alegria" "Sowing Joy," the joy of Fourvière, a program which began with a three-day orientation for the youth in which they prepared to run the two-week program with children.

Then on Sunday, July 10th the youth received and waited on 110 Central American minors from two refuge centers here in the Valley, serving a meal of Central American dishes prepared by our parish moms. Not able to share the "Sembrando the Alegria of Fourvière" / "Sowing the Joy of Fourvière" with us for questions of security, they were invited to celebrate in this simple meal.

From July 11-22, it was full on with the children's program run by the youth, including a Celebratory Eucharist with the parents and faithful on Sunday the 17th.  The program content dealt with activities the fostered 'formation' and offered 'diversion.' 

Formation: leadership and group skills (youth); preparing for storms and floods and hurricanes; nutrition; religious song in English; formative as well as funny short film strips; arts and craft lessons; civil responsibility; police dogs and prayer. 

Diversion: games, sports, swim pool, water games, dancing, song and definitely food.  It all finished on the  eve of Fourvière Day with a Pizza Party. This celebration proves that we don't need to go anywhere else to recall the past, to dare to dream for the future, to celebrate now and most of all to have fun and, yes, all this is possible right here in "Cameron," in little old Brownsville, Texas, USA.

Link to Bicentenary of the Fourviere Pledge

We invite you to enjoy our Slideshows

Sowing the Joy of Fourviere
“Sembrando Alegria” Slideshow 1>

Sowing the Joy of Fourviere
“Sembrando Alegria” Slideshow 2>

Sowing the Joy of Fourviere
“Sembrando Alegria” Slideshow 3>


Visit our founder, Jean-Claude Colin on Facebook
Visit Society of Mary founder, Jean-Claude Colin on Facebook

As Marist Family
we would like:

  • to provoke a sense of curiosity and awe at the significance of the Fourvière Pledge for today;

  • to foster an enhanced sense of Marist identity as "Marist Family";

  • to boost a renewal of energy, hope, joy, motivation and commitment to the "work of Mary"