Today's Marists Volume 5, Issue 1 Spring 2019

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Today’s<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

<strong>Volume</strong> 5 | <strong>Issue</strong> 1<br />

<strong>Marists</strong><br />

Society of Mary in the U.S.

Today’s<br />

<strong>Marists</strong><br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> | <strong>Volume</strong> 5 | <strong>Issue</strong> 1<br />

Publisher<br />

Editor<br />

Editorial Assistants<br />

Archivist<br />

Editorial Board<br />

Paul Frechette, SM, Provincial<br />

Ted Keating, SM<br />

Elizabeth F. Avila<br />

Philip Gage, SM<br />

Randy Hoover, SM<br />

Susan Plews, SSND<br />

Susan Illis<br />

Ted Keating, SM, Editor<br />

Paul Carr, Director of Development<br />

Thomas Ellerman, SM<br />

Joseph Hindelang, SM<br />

Randy Hoover, SM<br />

Bishop Joel Konzen, SM<br />

Jack Ridout, Director of Vocations<br />

Bill Rowland, SM<br />

Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> is published three times a year by The Marist<br />

Fathers and Brothers of the United States Province. The contents<br />

of this magazine consist of copyrightable material and cannot<br />

be reproduced without the expressed written permission of<br />

the authors and publisher. We wish to provide a public forum<br />

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todaysmarists@maristsociety.org<br />

Editorial Office<br />

Editor: 202-529-2821<br />

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Contact our Editorial Office. Our website offers additional<br />

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regularly.<br />

In this issue...<br />

3 from the Provincial<br />

by Paul Frechette, SM<br />

4 Contemplation Meeting Action in Discernment<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

5 Book Corner<br />

6 Nurturing Life in All Its Forms<br />

by John Larsen, SM<br />

7 The Marist in Solitude<br />

by Tom Ellerman, SM<br />

8 Servant Leadership and Marist Values<br />

by Mary Ghisolfo<br />

9 News Brief<br />

10 Oceania More than ‘Climate Change’<br />

by Ben McKenna, SM<br />

Society of Mary of the USA<br />

12 Preparing for a Life of Compassion and Mercy:<br />

Introduction<br />

by Tony Kennedy, SM<br />

13 Licentiate Program in Ecumenism<br />

by Floyd Gatana, SM<br />

13 Pastoral Experience in Ranong, Thailand<br />

by Gabriel Mukong, SM<br />

14 Final Profession and Diaconate<br />

by Josefo Amuri, SM<br />

15 Marist Vocational Discernment in Today’s World<br />

by Jack Ridout<br />

16 Movie Review: Of Gods and Men<br />

by Brian Cummings, SM<br />

18 The 150th Anniversary of St. Louis King of France<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

19 Marist Lives: Rev. Arthur Duhamel, SM<br />

by Susan J. Illis<br />

20 One School’s Vision of “the Greatest Work”<br />

by Kevin Mullally<br />

21 A New Model of Vocation Accompaniment in<br />

the US Province<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

22 Society of Mary School Sponsorship in the USA<br />

by Joseph Hindelang, SM<br />

23 Donor Thoughts: Why I Support the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

by Nedom Haley<br />

© <strong>2019</strong> by Society of Mary in the U.S. All rights reserved.<br />

Printed on partially-recycled stock with a vegetable-based ink mixture.<br />

Design: Beth Ponticello | CEDC | www.cedc.org<br />

2 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

from the Provincial<br />

Fr. Paul Frechette, SM<br />

Annual Meeting of Marist Family Provincials<br />

The provincials of the four branches<br />

of the Marist Family (Marist Brothers,<br />

Marist Sisters, Missionary Sisters of the<br />

Society of Mary, Marist Fathers and<br />

Brothers) met in Washington, DC from<br />

April 30-May 1, <strong>2019</strong> at the Provincial<br />

headquarters of the Marist Fathers and<br />

Brothers for our annual meeting. We<br />

shared ways of how to continue to build<br />

bridges between our Marist Family here<br />

in the USA. One example of this is our<br />

annual joint Marist Vocation directors’<br />

presentation to the students at Marist<br />

School in Atlanta, Georgia which occurs<br />

for one week every January. As always in<br />

our dialogue, we shared the successes<br />

and challenges that we face in each of<br />

our branches. New religious vocations to<br />

our way of life is always a challenge. In<br />

discussing these challenges our focus is<br />

always centered on the original dream<br />

of our founders to make ‘the whole world<br />

Marist.’<br />

The original dream in the 1800s for the<br />

Marist Family aimed at the formation<br />

of one religious congregation (both men<br />

and women under the leadership of one<br />

superior general) and a lay branch. That<br />

dream, however, was unrealizable. Today<br />

the Marist Family refers to four separate<br />

religious congregations as well as the laity<br />

branch. Each branch has its own founder<br />

“whose personality and temperament<br />

shaped and colored the original insight.”<br />

(Craig Larkin, A Certain Way)<br />

Cover Explanation<br />

Lord our God, the whole world tells the greatness of your name,<br />

Your Glory reaches beyond the stars<br />

I see Your handiwork in the heavens;<br />

the moon and the stars you set in place.<br />

What is humankind that You remember them,<br />

the human race that You care for them.<br />

You treat them like gods dressing them in glory and splendor<br />

You give them charge of the earth, laying all at their feet.<br />

(Ps. 8:2, 4-7)<br />

Marist Brothers (FMS)<br />

The Marist Brothers were founded in<br />

1817 by a young French Marist Father,<br />

Saint Marcellin Champagnat, in<br />

response to the spiritual, educational,<br />

and physical needs of the young and<br />

poor. Champagnat’s energy and spirit<br />

is present everywhere throughout the<br />

congregation’s dedication to preparing<br />

men to educate the young and exemplify<br />

in their lives the love of Jesus through<br />

Mary.<br />

Marist Sisters (SM)<br />

Establishing the Marist Sisters came<br />

about from the strength, humility,<br />

insight, and zeal of Jeanne-Marie<br />

Chavoin. She along with two others<br />

began the first community of Marist<br />

Sisters in 1823. This congregation of<br />

religious women is characterized “by<br />

the desire to make the mystery of Mary<br />

in the church the daily inspiration of its<br />

life and action, not by any special work<br />

nor by the promotion of any particular<br />

form of Marian devotion.” (Marist Sisters’<br />

Constitutions)<br />

Missionary Sisters of the Society of<br />

Mary (SMSM)<br />

The beginnings of the Missionary Sisters<br />

of the Society of Mary can be traced<br />

back to Marie Françoise Perroton along<br />

with ten other female pioneers who left<br />

France from 1845 to 1860 to respond<br />

to the request from the missions of<br />

Our cover presents a young person deep in discernment over where the boundless creation calls in<br />

the stark and awesome magnificence of what it means to be human.<br />

Oceania to “send us some devout women<br />

to teach the women.” The SMSM were<br />

approved as a religious congregation in<br />

1931. Despite the challenges they face,<br />

the Missionary Sisters “wish to respond<br />

to the calls of today with the daring and<br />

zeal of the pioneers. We want to keep<br />

alive this daring – simple, joyful, and<br />

prudent – based solely on the love and<br />

power of God in order to announce the<br />

Gospel in its force and integrity, learning<br />

to adapt ourselves to different cultures<br />

and conditions of life.” (Missionary<br />

Sisters’ Constitutions)<br />

Marist Fathers and Brothers (SM)<br />

The Society of Mary (Fathers and<br />

Brothers) was founded in 1836 by Fr.<br />

Jean-Claude Colin. The priests and<br />

brothers of this international religious<br />

congregation vow to live the spirit of<br />

Mary and serve the Church and world<br />

under her name. As Colin said, “Mary<br />

supported the Church as it came to birth;<br />

she will do so again at the end of time.”<br />

Marist Laity<br />

The lay branch of the Marist Family<br />

was canonically established in 1850 as<br />

the Third Order of Mary and has since<br />

developed into a variety of Marist lay<br />

groups, formal and informal, around the<br />

world. Together with consecrated Marist<br />

religious, the Marist laity work together<br />

to express the Marist spirit and mission<br />

of the Marian Church first envisioned by<br />

Fr. Colin.<br />

At our next annual meeting we hope to<br />

continue our Marist Family dialogue<br />

about the challenges we face in order to<br />

continue to share our Marist founders’<br />

dream of living the spirit of Mary in<br />

our communities, manifesting the one<br />

concern to think, judge, feel, and act in<br />

every way as Mary would.<br />

History Source:<br />

www.maristsm.org/en/marist-family.aspx<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 3

Contemplation Meeting<br />

Action in Discernment<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

The theme of the past year’s Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> threaded and<br />

woven through several articles has been “the Marist Way,<br />

a Contemplative Way.” This theme emerged out of deep<br />

concerns from the 2017 Society of Mary General Chapter (an<br />

international meeting of the <strong>Marists</strong> that convenes every<br />

eight years) to deepen the contemplative dimension of our<br />

lives. It became even more relevant with the publication of<br />

Jean-Claude Colin: Reluctant Founder by Justin Taylor, SM,<br />

an exhaustively researched biography of our Founder. One of<br />

the book’s key areas of exploration is the spirituality of Father<br />

Colin − his principal spiritual influences, how he responded to<br />

them in his own life, and what he asked from <strong>Marists</strong> by way<br />

of a life of prayer and conversion as a foundation for and an<br />

exercise of mission and pastoral ministry. In this year’s Today’s<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> we will focus on the theme of discernment described<br />

by Thomas Green, SJ, in his classic on the topic, Weeds Among<br />

the Wheat (Ave Maria Press, 1984) as “the meeting point of<br />

prayer and action.” The title of Green’s book comes from<br />

the Gospel parable, as you will no doubt recognize, of the<br />

farmhand who asks the farmer what to do when he discovers<br />

that someone has sown destructive weeds abundantly in the<br />

field of good wheat. (Matthew 13:24)<br />

Before we move on to that theme, however, we have to note<br />

that it is not clear that Jean-Claude Colin actually used the<br />

word “contemplative” to describe his prayer and spirituality.<br />

But, now in recent decades of intense studies of two famous<br />

American Trappist authors, Thomas Merton, OCSO, and<br />

Thomas Keating, OCSO, we find many close connections<br />

between Colin’s way of seeing prayer and spirituality and<br />

the current use of the word “contemplation.” For example,<br />

contemporary Jesuits describe themselves these days as<br />

contemplatives in action, based on years of multiple new<br />

studies about the spirituality of their own founder, St. Ignatius<br />

of Loyola. Several of the approaches in this past year’s issues of<br />

Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> have similarly presented this spiritual reality as<br />

the “Marist Way, a Contemplative Way,” to follow the wording<br />

of Michael Whelan, SM, a Marist theologian from Australia.<br />

The General Chapter of 2017 placed deep prayer in this<br />

contemplative sense at the heart of mission for <strong>Marists</strong> The<br />

Catholic understanding of mission flows out of the Mission of<br />

God among us, especially the Missioning of Jesus, which refers<br />

to His being sent by the Father, as Jesus mentions frequently<br />

in the Gospels. This Mission of Jesus is none other than the<br />

mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus among us as both God<br />

and Human. Jesus, in turn, tells us that “he will not leave us<br />

orphans but will send us the Spirit” whose own Mission is to<br />

remind us of all that Jesus taught. Therefore, Mission is first<br />

the action of God among us, and our mission is only authentic<br />

when it is exercised in the God “in whom we live and move and<br />

have our being.” (Acts 17:28) It begins and ends as the grace<br />

of God. We can live out our ministry only as it comes from<br />

the grace of God in the light of the mystery of God. Prayer,<br />

contemplation, and dwelling in the mystery of God must<br />

somehow pour out into our ministries if they are not to become<br />

secularized activities of “good works” rather than the work of<br />

God among us in grace. Ideally, contemplation, mission, and<br />

ministry are one.<br />

Discernment is what unites all this. The world of mystery, faith,<br />

and prayer has to “hit the ground” in action. Decisions must<br />

be made using the best techniques involved in discernment.<br />

Our human decision-making faculties, however, have to be<br />

forged, tempered, and shaped by faith in the will of God for<br />

the world, ‘not just by our own best strategic analysis’ using<br />

only secular methods of decision-making. When ‘prayer meets<br />

action’, transformation of even the best secular decisionmaking<br />

methods help to shape our lives of prayer into actions<br />

that will deepen our contemplative Marist Way, whether we<br />

be vowed or lay <strong>Marists</strong>. We have to leave space for the Spirit<br />

in our understanding and practice of mission in a manner<br />

4 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

that infuses our decisions with the gifts and fruits of the Spirit<br />

as we “become Mary” for the Church and the world. Without<br />

Spirit’s prompting, we can gradually grow unconsciously<br />

“secularized” in our efforts to serve the Church. Therefore,<br />

discernment is inseparable from contemplation. It is where<br />

and how our contemplation truly becomes “the energy source,<br />

the mystical heart of Marist mission” as the General Chapter<br />

expresses it. (2017 General Chapter, 30) This is how the clarity<br />

of Colin’s vision of “thinking, judging, feeling, and acting as<br />

Mary” becomes a reality in our spiritual lives as well as in our<br />

everyday life and ministry, as individuals and as a group. As<br />

Mary, we too become more like “icons” of the Holy Spirit. We<br />

bring Mary as the Icon of the Spirit into the world through our<br />

pursuit of contemplation.<br />

The great gift St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits have<br />

given to the Church is this “gracious” work referred to as<br />

discernment. It is the principal focus of the book St. Ignatius<br />

wrote, Spiritual Exercises, a classic in Western spirituality. It is<br />

rooted deeply in the imagination, which was rather new at the<br />

time. The aim is to search in our hearts through prayer and in<br />

the midst of desires, consolations, and desolations, for clarity<br />

about where God is calling us (drawing us by desire), while<br />

also helping us to become conscious of the false desires that<br />

tend to lead us away from God.<br />

The very title of Thomas Green’s classic on discernment, Weeds<br />

Among the Wheat, (a book designed to be read and discussed<br />

with others in small groups) shows how challenging the work<br />

of sifting the “wheat and weeds” of inner experience can be,<br />

because false and destructive desires are often mixed together<br />

with our greatest hopes for purity. This sifting can only be<br />

done effectively when others are ready to help “keep us clear.”<br />

It involves a boundless humility in our path to God of which<br />

Ignatius himself spoke so frequently. Thus, we hope that you<br />

will appreciate this year’s theme of discernment as the natural<br />

next step flowing out of a life of contemplation moving into<br />

action and service to our world.<br />

Let me leave you with an excellent analogy used by Thomas<br />

Green, SJ, that helps us understand how loving knowledge<br />

shapes our way of making decisions even when we may not<br />

know we are doing so. Discernment may be much more<br />

common in our lives of love than we realize. Green imagines a<br />

woman married for fifty years to her husband. She is shopping<br />

for a necktie for his birthday. She looks at the neckwear<br />

selection in the men’s store and immediately dismisses whole<br />

racks of ties as not being what she is looking for. She zeroes in<br />

on another rack and perceives that these might provide the gift<br />

she wants. Finally, she spots the perfect tie for her husband.<br />

She has lived with him lovingly for fifty years and knows<br />

exactly what he likes. She goes home confident that he will love<br />

the tie she has chosen. Similarly, knowledge flowing from our<br />

love of God over many years gradually helps us to love what He<br />

loves and helps us know how to make choices based on that<br />

long relationship.<br />

You will probably also enjoy reading in this issue the movie<br />

review Brian Cummings, SM writes of the film Of Gods and<br />

Men. It helps concretize how “knowledge born of love” shows<br />

itself in action in community.<br />

BOOK<br />

CORNER<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

As this issue of Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> was<br />

being assembled, the news reported<br />

the death of Jean Vanier on May 7,<br />

<strong>2019</strong> in Paris at the age of 90. He<br />

was one of the great lay voices of<br />

mysticism and prophetic action in<br />

the post-Vatican II era. His death<br />

was described as the death of a<br />

“living saint,” like that of Mother<br />

Teresa, a good friend of his.<br />

Vanier radiated a holiness<br />

manifest in profound and<br />

persistent love to the<br />

intellectually handicapped. His<br />

death came as the end of a<br />

long search to discern what<br />

God wanted him to do with his life.<br />

In his youth he had been a naval officer in the Canadian<br />

navy, earned a doctorate in Catholic philosophy, and finally<br />

his calling “found him” in the horrendous experience<br />

of witnessing how the intellectually handicapped were<br />

treated in in society. He saw his call, however, as not<br />

to serve them in any traditional sense, but to befriend<br />

them, to learn from them, and to discover Christ in these<br />

thoroughly marginalized people. Vanier began a significant<br />

lay movement called L’Arche (the Ark). He started with a<br />

small residence and two intellectually challenged men. The<br />

Arche Communities spread rapidly all over the world, even in<br />

Buddhist and Muslim nations. He attracted and still attracts<br />

large numbers of young people to these communities not to<br />

serve the people, but to live with them, “encounter” them,<br />

and learn from them the truth about the practice of love in<br />

Jesus’s final command to live His “new Commandment.”<br />

Jean Vanier published more than thirty books over the years,<br />

many of them still in print, calling forth a life of love rooted<br />

in engaging our own brokenness before and while we would<br />

dare move forward to “serve others.” Henri Nouwen, another<br />

great post-Vatican II mystical writer, lived several years in a<br />

L’Arche Community. Both men made enormous contributions<br />

to the nature of Christian ministry as “wounded healers”<br />

who move not out of power to serve others benevolently,<br />

but to bring one’s own “broken places” into ministries of<br />

compassion, recognizing one’s own limits while at the same<br />

time engaging the brokenness of others. Vanier wrote a<br />

testament of his spiritual search and the surprising growth<br />

of L’Arche in a book titled A Cry Is Heard: My Path to Peace,<br />

published by Twenty-Third Publications in 2018.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 5

Nurturing Life in<br />

All Its Forms<br />

by John Larsen, SM, Superior General<br />

In February, the presidents of the Bishops’<br />

Conferences from around the Catholic<br />

world responded to Pope Francis’<br />

invitation to gather as shepherds in the<br />

Church to consider a more just and honest<br />

ecclesial response to the scandalous<br />

tragedy of sexual abuse. Our own Marist<br />

Bishop Paul Donoghue S.M., President of<br />

the Pacific Bishops’ Conference, (CEPAC),<br />

stayed with us here in Villa Santa Maria,<br />

Monteverde, Rome, while he attended the<br />

gathering.<br />

Now is an opportune time for all of us<br />

as <strong>Marists</strong> to examine our own lives<br />

searching out any form of abuse, however<br />

subtle they may be. We pray and discern<br />

with great honesty, confronting our own<br />

sinfulness, always aware of God’s grace.<br />

Our penance can be designed, either<br />

individually or as a community, as a way<br />

of repentance and conversion toward the<br />

true light of the Gospel and against the<br />

darkness of any abusive attitudes.<br />

The child abuse crisis is an abuse of<br />

power. Our Marist charism clearly<br />

opposes all over-reaching forms of power,<br />

challenging us to humble service of the<br />

poor. Sometimes our structures keep<br />

us far away from the dreary, grinding,<br />

anxious lives of the very poor. It is<br />

important for us to make a conscious<br />

effort to undertake some activity which<br />

brings us personally to encounter in<br />

friendship some of the poorest people<br />

around us and to share with them what<br />

they understand as “Good News.” Our<br />

penance may also involve employing<br />

our talents to confront unjust structures<br />

which oppress and abuse those who are<br />

powerless.<br />

The Gospel and the charism of Marist<br />

Religious Life, especially the vow of<br />

poverty, demand a simple lifestyle where<br />

everything is shared in common and<br />

in a transparent way. For <strong>Marists</strong>, there<br />

is no such thing as “my” money or car,<br />

“my” time or bank balance. We live very<br />

simply and share openly our lives and<br />

our possessions with each other and with<br />

the poor. We can consider a penance<br />

that leads us toward repentance and<br />

conversion to a more simple, transparent,<br />

and generous lifestyle, sharing all things<br />

in common. (Constitutions 106-113)<br />

By our way of life, we can easily abuse the<br />

created world around us. As Pope Francis<br />

writes: “What is needed is an ‘ecological<br />

conversion’ whereby the effects of our<br />

encounter with Jesus Christ become<br />

evident in our relationship with the<br />

world around us. Living our vocation as<br />

protectors of God’s handiwork is essential<br />

to the life of virtue.” (Laudato Si’, 217) The<br />

Marist General Chapter of 2017 echoes<br />

this: “An ecologically sustainable style<br />

of living is an intrinsic part of living the<br />

Gospel today.” (2017 General Chapter,<br />

44) In Fiji, <strong>Marists</strong> are developing an<br />

Ecological Center, while in New Zealand<br />

some <strong>Marists</strong> are calling for greater<br />

accountability for our harmful carbon<br />

footprint. 1 With these initiatives the work<br />

of the new Marist Ecological Commission<br />

is gaining momentum. A penance<br />

might involve for all of us some work of<br />

protection and healing of a particularly<br />

abused corner of the world where we live.<br />

The terrible story of abuse and coverup<br />

in the Church and elsewhere cries<br />

out for repentance and a profound<br />

conversion of heart and lifestyle. May<br />

each of us individually and all of us in<br />

our communities, undertake focused<br />

penances that affect a Gospel conversion<br />

from any form of abuse towards more<br />

just and compassionate communities,<br />

ministries and environments.<br />

The 2017 General Chapter gave us<br />

a direction for deciding upon an<br />

appropriate penance this year:<br />

From our communities, where we care for<br />

our Marist brothers as we care for all those<br />

who are struggling to be faithful disciples,<br />

Mary, the mother of the New Creation, calls<br />

us to nurture life in all its forms, especially<br />

among our most vulnerable brothers<br />

and sisters and in our damaged planet.<br />

(Declaration on Mission, 5)<br />

Endnote<br />

1 A new Marist justice and peace blog, well worth<br />

following!<br />

http://jpicblog.maristsm.org<br />

6 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

The Marist in Solitude<br />

by Tom Ellerman, SM<br />

Over the years much time and energy have been devoted to<br />

explaining the meaning of the expression, “unknown and<br />

indeed even hidden in this world,” used to describe the Marist.<br />

How can someone who spends a great deal of time in public<br />

ministry and community life be “unknown” and “hidden” even<br />

if they have combined “a love of solitude and silence … with<br />

works of zeal.” (Constitutions) The answer to this difficulty lies<br />

in the kind of solitary life that Father Colin expects the Marist<br />

to live in the solitude and silence of his room. There he is truly<br />

unknown and hidden.<br />

Unlike some religious who are expected to spend most of their<br />

day in the presence of others and use their rooms only for<br />

sleeping, the Marist is expected to spend a good amount of his<br />

day alone in his room. How do we know this?<br />

In numbers 231 and 232 of the 1872 Constitutions, Fr. Colin<br />

describes in some detail the bedroom of the Marist religious.<br />

It is not the tiny cell that many religious traditionally have<br />

inhabited. Its description, however, does sound as if Fr.<br />

Colin had anticipated by 150 years the Japanese minimalist<br />

movement of Marie Kondo and Fumio Sasaki. Although<br />

the Marist room is spacious, it is the essence of minimalist<br />

simplicity. Let us take inventory of the Marist room:<br />

• A bed<br />

• A straw mattress<br />

• A woolen quilt<br />

• Bed linens and blankets<br />

• One table topped with three bookshelves<br />

• Two chairs<br />

• A kneeler (Prie-Dieu)<br />

• One wardrobe<br />

• A few devout pictures<br />

• An armchair that gives evidence to poverty<br />

• No covering on the walls (referring to what at the time<br />

could be expensive elaborate wallpaper)<br />

This list of furnishings reveals to us what the founder wanted<br />

to take place in the Marist room. The room is a dormitory, a<br />

private chapel, and a study with a small library. The Marist<br />

sleeps, rests, reads, studies, and prays in his room. It is a place<br />

of peace and quiet, where the religious engages in spiritual<br />

reading, sermon or class preparation, ongoing professional<br />

education, letter writing, personal prayers, meditation, his<br />

examinations of conscience and God-consciousness. It is a<br />

place of inspiration, creativity, and spiritual struggle. It is the<br />

place where the Marist is alone with the Alone.<br />

While the Marist room has an air of poverty and simplicity,<br />

it provides for the necessities of its occupant. Father Colin<br />

presupposes that every Marist house has an adequate common<br />

library. Nevertheless, the Marist religious may keep up to three<br />

shelves of books in his room for his personal and immediate use.<br />

In number 42 of the Constitutions Colin writes: “To enable the<br />

Society to attain its goal, it is absolutely essential that those<br />

academic studies which can serve the salvation of souls be<br />

cultivated within it.”<br />

Even in the privacy of his bedroom, a Marist’s furnishings<br />

are a constant reminder to him to spend time developing his<br />

personal relationship with Jesus Christ and working for the<br />

salvation of his neighbor. He seeks to understand more deeply<br />

his Catholic Faith so that, with God’s grace, he may give an<br />

account of the hope that is within him and thus attain more<br />

fruitfully the purpose of the Society of Mary.<br />

Fr. Colin’s room in Lyons, France<br />

“The Marist sleeps, rests, reads,<br />

studies, and prays in his room.<br />

It is a place of peace and quiet...<br />

It is a place of inspiration, creativity,<br />

and spiritual struggle.”<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 7

Servant Leadership and Marist Values<br />

by Mary Ghisolfo, Former President of Marist Laity<br />

“Have one ambition. While doing great things for the Lord, be unknown and even hidden<br />

in the world. The aim is to make the school a family.” (Jean-Claude Colin)<br />

I served at École Notre Dame des Victoires<br />

(NDV), a Marist K-8 elementary school<br />

in downtown San Francisco, California<br />

for 37 years beginning as the sixthgrade<br />

teacher followed by 31 years as<br />

principal. For me, the concept of “servant<br />

leader” was always a way of being in the<br />

classroom or as principal. Responding<br />

to the needs of others was my focus,<br />

especially to those who struggled with<br />

life’s challenges whether they came from<br />

students, parents, or faculty and staff.<br />

Creating a sense of community was<br />

also a major goal for me in both of my<br />

roles. Listening to the needs of students,<br />

academic and social, or being present to<br />

the needs of the faculty, staff, and parent<br />

community, I considered of paramount<br />

importance. We are all in this together, I<br />

thought.<br />

Being Present<br />

“Let us show one another not only<br />

charity, but also respect and honor.”<br />

(Jean-Claude Colin)<br />

I have always considered presence to be<br />

significant. As a teacher, I was compelled<br />

to move around the classroom observing<br />

students as they worked, encouraging and<br />

praising them for thoughtful choices, or<br />

alerting them to an aspect of their work<br />

that may need to be reworked, all of this<br />

in an effort to help them succeed. Giving<br />

positive feedback, along with caring and<br />

constructive criticism was vital. With<br />

the staff, I made it a priority to be where<br />

the action was, which could range from<br />

informal classroom walkthroughs to<br />

being present in the hallways, on the<br />

playground, gym, or cafeteria. I wanted<br />

them to know that I was there with them<br />

to ensure that “all was well.” Formal<br />

teacher meetings were scheduled once<br />

a month to discuss curriculum, student<br />

needs, or other issues. It was a good<br />

opportunity for teachers to share with<br />

me what they were excited about that was<br />

working in the classroom, and what posed<br />

challenges to them. They also created a<br />

list of questions, concerns, and comments<br />

to share with me during these meetings.<br />

Service<br />

Embracing the spirit of service was<br />

not only reflected in working with the<br />

teachers in planning student service<br />

projects, but also working alongside them.<br />

One example of this was when the art<br />

department sponsored an “Empty Bowls<br />

Dinner” during the Lenten season. To<br />

prepare for this special dinner, the faculty<br />

painted bisque ware bowls which were<br />

later used for the simple soup-and-salad<br />

meal that the school and parish families<br />

attended. Local eateries donated the food<br />

and funds raised helped to support the<br />

Gubbio Project, a ministry at a nearby<br />

Franciscan church where the homeless<br />

slept in the pews during the day and then<br />

offered a meal as well as various support<br />

services. (www.thegubbioproject.org)<br />

Faith and Prayer<br />

Creating opportunities for teachers’<br />

personal growth in faith and prayer was<br />

continuous. All faculty meetings opened<br />

with a prayer, and during Advent and<br />

Lent teachers were called to pray together<br />

in the St. Peter Chanel Chapel on the<br />

first floor of the school before faculty<br />

meetings. These opportunities for prayer<br />

provided them time to reflect upon and<br />

hear more clearly the Good News of<br />

Jesus. Faculty and staff also participated<br />

in retreats each January prior to the<br />

start of school. This gave everyone an<br />

opportunity to learn more about Marist<br />

spirituality and to reflect on ways to<br />

implement it both within and outside<br />

of school. For parents, “Coffee with the<br />

Principal,” informal meetings, were held<br />

twice a year to enhance home & school<br />

communication. Each gathering opened<br />

with a prayer that focused on a theme<br />

(e.g., Peace, The Work of Mary, Patience<br />

and Parenting).<br />

Hospitality<br />

Hospitality is the welcoming spirit that<br />

makes people feel appreciated and<br />

included, indeed a part of a community.<br />

This spirit was extended to new students<br />

through the “buddy” program. New<br />

students were paired with a classmate<br />

who helped answer questions and<br />

who showed them around. A similar<br />

arrangement was made for the new<br />

parents whereby a “buddy family” was<br />

assigned to help them navigate school<br />

life and to provide guidance and support.<br />

Hospitality was also extended to staff<br />

members. Knowing that many mornings<br />

teachers arrived without eating breakfast,<br />

I would bring in bagels, cookies, fruit,<br />

8 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

etc. They were most grateful and felt<br />

appreciated. In addition, brief personal<br />

notes of gratitude to faculty and staff<br />

thanking them for their fine work<br />

encouraged and supported them.<br />

Compassion<br />

“Set aside their own interests and plans in<br />

favor of those of Jesus and Mary, and put<br />

themselves in the shoes of the other person.”<br />

(The Work of Mary: Marist Laity in the Society of Mary)<br />

As educators, we are called to be<br />

compassionate in our interactions<br />

with members of the community. One<br />

memorable situation occurred when a<br />

seventh grader was asked, in the third<br />

quarter, to leave the school due to poor<br />

behavioral choices coupled with low<br />

academic achievement. The student’s<br />

teachers and I got together to discuss the<br />

Marist value of “Being an Instrument<br />

of Divine Mercy.” Since it was too late<br />

in the school year for him to transfer<br />

to another Catholic school, this was a<br />

challenge for his family. The middle<br />

school teachers and I worked together to<br />

create a curriculum for the remaining<br />

10 weeks of seventh grade so that the<br />

student could complete that grade with a<br />

licensed learning specialist outside NDV.<br />

Additionally, after the school day, several<br />

middle school teachers volunteered<br />

to work with him on the assigned<br />

curriculum at a youth center near his<br />

home. I also worked with his parents<br />

to ensure he was enrolled in another<br />

Catholic school in the fall for eighth grade.<br />

Collaboration<br />

Collaborating with the faculty to<br />

problem-solve and to create new<br />

programs further enriched the learning<br />

program. Sharing ideas, identifying issues<br />

and concerns and working together to<br />

rectify a problem, or create something<br />

new helped to build community. At a<br />

faculty meeting near the end of one<br />

school year, many teachers were speaking<br />

negatively about the students and their<br />

poor behavior. The complaints concerned<br />

students’ excessively disparaging or<br />

insulting classmates, and it included<br />

bullying others. Out of that discussion<br />

came the idea to create a program that<br />

reminded the students that the Christian<br />

community we were a part of called us to<br />

be respectful and kind. The RISE Program<br />

(Respect, Include, Safety (emotional and<br />

physical), and Effective Communication)<br />

came about through the collaboration of<br />

several teachers who volunteered their<br />

time over the summer. We gave each<br />

letter in the title (R, I, S, E) a description<br />

of appropriate actions, and the program<br />

helped the entire school community to<br />

know what behaviors were appropriate<br />

and what they looked like when put<br />

into action. The program gave students<br />

new vocabulary to speak about their<br />

experiences, i.e., “I am not being included<br />

in the game, I am being excluded.” The<br />

program still helps students manage<br />

conflict they may encounter at school, at<br />

home, and in the community.<br />

Concluding Thoughts<br />

It took me a long time to grow comfortable<br />

in the leadership position at NDV. It was a<br />

slow process with many ups and downs.<br />

Keeping my ears and heart open to the<br />

call to serve was constant. Stepping back<br />

and reflecting on all aspects of school life<br />

was crucial. I frequently found myself in<br />

a state of prayer as I knew I would need<br />

the strength, courage, and guidance that<br />

God would provide me to keep moving<br />

forward in a positive and productive<br />

manner. Jean-Claude Colin certainly had<br />

his challenges with his work in education,<br />

and he accurately observed, “A tree that<br />

must bear much fruit over a long period<br />

must have good roots, whether it is tested<br />

by wind or by storm to ensure that its<br />

roots are deeply planted in the soil. See<br />

how slow it is to grow, to develop. Time<br />

strengthens it.” (A Founder Speaks 174,<br />

20) I was able to put down those roots in a<br />

Society of Mary elementary school over a<br />

period of time. It was a rich and life-giving<br />

experience in so many ways.<br />

News Briefs<br />

A Marist Lives Follow Up from Fall 2018<br />

On April 24, <strong>2019</strong> the cremated remains of Fr. Frank Brett, brother of Fr. Robert Brett, SM were borne to<br />

Chaplains’ Hill in a beautiful funeral cortege at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, DC. His<br />

remains were buried in the grave of our own Fr. Robert Brett, who was re-interred at Arlington in 1998.<br />

A significant crowd of the extended Brett family along with veterans and military officers attended,<br />

including veteran Larry McCarthy who drove in from Ohio. It is the first known instance of two Military<br />

Chaplain brothers buried together at the site. Randy Hoover, SM and Ted Keating, SM attended the<br />

service on behalf of the Marist U.S. Province.<br />

Bishop Konzen Elected Interim Administrator of Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia<br />

On May 24, <strong>2019</strong> Auxiliary Bishop Joel Konzen, SM was elected by the College of Consultors (group of<br />

priests who advise the archbishop) as the interim administrator for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia.<br />

He will fill the vacant role left by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory who was installed on May 21, <strong>2019</strong> as<br />

leader of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. The news concerning Bishop Konzen came via a letter<br />

that was sent to Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican ambassador to the United<br />

States. In response to his new role Bishop Konzen said, “I ask for your prayers and support as I carry out<br />

these responsibilities on behalf of the people of God in this local church.”<br />

Bishop Konzen has served as auxiliary bishop of the Atlanta Archdiocese since he was ordained a bishop<br />

on April 3, 2018. He will serve as administrator of the Archdiocese until Pope Francis appoints a new<br />

archbishop to this role.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 9

Oceania - Some Impacts of the‘Anthropocene’<br />

– More Than ‘Climate Change’<br />

by Ben McKenna, SM, Assistant General to the Superior General<br />

“Anthropocene” is a widely proposed name for the geological epoch which refers to how human beings impact the planet<br />

earth. It is not synonymous with ‘climate change,’ nor does it simply mean ‘environmental problems.’ It is bigger and more<br />

shocking, because it encapsulates evidence that human pressures became so profound around the middle of the 20th century<br />

that we blew a planetary gasket. Hello, new Earth System. Hello, Anthropocene. 1<br />

The focus of this article is to describe<br />

some of the impacts of the changing<br />

Earth systems, which include land, fresh<br />

water, oceans, air, related food sources,<br />

and people, in Oceania. The Marist<br />

Province of Oceania is present in eight<br />

South Pacific countries: Bougainville-<br />

Papua New Guinea, Fiji, New Caledonia,<br />

Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga,<br />

Vanuatu, and Wallis & Futuna and has<br />

104 ordained members, 18 brothers, 29<br />

seminarians, and 2 novices.<br />

The fact that the Earth Systems are<br />

rapidly changing due to human impact,<br />

was significantly addressed by Pope<br />

Francis in Chapter One of the encyclical<br />

Laudato Si’ (2015) where, along with<br />

Climate Change, he also addresses<br />

Pollution, Water, Loss of Biodiversity,<br />

Decline in the Quality of Human Life and<br />

the Breakdown of Society, and Global<br />

Inequality. This is the world in which we<br />

are called to minister.<br />

The Marist General Chapter 2017<br />

acknowledged that we are in a time of<br />

global change, in a world all too often<br />

scarred by fragmentation and by the<br />

degradation of the poor and the earth -<br />

and that – Mary, the mother of the New<br />

Creation, calls us to nurture life in all<br />

its forms, especially among our most<br />

vulnerable brothers and sisters on our<br />

damaged planet. 2<br />

Caritas International is a confederation<br />

of over 160 members that work at the<br />

grassroots level with compassion<br />

and professionalism to respond to<br />

emergencies, promote development, and<br />

advocate for a fair and just world. The<br />

2018 Caritas State of the Environment<br />

for Oceania Report: Waters of Life,<br />

Oceans of Mercy 3 assesses the following<br />

five areas of impact on people and<br />

communities that are monitored by<br />

Caritas: Coastal erosion, flooding and<br />

sea level rise; Extreme weather; Food and<br />

water; Offshore mining and drilling; and<br />

Climate finance. This report also includes<br />

recommendations in response to its<br />

assessments. The following is a summary<br />

of the key findings in the report.<br />

1. Impact of coastal erosion, coastal<br />

flooding, and rising seas – HIGH<br />


This considers the number of people<br />

affected by relocation of houses, or<br />

displacement to other centers; loss of food<br />

or water sources; and scale and frequency<br />

of disruption from high tides and storm<br />

surges that flood roads, houses, or<br />

surroundings.<br />

Recommendations:<br />

• The global community must create<br />

legal protections for people who are<br />

forced to relocate because of climate<br />

change or other environmental<br />

degradation.<br />

• Oceania governments need to identify<br />

populations most at risk from sea level<br />

rise and identify options, strategies, and<br />

solutions with those populations.<br />

2. Impact of extreme weather –<br />


This considers the number of deaths,<br />

displacement, and illness due to drought,<br />

heavy rain, floods, extreme winds, and<br />

cyclones.<br />

Recommendations:<br />

• Government and non-government<br />

agencies need to build resilience for<br />

extreme weather events through<br />

programs for food security, income<br />

generation, mapping areas most at risk,<br />

improved construction techniques,<br />

water management, and other<br />

preparedness measures.<br />

10 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

• Local, regional, and central<br />

government need to support local,<br />

village, and community-level groups<br />

who can provide immediate practical<br />

assistance in case of emergency.<br />

3. Impact on people’s access to<br />

safe food and drinking water – HIGH<br />


This includes factors such as forestry,<br />

palm oil production that results in<br />

deforestation, mining, and super-cyclones<br />

that affect access to safe and healthy<br />

locally sourced food and water.<br />

Recommendations:<br />

• Oceania governments must prioritize<br />

activities, policy, and budget to meet<br />

the United Nations’ Sustainable<br />

Development Goals.<br />

• Oceania governments and community<br />

organizations as well as all Pacific<br />

Island governments must continue to<br />

enhance food and water security for the<br />

most vulnerable.<br />

4. Offshore mining and drilling –<br />


This considers the number of people<br />

and communities affected by offshore<br />

activities; the impact on food sources;<br />

the impact on traditional and cultural<br />

connection to the sea; and the indigenous<br />

peoples most likely to be affected by<br />

offshore activities.<br />

Recommendations:<br />

• The International Seabed Authority<br />

and national governments must stop<br />

issuing both mining and exploration<br />

licenses for seabed mining until more<br />

is known about the impacts.<br />

• Oceania governments and others<br />

implementing legislative frameworks<br />

for seabed mining need to ensure they<br />

give proper recognition to human and<br />

environmental rights.<br />

5. Climate finance – WOEFULLY<br />


The primary focus of this area is the<br />

adequacy of support which includes the<br />

amount and quality of climate finance<br />

which offers tangible and practical<br />

support to those most affected, including<br />

women, children, indigenous peoples,<br />

and isolated communities.<br />

Recommendations:<br />

The global community, through the<br />

United Nations Framework Convention<br />

on Climate Change needs to:<br />

• increase nationally determined<br />

contributions and climate finance<br />

contributions to keep global warming<br />

below 1.5°C;<br />

• ensure sufficient finances and other<br />

resources to support adaptation and<br />

resilience-building for small island<br />

states and other vulnerable countries.<br />

A Marist Response:<br />

Communities as Living Parables<br />

Br. Roger of Taizé saw his mission as<br />

forming a ‘living parable of communion<br />

on earth.’ 4 In our new era of the<br />

Anthropocene we are called, as St Francis<br />

was, to see all creatures as our brothers<br />

and sisters in a vast web of life. ‘All is<br />

inter-related’ as Pope Francis spells out<br />

so clearly in Laudato Si’. We are called to<br />

move from steward-ship of creation to kinship<br />

with creation.<br />

In Oceania, one place the <strong>Marists</strong> are<br />

living this out is at Marist College,<br />

Pacific Regional Seminary, Fiji. Under<br />

the guidance of Fr. Donato Kivi, SM,<br />

who recently earned his Doctorate and<br />

wrote his doctoral dissertation Towards<br />

a Marian Ecological Spirituality for the<br />

Re-evangelization of the Vanua: The People<br />

and the Land of Fiji, our community is<br />

engaged in applying Marian Ecological<br />

Spirituality in practical and formative<br />

ways. 5<br />

Another living parable of Marian<br />

Ecological Living in Oceania is at Marist<br />

Tutu Rural Training Center, Fiji. Under the<br />

guidance of Fr. Michael McVerry, SM, this<br />

project has enabled subsistence farmers,<br />

young men and women, to learn skills<br />

for self-employment in farming, through<br />

time management, budgeting, planning,<br />

human development, and spiritual<br />

development for at least 40 years. The<br />

Director of Caritas NZ, Julianne Hickey,<br />

described this project as an “amazing<br />

example for the Pacific.” Tutu has been<br />

prioritized by the Oceania Province as a<br />

key Marist mission. 6<br />

Conclusion<br />

The work of Caritas enables us to see the<br />

factors at work in the changing face of life<br />

in Oceania. As Marist we can respond in<br />

small, but significant ‘living parable’ ways<br />

to provide hope and direction for the<br />

People of Oceania. Our confreres there<br />

are living out the Call of Jesus to read the<br />

‘signs of the times’, the Call of Laudato Si’,<br />

and the Call of our own Marist General<br />

Chapter of 2017. Many more ‘living<br />

parable’ stories remain to be told.<br />

Endnotes<br />

1 Thomas, Julia A. “Why the Anthropocene is<br />

not ‘climate change’ – and why that matters.”<br />

Climate and Capitalism, <strong>2019</strong>-01-31.<br />

2 SM 2017 General Chapter. Declaration on the<br />

Mission of the Society of Mary Today, nos. 3 & 5.<br />

3 https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment<br />

4 https://www.taize.fr/en_article19581.html<br />

5 https://jpicblog.maristsm.org/marianecological-centre-suva<br />

6 https://www.pacificfarmers.com/wp-content/<br />

uploads/2014/07/Tutu-Book.pdf<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 11

Preparing for a Life of<br />

Compassion and Mercy<br />

Introduction<br />

by Tony Kennedy, SM, Rector, International Major Marist Seminary, Rome, Italy<br />

A cold coming we had of it,<br />

Just the worst time of the year<br />

For a journey, and such a long journey:<br />

The ways deep and the weather sharp,<br />

The very dead of winter.<br />

(T.S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi)<br />

When I was a high school student many<br />

years ago in Australia, one of the poets<br />

that my English teacher, Gerard Hall,<br />

SM tried to teach my classmates and me<br />

about was T.S. Eliot. One of the poems<br />

we read was Journey of the Magi. Gerry<br />

would be surprised to know that I have<br />

been thinking about that poem recently.<br />

In reflecting on the poem, I thought<br />

about the similarities between the<br />

journey of the Magi and the journey of the<br />

seminarians in formation. At times the<br />

three Magi were together, and sometimes<br />

they were apart, going different places<br />

and sometimes different directions.<br />

This year our community of 19 religious<br />

at Casa di Maria (CDM), the Marist<br />

International Theologate in Rome, Italy,<br />

began in the fall when we gathered after<br />

our summer break. We spent time before<br />

university classes began by reflecting on<br />

the summer and the different pastoral<br />

activities we had experienced.<br />

The full journey of formation is a long<br />

one for our seminarians. It starts with<br />

an initial interest in the Society of Mary<br />

and their request to be accepted into<br />

formation house for a propaedeutic (or<br />

preparatory) period, studying philosophy,<br />

perhaps learning English, proceeding on<br />

to the novitiate, and the first profession<br />

of their vows. All this before they arrive at<br />

Casa di Maria. This whole process takes<br />

at least four years. They then stay in Rome<br />

for four years of theology before returning<br />

to their home units as perpetually<br />

professed members of the Society and as<br />

deacons.<br />

Learning to cope with a new climate,<br />

language, food, culture, and education<br />

system are some of the challenges we all<br />

face as we try to respond faithfully to the<br />

call we have heard.<br />

The long journey that the Magi undertook<br />

changed them. They did not return to<br />

their homes as the same people who<br />

had set out on that journey. They had<br />

witnessed a newly born Child and<br />

realized that the world had changed.<br />

Some things, in fact, had died. As the<br />

poem concludes:<br />

We returned to our places, these<br />

Kingdoms,<br />

But no longer at ease here, in the old<br />

dispensation,<br />

With an alien people clutching their gods.<br />

I should be glad of another death.<br />

Formation challenges us to be the best<br />

we can be. Some new attitudes and skills<br />

need to be born in us, and some old ones<br />

may need to be put aside to die, as it were.<br />

We pray that the experience of Marist<br />

formation provides each of us with the<br />

necessary skills and attitudes to enable<br />

our active participation in the mission of<br />

the Society. We pray that it prepare us well<br />

for the ministry of service which lies at<br />

the heart of the Gospel.<br />

Thank you for the support you give us in<br />

so many ways and the interest you have in<br />

our community. Your prayers are always<br />

greatly appreciated. The following are<br />

reflections from some of the seminarians<br />

on their time in formation as each one<br />

prepares for a life of compassion and<br />

mercy.<br />

12 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

Licentiate Program in Ecumenism<br />

by Floyd Gatana, SM, Seminarian<br />

As I reflect on my journey this year, I am<br />

grateful for a new academic program of<br />

study in Ecumenism. I thank the Society<br />

of Mary for giving me another opportunity<br />

to further my studies toward earning<br />

a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. I have<br />

come to appreciate and love the course<br />

in ecumenism. It has broadened my<br />

perspective on the whole curriculum of<br />

theology. It teaches me to look beyond our<br />

Catholic tradition and to reach out to other<br />

Christians who proclaim Jesus Christ.<br />

As I reflect on my experience, I can say that<br />

we cannot deny the fact that ecumenism<br />

has opened a new horizon in the Church.<br />

It allows us to reach out to other churches<br />

with openness and understanding. The<br />

program teaches us how to dialogue and<br />

share God’s word with other churches.<br />

Today the Catholic Church has moved<br />

into the new era of dialoguing with<br />

other Christian churches. As Catholics<br />

of today, we also need to adapt to the<br />

changes within our Church and be open<br />

to reaching out to other churches and<br />

religions. The course in ecumenism helps<br />

us find our common beliefs and makes us<br />

understand and accept others with mutual<br />

acceptance.<br />

One of the things that I enjoy is being able<br />

to study with my fellow classmates from<br />

different Christian churches and religions.<br />

I am also privileged to study alongside<br />

my Marist confrere Kevin Medilo, SM<br />

from the Philippines who is focusing<br />

on Inter-Religious Dialogue. Studying<br />

with Pentecostal, Muslim, and Eastern<br />

Orthodox students is a rich experience that<br />

I count as a privilege to have. It teaches<br />

me a lot about how to be open and share<br />

what we have in common. It is always<br />

enjoyable when we discuss and share in<br />

the classroom because we learn from each<br />

other. We all have one goal in common<br />

and that is to work for our salvation, but<br />

each of us in different ways. The ultimate<br />

end of God’s creative and saving action<br />

will be realized when all things have been<br />

made subject to the Son, “then the Son<br />

himself will also be subject to him who<br />

put all things under him, that God may be<br />

everything to everyone.” (1 Cor 15:28).<br />

The study of ecumenism has made<br />

me realize how important it is to be<br />

ecumenical in the Church. It is important<br />

in our mission today because we are<br />

surrounded by many different Christian<br />

churches and religions, and we need to<br />

have the skills to dialogue with them. The<br />

course has also helped me grow in my<br />

understanding of the Church and other<br />

religions, particularly in what we have in<br />

common.<br />

When the early <strong>Marists</strong> sailed to Oceania,<br />

they had no idea what was awaiting them.<br />

The local people had their own culture<br />

and ways of worshipping. Their lifestyle<br />

was naturally different from that of the<br />

arriving <strong>Marists</strong>. This makes me imagine<br />

the challenges those missionaries went<br />

through to evangelize the people. As a<br />

Marist, I have come to appreciate what<br />

this course has given me. It makes me<br />

see dimensions of what it means to be a<br />

missionary. We are called to be open and to<br />

share with others what we have. Taking up<br />

ecumenism prepares me to be more ready<br />

and better equipped for what lies ahead.<br />

Gabriel Mukong during pastoral experience in<br />

Ranong, Thailand<br />

Pastoral Experience in Ranong,<br />

Thailand<br />

by Gabriel Mukong, SM, Seminarian<br />

Soon after completing my first year of<br />

theological studies, I was asked by my<br />

superior, Tony Kennedy, SM, if I would go<br />

to the mission in Ranong, Thailand for a<br />

pastoral experience during the summer of<br />

2018. The mission, called the Marist Asia<br />

Foundation (M.A.F), is run by our Marist<br />

confreres from the district of Asia. It was<br />

time for me to experience missionary life<br />

in a completely different cultural context,<br />

predominantly Buddhist. The answer<br />

was YES, even though I had been giving<br />

thought to going somewhere else for a<br />

pastoral experience. Nevertheless, I knew<br />

that my superior is the one who sees<br />

best and knows to a greater degree my<br />

potential, and he also understands needs<br />

of the Society. So, therefore, my YES was<br />

sincere as to these two aspects: that others<br />

are there and have been there, and that<br />

my superior sees in me useful potential for<br />

this mission.<br />

My specific mission at M.A.F was to<br />

teach at the school and to assist the<br />

health committee that oversaw patients<br />

living with HIV/AIDS. This sounded<br />

interesting to me because teaching has<br />

always been my passion, and I feel quite<br />

compassionate when it comes to serving<br />

vulnerable people. So, I left for Thailand<br />

full of energy and enthusiasm for this<br />

mission.<br />

My experience at M.A.F as an assistant<br />

teacher and in serving the health<br />

committee was quite enriching and helped<br />

form me in several ways. First, I learned a<br />

lot about humility, especially through my<br />

daily interactions with the innocent kids I<br />

taught. Second, I learned how to become<br />

more spiritually altruistic by shifting the<br />

attention from me and focusing more on<br />

others, especially praying more for the<br />

sick that I served and for the future of<br />

continues on page 14<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 13

Pastoral Experience, continued from page 13<br />

the students I taught. Third, I learned to<br />

appreciate different cultural beliefs and<br />

religions. Learning some of the “Do’s” and<br />

“Don’ts” of this culture helped me in my<br />

growth as a future Marist missionary. I<br />

was advised always to show respect to the<br />

King and to Buddha, especially whenever<br />

I came across a Buddhist shrine, where<br />

the appropriate gesture is bowing low with<br />

hands clasped upright across the chest as<br />

a Christian might do when making a good<br />

sign of the cross. Most of all, my greatest<br />

learning was how to listen to people in<br />

pain and difficulty without using many<br />

words. It was at this moment that I came<br />

to a deeper understanding that the work I<br />

was doing was not mine but rather God’s<br />

and Mary’s.<br />

My feelings after this pastoral mission were<br />

that of great satisfaction and fulfilment. I<br />

am happy to have been sent there for this<br />

experience and, God willing, I hope one<br />

day to return to M.A.F for a longer period<br />

of service.<br />

My prayer is that God will continue to<br />

bless and use our confreres who dedicate<br />

themselves indefatigably to this daily<br />

mission, and that God will also replenish<br />

the resources of our benefactors and all<br />

those who support the mission in one<br />

way or another, by their prayers and good<br />

thoughts.<br />

All for the greater glory of God and<br />

for the honor of the Mother of God.<br />

Final Profession and Diaconate<br />

by Josefo Amuri, SM, Seminarian<br />

Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose<br />

herald you now are, Believe what you<br />

read, teach what you believe, and<br />

practice what you teach. (The Rite of<br />

Ordination of a Deacon)<br />

During my last four years in formation,<br />

I have witnessed many of my brothers<br />

profess their perpetual vows in the<br />

Society of Mary. This academic year I<br />

had the privilege of witnessing our only<br />

fourth-year student, Kenneth Akua,<br />

make his lifetime commitment to God<br />

as a Marist. This year, however, I feel<br />

that my experience has been a little<br />

different, a little more personal. This<br />

is because I have seen the progress of<br />

(Left to Right) Tony Kennedy, SM, Kenneth Akua, SM,<br />

Bishop Tom Burns, Cyprian Akua (Kenneth’s brother), and<br />

John Larsen, SM after the Diaconate Ordination<br />

true discernment, growth and sacrifice that Brother Kenneth has experienced during<br />

the past eight years of his formation. Being myself a Marist, I can imagine Mary smiling<br />

with great joy on that day as another new member joined her family. I am happy to say<br />

that the Society bearing her name is still growing. At this point in formation it is truly<br />

amazing that someone could give himself so completely and wholeheartedly to the<br />

Lord, that someone could have the confidence and assurance of publicly professing<br />

that he wants to dedicate himself to serve the Lord as a religious living the evangelical<br />

counsels.<br />

A month later, on November 3rd, the formation community at Casa di Maria along<br />

with other members of the Marist Family here in Rome, including our confreres,<br />

benefactors, and friends, gathered to attend Kenneth’s ordination to the Diaconate.<br />

On this wonderful occasion, the words of the prophet Jeremiah echoed in my mind:<br />

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I<br />

appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer. 1:5) It also reminded me of a phrase<br />

from Pope Francis:<br />

“One who serves is not a slave to his own agenda, but ever ready to deal with the<br />

unexpected, ever available to his brothers and sisters, and ever open to God’s constant<br />

surprises.” (Mass for the Jubilee for Deacons, May 29, 2016)<br />

Moreover, these two great experiences celebrating Kenneth’s final profession and his<br />

diaconate ordination brought me humbly before God with confidence to say that my<br />

life is not totally known to me and is not even under my own control. It is only God<br />

who knows all and is in control of all.<br />

We Appreciate Your Donation!<br />

“Here I am Lord I come to do your will”<br />

We ask for your prayers for our seminarians and for Marist vocations. If you<br />

are able to help financially, please use the envelope in this magazine to<br />

send your gift. Please check the circle “Recruitment and Education of new<br />

<strong>Marists</strong>” on the inner flap of the envelope. Thank you for your generosity!<br />

Perpetual profession<br />

14 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

Marist Vocational<br />

Discernment<br />

in Today’s World<br />

by Jack Ridout<br />

When young people today talk about what they want to do<br />

with their life, the word forever does not easily appear in the<br />

conversation. Serious consideration about religion and living a life<br />

in a religious context does not have the same attraction as it did in<br />

times past. Thinking about what to do with one’s life crosses young<br />

minds today, but if the thoughts get too serious or a commitment<br />

seems too permanent, then the process can be quickly dropped.<br />

Many times the supports of family, school, parish life, teachers, and<br />

institutions have been diminished, and in spite of these positive<br />

influences, individuals can either increase their faith in other ways<br />

or move onto other arenas of living. Instead of loving support,<br />

people are left with a smattering of social media only to rely on that<br />

for social acceptance and conformity. This is not to say that our<br />

youth do not commit themselves to lofty motives, but the “noise” of<br />

the world tends to deafen the eternal call of what God wants one to<br />

do in life.<br />

Marist discernment begins with reflecting on the commitments<br />

made at Baptism, and how God continues to call a person to be a<br />

follower of Jesus and to live that life as a member of the Church as<br />

a married person, a single celibate, a consecrated Sister, Brother or<br />

Priest in a religious community or as a diocesan priest.<br />

How does one discern God’s call? What does this decision mean in<br />

one’s daily life? Why do this at all? Consider the consequences of the<br />

decision, but be happy about that decision. To make any decision<br />

a person will have to say “no” a thousand times before they can<br />

say a single “yes” to God! Taking time to discern is necessary, but it<br />

should not take forever.<br />

One needs to PRAY, both in silence and in the use of guided books<br />

and a trusted spiritual director, continue to receive the sacraments,<br />

and prayerfully read the Bible. Is this a call from God? People<br />

throughout the ages have responded to that call by joining a<br />

religious congregation, and have taken vows of poverty, chastity,<br />

and obedience, and they do this for the honor of God, and the<br />

salvation of the world.<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> believe themselves to be called by Mary to be instruments<br />

of her presence in the Church of today as she once was present and<br />

active in the church of the Apostles.<br />

Is God calling you?<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 15


“Of One Heart and One Mind”<br />

Prayerful Reflection with the Movie Of Gods and Men<br />

by Brian Cummings, SM, Director, Pā Maria Marist Spirituality Centre, Wellington, New Zealand<br />

The movie Of Gods and<br />

Men first appeared in 2010.<br />

It tells the story of the<br />

abduction and murder in<br />

1996 of seven monks of the<br />

Monastery Notre-Dame<br />

de l’Atlas of Tibhirine in<br />

Algeria.<br />

These Trappist monks<br />

lived a simple life serving<br />

the poor community<br />

surrounding the<br />

monastery. During the Algerian Civil<br />

War they are threatened by rebels but<br />

decide as a group to stay in the country,<br />

among the people they had chosen to live<br />

with, and not to seek safety by returning<br />

to France.<br />

One night the monastery is raided,<br />

and seven of the nine monks present<br />

are abducted and held as hostages for<br />

several months before being murdered,<br />

exactly by whom has never been clearly<br />

established.<br />

Earlier this year Pope Francis met the<br />

last surviving member of the Tibhirine<br />

community when visiting Morocco.<br />

Father Jean-Pierre Schumacher, OCSO<br />

is now 95 years old (the other survivor,<br />

Brother Amédée, died in 2008). Father<br />

Jean-Pierre continues to serve both as<br />

a reminder of the tragedy of Tibhirine<br />

and also as a witness of the Church’s<br />

commitment to seek a new and deeper<br />

relationship with Islam.<br />

As an important aside, Jean-Pierre<br />

Schumacher has a particular<br />

significance for the Marist Fathers and<br />

Brothers. Educated by the Marist Fathers<br />

in France, he later joined the Society of<br />

Mary and was ordained a Marist priest.<br />

He can claim a direct link with the US<br />

Province of the Society of Mary in that<br />

Fr. Etienne Siffert, SM, in San Francisco,<br />

California, was a contemporary of Jean-<br />

Pierre Schumacher in the seminary.<br />

After several years as a Marist priest,<br />

Jean-Pierre Schumacher sought<br />

and received permission to follow<br />

a contemplative vocation with the<br />

Trappists and eventually came to<br />

Tibhirine.<br />

Of Gods and Men (directed by Xavier<br />

Beauvois) is a dramatization rather than<br />

a documentary of the lives of the monks<br />

of Tibhirine. As such, one could wonder<br />

just how much of an appeal to general<br />

audiences the movie would have. That<br />

question was resoundingly answered<br />

when the film received a standing<br />

ovation upon its first release at the<br />

International Film Festival at Cannes.<br />

The motion picture focuses almost<br />

entirely on the monks wrestling - as<br />

individuals and as a community - with<br />

what their vows mean and the nature of<br />

their commitment to stay with the local<br />

people even though they knew that that<br />

it was likely (in fact, probable) that to<br />

remain at Tibhirine would result in their<br />

deaths.<br />

Naturally, not everyone agrees with their<br />

commitment to stay.<br />

For example, the late, highly regarded<br />

movie reviewer Roger Ebert said in 2011,<br />

“Did they make the right choice? In their<br />

own idealistic terms, yes. In realistic<br />

terms, I say no. They have the ability<br />

to help many who need it for years to<br />

come. It is egotism to believe that their<br />

help must take place in this specific<br />

monastery. Between the eight of them,<br />

they have perhaps a century of life of<br />

usefulness remaining. Do they have a<br />

right to deprive those who need it of their<br />

service? In doing so, are they committing<br />

the sin of pride?” (Review, March 10,<br />

2011)<br />

The responses to such questions depend,<br />

to a large extent, on how one views<br />

things.<br />

The movie directly confronts the<br />

question of discernment: how and why<br />

did the monks reach their decision.<br />

The Canadian Jesuit, Monty Williams,<br />

has said, “A decision is not necessarily<br />

a deliberate, self-conscious choice, and<br />

it does not necessarily occur in the<br />

context of prayer. Discernment does<br />

both. With discernment, we enter into a<br />

dialogue with God, after establishing a<br />

right relationship between ourselves and<br />

God. In that mutual sharing and trust,<br />

an answer emerges. Then we not only<br />

see as God sees, but we act as we believe<br />

God would want us to act.” (The Gift of<br />

Spiritual Intimacy, Novalis Books)<br />

Of Gods and Men is about a group<br />

discernment, but every group<br />

discernment necessarily involves<br />

the individuals who make up the<br />

group engaging in their own personal<br />

discernment.<br />

Some of the most powerful and moving<br />

scenes in the film depict individual<br />

monks wrestling with the question<br />

of whether they should seek safety or<br />

remain, and it becomes abundantly clear<br />

that there is no straightforward, obvious<br />

answer for any of them.<br />

The scenes depicting the Community<br />

Meetings show over time how<br />

individuals shifted in their position<br />

because of prayer, discussion, and<br />

listening to each other. When the final<br />

decision [to stay] is reached by all, it is<br />

the result of a right relationship having<br />

been established between the monks as<br />

a community and between each monk<br />

with God. There is mutual sharing<br />

and trust which is the only way such a<br />

consensus could have been achieved.<br />

It is that depiction of discernment in<br />

action that makes Of Gods and Men<br />

more than simply a story, albeit a very<br />

powerful and moving story, about the<br />

monks of Tibhirine.<br />

16 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

It shows audiences how and why it is<br />

possible to come to fundamental and<br />

far-reaching decisions in a way that<br />

avoids coercion, intimidation, and group<br />

pressure on individuals to conform to<br />

the majority opinion.<br />

And that is an approach to which we as<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> are called.<br />

In our Constitutions, we read: “When<br />

they make profession, <strong>Marists</strong> declare<br />

before the Church and one another their<br />

intention to live out their baptism more<br />

fully. They choose to follow Christ more<br />

closely by a radical commitment to the<br />

spirit of the Beatitudes in a community<br />

that has one heart and one mind.”<br />

(Constitutions 93) Our Founder, Fr.<br />

Colin, put it this way: “The Society began<br />

like the Church, so we must be like the<br />

apostles and those who joined them and<br />

were already numerous. One heart and<br />

one soul.” (A Founder Speaks)<br />

For <strong>Marists</strong>, discernment, both on an<br />

individual as well as on a group level, has<br />

to be a hallmark of the way in which we<br />

operate.<br />

We need to avoid the temptation to be<br />

expedient in reaching decisions on key<br />

matters, to avoid deciding our individual<br />

position on the grounds of self-interest,<br />

and to resist being guided only by what<br />

seems intellectually logical and prudent.<br />

Rather, we need to commit, as<br />

individuals and as a community, to<br />

“entering into a dialogue with God after<br />

establishing a right relationship so that<br />

in that mutual sharing and trust, an<br />

answer emerges.” (The Gift of Spiritual<br />

Intimacy, Novalis Books)<br />

Of course, that can be our desire, but<br />

how do we know if we are in fact living a<br />

discerning life?<br />

One way is to look at the effects of the<br />

decisions and choices we make. We can<br />

measure them against the fruits of the<br />

Spirit, which St Paul tells us are love, joy,<br />

peace, patience, kindness, generosity,<br />

faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.<br />

(Galatians 5:22)<br />

We can ask who or what motivates us<br />

in the making of our decisions and<br />

choices?<br />

We can look at the lives of others who<br />

have engaged in discernment.<br />

And we can from time to time view again<br />

Of Gods and Men.<br />

Jean-Pierre Schumacher describes the<br />

film as “an icon, that is, it contains more<br />

than what it shows.” (The Last Monk of<br />

Tibhirine, Freddy Derwahl, Paraclete<br />

Press, 2013)<br />

As with all icons, one needs to sit with it<br />

and reflect on it to learn what it is saying<br />

to us today.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 17

The 150th Anniversary of<br />

St. Louis King of France<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

The church of St. Louis King of France,<br />

in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota,<br />

celebrated its 150th Anniversary on<br />

Sunday, November 4, last year. Originally<br />

a little wooden building intended for<br />

ministry to French-speaking Catholics<br />

was dedicated and blessed on December<br />

20, 1868, by Bishop Joseph Crétin, who<br />

became the first bishop of Saint Paul<br />

in 1850. By sheer coincidence, Bishop<br />

Crétin had done his priestly studies in<br />

France at the same seminary where<br />

future Marist St. Peter Chanel was also a<br />

student, and they knew each other well.<br />

The third bishop of Saint Paul was John<br />

Ireland, who came from Saint Paul, and<br />

who was sent by Bishop Crétin to France<br />

for his priestly studies at a seminary<br />

run by <strong>Marists</strong>. It seemed only logical,<br />

then, for Bishop Ireland to entrust the<br />

“the little French church” to the Frenchspeaking<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> during his term as<br />

shepherd in 1886.<br />

Through these many years, St. Louis,<br />

King of France parish has been known<br />

for both its devotion to the French<br />

language, and for gorgeously celebrated<br />

Liturgies. People come from all over the<br />

Twin Cities to appreciate the magnificent<br />

church, the parish organ<br />

(often in concert), and the<br />

many singers and musicians<br />

who lift their voices to God<br />

with their sweet music.<br />

Our Marist archives are<br />

full of letters from different<br />

archbishops thanking the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> for the frequency with which<br />

the Sacrament of Reconciliation is<br />

offered every day, and for hearing<br />

the confessions of many priests in<br />

the diocese as well. The <strong>Marists</strong> hear<br />

confessions before the 6:45 a.m. and the<br />

noon Mass. It is an important ministry<br />

of the church, and it is obvious that the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> have cultivated this ministry of<br />

Mercy over many years, and the parish<br />

has become well known for it.<br />

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet<br />

staffed the parish school from 1878-1962.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong> were also chaplains to their<br />

large convent opposite the rectory which<br />

housed up to 90 sisters at its peak. Only<br />

four nuns at a time taught at the parish<br />

school, while the rest went by streetcar,<br />

bus, or on foot to teach at other nearby<br />

schools. Over the years, there were also<br />

several School Sisters of Notre Dame who<br />

LEFT: Congregation at 150th Anniversary Mass<br />

RIGHT: <strong>Marists</strong> Ron DesRosiers, Roland Lajoie, Ben<br />

McKenna, Paul Frechette, Paul Morrissey, Jim Duffy and<br />

Joe Hurtuk<br />

BOTTOM: Pastor John Sajdak, SM and Archbishop<br />

Hebda welcome the congregation<br />

lived near the church and were involved<br />

in the parish. The Christian Brothers,<br />

some of whom lived at Central Towers,<br />

also ministered at the parish.<br />

Among the over 100 <strong>Marists</strong> who served<br />

at St. Louis, King of France were: Fr.<br />

Alcime Cyr, SM, Provincial of the Boston<br />

Province of the <strong>Marists</strong> and later the<br />

first American Marist to be elected<br />

Superior General of the worldwide<br />

Marist community; Fr. Joseph Buckley,<br />

SM, who was born in St. Paul, became a<br />

provincial of the Washington Province<br />

and later also Superior General of the<br />

Society and a member of the Second<br />

Vatican council, delivering a key address<br />

continues bottom of page 19<br />

18 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine


Rev. Arthur Duhamel, SM – A Marist Missionary Priest<br />

by Susan J. Illis, Archivist, Archives of the Society of Mary, US Province<br />

“But you need not worry for me no matter what happens here. We can never tell just how things will<br />

turn out and just what are Japan’s plans. So far it is peaceful and quiet and I hope it remains like this…”<br />

Reverend Arthur Duhamel, SM, thus reassured<br />

his brother from the Marist mission at Ruavatu,<br />

Guadalcanal on January 4, 1942. Eight months later<br />

he was dead - bayoneted by the Japanese.<br />

Born in Massachusetts, Duhamel (1908-1942) felt<br />

called to religious life at a young age. However,<br />

both his father’s disapproval and his personal<br />

concerns about his academic abilities delayed his<br />

studies for the priesthood. Ordained as a priest<br />

in 1937 in the Society of Mary, he celebrated his<br />

first Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in<br />

Methuen, Massachusetts where he had once served<br />

as an altar boy. Rev. John André, SM, who had<br />

encouraged his vocation, preached at the<br />

first Mass.<br />

Two years after ordination, Duhamel arrived at the Marist Ruavatu<br />

mission in the Solomon Islands. His insecurities returned as he<br />

struggled to learn the native language. However, his years spent<br />

working in the mills in Massachusetts paid off as his mastery of<br />

tools and mechanics earned the respect of the natives from the<br />

very beginning. They called him “wonder-worker.” He contracted<br />

malaria, but persevered, writing, “…when we work for God,<br />

difficulties become sweet. My one desire is that God will give me<br />

health and the necessary means to keep on marching forward<br />

for the salvation of these poor Solomonese, among whom His<br />

Providence has called me to work.”<br />

The escalating war in Europe created new challenges as his fellow<br />

Marist missionaries (Rev. Hendrik Oude Engberink, SM and Marist<br />

Missionary Sisters M. Odilia, M. Sylvia, and M. Edmée), all from<br />

Europe, had their funding from home cut off. Thus,<br />

the contributions that Duhamel solicited from the<br />

United States became their only source of support.<br />

The arrival of the Japanese on the island, however,<br />

signaled a far more imminent threat.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong> refused to leave their mission,<br />

remaining there until the Japanese forced them<br />

to an internment camp. Sr. Edmée, SMSM was<br />

sick and stayed back with the children. There<br />

are several descriptions of what happened next.<br />

A contemporary account says that when the<br />

Japanese ordered Duhamel to carry a message<br />

to the U.S. Marines while they held the others<br />

hostage, he refused. Another version suggests<br />

Duhamel visited some Americans, attending to their spiritual<br />

needs, despite Japanese prohibition. Still another says that Japan’s<br />

secret headquarters were bombed, and Duhamel was accused<br />

of informing U.S. troops of its location. A final version, from Rev.<br />

Emery de Klerk, SM, claims that “he was killed by the Japanese for<br />

war reasons.”<br />

Although the precise cause for the Japanese executions may never<br />

be known, the four <strong>Marists</strong> were bayoneted by the Japanese in<br />

September 1942.<br />

A mere five years after Duhamel’s ordination, Fr. John André, SM<br />

preached again at a Mass for him, this time as the eulogist at his<br />

funeral Mass held, appropriately, at Mount Carmel. André declared<br />

it “a day of sadness, as well as glory, − glory because Mount Carmel<br />

has been selected to offer such a sacrifice for the faith…an apostle<br />

has fallen, and he is one of your own.”<br />

continued from page 18<br />

there on religious freedom; Fr. Leo Foley,<br />

SM, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at<br />

The Catholic University of America; and<br />

Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM, PhD, a native<br />

of Minneapolis, and a well-known<br />

national speaker and author in the U.S.<br />

Church. There are a host of other <strong>Marists</strong><br />

who are remembered by Mary and the<br />

generations of parishioners whose lives<br />

they so deeply touched.<br />

The 150th Anniversary of the church was<br />

celebrated with a special Mass followed<br />

by a dinner and silent auction at the<br />

Town and Country Club. “The Mass was<br />

just spectacular,” Fr. John<br />

Sajdak, SM, the pastor, said. The church<br />

was festooned with flowers with all the<br />

candles of the church lit, and the music<br />

by the dedicated choir was magnificent.<br />

An estimated 250 worshippers filled the<br />

nave. Special guests for the anniversary<br />

celebration included Archbishop Bernard<br />

Hebda and several visiting <strong>Marists</strong>,<br />

including Fr. Ben McKenna, Assistant<br />

General from Rome, Paul Frechette,<br />

Provincial, and Paul Morrissey, former<br />

pastor.<br />

Saint Louis, King of France parish in<br />

Minnesota, Notre Dame des Victoires<br />

in San Francisco (taken on in 1885), and<br />

Our Lady of Victories in Boston (taken on<br />

in 1886) are three great Marist centers of<br />

ministry for French speakers coming to<br />

the Unites States. Over the years, these<br />

parishes have served about a million<br />

French Canadians coming into the<br />

United States.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 19

Being Marist:<br />

One School’s Vision of “the Greatest Work”<br />

by Kevin Mullally, Principal, Marist School<br />

I must be the exception, because I actually<br />

enjoy strategic planning, that laborious<br />

and time intensive process through which<br />

an institution sets forth a vision and<br />

roadmap for the future. There is great<br />

worth in the scholarly research and rich<br />

discussions that are the prerequisites of<br />

the process as well as the need to clarify<br />

the values and goals that are the sine qua<br />

non of the institution. It is important to<br />

step forward and say: “This is who we are,<br />

this is what we believe, and, therefore, this<br />

is where we are going.”<br />

Marist School, in Atlanta, Georgia, has<br />

spent the last 18 months in prayerful<br />

reflection and lively discussion producing<br />

its next strategic plan, which will take us<br />

to 2025 and beyond. The School identified<br />

five strategic priorities that will be the<br />

focus of growth. They are:<br />

• Be Unwaveringly Marist<br />

• Excel in Academics<br />

• Educate the Whole Child<br />

• Form Global-Ready Servant Leaders<br />

• Secure the Future<br />

The overarching essential question we<br />

worked on as we identified these five<br />

areas was: How do we capture, preserve,<br />

communicate, and demonstrate the Spirit<br />

of the Society of Mary to ensure that the<br />

charism of the <strong>Marists</strong> is still experienced<br />

by everyone in our school, and in local,<br />

and global communities? We see the value<br />

that a Marist School education makes in<br />

the lives of our students, guiding them<br />

to think, judge, feel and act as Mary in<br />

all things, so they can be Mary’s much<br />

needed presence in the world today.<br />

The first priority, to Be Unwaveringly<br />

Marist, responds especially to the<br />

challenge the school faces as the presence<br />

of vowed Marist religious diminishes. For<br />

almost two decades now, our Marist Way<br />

program has developed lay leadership,<br />

and over the next five years we will<br />

advance the Marist Way into a continuous<br />

and progressive program that meets the<br />

needs and readiness of all Marist School<br />

employees, wherever they are in their<br />

understanding and commitment to those<br />

qualities that make us Marist.<br />

The second priority, to Excel in<br />

Academics, is a prerequisite expectation<br />

of families today and represents<br />

the School’s commitment to one of<br />

Fr. Colin’s threefold duties towards<br />

students, “to teach them letters and the<br />

various sciences.” Here, we balance the<br />

tradition of excellence and the heritage<br />

of Catholic education with preparing an<br />

academic program that is contemporary<br />

and comprehensive, dynamic and<br />

personalized. Our goal is for students to<br />

learn all the things that are required for<br />

a superior education, while also learning<br />

as much as they possibly can about<br />

the things they personally love and are<br />

interested in.<br />

The third priority, to Educate the Whole<br />

Child, recognizes that an education<br />

does not just occur in the classroom, but<br />

includes opportunities for growth and<br />

experiences aimed at the whole human<br />

person. Said directly, the physical,<br />

emotional, spiritual, social, and aesthetic<br />

development of our students is just as<br />

important as an academic education. This<br />

aims at a second of Fr. Colin’s threefold<br />

duties, “to impart to [students] all solid<br />

virtues, so that they may grow up into<br />

honest and upright citizens.” Through<br />

the panoply of rich, comprehensive, and<br />

balanced programs, we graduate students<br />

of integrity, who are comfortable in their<br />

own skins, and who have cultivated a<br />

sense of purpose and meaning in life.<br />

To Form Global-Ready Servant Leaders,<br />

the School’s fourth priority, represents its<br />

commitment to the remaining duty that<br />

Fr. Colin outlines, “to form [students] into<br />

strong and faithful disciples of Christ.”<br />

As Catholic and as Marist educators, we<br />

are counter-cultural; we work against the<br />

strong and frequent voices of a permissive<br />

culture that is increasingly secularized<br />

and polarized. Because of that, it is more<br />

important than ever that graduates of<br />

Marist School be prepared to engage<br />

continues bottom of page 21<br />

20 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

A New Model of Vocation<br />

Accompaniment in the US Province<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

Jack Ridout, in his parting comments<br />

about his work as vocation director in the<br />

US Province after eleven years (see page<br />

15), describes the cultural “noise” in the<br />

ears and heads of today’s young people<br />

attempting to make any serious decision<br />

about a meaningful “call” or choice of life<br />

and career in our world. Listening to the<br />

quiet voice of God in the heart (Ignatius<br />

describes it as “weak as a light breath<br />

which scarcely agitates the air”) requires<br />

guidance, encouragement, and time off by<br />

oneself. Offering such guidance has been<br />

Ridout’s role during these years while also<br />

drawing in vowed <strong>Marists</strong>. A major part<br />

of his work was “stirring up” concern for<br />

vocation work among the members of the<br />

Province.<br />

A recent study of groups that acquire<br />

vocations regularly found that prospects<br />

visit communities who: 1) are devoted<br />

to prayer and sharing faith; 2) show<br />

a stunningly clear sense of identity<br />

and values to the Church; 3) show a<br />

“culture of vocations” through the active<br />

participation of all members of the group.<br />

The US Province has been working on<br />

these three goals for many years. The<br />

third element is the most difficult one -<br />

widespread participation in the vocation<br />

work of the province.<br />

Building upon Ridout’s work, we are<br />

moving toward a widespread involvement<br />

of <strong>Marists</strong> in each of the geographic<br />

regions of the Province. With our new<br />

approach, all inquiries about joining<br />

the Society of Mary will initially come<br />

to Marist College in Washington, DC.<br />

Ted Keating, SM and Randy Hoover,<br />

SM will clear the names for probable<br />

contacts/candidates. If a Contact,<br />

being of proper age, seems viable after<br />

one thorough interview, and if he is<br />

clearly close to a region, the regional<br />

vocation coordinator(s) will meet<br />

with him, complete another general<br />

interview, and work toward a clearer<br />

sense of his viability as a future Marist.<br />

During this time the Contact would<br />

be in constant communication with<br />

the regional vocation coordinator and<br />

would be invited to community and<br />

regional celebrations. When the Contact<br />

is prepared to take the next step into<br />

candidacy, he would participate in a Live-<br />

In experience in a Province community in<br />

order to get to know the <strong>Marists</strong> better and<br />

for us to get a better look at the candidate.<br />

The candidate could then be called to<br />

Postulancy in Washington, DC where he<br />

may begin studies, if appropriate. While<br />

the regional coordinators have the lead<br />

role, they can include other local <strong>Marists</strong><br />

in the process at any time, allowing for<br />

active participation of all <strong>Marists</strong> in this<br />

vocation work.<br />

Please keep our new approach in your<br />

prayers.<br />

continued from page 20<br />

in constructive dialogue, community<br />

outreach, and spiritual practice. Like<br />

Mary and her Son, we want our students<br />

to be integrated as individuals and to<br />

understand those who have different and<br />

varied backgrounds or perspectives. Thus<br />

they will be well equipped as they seek to<br />

serve and to lead those in greatest need,<br />

the least favored among us.<br />

Finally, it’s important that we Secure<br />

the Future because we have seen the<br />

transformational power of a Marist<br />

education. We want to make sure that<br />

such an education is accessible as we<br />

continue to support programs and<br />

provide facilities that help us to live our<br />

mission to form the whole person in the<br />

image of Christ. We know that the work<br />

we do to achieve our mission is under the<br />

guidance and protection of our heavenly<br />

Patroness, and we see our mission as<br />

contributing to her work, and we seek to<br />

do it in her way, the Marist way.<br />

While my enjoyment of the strategic<br />

planning process might come as a<br />

surprise, I trust my love of my profession<br />

- education - does not. As Fr. Colin said,<br />

“What a great work education is. It is the<br />

greatest work.” We on school staffs are<br />

humbled to participate in this “second<br />

creation” of the young people who are<br />

entrusted to our care, and the good work<br />

we do at Marist School will continue<br />

and move greatly forward through our<br />

strategic plan.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 21

Society of Mary School<br />

Sponsorship in the USA<br />

by Joseph Hindelang, SM<br />

Soon after the newly united Province of the Society of Mary<br />

in the U.S. began in 2009, a committee was formed to plan for<br />

the future of Marist educational ministry. The committee was<br />

responsible for looking at current schools of the Marist Fathers<br />

and Brothers as well as those schools which would like to form a<br />

partnership with the Society of Mary.<br />

Father Jean-Claude Colin, Marist founder, saw education of<br />

young people as an important ministry that the Society could<br />

do for the Church and for the world. He reluctantly took on<br />

leadership of the high school Seminary at Belley in France at<br />

the repeated request of his bishop. During the summer Fr. Colin<br />

wrote up educational instructions for the staff and then worked<br />

with them to bring the instructions to life as they interacted<br />

with the students. These brief “Instructions” contain a rich<br />

tradition which Marist Fathers and Brothers have drawn upon<br />

as they established schools in various parts of the world since<br />

the 1830s.<br />

Within two years of arriving in the United States (actually the<br />

Confederate States of America at the time), the Marist Fathers<br />

and Brothers established their first school at Jefferson College in<br />

Louisiana. From 1864 until today, education has been a primary<br />

ministry of the Society of Mary in this country. The philosophy<br />

of education begun by Fr. Colin has been shared with lay faculty<br />

and staff members to benefit the students at Marist schools.<br />

To preserve and build upon the Society of Mary’s philosophy of<br />

education, Ted Keating, SM (former Provincial of the Society of<br />

Mary U.S. Province), and Paul Frechette, SM (current Provincial<br />

of the Society of Mary U.S. Province), invited a group of<br />

educators within the Province to form a committee to work on<br />

the future of Marist education in the USA. With the help of Sean<br />

Sammon, member of the Marist Brothers of the Schools (FMS),<br />

who acted as facilitator and secretary, the committee developed<br />

the following vision and mission.<br />

(Left to Right) Paul Frechette, SM, Kevin Mullally (MS), Joe Hindelang, SM (NDPMA),<br />

Julie Pack (NDPMA), Mike Coveny (MS), Mary Ghisolfo (NDV), Jim Strasz SM<br />

(NDPMA), Bill Rowland, SM (MS)<br />

Vision: To preserve and renew Jean-Claude Colin’s vision for Marist<br />

education and to advance that unique mission into the future.<br />

Mission:<br />

• To provide a framework that will help to preserve and deepen<br />

the fundamental characteristics of our Marist schools;<br />

• To establish guidelines that govern what is to be expected from<br />

those involved with these communities of learning and faith;<br />

• To create a common language and set of actions that can<br />

be used to measure adherence to the larger mission of the<br />

Society of Mary;<br />

• To share our common understanding within the Province<br />

and wider Society of Mary about the spirit that guides and the<br />

principles that animate the programs and progress of schools<br />

within our Marist mission and ministry.<br />

The committee set goals and tasks, chose sub-committees, and<br />

began work. This will be an on-going project with documents<br />

that will evolve and grow as they are implemented by laity<br />

working with <strong>Marists</strong> in schools of the Society of Mary or<br />

sponsored by the Society: Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia<br />

(MS); Notre Dame Prep and Marist Academy in Pontiac,<br />

Michigan (NDPMA); Notre Dame des Victoires in San Francisco,<br />

California (NDV); and Notre Dame Academy in Duluth,<br />

Georgia. At our most recent meeting in March at Marist School,<br />

the committee finalized a document to be used at schools<br />

sponsored by the Society of Mary. The document is a reminder<br />

to these schools of the importance of preserving Catholic and<br />

Marist belief and practice in the daily lives of students and staff,<br />

in addition to all the other important aspects of school life.<br />

This document, “The Relationship Between Sponsored Schools<br />

and the Society of Mary” will be posted on the Province<br />

website, www.societyofmaryusa.org, along with other papers<br />

and documents prepared or gathered by members of the<br />

committee and by various working sub-committees. These<br />

materials can be helpful resources for all of those interested<br />

in the Marist philosophy of education. Since the committee’s<br />

inception, the following people have worked on various aspects<br />

of this project: Mike Coveny (MS); Paul Frechette, SM; Mary<br />

Ghisolfo (NDV); John Harhager, SM (current Vicar General<br />

in Rome); Joe Hindelang, SM (NDPMA); Ted Keating, SM; Ed<br />

Keel, SM (Our Lady of the Assumption, Atlanta, Georgia); Joel<br />

Konzen, SM (current Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of<br />

Atlanta); Kevin Mullaly (MS); Leon Olszamowski, SM (NDPMA);<br />

Julie Pack (NDPMA); Bill Rowland, SM (MS); Sean Sammon,<br />

FMS; John Sajdak, SM (St. Louis King of France, Saint Paul,<br />

Minnesota), and Jim Strasz, SM (NDPMA).<br />

The committee will meet again in September to discuss how to<br />

present materials to administrators and boards of schools that<br />

are currently operated by or sponsored by the Society of Mary.<br />

22 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine


Why I Support the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

by Nedom Haley<br />

When I was growing up, my family were members of Sacred<br />

Heart Church, in downtown Atlanta. At that time, the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> had three parishes in Georgia: Sacred Heart in<br />

downtown Atlanta, Saint Joseph in Marietta, and Saint<br />

Francis Xavier in Brunswick, on the Atlantic coast. As<br />

many Catholic parishes, Sacred Heart had a grammar<br />

school, where I attended through eighth grade.<br />

At the time Sacred Heart Church was adjacent to<br />

Marist High School, then known as Marist College. My<br />

family had several contacts with the <strong>Marists</strong>, including<br />

my grandmother who ran the cafeteria that served both<br />

Sacred Heart grade school and Marist High School. For<br />

several years, my mother was the secretary for two<br />

Marist High School principals, first for Fr. Philip Dagneau,<br />

SM and then for Fr. Vincent Brennan, SM.<br />

My mother, brother, and I lived in a section of my<br />

grandmother’s house; there was no father in the picture. That role was shared by a close<br />

family friend as well as the Marist Fathers. The <strong>Marists</strong> were frequent guests at our house for<br />

Sunday dinner and holidays. They were treated, appropriately, like family.<br />

I belonged to the Scout troop sponsored by Sacred Heart Church, which enjoyed an annual<br />

camping trip to what was then a rural area. Fr. Valentine Becker, SM came to the campsite one<br />

Sunday morning to celebrate Mass and then joined us for a breakfast cooked over a campfire.<br />

The breakfast was hardly edible, but Fr. Becker ate it anyway.<br />

As noted above, the <strong>Marists</strong> had a parish in Brunswick, Georgia, on the coast. Several families,<br />

including mine, would camp at the state park on Jekyll Island, just off the coast at Brunswick.<br />

Fr. Jim Cummings, SM would come out to say Mass on Saturday afternoon, using a picnic table<br />

for the altar, and then joined us for supper (cooked, naturally, on a campfire).<br />

When I was a senior at Marist High School, I was sometimes responsible for answering the<br />

front door and telephone in the Rectory adjacent to the school. The priests would stop by to<br />

inquire how my family was doing. For several years, I served as president of the Sacred Heart<br />

Catholic Youth Organization (CYO).<br />

Next to my immediate family, the <strong>Marists</strong> had a profound influence on everything I did in high<br />

school. I’ll mention that I went to the Marist High School mostly on scholarship.<br />

In short, my life would have probably been much different (for the worse) had it not been<br />

for the presence of the Marist Fathers while I was growing up. I was aware of many others<br />

my age who grew up without a father at home; some never had constructive guidance and<br />

unfortunately had trouble later in life.<br />

My daughter (Marist School class of 1993) has the same affection for Marist School and the<br />

Marist Fathers. She spends her afternoons in the spring as a part-time community coach. Her<br />

daughter was baptized in the school chapel at Marist by Fr. Frank Kissel, SM.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong> have a strong commitment to service to others as evidenced by such programs<br />

at Marist School as “Reach for Excellence.” The Marist tradition means that it is not enough to<br />

provide for one’s own needs. The Marist Way is to provide for others.<br />

I give to the <strong>Marists</strong> because I want them to continue to do what they do. I do not want the<br />

lack of financial resources to be an impediment to carrying on the Marist Way.<br />

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<strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 23

Society of Mary in the U.S.<br />

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Permit No. 3070<br />

From Scripture to papal documents to poetry to pop culture<br />

references – the” All About Mary” website of the Marianists at the<br />

University of Dayton is true to its name. “This website is the largest<br />

and most comprehensive site about Mother Mary,” says Marianist<br />

Father Johann Roten, SM, director of research, art and special<br />

projects for the Marian Library / International Marian Research<br />

Institute. “It is a wonderful way for people around the world to<br />

learn more about her.”<br />

The University of Dayton’s Marian Library recently launched the “All<br />

About Mary” website - an updated version of the Mary Page, a site<br />

that was initiated two decades ago by Father Roten. The website<br />

puts centuries of information about the world’s most famous<br />

mother at anyone’s fingertips. The intent was to make the site<br />

accessible to anyone with an interest in Mary - a graduate student<br />

researching a thesis, a priest looking for text to support a homily,<br />

a catechist completing a homework assignment, or someone who<br />

simply wants to know why marigolds are named after Mary.<br />

Checkout the website (https://udayton.edu/imri/mary) for :<br />

• Biblical references to Mary<br />

• Devotions, meditations, and liturgical celebrations<br />

• Miracles and apparitions<br />

• Artistic portrayals of Mary<br />

• Mary in film –from “Lord of the Rings” to “Pinocchio”<br />

• Shrines and Churches associated with Mary in the USA and<br />

worldwide<br />

• Information on Mary in popular culture, including Marian<br />

symbols in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”<br />

• Why a parrot is sometimes depicted in artistic works of Mary<br />

Are you or<br />

someone you<br />

know interested<br />

in discerning a call<br />

to priesthood or<br />

brotherhood?<br />

See contact information below.<br />

No commitment necessary.<br />

24 Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> Magazine

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