PLAN OF LIFE
Rome 24 November, 2004
Presentation To the Members of the Nazarene Fraternities,
and to the Brothers:
With this letter, I wish to deliver to you the PLAN OF LIFE of the “Nazarene Fraternities Association”, in whose preparation you have participated with so much interest.
The title that it bears “TO LIVE IN FRATERNITY”, points out a clear program and commitment for Christian life, able to lead to sanctity or, as it is said today, “to the wholeness of our Christian living”.
As you well know, it is fruit of a long and laborious work together between Laity and Brothers. It lived its peak in the international meeting at Holy Family Villa, Córdoba (Argentina), from 10 to 13 July, 2003.
I can joyfully highlight that that meeting continues being not only the remembrance of an unforgettable experience of fraternity and communion, but also a stimulus to strive to live with boldness the same ideal left by Brother Gabriel: to live the Gospel, as Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived it at Nazareth.
Today, thanks to the collaboration of all the Fraternities, the Plan of Life has become true.
Rather than a set of rules and regulations, it tries to be a guarantee and a support to our desire to live the gospel ideal, which is easily accessible, if we put ourselves, with humility and simplicity of heart, in the school of the Holy Family.
Together we have drawn it up, together let us try to live it.
Together we have found the spiritual depth which contains, together let us help each other to turn it into a gift for us, for our families, for the Church and for the society.
Together let us make this ideal to become a source of acknowledgment to God, following the teaching of Jesus: “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do” (Mt 11:25-26).
The General Council that, on 6 October 2004 approved it, considered meaningful that the “Plan of Life” should come into effect on 24 November, day of the birth to heaven of Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin.
We offer it, then, to all those who form part today of the Nazarene Fraternities Association, and to those who, in the future, will enter it. We offer it to the Brothers, because, together and mutually, we share the richness of the spiritual gifts of the charism of Brother Gabriel. And let us ask Brother Gabriel to accompany us in the path which will lead us together to Nazareth, and through Nazareth to the different paths of man.
Fraternally in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Br. Lino Da Campo Superior General
The mystery of Nazareth,
in which Brother Gabriel Taborin
nvites you to enter
leads you to welcome the Word,
as Mary and Joseph,
and to work with humility and patience
in the daily effort
so that the seed may germnate
and yield fruit one day.
Share in the charism of Brother Gabriel,
who knew to make fruitful the gift received,
first in his parish of Belleydoux,
and then with his Brothers,
as animator of the Christian communities
through education, catechesis
and the help to the priests.
Let yourself be guided by his firm faith,
by his apostolic dynamism,
by his sense of Church
and by his constant eagerness to build up fraternity.
Together with the Brothers of the Holy Family,
live the Nazarene spirituality
as a way towards sanctity;
with them, walk in the Church
in mutual support and collaboration.
In prayer, enter intense relationship
with God and with everyone;
in work, build with responsibility
the city of men;
in love, weave a net of personal contacts,
in which the family spirit may grow,
and you will have peace
as a combination of all the goods.
I. Identity in the Church
1. Origin of the Nazarene Fraternities
The Nazarene Fraternities are born of the irradiation of the Taborinian charism carried out by the Brothers of the Holy Family and of the spiritual sensitivity of some lay persons who, coming into contact with Brother Gabriel’s charism, have seen in it a safe, accessible and present path to live the own vocation to sanctity being inspired by the mystery of Nazareth.
It is a sign of the times, a gift of the Spirit to the Church that we have discovered in the Church from the II Vatican Council.
The Nazarene Fraternities are constituted in Association of Christ’s faithful in the Church, associated to the Institute of the Brothers of the Holy Family of Belley, in accordance with CIC, canon 677, §2.
The General Council of the Institute, following an Orientation of the General Chapter (1989), decided the creation of the Nazarene Fraternities Association in its meeting of January 7 and 8, 1993. Its existence and relation with the Institute are recognized in the article 9 of the General Directory of 1995.
2. Brother Gabriel Taborin
Brother Gabriel TABORIN is the essential reference point for the members of the Nazarene Fraternities.
Gabriel participates intensely, from his youth, in the re-evangelization of his native parish.
He discovers and is faithful until the end to his vocation of religious Brother, in spite of the difficulties he founds.
He directs all his energy of educator and apostle to form “saints for heaven and good citizens for the society”.
He invites to get closer to Nazareth, where the Holy Family is the model of all the virtues and help for all.
In his maturity, he increases his ecclesial and missionary sense. His ideal of religious life and of apostolate arises from a profound faith which drives him to constant prayer, to feel the fascination for the liturgy and to work for the good of the Church, helping him to overcome the difficulties in order to keep faithful to his vocation of “Brother”.
He is concern, mainly, about the foundation of an Institute of Brothers that, continuing his apostolic impulse, they may spread throughout the world. After several attempts, he starts the foundation in Belmont in 1835. Moved the headquarters to Belley, the Institute is recognized of Pontifical Right by Pope Gregory XVI on 28th August, 1841.
The Church has proclaimed the heroism of his virtues on 14th May, 1991, declaring him as a sure model in the path to sanctity.
3. The Brothers of the Holy Family
The members of the Institute are all Brothers and they are called with this name. Even considering compatible, as the example of their Founder, the presence of some Brothers Priests, according to Decree Perfectae Caritatis, 10, they wish to maintain the lay character of their presence in the Church, in accordance with their own charism.
The Brothers have as motto: “In prayer, work, and love: peace”. Their spirituality and the orientations of their apostolate are inspired in the mystery of Jesus in Nazareth, living in family with Mary and Joseph.
The Brothers see in their religious profession the fullest expression of their baptismal consecration. Their mission is developed mainly in education, liturgical animation and catechesis. They live in Community their ideal of being Brothers of Christ, Brothers to one another and Brothers to everyone (VC 60).
The Brothers are aware that the ideal of life and apostolate, inherited by Brother Gabriel Taborin and expressed in the Constitutions, can be also shared by other members of the people of God.
4. The Nazarene Fraternities
The members of the Fraternity live their baptismal vocation in their ambiences (family, parish, place of work), according to the Nazarene charism of Brother Gabriel, to irradiate it in the Church and in the world. In their own state of life, the members of these groups are committed to living the Gospel in the daily life with simple acts. The work, the prayer, the fraternity lived in Nazareth, are the constant features in their spiritual orientation.
In the Fraternities are shared life and prayer, the members grow in faith and hope.
Each member is co-responsible of the life and vitality of his Fraternity.
Each Fraternity is united to a religious Community of Brothers; so to be stable and dynamic, it will have its own organization, as indicated further on.
The Superior General of the Institute of the Brothers of the Holy Family guarantees, ultimately, the fidelity of the Association to the charism of Brother Gabriel and to the Church.
The belonging to the Association is not incompatible with the adhesion to other ecclesial groups.
Each one of the Fraternities or the Association as such, may join the UNIVERSAL ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY FAMILY.
5. The Members of the Fraternities
The charism and mission of the Institute of the Brothers of the Holy Family can be lived out by diverse groups and people. Among them, it is the Nazarene Fraternities Association.
This Association is open to every Christian who wishes to follow Christ closely according to the Nazarene spirituality of Brother Gabriel Taborin.
There can be different levels of participation in ti: formally committed, participants in formation, persons in process of rapprochement.
The participation is open, and not always to be present in all the activities proposed by the Fraternity (recollection days, retreats, conferences, meetings, celebrations, etc.).
In order to join the Nazarene Fraternity, the interested person will write a petition of admission as indicated further on.