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Today’s<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong><br />

Volume 5 | <strong>Issue</strong> 3<br />

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

Society of Mary in the U.S.


Today’s<br />

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

Spring <strong>2020</strong> | Volume 5 | <strong>Issue</strong> 3<br />

Publisher<br />

Editor<br />

Editorial Assistants<br />

Archivist<br />

Editorial Board<br />

Paul Frechette, SM, Provincial<br />

Ted Keating, SM<br />

Elizabeth Ann Flens Avila<br />

Communications Coordinator<br />

Philip Gage, SM<br />

Randy Hoover, SM<br />

Susan Plews, SSND<br />

Susan Illis<br />

Ted Keating, SM, Editor<br />

Thomas Ellerman, SM<br />

Joseph Hindelang, SM<br />

Randy Hoover, SM<br />

Bishop Joel Konzen, SM<br />

Jack Ridout<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 />

for ideas and opinion. Letters may be sent to:<br />

todaysmarists@maristsociety.org<br />

Editorial Office<br />

Editor: 202-529-2821<br />

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

Society of Mary in the U.S. (The <strong>Marists</strong>)<br />

Editorial Office<br />

815 Varnum St, NE<br />

Washington, DC 20017<br />

tel. 202-529-2821<br />

fax 202-635-4627<br />

todaysmarists@maristsociety.org<br />

societyofmaryusa.org `<br />

Marist Provincial House<br />

815 Varnum Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017<br />

Marist Center<br />

4408 8th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-2298<br />

In this issue...<br />

3 from the Provincial<br />

by Paul Frechette, SM<br />

4 A Primer for Marist Contemplation and<br />

Discernment?<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

6 Discernment in Family Life<br />

by Elizabeth Piper<br />

7 Making that Decision!<br />

by Jack Ridout<br />

Society of Mary of the USA<br />

8 In the Spirit of Mary - Building Up the Local<br />

Church in Bahia, Brazil<br />

by Patrick Francis O’Neil, SM<br />

10 A Parish’s Response to Laudato Si’<br />

by Mark Dannenfelser, et al.<br />

12 Notre Dame de France<br />

by Hubert Bonnet-Eymard, SM and Kevin Duffy, SM<br />

15 The Alumni Program at Marist School in<br />

Atlanta, Georgia<br />

by Mark Kenney, SM<br />

16 Movie Review: Jojo Rabbit<br />

by Brian Cummings, SM<br />

18 Compassion for the Forgotten Behind Bars<br />

by Lauro Arcede, SM<br />

19 Marist Lives: Fr. Stan Hosie, SM<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

20 Marist Life: Balancing Spirit, Soul, Mind<br />

and Body<br />

by Tom Ellerman, SM<br />

21 A Star is Born!<br />

by Leon Olszamowski, SM<br />

22 News Brief<br />

22 Obituary<br />

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

by Jack and Lynn Cogan<br />

Marist Center of the West<br />

625 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3210<br />

Cover Explanation<br />

Distributed freely by request to churches, schools and other<br />

organizations. Home delivery is available by free subscription.<br />

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

“Descent of the Holy Spirit” by Jason Jenicke, www.jasonjenicke.com<br />

information of interest to friends of the <strong>Marists</strong>. It is refreshed<br />

The cover image is a painting by Jason Jenicke, a young Catholic American artist, who<br />

regularly.<br />

is a painter of New Testament scenes with a special interest in the human figure in<br />

the moment of participation in the scene. We imagine this painting portraying group<br />

discernment as the Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the Apostles as the birth of<br />

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

the Church. The image presents their response with such embodied vigor and power<br />

that we seem to be invited into the room. From this moment they are driven out to<br />

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

proclaim the Word to the crowds hearing them “each in his own language.”<br />

Design: 2 Beth Ponticello | CEDC | www.cedc.org<br />

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


from the Provincial<br />

Fr. Paul Frechette, SM<br />

Reflections on a Challenging<br />

Ministerial Discernment Process<br />

In the Spring 2019 issue (Volume 5, <strong>Issue</strong> 1) of Today’s <strong>Marists</strong><br />

we focused on the theme of discernment. Thomas Green,<br />

SJ, in his classic on the topic, Weeds Among the Wheat (Ave<br />

Maria Press, 1984) defines discernment as “the meeting point<br />

of 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 />

The title of Green’s classic on discernment shows how<br />

challenging the work of sifting the “wheat and weeds” of inner<br />

experience can be, because false and destructive desires are<br />

often mixed together with our greatest hopes for purity. This<br />

sifting can only be done effectively when others are ready to<br />

help “keep us clear.” It involves a boundless humility in our<br />

path to God of which Ignatius himself spoke so frequently.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong> have recently entered into this challenging<br />

discernment process with the prayerful decision to return Holy<br />

Rosary Parish in Buckhannon, West Virginia to the Diocese of<br />

Wheeling-Charleston in June <strong>2020</strong>. This decision did not come<br />

easily to us because of our rich missionary history serving the<br />

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston for the past 118 years, and our<br />

love for the people of Holy Rosary Parish. We have reflected<br />

on the situation at Holy Rosary for the past five years. It was<br />

heart breaking for us <strong>Marists</strong> to make this decision since we<br />

have spent some years now threading the eye of the needle and<br />

staying on just as long as we were able, even making sacrifices<br />

elsewhere.<br />

An element considered in this discernment process included<br />

our awareness of the call of Vatican II. Vatican II called for<br />

opening the Church to the longings and call of the baptized to<br />

the Center of the Church and its ministries, even though that<br />

has led to a diminishment in the numbers of vocations to the<br />

religious life. The baptized do not have to become religious to<br />

exercise that role now. So, it is with gratitude to the Spirit for<br />

our long history of ministry and leadership in West Virginia<br />

and our own role in empowering the laity in our ministries<br />

there that we say farewell. We are happy to leave in our wake<br />

there a Vatican II Church with a laity ready and willing to<br />

take up their own challenge from Vatican II. In a sense, “as we<br />

diminish, they increase.” We are confident that the priestly<br />

diocesan leadership in Buckhannon will continue that path.<br />

I met with Bishop Mark Brennan and we discussed the reasons<br />

why the <strong>Marists</strong> needed to return Holy Rosary to the Diocese.<br />

Bishop Brennan expressed deep appreciation for the many<br />

years that the <strong>Marists</strong> have been in the Diocese and valued<br />

how instrumental we had been in the early establishment<br />

of the Diocese. He assured us that a diocesan pastor would<br />

be assigned to Holy Rosary to continue the ministries of the<br />

parish. We are confident that the parishioners will continue<br />

the Marist spirit of thinking, judging, feeling and acting as Mary<br />

in all things.<br />

So, in departing, we dedicate the future here in Buckhannon to<br />

the gracious Providence of God. The parishioners will always<br />

be in our hearts and our love of and closeness to the people will<br />

never end. Through our discernment process in making this<br />

decision, it is our prayer that the Marist Statement of Identity<br />

has become and continues to be a guiding influence for the<br />

parishioners of Holy Rosary.<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 3


A Primer for Marist Contemplation<br />

and Discernment?<br />

Editorial Team<br />

You can say many things about our editorial choices in Today’s<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> but consistency to the point of persistency could be<br />

one of them. This current issue completes two volumes, six<br />

issues in all, unfolding one major theme that emerged from<br />

the September 2017 General Chapter (a world meeting of the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> in Rome):<br />

“Contemplation as the energy source, the mystical heart<br />

of Marist mission, is intimately linked with our identity<br />

as Marist religious. To form a communion for mission,<br />

we need to deepen the contemplative dimension of<br />

our lives. With Jesus at the center we can, like Mary, be<br />

missionaries of hope.” (2017 General Chapter, 30)<br />

This was a significant moment at the General Chapter as we<br />

looked at the state of the Society of Mary in its Provinces and<br />

Districts throughout the world. The first Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> issue<br />

in Volume 4 (Spring 2018), published after the Chapter,<br />

began with a reflection on the topic of contemplation by<br />

John Larsen, SM, the Superior General. This was followed<br />

by an article by the 2017 Province Retreat Director, Michael<br />

Whelan, SM, of Australia. In his article, “The Marist Way, a<br />

Contemplative Way”, he developed the theme of contemplation<br />

from the writings of our Founder, Jean-Claude Colin. Another<br />

article in this issue, “Mary, Model of Contemplation in<br />

Action” by Ted Keating, SM made use of Fr. Colin’s view of<br />

the contemplative life of Mary as a model for mission and<br />

ministry. Marist Postulant Nik Rodewald, while preparing<br />

for the Novitiate was interviewed by the vocation director,<br />

Jack Ridout. He presented a fresh view of Marist spirituality<br />

that drew him to the <strong>Marists</strong> which was rooted in “breathing<br />

her spirt” – interpreted as what leads <strong>Marists</strong> to living her<br />

life, a contemplative life. Brian Cummings, SM, who treats<br />

us in each issue to a reflection on a current film for spiritual<br />

insight, saw Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri as<br />

a way of capturing Colin’s pastoral insight - that we are not<br />

called to “solve people’s problems” but to “relate to them at<br />

the level of the heart to enter into the mystery of their lives” – a<br />

contemplative path.<br />

The Fall 2018 issue (Volume 4, <strong>Issue</strong> 2) opened with<br />

“<strong>Marists</strong> and the Mysticism of Action” by Ted Keating, SM,<br />

a phrase (borrowed from Jesuit Studies and a favorite of<br />

Fr. Peter Hans Kolvenbach, SM, the Superior General of the<br />

Jesuits) reflecting the great work the Jesuits have done in<br />

renewing St. Ignatius’s original contemplative emphasis. It<br />

also captures Colin’s personal mysticism evident in his life now<br />

shared with us in the new biography of Colin by Justin Taylor,<br />

SM. The Centerspread article in this issue focused on three<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> working in prison ministry in the United States. The<br />

three <strong>Marists</strong> chose unusual ways of naming their ministry<br />

which conveyed a profound insight into what they were<br />

encountering in these locked cells secured by armed guards.<br />

Tony O’Connor, SM, working with imprisoned migrants and<br />

refugees at the United States border titled his ministry, “In My<br />

Prison There are No Criminals.” John Bolduc, SM described the<br />

Suffolk County House of Corrections in Boston, Massachusetts<br />

as “A Temple Where I Feel the Presence of Christ.” Réne Iturbe,<br />

SM, viewed his Marist ministry at numerous California prisons<br />

as being, “An Instrument of Mercy” with convicted inmates<br />

and immigrants, both of whom he befriended and with whom<br />

he formed healing relationships of mercy. Irony, upon irony,<br />

upon irony that reflects a mystical sense of life for these three<br />

men. They see what is there while at the same time see through<br />

what is there. Brian Cummings, SM, writing about the eerie<br />

film Loving Vincent, reflected on Colin’s sense of bringing<br />

about a “new Church” in our chaotic world – “Not as we know<br />

it” – moving beyond our “comfort zone” and drawn by the<br />

freshness of the Spirit into a new reality of a new creation.<br />

The third and final issue of Volume 4 (Winter 2019) took<br />

us into the “explosive power of surprising Hope and<br />

creativity” that a contemplative life brings to our sense<br />

of Mission. A reflection by Ted Keating, SM, “Of Refugees,<br />

Pilgrims, and Caravans” – each of these being journeys rooted<br />

in hope and only made possible by that hope as a discerned<br />

choice over despair and depression in the face of challenges<br />

– presented a keen insight into a central aspect of the identity<br />

of the United States as a nation of immigrants. Gerard Hall,<br />

SM, an Australian Marist theologian, explored the heart of the<br />

integration of contemplation and discernment in ministry<br />

and mission in his article, “Mysticism at the Heart of Marist<br />

Mission.” The dimension of pilgrimage was also demonstrated<br />

in the Centerspread article about the new ministry of the<br />

European Province on the Camino de Santiago, one of the most<br />

ancient and famous pilgrimage routes through France and<br />

Spain. The ministry there is one of hospitality, counsel, a coffee<br />

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


or a meal and accompaniment in prayer with “seekers on the<br />

road”. Brian Cummings’s movie reflection was on First Man,<br />

a movie about Neil Armstrong, one of the most famous and<br />

remarkable journeyers to set foot on the moon. Yet for all that,<br />

both Armstrong and his wife, Janet, come across as examples<br />

of people so close to the very heights of human destiny yet who<br />

end up deeply human and almost unaware of this “great step”<br />

for all humankind.<br />

In Volume 5 we took that natural step from contemplation/<br />

mysticism into discernment. If a life of contemplation<br />

in Christ gradually fills our hearts, our minds and our<br />

imaginations with the Presence of God, that presence<br />

drives us to it into the world of suffering humanity. “It is<br />

no longer I who live but Christ Who lives in me.” In the first<br />

issue of Volume 5 (Spring 2019) Ted Keating, SM wrote<br />

the theme article “Contemplation Meeting Action in<br />

Discernment.” He stated, “The world of mystery, prayer, and<br />

faith has to hit the ground in action.” Faithfulness to the God<br />

of our heart is the very meaning of discernment, of where<br />

the will of God leads us in the world. Mary Ghisolfo, former<br />

president of Marist Laity and former principal of École Notre<br />

Dame des Victoires, a school rooted in Marist values, wrote<br />

“Servant Leadership and Marist Values.” Her article showed the<br />

faithful move from prayer and contemplation to service. The<br />

Centerspread focused on the formation of our young <strong>Marists</strong><br />

at the Scholasticate in Rome, Italy, as they are prepared for<br />

Marist life and ministry. Brian Cumming’s reflection on the<br />

film Of Gods and Men described a whole movie of embodied<br />

discernment in the ordinariness of daily life - the true story<br />

of a Trappist monastery in Tiburtine, Algeria. Their life of<br />

contemplation, communal prayer, dialogue and service to the<br />

local Muslim community all factored into the very difficult<br />

group decision to remain in the monastery during the Algerian<br />

Civil War - arriving at the discerned truth that abandoning<br />

their surrounding Muslim community could not possibly<br />

be the right path. They knew they would likely be murdered<br />

by the military and they were. It was one long painful story<br />

of the heart of discernment. The seven Trappist monks were<br />

beatified in 2018. Finally, in this issue, Jack Ridout, the vocation<br />

director, shared the experience of helping many young men<br />

through their process of discernment in “Marist Vocational<br />

Discernment in Today’s World.”<br />

The Fall 2019 issue (Volume 5, <strong>Issue</strong> 2), in a striking<br />

article by Brendan Murphy, a Social Studies teacher at<br />

Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia, shared the critical<br />

role of experience in forming the soul for discernment<br />

in an article based on his Bearing Witness program at<br />

Marist School. He opened with a quote from Murray Linn, a<br />

holocaust survivor, that came from a letter Linn had written<br />

to the students of the program: “It is said that the greatest<br />

journey starts at the heart. In the years to come you will have<br />

a chance to clear the mirage clouding the views, lift the veil<br />

of misconception and serve as a beacon of enlightenment to<br />

humankind. You are a gift of history to our legacy.” Bearing<br />

Witness is a profound program that teaches the students<br />

about the Jewish Holocaust in Germany. Brian Cummings<br />

reflected upon the movie, The Children Act, an adaptation of<br />

an Ian McEwan novel. The movie presented a scandal of good<br />

intentions with painful results - attempting to let the oftenpainful<br />

role of logic and law, which tries to legislate the “good”<br />

for children, - come to be seen as an evil twin of discernment.<br />

Nik Rodewald, while in the Marist novitiate, shared aspects of<br />

his discernment about his decision to take vows as a Marist. He<br />

reflected upon the “power of narratives” - building a vision out<br />

of the stories of which our lives are made, and now looking for<br />

God’s ever-present voice for this next step in that story. Kevin<br />

Duggan, SM, a Campus Minister at Marist College in New York,<br />

reflected on his efforts to help college students make use of<br />

their faith for the important life decisions they face at their age<br />

combined with a culture that can only distort and confuse a<br />

faithful remembrance of what God calls them to in a particular<br />

“vocation.” Ted Keating, SM, in his article, tried to unravel the<br />

misuse of the word “method” when used with discernment.<br />

Discernment is not a method but the surprising finding of a gift<br />

of grace from God - unearned but discovered as a gift waiting<br />

for us in our lives and histories. “I once was blind but now I<br />

see.”<br />

In this issue of Volume 5, we conclude this collaborative effort<br />

of communal discernment to explore, develop and deeply<br />

reflect on one of the key emphases of the Marist General<br />

Chapter. You will find a piece by Elizabeth Piper, a member of<br />

Marist Laity, on the ordinariness of day by day discernment<br />

in families. The Centerspread looks at what discernment<br />

over the course of many years has creatively brought to the<br />

life in Leicester Square in London at Notre Dame de France,<br />

the French Church of London. Here numerous volunteers,<br />

especially many Marist Laity, serve refugees, the homeless,<br />

the hungry, and work with large numbers of youth. This was<br />

a carefully discerned ministerial effort making good use of<br />

one of our earliest parishes. Mark Dannenfelser, the adult<br />

education director for Our Lady of the Assumption parish in<br />

Atlanta, Georgia describes his work in helping adult Catholics<br />

better discern what it means to live in a world more and<br />

more in peril as Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Sí. Brian<br />

Cummings, SM, brings his skills for faith reflection to the<br />

sometimes-controversial movie Jojo Rabbit, watching specific<br />

acts of love transform the lives of three people under the Nazi<br />

oppression. Can humor in the midst of tragedy be an element<br />

of discernment?<br />

As John Larsen, SM, said early in this collaborative effort: “One<br />

of the most remarkable (and perhaps unexpected) challenges<br />

that arose from our recent General Chapter (2017) was the<br />

clarion call for all <strong>Marists</strong> to live a life of contemplation.” We<br />

hope we can say that Today’s <strong>Marists</strong> in its own small way heard<br />

that the clarion call.<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 5


Discernment in<br />

Family Life<br />

by Elizabeth Piper, World Lay Marist Co-Leader<br />

When I think about<br />

discernment, what<br />

comes to mind is<br />

the talks that we<br />

have with children<br />

about considering<br />

religious life. Such<br />

talks are usually<br />

directed to people<br />

who may be called to<br />

be a priest, brother<br />

or sister, but those of<br />

us that discern that<br />

we are not called to<br />

consecrated religious<br />

life are also called<br />

by God. God calls all<br />

of us. Our job is to<br />

discern God’s unique<br />

invitation to each one of us and how we are to answer this call.<br />

In my life, the form of religious life that I have discerned is one<br />

of laity in the family as a wife and mom. In family life we are<br />

able to pass on our faith to our children by being examples<br />

for them so that our children are able to discern their call. We<br />

continue to discern as lifelong learners in our faith growing<br />

and developing our spirituality.<br />

The first thing my birth mother asked me when we spoke for<br />

the first time in 56 years was “Are you Catholic?” I thought<br />

this was an interesting question since I was not raised in the<br />

Catholic church. My conversion to Catholicism came about<br />

when I started dating my husband, Steve, who regularly<br />

went to church before we went out on Saturday nights. As<br />

our relationship developed, I asked if I could go with him to<br />

church. While at church I would see people leaving for the<br />

RCIA class. RCIA became the way that God connected me to<br />

the church and to my husband. Through this discernment<br />

process of RCIA God called me to be a part of his church and to<br />

live as a married woman with Steve. Though my birth mother<br />

was not Catholic she wanted me to have a life centered in God<br />

and surrounded by community which is what she saw in the<br />

Catholic church. This is also what Steve and I wanted for our<br />

family.<br />

The process of discernment continued in our married life. Are<br />

we called to be parents? How does our work play a role in our<br />

family and faith life? When will we know the best time for our<br />

family to grow? We laid these questions in God’s hands. My<br />

work in a retail clothing store was very unrewarding and I felt<br />

that a change was needed. I tried working in the wholesale<br />

industry and then in childcare. Together Steve and I prayed for<br />

Top Left: Brian Piper’s Confirmation with Jeremy Carson as sponsor and Bishop Joel<br />

Konzen, SM<br />

Top Right: World Marist Laity group<br />

Bottom: Baptism of Miles Carson with his parents Jeremy and Mary Ann Carson and<br />

grandparents Elizabeth and Steve Piper with Rhonda and Dennis Carson<br />

guidance in searching for a vocation. I felt that I was called to<br />

be a teacher, but in college I was told that I could not pursue<br />

this career because I was dyslexic. Working in childcare<br />

allowed me to work with children in a way that gave me an<br />

opportunity to nurture and shape children. God gave me this<br />

gift which I was able to develop through a different path.<br />

Children soon came in God’s time, not our time. We were<br />

blessed with two girls three years apart then five years later<br />

we had two boys, also three years apart. In our growing family<br />

Steve and I chose to make sure that developing our faith was<br />

where we wanted to put our time and energy. Our children all<br />

received the gift of baptism almost as soon as they were born.<br />

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


Deciding to raise our children in the<br />

Catholic church has been a huge part of<br />

our lives. In order to provide a faith base<br />

for our children it was important for us<br />

to develop our own faith and to make<br />

sacrifices to make sure that our family<br />

attended Mass each Sunday. This meant<br />

that when we traveled to swim meets<br />

with our son we found a local church to<br />

attend Mass.<br />

Steve and I also became catechists<br />

using the program Catechesis of the<br />

Good Shepherd (CGS), a Montessori<br />

based program centered around the<br />

child building his/her own personal<br />

relationship with God. Each of the three<br />

levels of CGS required a minimum of 90<br />

hours of formation to be a catechist. This<br />

formation for me started off as a way that<br />

I as a parent could bring the faith to my<br />

child though what I discovered was how I<br />

learned from the children. The scriptural<br />

based program allowed the children to<br />

dive deeper into their faith focused on<br />

scripture and sacraments. It also allowed<br />

Steve and I to become lifelong learners of<br />

our faith.<br />

Now that all of our children have become<br />

master catechists and received the<br />

gift of Confirmation, Steve and I are<br />

continuing the development of our faith<br />

through retreats, studies and service.<br />

The Society of Mary (<strong>Marists</strong>) has played<br />

a significant role in our lives. Steve is<br />

an alum of Marist School in Atlanta,<br />

Georgia. When we were dating, we<br />

met other alumni friends at football<br />

games. When we decided to marry it<br />

was officiated by a Marist priest. Three<br />

of our four children also graduated<br />

from Marist School. When my daughter,<br />

Mary Ann, became a lay Marianist, I<br />

was drawn to lay orders. Because of<br />

our connection to the <strong>Marists</strong>, my first<br />

question was, “Could you tell me about<br />

the Lay branch of the <strong>Marists</strong>?” As my<br />

spirituality grew, I needed “more.” There<br />

were others that were also looking and<br />

we connected through Marist Way<br />

activities. This resulted in the growth of<br />

a new community of people with shared<br />

interests based on living the Marist Way.<br />

The thread of Marist values has been<br />

sewn through our family’s life. We as a<br />

Marist family live our faith and pass it on<br />

to our children so that we can all grow to<br />

be lifelong learners by thinking as Mary,<br />

judging as Mary, feeling and acting as<br />

Mary in all things.<br />

Making that<br />

Decision!<br />

by Jack Ridout<br />

When someone is trying to figure out what to do with their life, guidelines can<br />

be helpful.<br />

One possible method of finding one’s way in life can be found in the lyrics<br />

from a song sung by Mother Superior in the Sound of Music, “Climb every<br />

mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, till you find your dream.”<br />

It might have worked for Maria, but not realistically for everyone.<br />

Making a lifelong decision demands work, and the word lifelong does not<br />

resonate with everyone in today’s world. A job that is lifelong sounds scary<br />

when “choice” is today’s buzz word, and making a choice requires work,<br />

and it can take some time. One needs to put every effort into making this<br />

decision. It’s called discernment, and it can take upwards of a year.<br />

One easy way to get started is called journaling. Whether you are considering<br />

a religious vocation or a secular path, keeping a journal can help in<br />

understanding what makes you think a certain way and can help you see<br />

what a possible path is all about. In a journal, you write down your thoughts<br />

about what you like and dislike and about what brings joy to your life.<br />

Each response will clarify your doubts about your future. Before you can<br />

say YES, you will end up by saying NO a thousand times to either yourself,<br />

others, or things around you in your life. Uncovering your likes and dislikes<br />

makes the final decision a bit easier as you are getting to know yourself and<br />

understanding what makes you tick.<br />

A next step in your discernment would be to talk with someone you trust<br />

about your thoughts. For example, a mentor or teacher can guide you, but<br />

it should be someone who knows you well enough to steer you in the right<br />

direction or answer your questions without being judgmental.<br />

These suggestions will hopefully bring you to better understand your path for<br />

the future. When doubts disappear, clarity can prevail. It will take work - but<br />

it will be worth it. Remember it’s your life. Live it well!<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 7


IN THE SPIRIT OF MARY<br />

Building Up the Local<br />

Church in Bahia, Brazil<br />

by Patrick Francis O’Neil, SM, Member of Marist Mission Community in the District of Brazil<br />

The Mission of the Marist Fathers and<br />

Brothers in Bahia, Brazil began in 1987.<br />

The establishment of this mission came<br />

after time had been spent looking for a<br />

Diocese located in a poor area of Brazil<br />

where the <strong>Marists</strong> could offer support<br />

not only in parish ministry but also to<br />

the Diocese as a whole. The idea was to<br />

re-model our Marist origins in the Bugey<br />

region of southeastern France among the<br />

rural poor during the great absence of<br />

priests from 1825 to 1829. Eventually the<br />

Diocese of Caetité in the southwestern<br />

area of the state of Bahia was chosen.<br />

At the time, the Diocese, which is about<br />

the same size as Holland (about twice<br />

the size of the state of New Jersey), had<br />

35 parishes but only twelve priests.<br />

Today the Diocese has 38 parishes and<br />

40 priests, which includes the Marist<br />

community of four members.<br />

In the beginning of the mission, the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> worked in the towns of Urandi,<br />

Pindaí, and Sebastião Laranjeiras.<br />

Over time these areas became more<br />

developed. The towns were able to<br />

support a local Brazilian diocesan priest<br />

and were equipped with the necessary<br />

parish infrastructure.<br />

So in 2000 the <strong>Marists</strong> decided to move<br />

120km (74.5 miles) farther west in<br />

the diocese to parishes in the towns<br />

of Palmas de Monte Alto, Iuiú, and<br />

Malhada, located on the banks of the<br />

São Francisco River. These parishes<br />

are among the poorest in the diocese.<br />

Together the three parishes cover an area<br />

of 6,000 square kilometers (2,316 miles)<br />

and have a population of 50,000 people,<br />

of whom 80% are Catholic. In addition to<br />

serving these three towns in the Sertão<br />

of Bahia, the <strong>Marists</strong> also attend to 80<br />

rural communities accessible only by<br />

dirt roads.<br />

The rural populations either have<br />

their own small farms, or they work as<br />

“vaqueiros” (similar to “cowboys”) on<br />

large cattle ranches owned by others.<br />

Many also pick cotton on these large<br />

farms. The agriculture activities center<br />

on yearly subsistence crops of beans,<br />

corn, or cotton. There is also milk<br />

production on some farms, and cattle<br />

raising on the big ranches. In the Sertão<br />

region the per capita income is around<br />

$150.00 (US) a month for those lucky<br />

enough to find work.<br />

Every year, the Sertão area, a semidesert<br />

region, experiences an 8-9 month<br />

period without rain. To help address this<br />

problem, one of the projects the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

began, together with other Catholic<br />

Top: Patrick O’Neil, SM leading Palm Sunday procession<br />

in Fundão, a community of the Iuiu Parish<br />

Bottom: Interior of the Church of Nossa Senhora, Mãe de<br />

Deus e dos Homens<br />

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


groups, was the construction of 16,000<br />

liter (4,220 gallon) water tanks to capture<br />

rainwater. One water tank was enough<br />

to provide a family of six with pure<br />

water for drinking and cooking for nine<br />

months. The local Secretary of Health<br />

informed the <strong>Marists</strong> that these water<br />

tanks made a huge difference improving<br />

infant mortality rates, since before this<br />

project families in the region had been<br />

sharing muddy and contaminated water<br />

with farm animals. The project was so<br />

successful that it was adopted by the<br />

Federal Government with the slogan:<br />

“One million water tanks for the people<br />

of the Northeast!”<br />

In addition to serving these three poor<br />

rural parishes, the <strong>Marists</strong> teach a<br />

theology course for laity in Caetité. The<br />

new Bishop, Dom José Roberto Silva<br />

Carvalho, has also entrusted the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

with coordinating Youth Ministry<br />

programs for the whole diocese, and<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> work with other religious and<br />

diocesan clergy to promote vocations.<br />

Over the years, the promotion of<br />

vocations has resulted in four of today’s<br />

eight Brazilian Marist priests coming<br />

from the Sertão region. There are<br />

currently five more young people from<br />

the area at our Marist Seminary in Belo<br />

Horizonte.<br />

Currently the Parish of Nossa Senhora<br />

Mãe de Deus e dos Homens (Our Lady,<br />

Mother of God and Men) in Palmas de<br />

Monte Alto is in the process of becoming<br />

a diocesan Shrine. The church was built<br />

in 1742, and a beautiful statue of Our<br />

Lady came from Portugal that same year,<br />

demonstrating that Marian devotion is<br />

very strong in the region.<br />

The story behind the church is<br />

interesting. The area surrounding<br />

Palmas de Monte Alto was a huge<br />

cattle farm covered in thorny caatinga<br />

vegetation. When it came time for the<br />

annual cattle round-up, the owner,<br />

Francisco Pereira de Barros, realized<br />

that a substantial portion of his herd<br />

was missing. As one strongly devoted<br />

to Our Lady, he made a promise that if<br />

he recovered his cattle, he would build<br />

a church in her honor. And that is what<br />

happened.<br />

In his Last Will and Testament, he<br />

donated his farm to Our Lady for her to<br />

watch over in perpetuity. Although his<br />

wishes were not respected and others<br />

acquired the property over the years,<br />

Mary continues to watch over the region,<br />

and it is fitting that the people here are<br />

now served by the <strong>Marists</strong>.<br />

In the same parish there is a strong<br />

Marist Laity group, and together with the<br />

Marist priests they have begun to form a<br />

support group for families dealing with<br />

the scourge of alcoholism. Due to the<br />

extreme poverty and the depression and<br />

despair that accompany it, alcoholism<br />

is a serious problem in the whole region.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong> also work with local area<br />

schools in Drug and Alcohol Prevention<br />

programs.<br />

While there is still much to be done in<br />

order to serve the suffering poor of the<br />

Sertão, today’s <strong>Marists</strong>, in the spirit of<br />

Mary and the early pioneers in the Bugey<br />

region, continue working to build up the<br />

local Church and the Kingdom of God.<br />

Top: Church of Nossa Senhora, Mãe de Deus e dos<br />

Homens at a distance<br />

Middle: “Vaqueiros” (cowboys) of the region wearing<br />

typical leather clothing to protect them from the thorns<br />

of the Caatinga, a type of desert vegetation<br />

Bottom: A typical means of transportation in the region<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 9


A Parish’s Response<br />

to Laudato Si’<br />

by Mark Dannenfelser, Jim Duffy, SM, Maria Massey, Suzanne Degnats, Suzanne Ernst, Chris Thompson,<br />

Cindy Thompson, Janis Niesse, and Lisa Cordell<br />

A Beginning<br />

In the Fall of 2012, fifteen parishioners<br />

from Our Lady of the Assumption Church<br />

(OLA) in Atlanta, Georgia gathered in the<br />

parish library to begin a comprehensive<br />

study and prayerful discussion of the<br />

Church’s rich body of teachings on<br />

social justice. The group used materials<br />

designed by JustFaith Ministries, an<br />

organization that provides resources to<br />

help people respond to the Gospel’s call<br />

to love, peace and justice for all. Over the<br />

course of 30 weeks the group read several<br />

books on Church teaching, engaged in<br />

lively discussion, and prayed together.<br />

As the weeks progressed discussions<br />

focused on social action and the question<br />

emerged: “What is mine to do?”<br />

Through prayerful and informed<br />

discernment, members moved into<br />

action. Some started teaching in<br />

the Dreamers Program, a ministry<br />

held nearby at Marist School, where<br />

immigrants take classes leading to GEDs<br />

and college credits. Others became<br />

involved in prison ministry. Eventually<br />

with the support of the pastor, Fr.<br />

Jim Duffy, SM, the Justice and Peace<br />

Ministry (JPM) was established at OLA.<br />

The ministry’s mission is to educate,<br />

advocate and live the seven principles<br />

of Catholic Social Teaching (Life and<br />

Dignity of the Human Person; Call to<br />

Family, Community, and Participation;<br />

Rights and Responsibilities; Option for the<br />

Poor and Vulnerable; Dignity of Work and<br />

Rights of Workers; Solidarity; Care for God’s<br />

Creation). The newly formed ministry<br />

team sponsored a weekend on capital<br />

punishment, which included showing a<br />

video presentation by Archbishop Wilton<br />

Gregory (former Archbishop of Atlanta)<br />

discussing capital punishment at all<br />

Sunday Masses. The deacons preached on<br />

it while the team shared literature after<br />

Mass clarifying the Church’s position.<br />

In 2014, the JPM began holding monthly<br />

Fair Trade sales, selling Catholic Relief<br />

Services (CRS) certified coffee, tea and<br />

chocolate. With the help of the JPM, the<br />

parish also supported small cooperatives,<br />

ensuring that farmers earned a fair wage.<br />

Using the profits from the Fair Trade sales,<br />

the JPM commissioned Food for the Poor<br />

to build 4 new homes in Central America.<br />

This program continues today with more<br />

homes scheduled to be built in the future.<br />

Additionally, the ministry holds an<br />

annual drive to support Stand Up for Kids,<br />

an organization that helps homeless and<br />

street kids in cities across America.<br />

Laudato Si’<br />

In June of 2015 Pope Francis released<br />

his environmental encyclical, Laudato<br />

Si’, or “Praised Be.” This important<br />

document inspired the OLA JPM ministry<br />

to increase and expand its effort to bring<br />

love, peace and justice for all; all people,<br />

all creatures and all of creation. As the<br />

ministry focused its vision around caring<br />

for our common home, it also deepened<br />

its reflection on what it means to love, and<br />

how this spiritual practice of caring for<br />

one another and caring for all of creation<br />

leads us to a deeper relationship with the<br />

One who is Creator of all.<br />

During this time Archbishop Gregory<br />

responded to Laudato Si’ with a letter<br />

to parishes in the Atlanta Archdiocese<br />

in which he wrote “There are no easy<br />

or facile solutions to the challenges we<br />

face to protect and preserve resources<br />

that belong to all of humanity.” The<br />

Archbishop asked that all of us “carefully<br />

review what Pope Francis said in the<br />

encyclical and more importantly to<br />

consider what each of us might do to<br />

respond to this concern which touches<br />

us all.” The Archbishop then engaged the<br />

University of Georgia in Athens (UGA) to<br />

help devise an action plan for Georgia.<br />

Top: JPM and the Creation Care Ministry members<br />

during contemplative Centering Prayer<br />

Bottom: OLA Just Faith garden<br />

The “Laudato Si’ Action Plan,” authored<br />

by UGA professors and staff, contains<br />

a variety of options for parishes to help<br />

reverse the threat of global climate<br />

change and environmental degradation,<br />

and to create a more sustainable world in<br />

harmony with God.<br />

This development inspired OLA’s JPM<br />

to conduct a class on Laudato Si’ for all<br />

parishioners. As a direct result of the<br />

course, OLA formed a Care for Creation<br />

team to implement the Archdiocesan<br />

action plan locally. As a first step the<br />

team is hoping to participate in an<br />

archdiocesan-sponsored energy, water,<br />

and waste audit conducted by Georgia<br />

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


Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL).<br />

Looking for ways to make the parish<br />

more environmentally friendly is already<br />

happening. Additionally, the Creation<br />

Care team intends to participate in<br />

a local annual effort to clean up the<br />

Chattahoochee River. During Lent the<br />

team organized a parish-wide prayer<br />

service, conducting the Stations of the<br />

Cross service in Light of Laudato Si’. The<br />

service invited participants to reflect on<br />

both the passion and the suffering of the<br />

entirety of creation. Increasing education<br />

is an important concern for the team. The<br />

Creation Care team members provide<br />

information on the implementation of<br />

Laudato Si’ and inform parishioners about<br />

opportunities for service at OLA and other<br />

environmental service organizations.<br />

Some of the members attended the Green<br />

Summit given by GIPL for interfaith<br />

inspiration and information.<br />

The OLA parish school has also made<br />

tremendous strides enacting the Laudato<br />

Si’ Action Plan. It began to incorporate<br />

the main themes of Laudato Si’ within the<br />

curriculum in April 2017 and held an inservice<br />

course for the teachers and staff.<br />

The school is engaging these themes in<br />

many ways throughout the curriculum.<br />

Students in science class work to calculate<br />

their carbon footprint. They then<br />

determine and promote ways to reduce it.<br />

Literature teachers have added the book<br />

“A Long Walk to Water” to the required<br />

summer reading list, exposing students<br />

to global environmental issues. The<br />

school recycles aluminum, plastic, and<br />

paper with the help of a student Recycling<br />

Club. Older students travel off-site to<br />

work in community gardens and prepare<br />

meal kits for clinics. Several students<br />

visit terminal cancer patients at nursing<br />

homes, while others visit and play with<br />

children with special needs.<br />

In 2018, OLA Catholic School built an<br />

addition, which includes a new cafeteria<br />

and kitchen. The cafeteria serves lunches<br />

on permanent plates and flatware,<br />

which are cleaned with a water-saving<br />

automatic dishwasher. The students<br />

planted a garden on school grounds, and<br />

the cafeteria incorporates the harvest<br />

in meal preparation. When designing a<br />

new addition, the school opted to install<br />

a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heating<br />

and cooling system, which is expected to<br />

lower energy costs by fifty percent.<br />

Going Forth<br />

Alongside all of this important action and<br />

behavior change, there has also been an<br />

effort to learn and reflect; to change our<br />

hearts. Many members of the JPM and<br />

the Creation Care Ministry have been<br />

deepening their prayer lives, especially<br />

in the tradition of contemplative prayer.<br />

Community members are seeing the<br />

link between contemplation and action,<br />

experiencing the transformation that<br />

takes place while praying the prayer of the<br />

heart, and seeing more deeply our interrelatedness<br />

to the entirety of creation.<br />

During contemplative practices such<br />

as Centering Prayer, Adoration, Lectio<br />

Divina, we put on the mind of Christ and<br />

begin to experience our relationship with<br />

God and our concerns for equality, justice<br />

and the non-discrimination of people and<br />

the planet as intimately related.<br />

Increasing education and action<br />

regarding care for creation has been<br />

both inspiring and challenging. In a<br />

recent homily by Jim Duffy, SM, we were<br />

reminded about our core beliefs and the<br />

challenges associated with following<br />

them. Fr. Jim preached on the text,<br />

Matthew 5: 38-48, and said, “I believe<br />

this passage is one of the cornerstones of<br />

Christianity and it is difficult to live out,<br />

but that is precisely what we are to do. We<br />

are called to non-violence by word and<br />

deed. We are called to care for each other<br />

and for God’s creation. To work for justice<br />

and equality for all. This is difficult to do,<br />

but it marks us as Christians.”<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 11


NOTRE DAME DE FRANCE<br />

A Marist Parish Committed to<br />

Evangelizing Through Word & Action<br />

by Hubert Bonnet-Eymard, SM and Kevin Duffy, SM<br />

Notre Dame de France (NDF) is a parish<br />

in Soho, London (Leicester Square) that<br />

will celebrate its 155th anniversary in<br />

<strong>2020</strong>. Known as the French Catholic<br />

Church in London, NDF began in 1865<br />

after Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, the<br />

first Archbishop of Westminster, asked<br />

the Society of Mary (<strong>Marists</strong>) to create a<br />

mission parish for the French community<br />

in London. By 1868, the church mission<br />

focused on meeting the needs of poor<br />

French inhabitants of Leicester Square<br />

and grew to include a hospital, an<br />

orphanage, and two schools that were<br />

run by the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul<br />

(Daughters of Charity).<br />

It has not been an easy road for the parish<br />

ever since its beginnings. The church<br />

was destroyed by two bombs during<br />

the Battle of Britain (the German Blitz)<br />

in 1940. After the war the church was<br />

rebuilt and decorated to be a showcase<br />

of contemporary French art. The fresco<br />

in the church, by French muralist Jean<br />

Cocteau, attracts many visitors each<br />

year. This fresco is mentioned in Dan<br />

Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. In addition to<br />

the art, the Cavaillé Coll organ, built by<br />

August Gern, attracts numerous tourists<br />

and music lovers to the church. NDF<br />

parish prospered in the years following<br />

its rebuilding as additional programs<br />

were created to meet the growing<br />

demands of parishioners. Over time the<br />

specifically French parish of NDF became<br />

predominantly a parish for French<br />

speakers, especially immigrants from<br />

Mauritius.<br />

Despite the growth of the parish, the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> had to withdraw from NDF in<br />

1987 due to a shortage of personnel in the<br />

Society of Mary. Five years later, however,<br />

the <strong>Marists</strong> returned after the general<br />

administration of the Society of Mary<br />

established an international community<br />

for serving NDF. This community of<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> was composed then of Clive Birch<br />

(England), Walter Gaudreau (United<br />

States), and Paul Walsh (Ireland).<br />

Today NDF, under the authority of the<br />

Marist Province of Europe, is one of<br />

the primary projects of the province.<br />

The Marist community of the parish<br />

continues to be international, and is<br />

currently comprised of Pascal Boidin<br />

(France), Hubert Bonnet-Eymard<br />

(France), Damien Diouf (Senegal), Kevin<br />

Duffy (England), and Ivan Vodopivec<br />

(England). Moreover, since 2012 the<br />

Missionary Sisters of the Society of<br />

Mary (SMSM) have shared in the parish<br />

mission and currently supply two<br />

sisters, Emmanuelle Fuchs (France) and<br />

Anne Suman Lata (Fiji), to work in the<br />

ministries there.<br />

Over the years, the considerable growth of<br />

French-speaking immigrants in London<br />

has called for increased pastoral services<br />

at Notre Dame de France. This has led to<br />

the creation of new ministerial groups<br />

and programs in the parish. NDF is a<br />

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


unique parish in that the parishioners<br />

do not share a residential area where<br />

they live but a language. Together with<br />

various laypeople, the NDF community<br />

shares a mission that is complex, diverse,<br />

and in constant evolution as we attend<br />

to the various needs of the people, with<br />

a particular focus on the poor and the<br />

young.<br />

Notre Dame Refugee Centre<br />

The Notre Dame Refugee Centre (NDRC)<br />

(www.notredamerc.org.uk) has been<br />

working with refugees and asylum<br />

seekers for more than 20 years, thanks to<br />

the generosity of Londoners who share<br />

our goals and beliefs.<br />

The Refugee Centre was originally<br />

established by NDF in 1996 in response to<br />

changes in asylum and immigration law.<br />

In 2007 Notre Dame Refugee Centre was<br />

registered as an independent charity.<br />

While many visitors are French speaking,<br />

we have welcomed people from 98<br />

different countries over the five past<br />

years. The Centre is run by five parttime<br />

staff members and a team of 40<br />

volunteers. Four of our consultants are<br />

currently accredited by the Office of<br />

the Immigration Services Commission<br />

(OISC).<br />

One of our visitors who was aided by the<br />

services at NDRC previously spent years<br />

sleeping on London buses. Today he has<br />

shelter and works at the refugee Centre.<br />

He was recently featured in a BBC article<br />

that had over three million hits on one<br />

day. You can read the full article at:<br />

www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-50459821.<br />

It is because of the commitment of the<br />

staff, volunteers and donors, that we are<br />

able to offer emotional and practical<br />

support to people who often find the<br />

doors closed to them elsewhere.<br />

Sandwich Service<br />

The Sandwich service is open every<br />

Saturday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm.<br />

Volunteers arrive at 10:30am to set up<br />

tables and chairs and prepare sandwiches<br />

that will later be served with pizza,<br />

soup, tea, coffee, cakes and fruit. The<br />

volunteers work to make the area a<br />

welcoming place. Each Saturday we<br />

welcome between 100 to 140 guests from<br />

all different backgrounds - anyone with<br />

broken relationships and those who find<br />

life difficult.<br />

Cosme, one of the volunteers at the<br />

Sandwich service wrote: “The Sandwich<br />

service at Notre Dame de France is a<br />

special place. My friend Laure told me a<br />

continues on page 14<br />

Top p.12: Celebration of Mass at Notre Dame de France<br />

Top Left: Notre Dame de France Refugee Centre volunteers<br />

Top Right: Notre Dame de France parish<br />

Middle Left: Marist community at NDF: (Left to right) Kevin Duffy,<br />

SM, Pascal Boidin, SM, Damien Diouf, SM, Hubert Bonnet-Eymard,<br />

SM, Ivan Vodopivec, SM<br />

Middle Right: Spirit in the City attendees<br />

Bottom: Notre Dame de France volunteers<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 13


Notre Dame de France, continued from page 13<br />

few years ago at a time when I was looking<br />

to give some of my time to help others.<br />

I had been somewhat reluctant to go as<br />

it meant waking up earlier than usual<br />

on a Saturday morning to go and meet<br />

homeless people. I feared it might make<br />

me feel uncomfortable: What would I say<br />

to them? How should I speak? How could<br />

I really help? One day I simply decided<br />

to go, and since then I have always<br />

wondered why I hadn’t joined the service<br />

earlier. This has been a blessing for me<br />

in so many ways. I soon realized that the<br />

sandwich service is not so much about<br />

the food. It is more about encounter. It is a<br />

means to renew relationships and create a<br />

nest, a familiar place for those who don’t<br />

have one. And, for all of us, this is a place<br />

to encounter the living God. When I tried<br />

to explain the needs of our guests to my<br />

eight-year-old niece, she summarized it<br />

beautifully: “in fact, they just need love.”<br />

When the Marist community organized<br />

a day of training for volunteers, I was<br />

struck by this sentence: “This is not a<br />

place to solve their problem; this is a<br />

place that creates the conditions for their<br />

problems to be solved.” Like a harbor for<br />

a distressed ship, this is a place where<br />

one finds the support, energy and light<br />

to go forward. This service, ostensibly for<br />

the purpose of distributing sandwiches,<br />

allows us to create a link, a connection,<br />

to reach out to the vulnerable. And, by<br />

so doing, it makes the ordinary become<br />

extraordinary. It just happens that one<br />

does not notice it immediately.” (Read<br />

more at: https://bit.ly/2xrGQgS)<br />

Youth Programs<br />

The Youth Chaplaincy is for students at<br />

the two French high schools in the city<br />

(Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill),<br />

as well as eight other schools in London<br />

for French speakers. A large team made<br />

up of parents, Marist religious and<br />

laypeople work with these young people.<br />

Catechesis and sacramental preparation<br />

are offered for the younger students.<br />

The older students can attend group<br />

discussions and participate in trips to<br />

the ecumenical monastery of Taizé, to<br />

Jambville (a youth center in a great forest<br />

near Paris with a focus on Scouting),<br />

to the shrine of Lourdes, and to youth<br />

gatherings run by the Parisian dioceses.<br />

Scout Groups<br />

Thanks to the work of numerous parents,<br />

there are flourishing scout groups<br />

with about 300 boys and girls involved.<br />

Although the two groups are distinct,<br />

they work well together.<br />

Young Adult Programs<br />

There is a significant number of young<br />

adults who attend NDF. The Gaudete<br />

group brings together students and young<br />

professionals who want to live, share<br />

and grow in their faith. The group meets<br />

twice a month and focuses on a particular<br />

theme for the year. This year the group is<br />

using Pope Francis’ document, Christus<br />

Vivit, published after the Synod on Young<br />

People, as they pursue their theme on<br />

prayer and friendship.<br />

Marriage Preparation<br />

Each year more than a hundred couples,<br />

where at least one of the partners<br />

is French-speaking, complete their<br />

preparation for marriage at NDF. While<br />

the wedding usually takes place in their<br />

countries of origin, the NDF team of<br />

laypeople and Marist priests accompany<br />

the couples in their preparation.<br />

West End Mission<br />

NDF is a city center mission. The West<br />

End Mission is made up of two programs,<br />

Spirit in the City and Night Church, and<br />

is part of NDF’s evangelizing ministries.<br />

The purpose of the Mission is to give<br />

witness to Christ and to the Gospel based<br />

on the belief that “only the Lord answers<br />

the deepest yearnings of the human<br />

heart.”<br />

Spirit in the City is the best-known<br />

initiative of the West End Mission. This<br />

is an annual summer festival of Catholic<br />

evangelization that takes place in<br />

Leicester Square, the heart of London’s<br />

entertainment district. The goal of the<br />

celebration is to share the Good News<br />

of God’s love with everyone. Different<br />

Catholic parishes and other Christian<br />

groups come together to evangelize in<br />

various ways. The festival, which will<br />

take place on June 6th this year, includes<br />

live music, workshops, adoration of the<br />

Blessed Sacrament, street evangelization,<br />

and opportunities for prayer. Visit<br />

www.spiritinthecity.org to learn more<br />

about the festival.<br />

Night Church is a simple form of<br />

evangelization following models from<br />

Lutheran churches in Copenhagen,<br />

Denmark. People from any religion, or<br />

no religion, are invited to light a candle<br />

in a church where there is live music and<br />

where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.<br />

For many, it is a moving and unexpected<br />

experience and offers an opportunity for<br />

people to encounter God in a different<br />

way.<br />

To read more about the various ministries<br />

at Notre Dame de France, visit our website<br />

at: www.ndfchurch.org/en.<br />

We Appreciate Your Donation!<br />

We ask for your prayers for this ministry. If you are able to help<br />

financially, please use the envelope in this magazine to send your<br />

gift. Please write “Notre Dame de France” on the inner flap of the<br />

envelope. Thank you for your generosity!<br />

NDF volunteers making connections with those in need<br />

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


The Alumni Program<br />

at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia<br />

by Mark Kenney, SM, Alumni Chaplain, Marist School<br />

My first assignment at Marist School took<br />

place while I was a seminarian. During my<br />

apostolic years, 1973-1975, I taught science<br />

to students in eighth and tenth grades.<br />

At that time the student body numbered<br />

around 800 students with a faculty/staff<br />

of about seventy, and there was no alumni<br />

program in existence. Today, forty-five<br />

years later, the student body numbers<br />

1100 with a faculty/staff around two<br />

hundred along with an alumni program<br />

that thrives. I currently have the enriching<br />

experience of serving as chaplain to the<br />

Marist School alumni community.<br />

In order to understand how this alumni<br />

ministry functions, it is necessary to<br />

understand the structure of the alumni<br />

program at Marist School. It is truly<br />

collaborative effort involving laity,<br />

clergy, and alumni members. The yearly<br />

alumni program is given shape in two<br />

ways: activities planned by the Alumni<br />

Board and a prearranged set of social<br />

activities that occur each year. The Board<br />

consists of fifty-seven members and<br />

nine emeritus members. The Board is<br />

governed by an Executive Committee<br />

composed of the President, four directors,<br />

and five Vice-Presidents that chair the<br />

five standing committees of the Alumni<br />

Board. These five committees are:<br />

Annual Fund, Membership, Leadership<br />

Development, Service and Spirituality,<br />

and Special Events. These committees<br />

represent those aspects that are deemed<br />

most important as on-going concerns of<br />

the Alumni Board. Each member of the<br />

Board is assigned to one of the standing<br />

committees. Membership on the Board is<br />

generally on a volunteer basis. This year<br />

so many alumni volunteered that those<br />

who were not appointed to the Board were<br />

named associate members.<br />

As mentioned above, the Alumni Office<br />

sponsors several social and spiritual<br />

events every year in order to provide<br />

opportunities for alumni to gather. The<br />

first event takes place in September,<br />

during one of the first home football<br />

games of the year, with a social involving<br />

the families of the alumni. Homecoming,<br />

an event that occurs in October, begins<br />

with the Half Century Club reception.<br />

This gathering includes all alumni who<br />

graduated from Marist School fifty or<br />

more years ago. The reception is followed<br />

by dinner and the homecoming football<br />

game. In December there is a luncheon<br />

for the newest alumni, those who<br />

graduated from Marist School within the<br />

last two or three years. Towards the end<br />

of January, the Service and Spirituality<br />

committee set aside time for some type<br />

of retreat experience, ranging from a day<br />

of reflection to an overnight experience<br />

at a local retreat house. This committee<br />

also plans a service project in which<br />

alumni can participate. A major alumni<br />

event in February is the annual Mass of<br />

Remembrance commemorating all the<br />

alumni who have died in the past year.<br />

During the month of April, the Alumni<br />

Awards Luncheon is held during which<br />

three awards are given to alumni. These<br />

awards include: The Distinguished<br />

Alumni Award, the Outstanding Young<br />

Alumni Award, and the Rev. James L.<br />

Hartnett, SM Service Award. All these<br />

awards are given to alumni who are<br />

recognized for their service to the local<br />

community and the Marist School<br />

community. The last weekend in April,<br />

Reunion Weekend, marks the highpoint of<br />

the year in terms of alumni activities, with<br />

certain class years designated to celebrate<br />

reunions. The weekend festivities<br />

span five days and include a barbeque,<br />

individual receptions for reunion classes,<br />

a golf tournament, and a Mass for the<br />

entire Marist School community.<br />

The final alumni event of the year occurs<br />

in June with a reunion of all the alumni<br />

who attended the Ivy Street campus<br />

of Marist School before it moved to its<br />

present location on Ashford Dunwoody<br />

Road in 1963. In addition to these major<br />

annual events, there are a variety of<br />

smaller prayer and discussion groups that<br />

meet on a monthly basis.<br />

Mass of Remembrance celebrated by Mark Kenney, SM<br />

I have found this alumni program to<br />

present one of the finest examples of<br />

collaborative ministry in the spirit of the<br />

Second Vatican Council. Clergy and laity<br />

work together on several levels. As the<br />

alumni chaplain I work with the two lay<br />

members of the alumni office. At weekly<br />

team meetings, we share what we have<br />

done during the week and present various<br />

ways we can help each other to be more<br />

effective in our common ministry to the<br />

alumni. I also work with the laity, the<br />

alumni, by developing and executing<br />

programs for them and pastorally through<br />

visiting sick alumni, offering support at<br />

the time of death of relatives and fellow<br />

alumni, and helping them grow in their<br />

individual spiritual lives. After teaching<br />

Scripture for the last thirteen years, being<br />

alumni chaplain at Marist School has<br />

helped me to develop and enrich another<br />

aspect of my ministry as a Marist priest.<br />

The alumni program at Marist School is<br />

well established and quite extensive. At<br />

present, there are about 10,000 Marist<br />

School alumni throughout the world with<br />

about 6,000 in Atlanta. A school that has<br />

been in existence for 118 years has a lot of<br />

alumni and Marist School takes good care<br />

of them.<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 15


MOVIE REVIEW<br />

Have a Great Knowledge of the<br />

Human Heart<br />

Prayerful Reflection with the Movie Jojo Rabbit<br />

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

Jojo Rabbit, directed<br />

by Taika Waititi, is a<br />

challenging film on<br />

many levels.<br />

Winner of the<br />

Academy Award this<br />

year for Best Adapted<br />

Screenplay (and<br />

nominated in five<br />

other categories), and<br />

winner of the People’s<br />

Choice Award at<br />

the 2019 Toronto<br />

International Film<br />

Festival, Jojo Rabbit has also been called<br />

“bland and misjudged” (Peter Bradshaw,<br />

The Guardian) – and that would be one<br />

of the milder criticisms. It is very much a<br />

movie that has divided critics around the<br />

world.<br />

Part of the challenge lies in the film’s<br />

subject matter – Hitler and the Nazis –<br />

and part of the challenge lies in the fact<br />

that it is a satire. Humor, in whatever<br />

format, is always divisive because<br />

appreciation of it lies in what the viewer<br />

considers to be funny (in this case,<br />

satirical) rather than objectively in the<br />

subject matter or the way it is treated.<br />

A significant challenge of the movie<br />

is that it doesn’t allow its audience to<br />

remain unengaged but rather demands<br />

responses on several levels including the<br />

intellectual and the emotional.<br />

Based loosely (and tonally very<br />

differently) on Christine Leunens’ 2008<br />

novel ‘Caging Skies’, Jojo Rabbit is set in<br />

the closing stages of World War II.<br />

It centers around a 10-year-old boy,<br />

Johannes (Jojo) Betzler, who struggles<br />

to participate enthusiastically in all<br />

aspects of “entertainment” at a Hitler<br />

Youth’s Special Training Weekend. The<br />

command that finally breaks Jojo’s<br />

resolve is to kill a rabbit – something he<br />

is unable to do - and so he is mockingly<br />

given the name Jojo Rabbit.<br />

He finds comfort in talking to his<br />

imaginary best friend, Adolf Hitler<br />

(played by Waititi). Strengthened in his<br />

desire to serve the Führer, he returns to<br />

the group and seizes a grenade – but the<br />

only damage done is to himself when it<br />

explodes.<br />

Effectively thrown out of the Camp, Jojo<br />

– at his mother’s (Scarlett Johansson)<br />

insistence - finds himself working for the<br />

Camp coordinator, Captain Klenzendorf<br />

(Sam Rockwell), doing such things as<br />

distributing propaganda pamphlets.<br />

Since he cannot join the others who<br />

are participating in the Hitler Youth<br />

in training, Jojo finds himself home<br />

alone more in his spare time. It is while<br />

at home one day that he discovers his<br />

mother’s secret – she is hiding a Jewish<br />

girl, Elsa, (Thomasin McKenzie) in a<br />

secret place in the house.<br />

His mother retains her faith in the<br />

essential goodness of her son – despite<br />

his apparent enthusiasms for fascist<br />

beliefs – and tells him “Love is the<br />

strongest thing in the world.”<br />

And so begins Jojo’s real growth.<br />

While this is the subject matter of the<br />

film – it is how Waititi deals with it that<br />

particularly presents challenges.<br />

Those familiar with his work (Thor:<br />

Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople,<br />

Boy, What We Do in the Shadows) will<br />

be aware that his is a very personalized<br />

view of the world. They will also know<br />

that humor is his preferred form of<br />

expression.<br />

Possibly New Zealanders find Waititi’s<br />

sense of humor easier to relate to – but<br />

his artistic expression is much more<br />

than localized to the South Pacific. As<br />

well as being of Maori origin (indigenous<br />

Polynesian people of New Zealand),<br />

Waititi is also of Jewish descent -<br />

and that combination allows him a<br />

particularly unique approach to what<br />

is inevitably highly sensitive subject<br />

matter.<br />

Is it permissible – or acceptable – to treat<br />

Hitler as a complete idiot not to be taken<br />

seriously and to immediately ridicule the<br />

Nazis by beginning with the sounds of<br />

the Beatles singing a German cover of “I<br />

Wanna Hold Your Hand” as a backdrop<br />

to thousands of Nazis saluting the<br />

Führer?<br />

Waititi, of course, is not the first director<br />

to adopt a “different” approach to<br />

the horrors of Nazism. Mel Brooks<br />

(The Producers), Quentin Tarantino<br />

(Inglourious Basterds), Roberto Benigni<br />

(Life is Beautiful), to name a few, have<br />

all tried “alternative” portrayals with<br />

varying reactions amongst audiences<br />

and critics.<br />

We know of Hitler’s evil and that of the<br />

Nazis – but can we view them in any way<br />

other than with horror and revulsion?<br />

Waititi would suggest that not only can<br />

we, but we must: “We have to find new<br />

and inventive ways to tell the story and<br />

to move forward with love.” (cf. Stuff, 16<br />

September 2019)<br />

That is the core challenge put to the<br />

audience when viewing and reflecting<br />

on Jojo Rabbit and it is a challenge that<br />

we can approach in a particularly Marist<br />

way.<br />

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


A key concept for our Founder Jean-<br />

Claude Colin in forming his <strong>Marists</strong> was:<br />

“Have a great knowledge of the human<br />

heart and find the key to the human<br />

heart. You must win people’s esteem, and<br />

their heart, in order to win them over.”<br />

We are all aware of the truth of that<br />

admonition – we’ve seen it over the years<br />

in our ministries and in our experiences.<br />

In one way or another if we live long<br />

enough, we come to see the truth that<br />

more people are won over by love and<br />

understanding than they are by rational<br />

arguments alone.<br />

But there is a deeper truth behind what<br />

the Founder is saying than only what<br />

we have witnessed or experienced in<br />

our dealings with others. The first – and<br />

essential – heart that we must have a<br />

great knowledge of is our own.<br />

How open is our own heart to the “new?”<br />

How much are we willing to risk in order<br />

to move forward with love? How much<br />

have we closed off in our heart because<br />

of past hurts and losses? How defensive<br />

have we become in order to protect our<br />

heart from further pain or from our<br />

fears? How much do we live only out of<br />

our intellect rather than also out of our<br />

heart?<br />

In terms of the movie, this is where Jojo<br />

is taken as he interacts with his mother,<br />

his friend Yorki (Archie Yates), Elsa,<br />

Captain Klenzendorf, his “formator” in<br />

the Nazi youth camp and with Hitler, his<br />

imaginary friend.<br />

Over the course of movie, Jojo changes<br />

and grows in how he views his world and<br />

the people who inhabit it – “The parallel<br />

between the imaginary friend who is<br />

actually a monster and the girl he’s been<br />

told is a monster but is actually a friend<br />

….” (Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert, 18<br />

October 2019)<br />

And so, amidst all the questions posed in<br />

Jojo Rabbit, a key question for <strong>Marists</strong> is:<br />

How willing are we to explore our own<br />

heart and to have a great knowledge of<br />

it? Like viewing and reflecting on Jojo<br />

Rabbit, it is challenging – perhaps even<br />

frightening – territory to venture into.<br />

However, it will also allow us to find new<br />

ways of telling the story of our life and to<br />

move forward in love.<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 17


Compassion for the<br />

Forgotten Behind Bars<br />

by Lauro Arcede, SM, Advisor to Marist Laity Prison Volunteers<br />

The prison ministry in Davao City,<br />

Philippines had a long history before the<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> got involved. The Society of Jesus<br />

(Jesuits) first ministered in the Davao City<br />

jail as far back as 1975, visiting prisoners<br />

and celebrating Sunday Mass. The prison<br />

ministry, however, was suspended in<br />

1995 after a terrible incident involving the<br />

stabbing of a Jesuit priest.<br />

In September 1999, Fr. John Larsen, SM,<br />

began visiting the inmates at the Davao<br />

City jail and celebrating Sunday Mass<br />

as he customarily did at other detention<br />

centers in the city. At that time, 60 out of<br />

900 inmates were allowed to attend the<br />

Mass. Over time it became a monthly<br />

commitment of the <strong>Marists</strong> to celebrate<br />

the Eucharist at the Davao City jail.<br />

In November 2002 Christopher Thadeos<br />

Ganzon, SM was ordained a priest and<br />

soon after was appointed to develop<br />

the prison ministry in Davao. He was<br />

assisted by Denis Mabayao, a member of<br />

a Catholic charismatic community, and<br />

Sr. Analulu, SM. This team developed the<br />

prison ministry by creating structures<br />

that facilitated collaboration with jail<br />

personnel, inmates and other service<br />

providers. The Davao City jail was<br />

designed to hold 600 PDLs (Person<br />

Deprived of Liberty), but the actual<br />

prison population was around 1,700. The<br />

overcrowded conditions were harsh, and<br />

inmates had to take turns for the sleeping<br />

quarters and for using the bathrooms. The<br />

large number of PDLs, combined with the<br />

lack of bathroom facilities, led to severe<br />

health problems.<br />

Over time, to help address these<br />

conditions, the Marist Prison Ministry<br />

created health and dental care programs.<br />

Moreover, the prison ministry team<br />

developed other programs which<br />

offered paralegal support, educational<br />

opportunities (vocational and technical<br />

courses), livelihood, spiritual formation<br />

and sports. Additional services that have<br />

been established by the Marist Prison<br />

Ministry program include: orientation<br />

for newly admitted inmates, a computer<br />

literacy program, an alternative learning<br />

program, skills training, sanitation,<br />

alternative medicine orientation, prayer<br />

meetings, catechesis and Bible study.<br />

The large number of unheard court<br />

cases delays the release of some PDLs.<br />

The paralegal services offered through<br />

the Marist Prison Ministry facilitates the<br />

examination of documents and provides<br />

assistance to those PDLs whose families<br />

are not able to process their cases and<br />

papers in the courts.<br />

Some PDLs are young men who should<br />

be earning a university degree, but their<br />

circumstances prevent them from doing<br />

so. The alternative learning education<br />

program, called “the university behind<br />

bars,” fosters the education of those PDLs<br />

who want to pursue their schooling as they<br />

wait for their case to be heard in court or<br />

for the day of their release from jail.<br />

Some of the PDLs earn a little money<br />

through the Marist Prison Ministry<br />

livelihood and skills training program.<br />

In this program inmates make wood<br />

and bead crafts, do sculpting and make<br />

handbags. The small income they make<br />

doing this work enables them to support<br />

their basic needs (soap, toothpaste,<br />

detergent, etc.) while imprisoned. It also<br />

helps to lessen any financial burden they<br />

represent to their families.<br />

The <strong>Marists</strong>’ consistent presence in the<br />

Davao City jail has led to the inclusion of<br />

regularly scheduled liturgical services<br />

and Lenten retreats. The <strong>Marists</strong> have also<br />

assisted in the organization of National<br />

Correctional Consciousness Week, Jail<br />

Foundation Day festivities, Misa de Gallo<br />

(Christmas Midnight Mass) and Christmas<br />

gift-giving celebrations.<br />

The positive effects of the Marist presence<br />

in the jails has resulted in the expansion<br />

of the Marist Prison Ministry program<br />

in the Philippines. When Fr. Ganzon was<br />

transferred from Davao to Digos in 2005<br />

he began visiting the jail in Digos as well<br />

as the Bureau of Jail Management and<br />

Penology (BJMP) detention centers. With<br />

permission from the bishop, he started<br />

celebrating Mass with inmates at the<br />

BJMP centers. The Marist Laity in Digos<br />

became involved in Fr. Ganzon’s work<br />

and supported the ministry by running<br />

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


ible study sessions on Saturdays and<br />

organizing the music for the Sunday<br />

liturgies.<br />

Today the Marist Prison Ministry work<br />

continues to grow in Davao and Digos.<br />

The bishop of Digos appointed Patrick<br />

Muckian, SM as the priest in charge of the<br />

diocesan prison apostolate. In Davao the<br />

prison ministry program has expanded,<br />

and the team invites different volunteer<br />

lay groups and individuals to participate in<br />

their activities.<br />

Several <strong>Marists</strong> have contributed to the<br />

growth of the prison ministry program<br />

over the years, especially in Davao where<br />

the ministry began. These include: Aliki<br />

Langi, SM who established the Partners<br />

in Marist Mission program within the<br />

prison ministry; Hermes Sabud, SM<br />

who formalized the ministry when the<br />

Archdiocesan Commission on Prison<br />

Welfare (ACPW) was established by<br />

the archbishop of Davao; and Lionel<br />

Mechavez, SM and Sr. Sheila Manalo, SM<br />

who created the medical-dental program<br />

in the jail.<br />

When the ACPW was established, and<br />

as the involvement of the laity in prison<br />

ministry grew, the <strong>Marists</strong> began to step<br />

back to allow a change in leadership of<br />

the Davao City prison ministry in favor<br />

of laypeople. Currently, Marist Fathers<br />

and Marist Sisters continue to serve the<br />

Davao city jail in a more hidden capacity<br />

by being the support for the Marist Laity<br />

ministering in the jail. The MLPV (Marist<br />

Lay Prison Volunteers), which is led by<br />

four individuals, organizes, plans, and<br />

leads the Marist Prison Ministry program<br />

in the city jail. In Digos City, members of<br />

the Marist Laity lead the Marist Prison<br />

Ministry program along with Patrick<br />

Muckian, SM.<br />

Through the Marist Prison Ministry<br />

program, the <strong>Marists</strong> and Marist Laity<br />

try to embody how to be present in the<br />

Church just as Mary was present among<br />

the apostles. The Sunday liturgies,<br />

the celebrations of the Sacrament of<br />

Reconciliation, the simple conversations<br />

and regular visits keep the inmates<br />

in touch with religious and spiritual<br />

reality which the prison reality slowly<br />

extinguishes. Happily, one constant<br />

comment from former PDLs about the<br />

prison ministry is that “the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

constantly connect them to their genuine<br />

freedom.”<br />

Fr. Stan Hosie, SM – Marist Priest<br />

and an International Humanitarian<br />

by Ted Keating, SM<br />

Fr. Stan Hosie, SM, was born in Lismore, New South Wales,<br />

Australia on April 28, 1922, the date that later became the Feast<br />

of St. Peter Chanel, SM, the first Martyr of the Western Pacific<br />

(Oceania). He completed secondary school at St. John’s College<br />

in Woodlawn, New South Wales, Australia, and then entered<br />

the formation program for the Society of Mary. He professed<br />

on February 22, 1940 and after completing his studies at Marist<br />

College in Washington, DC he was ordained to the priesthood. He<br />

demonstrated great gifts early on in his Marist life. He wrote the<br />

first biography of the Founder, Father Jean-Claude Colin, entitled,<br />

Anonymous Apostle. The book was published in 1967 and<br />

included an introduction by his friend, the well-known novelist,<br />

Morris L. West.<br />

In the early 1960’s the Second Vatican Council was opening the Church’s mission to a stronger<br />

sense of involvement in the social issues of the contemporary world as John XXIII’s groundbreaking<br />

Encyclical (Pacem in Terris) had done. During this time the <strong>Marists</strong> were beginning to<br />

look at the socio-economic issues of the missions in Oceania. World War II had a devastating<br />

impact throughout the mission territories and there were still areas of the Western Pacific that<br />

needed re-building. In addition, the age of “development” had hit the Western World with large<br />

international organizations, including the United Nations, that were working with the wealth of<br />

the more developed nations to aid development in the poorer nations. The US Marshall Plan had<br />

helped rebuild Europe from the effects of World War II.<br />

The Superior General at that time, Joseph Buckley, SM, and others began looking at the large<br />

swath of mission territories where <strong>Marists</strong> had labored for more than 125 years and thought the<br />

time had come to do an analysis of their needs from this development viewpoint. Hosie and<br />

Gerald Arbuckle, SM (a Marist anthropologist with a degree in applied anthropology) were put<br />

to the task. They traveled throughout the South Pacific and issued a first major document on<br />

the development needs of the territories. Their work was also aided by excellent theological<br />

documents that had recently come out of the Second Vatican Council.<br />

Their document was brought before international Marist leadership and it was decided that<br />

taking this on as a Society would not be possible. Fr. Buckley commissioned Hosie to take the<br />

work of the study and form an international aid organization later called The Foundation for the<br />

Peoples of the South Pacific (FSP), which for the first time would bring the world of development<br />

to these territories. Hosie befriended some wealthy donors including the president of MGM,<br />

Maurice Silverstein, and his well-known wife, an Australian actress, Betty Silverstein, beginning a<br />

remarkable epoch for Oceania in 1965. The rest is history, as they say. The FSP, still in operation,<br />

is infused with Marist values of building development from below to help its clients become the<br />

agents of their own development. While a unique philosophy then, it is one that Hosie insisted be<br />

the Marist contribution to the development world - a sense of humility and partnership. Another<br />

successful development organization was spawned from FSP, the Counterpart International, with<br />

a similar philosophy but which brought the values of FSP across the face world.<br />

Hosie retired as executive director of Counterpart International in 2002 after a lifetime in<br />

international development work. He passed away at the age of 91 on June 24, 2013. He was buried<br />

in the Marist cemetery plots in San Francisco, California after a Mass of Resurrection at Notre<br />

Dame de Victoires, the Marist Church in San Francisco. Prior to his burial an inter-religious service<br />

was held for the many people in the development world who knew and had great respect for<br />

Stan. You can read more about the Foundation for the Peoples of the Pacific at http://fspi.org.fj/,<br />

and the Counterpart International at www.counterpart.org to view the legacy of this great Marist.<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 19


MARIST LIFE:<br />

Balancing Spirit, Soul, Mind and Body<br />

by Tom Ellerman, SM<br />

The 1992 edition of Jean-Claude Colin’s<br />

1872 Constitutions of the Society of Mary<br />

contains three quasi-independent<br />

documents.<br />

A. Numbers 1 through 50 give the general<br />

principles of Marist life<br />

B. Numbers 51 through 450 give the<br />

concrete details of how these principles<br />

are put into practice in the daily life of<br />

the Marist Fathers and Brothers<br />

C. Numbers 451 through 465 give<br />

directions about Marist secondary<br />

schools<br />

From among the many things that Father<br />

Founder tells us, perhaps numbers 33 to<br />

36 and numbers 190 and 192 might seem<br />

the most bizarre to a contemporary reader.<br />

These numbers concern “Mortification<br />

and Penances.” But before we snicker<br />

and cast his thoughts aside as no longer<br />

applicable to us more enlightened<br />

Christians, let’s dust them off and see if<br />

they have anything of value to tell us.<br />

Father Colin bases his suggestions on two<br />

principles.<br />

1. “Internal and external mortifications<br />

naturally go with the interior and<br />

religious life and incline one to bodily<br />

penances: this twofold mortification is<br />

strongly recommended to all.” (#33)<br />

2. “Bodily mortification is important to<br />

achieving perfection and uprooting<br />

vices.” (#190)<br />

The first thing that we notice about these<br />

two principles is how incarnational they<br />

are in their approach to growth in holiness<br />

and the living of Marist life. Holiness and<br />

religious life are not simply about interior<br />

thoughts, feelings, motives, intentions, etc.<br />

Marist life is about ourselves. It is as much<br />

about how we deal with our bodies, live in<br />

our bodies, and how they react by trying<br />

to rule over us, just as it also involves the<br />

tyranny of our minds, wills, emotions,<br />

etc. How can order and peace reign in that<br />

rebellious kingdom we call “ourselves”?<br />

We can note two contradictory features of<br />

contemporary society. The first is the effort<br />

we all make to avoid, preventor numb<br />

every kind of pain of body and/or spirit.<br />

The number-one rule in our world is that<br />

everyone must be comfortable at all times.<br />

The second feature touches on the effort<br />

to endure, even to cause ourselves pain,<br />

in pursuit of our worldly goals. How many<br />

of us are willing to endure lack of sleep,<br />

poor nutrition and boring work to advance<br />

our careers? Think of all those who cause<br />

themselves physical pain to slim their<br />

bodies, build their muscles, or achieve<br />

some other athletic goal. When it comes to<br />

religious goals, however, we easily consider<br />

physical mortification and penance as a<br />

kind of obsession.<br />

Marist life is centered on Jesus Christ, and<br />

all our efforts, whether interior or corporal,<br />

aim at eliminating any obstacles to our<br />

union with Jesus Christ and to intensifying<br />

our identification with him. Father Colin<br />

knows that the pursuit of the spiritual<br />

life could easily become an ego trip. “Lest<br />

mortification become immoderate or<br />

imprudent, let it be tempered according<br />

to right reason, following the wise counsel<br />

of the superior or confessor.” (#190) No<br />

matter what they do or neglect to do,<br />

<strong>Marists</strong> are warned not “to injure their<br />

health or impede attainment of the<br />

greater good which, in view of the ends<br />

of the Institute, should be their primary<br />

concern.” (#190)<br />

Perhaps a greater problem for us today is to<br />

become too self-indulgent. “Should anyone<br />

be too self-indulgent, let the superior<br />

Cause for Canonization of Venerable<br />

Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, SM<br />

not be afraid to impose appropriate<br />

penances for his greater perfection. For<br />

the rest, let them take care to follow the<br />

accepted practices of the Society and avoid<br />

singularity.” (#191)<br />

From this cursory explanation of Father<br />

Colin’s thoughts on bodily mortification,<br />

we can see that Marist life is about both<br />

body and spirit, and it is Christ-centered<br />

and mission-oriented. Perhaps in our<br />

age of extremes and contradictions the<br />

greatest penance and discipline is to<br />

live a life that is balanced and healthy,<br />

spiritually, bodily, intellectually,<br />

psychologically and socially in order<br />

to strengthen the Body of Christ, the<br />

Church and to hasten the coming of God’s<br />

Kingdom.<br />

Please pray for the canonization of Venerable Jean-Claude Colin, Founder of the<br />

Marist Fathers and Brothers.<br />

Father Colin was friends with and admired by four canonized saints: St. Peter<br />

Chanel, St. Marcellin Champagnat, St. Peter-Julien Eymard, and St. John-Mary<br />

Vianney. If you can judge someone by the company they keep, Father Colin gets<br />

high marks. Please pray to these saints for the canonization of Father Colin. Pray<br />

to Venerable Jean-Claude Colin for your intentions and report any favors gained<br />

through his intercession to:<br />

The Marist Provincial House<br />

815 Varnum Street, N.E. | Washington, DC 20017 | USA<br />

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


A Star is Born!<br />

by Leon Olszamowski, SM, NDPMA Corporate President and Founding Principal<br />

Under the mantle of Mary, a child was<br />

born on July 1, 1994. We called it Notre<br />

Dame Preparatory School and Marist<br />

Academy.<br />

Schools are like people who grow and<br />

develop a sense of identity over time and,<br />

ultimately, stand on their own two feet.<br />

Our Notre Dame was nurtured, valued<br />

and loved along the way by Mary, the<br />

Mother of God’s “gracious choice” as<br />

mediated through the Marist Fathers<br />

and Brothers, Cardinal Adam Maida, the<br />

Pontiac Area Vicariate pastors, our Board<br />

of Trustees, generous parents, and caring<br />

staff members.<br />

Our journey of 25 years has turned a<br />

swaddling infant into a prosperous<br />

young adult. Along the way, our<br />

community has garnered a solid<br />

reputation as it has “worked with God to<br />

form Christian people, upright citizens<br />

and academic scholars.” Congratulations<br />

to our current student body and our<br />

alumni for making the Notre Dame<br />

schools what they are today.<br />

We are what we are today because we<br />

espouse valid educational assumptions<br />

that have bred powerful interior values<br />

and virtuous approaches to learning,<br />

living and doing. This “miracle school,”<br />

as Cardinal Adam Maida often calls it,<br />

has been recognized as the top Catholic<br />

school in the state of Michigan (Niche.<br />

com) four out of the last five years and<br />

the 57th best of nearly 1,200 Catholic<br />

high schools in the United States. It is a<br />

school that is internationally, nationally<br />

and locally recognized as a high<br />

performer in academics, the arts and<br />

athletics — an awesome track record for<br />

a relatively young school celebrating its<br />

silver anniversary this year. We firmly<br />

believe we will be even better when we<br />

celebrate our golden anniversary.<br />

Visitors to our Pontiac campus have<br />

often told us that they sense a palpable<br />

solidness and peace, and there is a<br />

powerful reason for that. From the<br />

beginning of this newest U.S. Marist<br />

school, the Venerable John-Claude<br />

Colin’s assumptions are interiorly<br />

espoused and externally lived out by our<br />

Notre Dame community.<br />

We Marist fathers and brothers believe<br />

and teach that God is a lover who desires<br />

a relationship with his creation of which<br />

we humans beings are stewards; that<br />

Jesus Christ suffered and died for our<br />

sins, modeling for us the perfect life of<br />

grace; and that Mary (Notre Dame), the<br />

icon of the Holy Spirit, by her “yes” to the<br />

angel Gabriel, is the Mother of God and<br />

Mother of the Church.<br />

Mary is the perfect disciple of Christ, and<br />

Notre Dame families are called to think,<br />

judge, act and feel as Mary, i.e., we are<br />

to nurture a healthy relationship with<br />

God, do the work of Mary by showing an<br />

ardent love of neighbor, and live a life<br />

that is simple and humble. Above all,<br />

we are to show merciful love to others<br />

as God has shown merciful love to us.<br />

The above values are, in a nutshell, why<br />

this school is so successful. We have a<br />

great Marist tradition: we use our limited<br />

resources wisely, and we have inspired<br />

students and staff.<br />

Often, parents and students come to our<br />

school for the academics, but soon they<br />

find out there is much more to be had<br />

here on Giddings Road. They discover<br />

that we are also working with God to<br />

create clean-living, Christ-like people<br />

and productive citizens.<br />

The philosopher Heraclitus said that<br />

“the only constant is change,” and we,<br />

as a school community, are embracing a<br />

rapidly changing world. Now, beginning<br />

our 26th year as a robust young adult<br />

community at Notre Dame, we have<br />

arrived at the point of our life to plan<br />

and build what I like to call “Notre<br />

Dame 2.0.” We began about 15 years ago<br />

when we embraced the International<br />

Baccalaureate (IB) programs to practice<br />

“best-in-class” student pedagogy.<br />

The IB and its “Approaches to Teaching<br />

and Learning” root our curriculae from<br />

Pre-K through 12th grade. More recently,<br />

we have made significant changes to<br />

our campus and our academic offerings.<br />

This year we even adopted a new rotating<br />

schedule. The new Easterwood Wing also<br />

perfectly models our embrace of change<br />

as we teach more strategic thinking<br />

and problem-solving in disciplines like<br />

robotics, computer science and food<br />

production.<br />

As an older generation of teachers<br />

and administrators moves toward<br />

retirement, they continue to serve as<br />

fine mentors to those who will perfect<br />

Notre Dame 2.0. And the future lies<br />

in the hands of younger, more vibrant<br />

administrators and staff members who<br />

must, as a matter of course, set out as<br />

good stewards “bringing out from the<br />

storehouse the best of the old and the<br />

new.”<br />

This new generation of Notre Dame<br />

leaders are slowly pouring old wine<br />

into new wineskins as they catch up<br />

to and reach out to a world of many<br />

new generational characteristics<br />

and personal needs. Those new<br />

characteristics and needs must first be<br />

learned and then applied to enhance our<br />

classroom teaching, athletics and arts.<br />

The look and feel of Notre Dame better<br />

matches Gen Z’s needs and we work hard<br />

to anticipate future student needs.<br />

As one of the original founders, I am<br />

proud to say that we’re hardly skipping<br />

a beat in the process of change and that<br />

our school is moving along “just fine” as<br />

we develop new tools to think through<br />

and answer tomorrow’s questions. I<br />

am happy to say that as I move into<br />

retirement over the next few years, I have<br />

left our school in very good hands!<br />

Spring <strong>2020</strong> 21


News Brief<br />

In these rapidly changing times that increase our anxiety, social distancing, and<br />

quarantine, the <strong>Marists</strong> invite you to reflect on the following poem to deepen our<br />

mystical vision of hope in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.<br />

Lockdown<br />

by Fr Richard Hendrick, OFM Cap – Ireland (March 13, <strong>2020</strong>)<br />

Yes there is fear.<br />

Yes there is isolation.<br />

Yes there is panic buying.<br />

Yes there is sickness.<br />

Yes there is even death.<br />

But<br />

They say that in Wuhan after so many<br />

years of noise<br />

you can hear the birds sing again.<br />

They say that after just a few weeks of<br />

quiet<br />

the sky is no longer thick with fumes<br />

but blue and grey and clear.<br />

They say that in the streets of Assisi<br />

People are singing to each other across<br />

empty squares,<br />

keeping their windows open<br />

so that those who are alone may hear the<br />

sounds of family around them.<br />

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland<br />

is offering free meals on delivery to the<br />

housebound.<br />

Today a young woman I know is busy<br />

spreading fliers<br />

with her number through the<br />

neighbourhood<br />

so that the elders may have someone to<br />

call on.<br />

Today churches, synagogues, mosques<br />

and temples<br />

are preparing to welcome and shelter the<br />

homeless,<br />

the sick, the weary.<br />

All over the world people are slowing<br />

down and reflecting.<br />

All over the world people are looking at<br />

their neighbours in a new way.<br />

All over the world people are waking up to<br />

a new reality<br />

To how big we really are,<br />

To how little control we really have,<br />

To what really matters,<br />

To Love.<br />

So we pray and remember that<br />

Yes, there is fear<br />

but there does not have to be hate.<br />

Yes, there is isolation<br />

But there does not have to be loneliness.<br />

Yes, there is even death,<br />

but there can always be a rebirth of love.<br />

Wake to the choices you make as to how<br />

we live now.<br />

Today, breathe.<br />

Listen, behind the noises of your panic the<br />

birds are singing again.<br />

The sky is clearing, Spring is coming,<br />

and we are always encompassed by Love.<br />

Open the windows of your soul<br />

and though you may not be able to touch<br />

across the empty square,<br />

Sing.<br />

OBITUARY<br />

Father Normand J. Martin, SM<br />

1931-2019<br />

Father Normand<br />

J. Martin, SM<br />

entered eternal life<br />

on December 24,<br />

2019. He was born<br />

on September 22,<br />

1931 to Paul E. and<br />

Roseanna (Hevey)<br />

Martin in Haverhill,<br />

Massachusetts. He<br />

attended St. Joseph Elementary School<br />

in Haverhill and Marist Preparatory High<br />

School Seminary in Bedford, Massachusetts.<br />

After high school Fr. Martin entered Marist<br />

College and Seminary in Framingham,<br />

Massachusetts. He made his profession<br />

in the Society of Mary on September 8,<br />

1952 at the novitiate on Staten Island, New<br />

York and then attended Marist Seminary<br />

in Washington, D.C. On February 7, 1959<br />

Fr. Martin was ordained a Marist priest<br />

at the National Shrine of the Immaculate<br />

Conception in Washington, DC.<br />

Fr. Martin’s first assignment was as an<br />

educator at Notre Dame High School in<br />

Harper Woods. Here he taught Mathematics<br />

and Physical Education and coached<br />

basketball and baseball for 21 years. Beloved<br />

by faculty, students and parents, Father<br />

Martin became affectionately known as<br />

“Hap” due to his upbeat and positive<br />

outlook. For the next 25 years he served in<br />

parish ministry. Fr. Martin served as pastor of<br />

St. Anthony Parish in White River Junction,<br />

Vermont; Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish<br />

in Methuen, Massachusetts; St. Bruno<br />

Parish-St. Remi in Van Buren, Maine; and<br />

Sacred Heart Parish in South Lawrence,<br />

Massachusetts. He also served as a chaplain<br />

at Bon Secours Hospital in Methuen,<br />

Massachusetts. Fr. Martin’s final assignment<br />

was as assistant and then director of the<br />

Lourdes Center in Boston, Massachusetts. In<br />

2016 Fr. Martin retired to Mary Immaculate<br />

Nursing/Restorative Center in Lawrence,<br />

Massachusetts.<br />

Fr. Martin is survived by his sister-in-law,<br />

Marie Jeanne (Duchemin) Martin, and<br />

numerous nieces and nephews and their<br />

families. Memorial donations may be made<br />

to the Society of Mary (<strong>Marists</strong>).<br />

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


DONOR THOUGHTS<br />

Why I Support the <strong>Marists</strong><br />

by Jack and Lynn Cogan<br />

In high school I always found math to be my<br />

easiest subject and foreign language to be<br />

the hardest; English landed somewhere in the<br />

middle. So, on the first day of classes in my<br />

senior year I was not concerned that my class<br />

schedule had the name of an English teacher<br />

that I did not recognize. My English teacher was<br />

new to the school. The fact that he was a priest<br />

was not a big deal. I had had several priests and<br />

nuns as teachers at my Catholic high school.<br />

What was different about this teacher was<br />

the “SM” after his name. I did not know what<br />

that meant. The teacher introduced himself as<br />

Father Gene Harasyn. He told us that the SM<br />

meant that he was a religious (not diocesan)<br />

priest in the Society of Mary (<strong>Marists</strong>). That first<br />

day of English class so many years ago was the<br />

start of my affiliation with the <strong>Marists</strong>. On that<br />

day I had no idea what a profound effect that<br />

man and many more Marist priests would have<br />

on the rest of my life.<br />

Senior English went pretty much as you would expect for a subject that was for me<br />

“somewhere in the middle.” I didn’t suddenly become a great English student, but I really<br />

liked this teacher. As the year progressed, Fr. Harasyn took me under his wing. We talked a lot<br />

about what college I might attend and what I wanted to do with my life. To make a long story<br />

a bit shorter, I attended Catholic University as a Marist seminarian. For the next seven years I<br />

lived, studied, and prayed with these men who were <strong>Marists</strong>. And while I finally realized that<br />

the priesthood was not to be my vocation, their influence on me continues to this day.<br />

After my wife Lynn and I were married by Father Bill Seli, SM, the first thing we did was buy a<br />

house near Our Lady of the Assumption (OLA) parish in Atlanta, Georgia, a parish run by the<br />

Marist Fathers and Brothers. We started and raised our family in this parish. Our six children<br />

were all baptized by Marist priests: Fathers George Wallace, Mark Kenney, Ed Murray, Joe<br />

Caffrey, and John Ulrich. Our children attended OLA school, and we celebrated Mass every<br />

Sunday with Marist priests. Our grandchildren have attended OLA school. <strong>Marists</strong> have always<br />

been part of our family’s life. After teaching (math, of course) at an Atlanta private high<br />

school for a little over 25 years, Lynn and I decided it was time for a change. I didn’t want to<br />

stop teaching, but I needed a different school. There wasn’t really any decision as to where I<br />

wanted to go – it was Marist School. The <strong>Marists</strong> welcomed me back like I was the long-lost<br />

prodigal son. I felt as if I were back home. Indeed, I was back home! In addition to my teaching<br />

at Marist School, our children are also alumni of the school.<br />

Since retiring a few years ago from Marist School, Lynn and I have continued to be part of<br />

the Marist family. We attend the school’s family Masses each year. I often make it to the<br />

Friday morning community Masses where I continue praying with these wonderful men who<br />

mean so much to me. The whole family looks forward to celebrating Mass on Christmas eve<br />

with Fr. Ralph Olek, SM. He has officiated at our children’s weddings and has baptized our<br />

grandchildren. Father Ralph is our friend and a definite part of our family.<br />

With everything that the <strong>Marists</strong> have given me for the last fifty plus years and everything<br />

they have meant to Lynn and to all of our children and grandchildren, we are grateful to be<br />

able to support the mission of the Society of Mary. Lynn and I are honored to have these fine<br />

men in our lives and in the lives of our family.<br />

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Spring <strong>2020</strong> 23


Society of Mary in the U.S.<br />

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Washington, DC 20017<br />

Non-Profit<br />

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The University of Dayton’s Marian Library hosts a website called “All<br />

About Mary”. The website puts centuries of information about the<br />

world’s most famous mother at anyone’s fingertips. Checkout the<br />

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 />

Spirituality of the Society of Mary:<br />

Contemplatives in Action<br />

While the Church has always emphasized Marian devotion, “We<br />

(<strong>Marists</strong>) are called to something much deeper … we are called to<br />

become Mary’s devotion in the midst of the Church.”<br />

– Fr. Ed Keel, SM<br />

Checkout the website maristspirituality.org for featured<br />

articles and talks.<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 />

Are you a Marist?<br />

”In all things let us look to<br />

Mary, let us imitate her life<br />

at Nazareth ... Let us unite<br />

silence and prayer with<br />

action. The Society of Mary<br />

desires that we, her<br />

children, should be<br />

missionaries of action and<br />

missionaries of prayer.”<br />

Fr. Jean Claude Colin, SM,<br />

Founder<br />

Are you<br />

called to<br />

live the<br />

Gospel as<br />

Mary did?<br />

,t1Y or A .1<br />

0 "Vf<br />

V"jo<br />

<br />

-1<br />

'?"<br />

<br />

.L.<br />

IS IN ·\\",

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