Joy, fraternal life, unity, weaknesses, the CANA fraternity in the Czech Republic is experiencing an extraordinary season. Saying “yes” to this great work of God, Marek & Helena share what allows God’s love to flow through the national team to the whole fraternity.
Marek & Helena SLEZAK, national leaders
Kána Chemin Neuf (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the cause of this extraordinary situation?
For some years now, we have been experiencing something quite extraordinary in the CANA fraternity in our country. Our formation meetings are full of joy, the desire to fully take advantage of them, as well as to share and pray together; and all the while the fraternity continues to grow.
We sometimes wonder what this extraordinary movement is all about, what causes it. It’s certainly God who does this, who inflames our hearts with his Spirit, who gives us growth. We are aware of all this and we are learning to be indifferent, even at this moment. We realise that, just as there is a season of growth, there can also be a season of decline, by God’s will. We experience that CANA is a great work of God that God blesses and that we become part of this work of God by our YES.
We experience that as a team we can contribute to the growth of the fraternal atmosphere. So we’d like to share with you, and perhaps inspire you, about how we live and work as a team. We will describe what is important to us and what we are happy to accomplish with the CANA National Team throughout the year.
Desire for fraternal life
Every year in September, before starting the missionary year with the first launch and commitment weekend, we get together as the CANA National Team for a whole weekend. From Friday to Sunday, we try to deepen our fraternal life as a team. We plan this weekend at the beginning of the school year so that we can experience it with our children. You could say it’s the weekend of fraternal life for the CANA National Team. It’s good for us to meet each other’s children too. In this way, we get to know each other as couples better and, over the course of the year, when we share what is happening in our relationship, we can better understand our brother or sister when he or she talks about the family situation with the children, and so on. An important part of our time together is the Saturday evening prayer, when each team member has the opportunity to make an individual commitment in their own words, expressing their desire to be of service to CANA, and together we ask for blessings to be guided and inspired by God through his Spirit.
Throughout the year, we meet in an online space via Zoom. Not just to work, but above all to share what’s going on in our lives. Moreover, at least three times a year we all get together in a place in the centre of our country. We spend a lot of time having a good meal together, sharing, praying personally and praising our God.
Loving God and being ourselves
We believe that these meetings are an important time for us as leaders, where we don’t just have to be strong and decisive, but where we can be weak and vulnerable. It is a space where we can pray for each other, support each other in our difficulties and rejoice with those who are experiencing moments of joy in their personal lives as a couple or family. We also pray for the couples entrusted to us; and together we present to the Lord everything we need to discern or decide about the next step. He then usually gives each of us a piece of the answer. This is not only a great adventure for us, but also a confirmation that the Lord loves so much to reveal himself within the community that gathers in his name. Even if we often feel that we have to devote a lot of time to work, for example, on a weekend coming up, we allow ourselves to spend a good deal of time together in fraternal sharing, listening and praying. In the end, we can do all the work we need to do quickly, efficiently and united in our God.
In all humility, we dare to say that this fraternal love, this joy, this shared weakness, this unity, this love of God, this desire for fraternal life that we experience among ourselves in the team, then flows from God through us to the whole CANA fraternity.