European De La Mennais Brothers gathering - Bilbao, May '09

A couple of months ago, I was invited to a weekend meeting in Bilbao for "younger" Brothers from Spain, France and England. The aims =
- to get to know each other better with a view to increased international collaboration in organising/participating in youth events with pupils from our respective schools
- to start planning/sharing ideas about future youth events in 2010 + 2011, 2010 being the 150th anniversary of the death of our co-Founder, Father Jean-Marie De La Mennais and 2011 being the year of the next World Youth Day to be held this time in Madrid.

It was great to get to know my Spanish brethren in particular. I already knew the French ones involved very well. Our Spanish Province is very dynamic and full of life, like the Spanish Brothers themselves, as we had seen at the youth gathering we'd held in Liverpool for groups from Spain + France just before last Christmas.

The future events which we discussed included:
- March 27th-29th, 2010 = a youth gathering/training weekend at the Mother House in Ploërmel (Brittany, France) for older t
eens/young adults (15-20 yrs. approx.) who wish to go to World Youth Day 2011
- Palm Sunday weekend, 2010 = a European youth gathering at St-Nazaire (France)
- July 2010 = 100kms hiking on the Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage route (15-18 yrs.)
- July/Aug. 2010 = our next African Educational Project trip - either back to Togo or perhaps to Senegal (if I'm involved in this, which is likely, then I probably won't be taking a group to Santiago)
- Oct. 2010 = youth pilgrimage to Lourdes helping the sick
- April 21st-24th (Easter), 2011 = a Mennaisian Family pilgrimage to Lourdes (older teens - adults = work colleagues, friends, family members of Brothers, etc...)
- March, 2011 = another youth gathering/training weekend for those who wish to go to World Youth Day 2011
- Aug. 15th-21st, 2011 = World Youth Day - "days in the diocese" in and around Bilbao, final weekend in Madrid, accommodation/activities organised by our Spanish Brothers and lay colleagues

Bros. Juan Carlos (Spain) + Patrick (France)

Some of our Spanish Brothers

Last night sing-song...

... teaching them the actions to "Lord I Lift Your Name On High"

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