Today's Marists Volume 6, Issue 2

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2021 | Volume 6 | Issue 2


Society of Mary in the U.S.

“Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You” – Norman Rockwell



2021 | Volume 6 | Issue 2



Editorial Assistants


Editorial Board

Paul Frechette, SM, Provincial

Ted Keating, SM

Elizabeth Ann Flens Avila

Communications Coordinator

Philip Gage, SM

Randy Hoover, SM

Susan Plews, SSND

Susan Illis

Ted Keating, SM, Editor

Michael Coveny

Mark Dannenfelser

Thomas Ellerman, SM

Mike Kelly

Joseph Hindelang, SM

Randy Hoover, SM

Bishop Joel Konzen, SM

Elizabeth Piper

Jack Ridout

Nik Rodewald, SM

Bill Rowland, SM

Linda Sevcik, SM

Today’s Marists is published three times a year by The Marist

Fathers and Brothers of the United States Province. The contents

of this magazine consist of copyrightable material and cannot

be reproduced without the expressed written permission of

the authors and publisher. We wish to provide a public forum

for ideas and opinion. Letters may be sent to:


Editorial Office

Editor: 202.529.2821 phone | 202.635.4627 fax

Today’s Marists Magazine

Society of Mary in the U.S. (The Marists)

Editorial Office

815 Varnum Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017


www.societyofmaryusa.org E Q

Marist Provincial House

815 Varnum Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017

Marist Center

4408 8th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-2298

In this issue...

3 from the Provincial

by Paul Frechette, SM

4 The Central Focus of Three Encyclicals and the

Pastoral Vision of Pope Francis

by Ted Keating, SM

Society of Mary of the USA

6 Fratelli Tutti: Dialogue, Mission and Cultural


by Gerard Hall, SM

8 Teaching about the Sin of Racism in the Family

by Elizabeth Piper

10 A Call to One Familial Love for Brothers and

Sisters All

by Nik Rodewald, SM

12 Reflections on Fratelli Tutti Chapter 2:

“A Stranger on the Road”

by Timothy Tilghman

14 Marist Response to Racial Sensitivity in

Our Ministries

by Marist School Office of Inclusion & Diversity; Mike Kelly;

and Ashley Morris

18 Movie Review: Nomadland

by Brian Cummings SM

20 I am the Land: Indigenous Reflections

on Laudato Si’

by Hemi Ropata, SM

22 Jean-Claude Colin, SM …."Politically Correct"

by Tom Ellerman, SM

23 The “New Normal” – Or Is It?

by Jack Ridout

24 Marist Lives: Fr. Joseph Costello, SM

by Susan J. Illis

26 News Briefs

26 Obituary

27 Donor Thoughts: Why I Support the Marists

by Jim and Barbara MacGinnitie

Marist Center of the West

625 Pine Street, San Francisco, CA 94108-3210

Distributed freely by request to churches, schools and other

organizations. Home delivery is available by free subscription.

Contact our Editorial Office. Our website offers additional

information of interest to friends of the Marists. It is refreshed


© 2021 by Society of Mary in the U.S. All rights reserved.

Printed on partially-recycled stock with a vegetable-based ink mixture.

Design: Beth Ponticello | CEDC | www.cedc.org

Cover Credit

A mosaic based on Norman Rockwell’s (1894-1978) painting called the "Golden

Rule", 1961 hangs outside the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations.

The mosaic was presented during the 40th Anniversary of the UN by former US First

Lady, Nancy Reagan, on behalf of the people of the US.


2 Today’s Marists Magazine

from the Provincial

Fr. Paul Frechette, SM

Why, you may ask, did the Editorial planning team chose this cover image of Norman Rockwell’s

1961 – “Golden Rule” – Do Unto Other as You Would Have Them Do Unto You?

A quick answer would be because it connects Pope Francis’s

encyclical Fratelli Tutti to being a Marian Church for the Marists.

You may recall the front cover of the Fall 2020 Today’s Marists

issue which featured Pope Francis as the world’s pastor alone in

St. Peter’s Square in March 2020 when he told us to keep the faith

and not lose hope during this global pandemic. In this present

encyclical, Pope Francis now challenges us to keep our faith and

to respond with love, fraternity and friendship in a divided and

hurting world.

In this third encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, meaning “Brothers and

sisters all,” Pope Francis compiles and categorizes the main

proposals of the social discourses of his pontificate, in Rome

and during his trips. The following are 5 key points from this

encyclical (https://bit.ly/2RbRnXz):

1. Good Samaritan: “On this idea Pope Francis asks to recognize

the intrinsic dignity of every human being, who always :

deserves to be acknowledged, valued and loved; regardless of

individual ideas, feelings, practices and sins.”

2. Model of Development: “Pope Francis bases this idea in that

businessmen strive to create jobs for people, not for speculation.

The pope warns against “reductive anthropological visions” and

against “a profit-based economic model that does not hesitate to

exploit, discard and even kill human beings.”

3. Migrants: “The Pope recalls the drama of migration. He

is concerned about outbreaks of xenophobia and racism. He

advocates for helping people in their native countries so that

they aren't forced to leave. Pope Francis asks that society,

including Christians, recognize that it is treating migrants as if

they were ‘less human.’”

4. War and the Death Penalty: The Pope reiterates that war

always leaves the world worse off than it was. He proposes

looking at the effects war has on victims, to really understand

its gravity. He calls for stopping the proliferation of nuclear

weapons and instead, putting that money toward a global fund

against hunger. He also notes the change previously made

to the Catechism of the Church, making the death penalty

inadmissible in all cases.

5. Dialogue and Reconciliation: Pope Francis says, “dialogue

isn't merely about listening to the other's perspective, but about

being able “to admit that it may include legitimate convictions

and concerns.” It's an attitude he says people of all religions must

adopt. That's why he says acting alone is not enough. Rather, he

says, it is essential to find ways to collaborate with others.”

For Marists this encyclical inspires us to remember that “For

Fr. Colin, SM, the communion of mind and heart was basic to

the very mission of the Society. It would be the means by which

Marists learn to discover the Gospel together and live it as Mary

did.” (“The Work of Mary” The Marist Way pamphlet, Sharing the

Marist Way)

Marist ministry examples of living the Gospels around the US

Province are seen in Brownsville, Texas with Fr. Tony O’Connor,

SM, ministering to those on the border with various needs.

There are two Marist priests serving as prison chaplains, René

Iturbe, SM, in San Francisco, California and John Bolduc, SM, in

Boston, Massachusetts. Our Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia

operates an adult GED program (Centro Hispano Marista).

Several of our parishes and schools around the country have

involved their parishioners and students in service projects to

help those in need and have participated in events for social

justice and mutual aid ministry. Through the Province Justice

and Peace publications we have expanded awareness of the

issues and concerns that impact us both locally and globally.

So, the image on the front cover of this issue encourages us to

incorporate the love of brothers and sisters into our daily living

of the Gospels. As Pope Francis said in his homily on the Feast

of the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, “In the Gospels,

Mary appears as a woman of few words, with no great speeches

or deeds, but with an attentive gaze capable of guarding the life

and mission of her Son, and for this reason, of everything that

He loves. She was able to watch over the beginnings of the first

Christian community, and in this way she learned to be the

mother of a multitude. … Mary gave us … the maternal warmth

that keeps anything or anyone from extinguishing in the heart of

the Church the revolution of tenderness inaugurated by her Son.”

Since my initial writing of these reflections, tragically there have

been two more shooting incidents in the United States. The first

in Atlanta, Georgia where there is an active Marist presence, and

the second incident in Boulder, Colorado. So many communities

in our country are living in fear and pain. As followers of the

Gospel, we Marists are “attentive to the cry … (for) the demands

of social justice, (and) we shall be concerned about the needs

and rights of those who suffer.” We stand as one with the

victims and their families. (“The Work of Mary” The Marist Way

pamphlet, Sharing the Marist Way)

In conclusion, it is our hope that the stories in this issue of

Today’s Marists will help you to discover that, “… as Marists we

want to live in such a way that the Church is ever more clearly a

church of mercy and compassion and a church where the Gospel

is lived according to the manner of Mary, always reflecting

Christ’s great love for the world…. A church with the ’face of

’Mary' would make a choice for compassion over competition,

an option for relationship over dogmatism, for humility over

power, for service over control. … A Church with Mary’s features

…” (“The Work of Mary” The Marist Way pamphlet, Sharing the

Marist Way)

Volume 6 | Issue 2 3

The Central Focus of Three

Encyclicals and the Pastoral

Vision of Pope Francis

by Ted Keating, SM

Our themes for the recent and present

editions of Today’s Marists attempt to stay

focused on the reality of our lives in these

difficult times: the Pandemic which has

tested and challenged so many areas of

our lives; the fairly sudden reawakening

to the racial dynamics of our society

with fresh understandings of how they

touch all our lives in this country; the

difficulties in our political climate in the

US; the so-called “populism” emerging

in so many nations surfacing elements

again of fascism and violent styles in

politics; the frightening predictions of

growing climate change around us that

lead to anxious concern for our children

and young people; and the reemergence

of dangerous superstate confrontations

not seen since the Cold War. We have not

seen these levels of profound challenge to

our world all at once in many decades (if


Providentially, we have Pope Francis

who can hold in his large imagination

and heart all of these various sources

of concern for humanity and so many

aspects of our life together “in our

common home” (Laudato Sí’, “Praise

be to You”); sources of concern about

inequality, poverty, and 60 million

refugees on the move (Fratelli Tutti,

“All Our Brothers and Sisters”); and the

hungers of the human heart seeking

a deeper life than the dehumanizing

superficiality of so much of present

culture (Gaudete et Exultate, “Rejoice

and be glad”). He does this coming from

a common center of Catholic thought

since Vatican II - integral humanism.

He did not invent the term, but he has

enriched it thoroughly by applying

it so brilliantly to the many difficult

challenges of our times that sometimes

seem beyond solution when looked at

separately. He is calling “all humanity”

to accountability for the condition of the

world in a global movement of integral

development to which all can commit

because it is humanity itself that is at

issue in all of them. I would like to break

the phrases down a bit and help to unfold

them in these few words because it will

also provide the focus for the topics and

articles in this issue.

Early in Christian History the great

theologian St. Irenaeus said that “the

glory of God is humanity full alive.”

That phrase centers on the centrality

of humanity to God’s purposes in

history. It is a fairly easy jump from the

very meaning of Jesus Christ coming

among us for our liberation from evil

and our salvation as a full human being.

Jesus, as God, could not become fully

human unless there was something

divine in humanity already that could

be seen as dimly awaiting the coming

of Jesus as fully human yet God for the

transformation of all humanity.

St. Paul says:

“For creation awaits with eager

expectation the revelation of the

children of God…. We know that all

creation is groaning in labor pains

even until now; and not only that, but

we ourselves, who have the first fruits

of the Spirit, we also groan within

ourselves as we wait for adoption,

the redemption of our bodies.”

(Romans 8:19)

We also know that for three centuries

the early Church was torn in conflict

trying to understand the meaning of

Jesus coming among us as a human

being while remaining God. After

several Councils, the Church ended

up protecting the total reality of Jesus’

humanity against all efforts to distort,

qualify and weaken this mystery.

Whether Jesus needed all this effort to

be protected from distortion is a matter

for discussion, but even now historians

are seeing that what may have been at

issue in these Councils was the meaning

of humanity itself both in secular history

and in the Church. We would be living

in an entirely different Western world if

those efforts had gone astray weakening

our sense of the dignity of humanity.

Anyone quarrelling with the Church’s

clear social mission of the protection of

human dignity in all situations as a core

element of its proclamation of the Gospel

would have to contend with the weight of

these Councils of the early Church. The

reality of Jesus was at issue but so was His

and our humanity. The Eastern Church

is clearer in saying that the divinization

of humanity is at the center of Christian

spirituality because that is what Jesus is

about in his Incarnation. The Western

Church has other approaches to this

foundational mandate of human dignity

in its very destiny in God’s purposes for

creation. That is where the quote from St.

Paul is taking us in his statement and it

further explains the words of Irenaeus.

Paul takes us to the next step showing

that the nature and destiny of all of God’s

creation is at issue in our redemption.

This is central to Pope Francis’ Encyclical

Letter Laudato Sí’, but also to his whole

approach in each of his three Encyclicals.

It also is the unifying background of

this edition of Today’s Marists giving the

deeper meaning to every issue being

discussed here.

In Volume 3, Issue 2 of Today’s Marists,

we incorporated the Encyclical of Paul

VI just after the Second Vatican Council

On the Progress of Peoples, especially its

summary statement that “Dialogue is the

new word for Love,” a central theme of

the Encyclical making clear that without

dialogue there cannot be any real human

progress. Communication and freedom

are in the very nature of what it means

to be human. The protection of Jesus’

freedom in the last of the great Councils

4 Today’s Marists Magazine

closed the Church’s book on this mystery

of Jesus’ Incarnation because even He

had the freedom to obey His Father’s

will and suffered temptation, a freedom

at the heart of being human. So now,

love and development in the face of an

enormously pluralistic world trying to

engage differences of culture, religion,

philosophy, race and thought can only

be faithful by asserting the dignity of the

whole human person. The alternative,

as so evident in the twentieth century,

leads to authoritarianism, closed brutal

ideologies, and, ultimately, violence. It

can bring neither peace nor development.

The power to effect peace and progress

can always be tragically and violently

manipulated by and for the few.

Using the phrase integral development

and integral humanism, Pope Paul

clarified their meaning:

• the development of each and every

human being and of the whole human

being - body, soul, mind, heart without

which it is not a development befitting

human being;

• the integration of all the peoples of

the earth into a progress that undoes

inequality and poverty for some while

others have most of the power and the

wealth - the only way to a future of

humanity with peace and hope;

• social integration so all will be

included and the contributions of all

valued, respecting the principle of

subsidiarity where the voice of those

most affected by change can be heard

and respected in decisions about them;

• integrating the systems of the

economy, finance, labor, culture,

family life and religion so that each is

creatively in concert and cooperation

with the others rather than competing

and dominating;

• integrating individuals with society

and community overcoming the

effects and dangers of destructive


• integrating body and soul/spirit rather

than a materialistic approach that

devalues the human person in favor of

developing their material needs only as

consumers and workers.

In a later Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on

Evangelization, he went further and

redefined, based on the teaching of

Vatican II, that “salvation” itself as we

define it must be seen as integral to all of

human nature and not just our “souls”

directing the pastoral mission of the

Church to body and soul, mind and

heart, the social and community life of

humanity, etc., establishing the move in

the Church toward justice and peace as

being a central aspect of preaching the

Gospel in our time.

It should be clear by now what Pope

Francis means by an integral approach

to human progress for analyzing the

profound challenges that face us in our

times. He is reaching back into the period

of Pope John XXIII and on to the Second

Vatican Council and from there to the

foundational Encyclicals of Pope Paul

VI whom he often quotes. But also, he is

rooted in the early Church of Irenaeus

and the battles of the early Councils

protecting the truth about Christ and

about the dignity of humanity.

So, we view an integral spirituality in

the everyday life of building the “reign

of God” and not just personal piety in

Gaudete et Exultate, “Rejoice and be

glad”; an integral ecology with concern

and love for all creation and humanity’s

place within it in Laudato Sí’, “Praise

be to You”; and integral love for all the

human family as one community in

Fratelli Tutti, “All Our Brothers and


There is nothing in any of these three

Encyclicals that is unique only to

Christians. Integral humanism and

integral development are projects of all

humanity in furtherance of the absolute

center of the meaning of humanity in

the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Francis

and all the Church in calling the world

to an awareness of the true meaning

of human destiny, unites the Church

with all such efforts in the world and

invites all into an integral development

of an integral humanism. So, we are

back to the inspirational opening of the

Pastoral Constitution on the Church in

the Modern World from Vatican II that

stirred the hope of so many of us that a

new definition of the Church’s mission

for our times was emerging: “The joys

and hopes, the grief s and anxieties

of the men (sic) of this age, especially

those who are poor and afflicted in any

way, are the joys and hopes, and the

griefs and anxieties of the followers of

Christ as well.” (1) “Dialogue is the new

word for love” for Pope Paul VI. Integral

development and integral humanism

are the new words for love in our

difficult times for Pope Francis. Crisis,

hopelessness and partisanship are not a

fertile ground for this universalizing love.

Volume 6 | Issue 2 5

Fratelli Tutti:

Dialogue, Mission and Cultural


by Gerard Hall, SM

In many ways Pope Francis’ recent

encyclical – Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity

and Social Friendship [FT] (2020) –

continues in the spirit of his former

encyclical – Laudato Si’: On Care for Our

Common Home [LS] (2015) – calling for

a “bold cultural revolution” (#114) in

response to the profound challenges

of climate change and environmental

degradation. Both encyclicals are

addressed to all people of goodwill,

calling them to urgent dialogue in the

interests of the future of our planet

and human life. These two encyclicals

are also exercises in synodality insofar

as Francis makes productive use of

statements from Catholic Bishops’

Conferences throughout the world.

The focus of FT is on a new paradigm

for relationship and solidarity among

human beings for the creation of a

peaceful and just world. Quite radical

implications for society, economics and

politics are clearly enunciated. Here

I present a brief overview of FT while

giving prominence to its understanding

of mission as dialogue – and dialogue

as mission. Finally, with reference to a

work by interreligious scholar Raimon

Panikkar, I will discuss FT as a call to

“dialogical dialogue” and “cultural


Francis does not just talk about dialogue

but makes it integral to his method.

Whereas LS emerged in dialogue with

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew, FT

is partly a response to Francis’ meeting

with Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb

in Abu Dhabi resulting in their joint

declaration: “God has created all

human beings equal in rights, duties

and dignity, and has called them to live

together as brothers and sisters” (#5).

Francis’ ecumenical and interreligious

sensibilities are also evident in his

referencing Martin Luther King Jr.,

Desmond Tutu and Mahatma Gandhi as

inspirers of his reflections on ‘universal


Given the challenges facing our “Closed

World” (ch.1), Francis presents to us the

biblical story of the Good Samaritan

which Jesus tells in answer to the

question: “Who is my neighbor?” (ch.2).

Critiquing the ‘virus of individualism,’

Francis uses the parable to teach us that

love must go beyond tribe, family and

nation to include the stranger, migrant

and refugee (chs.3-4). This will also

result in a more equitable sharing of the

earth’s resources and improved politics

to promote social friendship and human

dignity – while protecting the vulnerable

and safeguarding local and indigenous

cultures (chs.5-6).

The final two chapters (7-8) of FT focus

more specifically on the urgency of

intercultural and interreligious dialogue

if we are to become peacemakers in

an increasingly fractured world. In

this world of pain, conflict and bitter

memories, we need to seek reconciliation

and forgiveness. This does not mean

forgetting the past – such as the Shoah,

atomic bombs in Japan, ethnic killings,

the slave trade – but being determined

through renewed human encounters

never to repeat such atrocities. Noting

that Jesus never advocated violence or

intolerance, we too should be ‘artisans of

peace’ building ‘social friendship’ and a

‘culture of encounter.’

For Francis, while every human being

is called to this mission of peace

and justice through friendship and

dialogue, religions have a special

responsibility because of their belief in

a ‘transcendent truth.’ In theistic terms,

interreligious dialogue is committed

to “God’s way of seeing things” (#281)

thereby offsetting modern tendencies

towards totalitarianism, individualism

and materialism which are enemies of

6 Today’s Marists Magazine

true peace and fraternity. Recognizing

religions have not always played such

a noble path, Francis calls on every

religion to deepen its true identity by

returning to its sources and abhorring

the distortions which justified violence.

Particular attention is given to the

Church’s mission which includes

being a ‘spiritual energy’ in the public

sphere. Challenging the distancing and

privatizing of religion in the modern

West, Francis highlights the Church’s

public-political role in advancing

the ‘common good,’ ‘integral human

development’ and ‘universal fraternity.’

Lest these phrases be misunderstood as

vague, abstract ideals, he reconnects our

sense of Christian mission to what he

calls “the music of the Gospel” leading

us “to encounter the sacred mystery of

the other (and) to universal communion

with the entire human family” (#277).

All this indicates the necessity of

developing an understanding of

Church and Christian mission which is

identifiably Marian. In words that have a

profound Marist missionary resonance,

Francis wants a Church “in imitation of

Mary the Mother of Jesus … a Church

that serves, that leaves home and goes

from its places of worship … in order

to accompany life, to sustain hope, to

be the sign of unity … to build bridges,

to break down walls, to sow seeds of

reconciliation” (#276). This is precisely

the call to ‘beginning a new Church’

with ‘Mary at its heart’ – for which Colin,

Champagnat, Chavoin, Perroton, Chanel

and the first Marists dedicated their

lives. Francis now calls all Christians to

develop such a Marian Church.

For interreligious scholar Raimon

Panikkar, if we are to find a way to peace in

today’s world we need to embark on what

he calls Cultural Disarmament. (Cultural

Disarmament: The Way to Peace, 1996)

The basis of his thought, in agreement

with Francis, is that peace and harmony

require genuine human dialogue.

Panikkar specifies such dialogue is not

just rational, logical, ‘dialectical’ dialogue,

but needs to be ‘dialogical’ dialogue

involving minds, hearts and spirits – the

‘meeting of persons,’ what Francis calls

‘social friendship.’ Panikkar specifies such

dialogue can only proceed on the basis

of genuine equality between dialogical

partners; Francis stresses such equality

is based on the shared dignity of every

human person created in the divine image.

Our problem is that the modern world

is caught up with a dominant culture

privileging market forces and the

technoscientific gods as more important

than ancient and local cultures, human

conscience or the religious and classic

voices of tradition. In Panikkar’s terms,

this requires us to ‘disarm’ that part

of humanity whose monetary wealth,

military might and control over politics

services the powerful few over the

increasingly voiceless majority. All this is

covered in different terms by Francis who

focuses on the plight of the disabled, the

poor, migrants, refugees and the many

more discarded to the margins without a

voice in their own human destinies.

Current changes in the world order do

not give immediate cause for optimism

regarding the implementation of FT’s

principles for peace, fraternity and social

friendship. Democracy is under attack;

populism and totalitarianism are on

the rise; ideological divisions between

nations are increasing; the called-for

reform of the United Nations is subverted

by controlling powers; fundamental

corruption in many nation-states is

incorrigible and seemingly increasing.

However, the stakes are high. In the

words of FT, unless we respond to the

challenge of affording every human

being the right to dignity, “there will

be no future either for fraternity or

for the survival of humanity” (#107).

Panikkar says we need a “radical

metanoia, a complete turning of mind,

heart and spirit.” This makes us realize

more than ever our dependence on

the transcendent reality we call God

to overturn human intransigence if we

are to alter the course of our world. Our

missionary task is to engage with all

others in dialogue to promote peace,

harmony and fraternity. Especially as

Marists, we should do so with the joy of

Mary’s Magnificat.

Volume 6 | Issue 2 7

Teaching about the Sin

of Racism in the Family

by Elizabeth Piper, National Formation Leader for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; Co-Leader of World Lay Marist;

Director of Faith Formation, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Atlanta, Georgia

I give you a new commandment, that you LOVE

one another. Just as I have LOVED you, you

also should LOVE one another.

(John 13:34)

Teaching about the sin of racism in the family was an

interesting request for me. Growing up in the segregated south

my perspective on this topic was formed by my mother and

my Church. My mother, Mary Dauch Davis, was an activist in

our small town in North Carolina who received death threats

because of her editorials against racism in the local paper.

These threats came so often that she and I were forced to leave

the town to let some of them die down. My Mom who passed

away this year lived her deep faith in service and charity to

others. She stressed to me the importance of standing up to

injustice in life. Going through my mother’s papers after she

died I discovered that she did even more than I ever knew

through service and charity.

Through the actions of my Mom, the teachings of the Church

and the ardent LOVE of neighbor, these core values stand out

as key to understanding the role of LOVE in teaching about

the sin of racism in the family. In my experience as a National

Formation Leader for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

(CGS), this LOVE is the foundation of our work with children.

As a parent we are called to model this LOVE in our family,

not only to each other, but also to all with whom we come into

contact. Understanding that this LOVE, this ardent LOVE of

neighbor, is what will change the world.

“I am the good shepherd.”

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

(John 10:11)

Center Family Life around the LOVE of the

Good Shepherd

The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program introduces the

3- to 6-year-old age group to Jesus in the image of the Good

Shepherd. Catechists begin with the question to the children,

“What would make a shepherd good?” The children begin with

naming how the shepherd feeds and protects the sheep, then

move on to learning how the shepherd knows each sheep by

name. Ultimately learning that the shepherd would lay down

his life for these sheep. Catechists poses the question to the

children, “How must the shepherd feel about these sheep?”

They are led to understand that this great LOVE expressed to

the sheep, that depend on the shepherd to provide for all their

needs, expresses how much Jesus LOVEs us and wants us to

depend on Him for all our needs. We are called in our families

to reflect this great LOVE to each other and to those around us.

I am the vine, you are the branches.

(John 15:5)

Centering our life around LOVE changes how we act with each

other in our families and in our communities. Jesus gives us

the image of the Good Shepherd to offer an understanding

of His great personal LOVE. This relationship grows when

Jesus tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. With

children who are in the CGS 6 -to 9-year-old age group this

image of the vine is offered to the child to show how this LOVE

of Jesus is not only for us but shared among all the branches on

the vine. Not only is this LOVE flowing between Jesus and each

person individually, but this LOVE also flows between each

person. We are all one with Jesus.

In our family life we not only LOVE our parents because of

what they provide for us, but also LOVE our brothers and

sisters because we are all part of the same family. We support

each other in our daily life. This support is seen around the

dinner table talking about the day. In our families we think

through ideas with people that we LOVE and respect. We

celebrate triumphs in sports, hobbies and work; turning to this

safe space where we are rejuvenated and replenished. Marist

founder Father Jean-Claude Colin called this place of

rejuvenation and replenishment ‘Nazareth.’

“Through Him, With Him and In Him in the

unity of the Holy Spirit.”

(Prayer of Doxology, Roman Missal)

In our families we are called to reflect this LOVE of Jesus.

Parents are to provide for all the needs of the family, protect

the family and model the LOVE of Jesus to each other and to

their children. The family then goes out into the community to

share this LOVE in their work and schools, returning home to

be nourished and comforted; just as sheep returning to the fold

of the Good Shepherd. The family sees God in each other so

that they can go out to share this LOVE of God with the people

around them.

If therefore they are and wish to be true sons of this

dear Mother, let them continually strive to draw upon

her spirit and breathe it: a spirit of humility, selfdenial,

intimate union with God, and the most ardent

love of neighbour; and so they must think as Mary,

judge as Mary, feel and act as Mary in all things, ….

(Society of Mary 1872 Constitutions, Article X, 49)

8 Today’s Marists Magazine

Ardent LOVE of Neighbor

Father Colin, in Article X of the 1872 Constitutions, calls us

as Marists to the most ardent LOVE of neighbor. The LOVE

that God gives to us and we nurture in our families is what we

recognize as God in all of us. We are called to act on this LOVE.

…so that God may be all in all.

(1 Corinthians 15:28)

How can the sin of racism live in the LOVE that is of God? It

cannot. God’s LOVE is for ALL. We must strive to reach this

point where “God may be all in all.” We are called as people of

God and as Marists to see this great LOVE in ALL. There is no

room for this sin. As families of God we build this base of LOVE

and, through our actions, we show others that there is no room

for the sin of racism in this LOVE.

This is the path of charity, that is, of the LOVE of

God and of neighbor. Charity is the greatest social

commandment. It respects others and their rights.

It requires the practice of justice, and it alone makes

us capable of it. Charity inspires a life of self-giving:

“Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but

whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

(Lk 17:33, Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1889)

Top: CGS Material on the reflection of the Good Shepherd – The two pillars of our

liturgy: The Word and the liturgy

Bottom: Brian Piper (age 3) and Sarah Piper (age 11) reflecting on the gesture and

prayer of the Doxology

Volume 6 | Issue 2 9

Students in Betsy Holcomb’s Christian Scriptures class discuss what it means to live out one’s vocation (Credit: Betsy Holcomb, Marist School)

A Call to One Familial Love

for Brothers and Sisters All

by Nik Rodewald, SM

From March 6-8, 2021 Pope Francis – amidst a global pandemic

and ongoing tensions in the nation and region – became

the first pope to visit the nation of Iraq, home to an ancient

Christian community that has been decimated by violence in

recent years. In making the trip, Pope Francis faced significant

criticism: Why would the Holy Father risk spreading Covid-19

through this international trip? Why would he meet with the

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? While Pope Francis explains

that these actions were taken – after significant time spent in

prayer – in the name of peace and offering hope to a nation

in danger of despair, the Holy Father’s actions may be seen

as enfleshing the teaching he offers in his recent writings,

Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future (Simon & Schuster,

2020) and Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship

(Encyclical, 2020). In word and deed, Pope Francis provides us

with an example of what it looks like to live out the call of our

baptism, that is, our vocation.

In recent months, students at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia

have been asked to explore what it means to live out their

vocation, which we define as an ongoing, active and dynamic

process of putting the pieces of my life together, in light of my

faith. With this definition in mind, we then ask students to

encounter various ‘stories’ and identify how the protagonist

in each story lives out their vocation through listening,

hearing a call and responding. It is our hope that, with years of

experience applying this paradigm to external stories, students

will develop the tools needed to discern how God is calling

them, both now and in the future. In the remainder of this

article, I will explore how Pope Francis’ words and deeds can

provide us with a framework for discerning our own vocation,

particularly in the context of the Church’s continued call to

combat racism.


Just prior to visiting Iraq, Pope Francis remarked that, “for

a long time I have wanted to meet those people who have

suffered so much; to meet that martyred church in the land

of Abraham.” Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has

been insistent that encounter is at the heart of Christian

life, precisely because encounter is at the heart of God’s life.

This is what the Church contemplates in the mystery of the

Incarnation, that God – not dependent on human beings for

anything – chose to become human. Moreover, as Pope Francis

reminds us: “When God wanted to regenerate creation, He

chose to go to the margins – to places of sin and misery, of

exclusion and suffering, of illness and solitude – because they

were also places full of possibility: ‘where sin increased, grace

abounded all the more’ (Romans 5:20) …. But you can’t go to

the periphery in the abstract” (Let Us Dream, 12).

10 Today’s Marists Magazine

God calls us through our human circumstances. We will not

discover our call unless we are willing to foster authentic

encounters, both with ourselves and with others. Listening,

the first step of discerning our vocation, begins with listening

to the deepest desires of our own hearts, which we discover

through prayer and silence. Plunging beneath our superficial

desires allows the deeper yearnings for love and communion

to rise to the surface of our consciousness. Only an authentic

encounter with the self gives the inner

freedom needed to de-center and allow

the experiences of others to change

our perspective and our life.

As we discern our individual call

within the Church to combat racism,

our first call is to listen. While

statistics render clear that poverty,

incarceration and gun violence in

the United States are not colorblind,

we cannot be satisfied with knowing

statistics; our encounter must be with

actual human beings. Encounters with

people who are different from us will

not take place unless we seek them

out. So, we must ask ourselves: what

will I do to seek these encounters? How

do the people I meet change my way

of thinking? What do I hear in their


Hearing a Call

We move from encounter with another

to discovery of God’s call by learning

to read reality in light of the Gospel.

Pope Francis writes that Jesus, in

the Beatitudes, “summed up the

grammar of the Kingdom of God” (Let

Us Dream, 52). The more familiar

we become, through prayer and

reflection, with this “grammar”

the more easily we will be able

to recognize what God is

calling us to in a particular

situation. The Beatitudes

should leave us shocked

and scandalized, as Jesus

tells us that it is the poor

who will see the Kingdom

of God, the hungry who will

be filled, the weeping who

will laugh, and the excluded

who will leap for joy (cf Luke


As we discern our role in the

Church’s call to conversion, we

must learn to read the stories of

those we encounter in light of the

scandal of the Beatitudes. How, in these

stories, do I see the Kingdom of God coming

Brook Astil proclaims the Word of God during an Ash

Wednesday liturgy at Marist School on February 12, 2021

To Call


To Listen

to birth? What do I see that could change? Knowing what and

whom I know, what can I do about it? Through asking these

challenging questions, we can hear how God might be calling

us to respond as individuals.


In all things, Christians are called to love as Christ first loved

us. Love, as we remind our students, is only real insofar as it

manifests itself in actions. Allowing

ourselves to be changed and called

through encounters with other people

is only a start; it must lead to action. In

responding to God’s call, we concretize

what we perceived through encounter

and prayer. The Holy Father’s visit to

Iraq can be seen as an example of this:

Pope Francis was not simply content to

write about rebuilding a better world or

the call to one familial love for brothers

and sisters all; he felt the need to put it

into practice by visiting one of the most

marginalized Christian communities

in the world today. Our vocations

should lead us also to concretize the

message that we have heard God speak

within our heart. We may not know

where to start, but this should not stop

us. As Pope Francis writes:

To Respond

“Let yourself be pulled along, shaken

up, challenged…maybe it’ll be through

a group of people you’ve heard about on

the news, or that you know about in your

neighborhood, whose story has moved

you. Perhaps it’ll be a local elderly

people’s home or refugee hospitality

center or ecological regeneration

project that is calling to you.… Open

yourself…decenter … transcend.

And then act. Call up, go visit,

offer your service. Say you

don’t have a clue what they

do, but maybe you can help.

Say you’d like to be part of

a different world, and you

thought this might be a

good place to start” (Let Us

Dream, 137).

Racism is a sin that afflicts

all of us by afflicting the

Body of Christ. How will you

listen to the situation of our

world, hear a call within it and

respond in such a way that will

build up the Body of Christ?

Volume 6 | Issue 2 11

Reflections on Fratelli Tutti Chapter 2:

“A Stranger on the Road”

by Timothy Tilghman, Deacon, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Washington, DC

Deacon Timothy Tilghman was ordained

to serve the Church of the Washington

Archdiocese in June 2010 and currently serves

at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, in the

Anacostia section of Washington, DC. He

authored Going to the Well to Build Community:

A Pastor’s Guide to Evangelization, with ACTA

Publications in September 2016. He is a 1975

graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy

and holds two master’s degrees, in Public

Administration from The George Washington

University (1997) and Theology from St. Mary’s

Seminary & University’s Ecumenical Institute.

Pope Francis titled Chapter 2 of Fratelli

Tutti “A Stranger on the Road” and

says, “… the joys and hopes, the grief

and the anguish of the people of our

time, especially those who are poor and

afflicted, are the joys, hopes, the grief

and the anguish of the followers of Christ

(Fratelli Tutti, #56). What is striking

about the Pope’s words is that it means

there will be no strangers in heaven.

And, why, you might ask? Most followers

of Christ, regardless of faith tradition

would agree that the Holy Scriptures

are the inspired word of God. And no

believer in Christ would take exception

to St. Paul’s words in Romans 13:8: Owe

nothing to anyone, except to love one

another; for the one who loves another has

fulfilled the law. If so many in our world

claim to be followers of Christ, why is

there so much suffering in the world?

This is a great question that Pope Francis

invites us to explore.

As an African American, a Catholic and

a Permanent Deacon, I am often invited

into discussions about the Church’s

response to matters impacting the

poor and afflicted, especially when

race is part of the discussion. In the

1990s, long before I realized that God’s

plan for me included ordination to the

Permanent Diaconate, I envisioned

running for office in Prince George’s

County, Maryland or in Washington,

DC. Since racism was most always a

subtext in discussions related to politics

and social justice, I would include in

my editorial commentary a statement

that in the United States, race (and

racism), is still a subtext. When asked

to join a conversation about racism,

Catholic Social Teaching and its practice

in response to perceived racism in

matters like the death of George Floyd in

Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the hands

of local police, I used the teaching and

preaching of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther

King, Jr. and our Church’s teachings as

articulated by Pope Francis. King and

Pope Francis, Protestant and Catholic,

approached the practical application of

the Gospel in the same manner. I would

not be surprised to discover that Pope

Francis studied Dr. King’s April 3, 1968

arguments in pursuit of justice for the

poor and disenfranchised.

Reading Pope Francis, I kept hearing

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s April 3,

1968 sermon, especially the echoes of Dr.

King’s words about the meaning of the

Samaritan’s journey down the Jericho

Road. In his final sermon of April 3, 1968,

Dr. King says:

You remember that a Levite and a

priest passed by on the other side.

They did not stop to help him. And,

finally, a man of another race came

by. He got down from his beast,

decided not to be compassionate by

proxy. But with him, administered

first aid, and helped the man in

need. Jesus ended up saying, this

was a good man, this was a great

man, because he had the capacity to

project the “I” into the “thou” and be

concerned about his brother.

Today, when such questions are

presented to me, people are not looking

for my political views. Their question

is this: “What does the Church say, and

what should I do when I confront racism

and injustice in my neighborhood? How

do I respond?” I am Black and Catholic,

and by virtue of ordination, I am not

just a citizen, I am one who took a vow

of obedience to the local bishop and his

successors. I am, thus, an extension of

the bishop’s teaching authority.

Rather than look at questions of race

and social justice in the larger society,

I want to look at questions of race and

justice solely within the Church of the

United States. If the Church can answer

these questions, I believe that people

with questions will not be conflicted.

The questions are related to priests and

religious and the Church’s response to

them as they figuratively walked the

Jericho Road, and chose to stop and

assist the strangers they encountered.

12 Today’s Marists Magazine

The questions:

1. What about the Healy brothers? Fr. Cyprian Davis, in

his 1995 book The History of Black Catholics in the United

States (pp. 146-151), chronicles the contributions of these

three Irish-African-American brothers who were ordained

before the more well-known Fr. Augustus Tolton, Alexander

Sherwood Healy, the personal theologian for the Bishop

of Boston at the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore in

1866 and the First Vatican Council in Rome in 1870; James

Healy, the second bishop of Portland, Maine in 1875; and

Patrick Healy began teaching at Georgetown University

in 1866, was elevated to vice-president in 1873 and to

president of the University in 1874.

2. What about Augustus Tolton? Stephen J. Ochs, in his

1993 book, Desegregating the Altar: The Josephites and

the Struggle for Black Priests - 1871-1960 (p. 78), speaks of

resentment of Fr. Tolton because priests in his diocese

entertained doubts about his capacity to serve and

resented the fact that White parishioners elected to join

Tolton’s parish. Tolton’s bishop in Quincy, Illinois shared

that Tolton created problems in the community because he

favored integration.

3. What about Mother Mary Lange? Last year after the

Holy See evaluated the case for verification of a miracle

attributed to Mother Lange, a priest who was present for

the deliberations in Rome returned and briefed the Mother

Lange Guild, of which I am a member. His presentation

included this question from the Holy See: Why is it that the

Church of Baltimore did not submit a petition for Mother

Lange’s canonization immediately after her death at the

end of the 19th century?

Each of these questions has an associated “why.” Why didn’t

the Healy brothers present themselves to the Church of the

United States as Negroes? Why is it that a future saint was not

admitted to a seminary in the United States or that priests and

bishops vilified Fr. Tolton without consequence? Why is it that

Mother Lange’s petition for canonization was not presented by

the Church of Baltimore at the end of the 19th century?

At the end of the chapter, Pope Francis writes, “Finally, I would

note that in another passage of the Gospel Jesus says: “I was a

stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35) (Fratelli Tutti

#84). At the end of his final sermon, King says: The question

that the Levite asked was, “If I stop to help this man, what will

happen to me?” He {the Samaritan} reversed the question: “If I

do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” Pope

Francis indirectly poses a question to the Church in the United

States: Why weren’t the Healy brothers, Augustus Tolton, and

Mary Lange welcomed into the Church in the 19th century?

People around the world are asking Dr. King’s question: “If I do

not stop to help this man, what will happen to him, to me?”

Pope Francis invites the Church and world leaders to answer

these questions. Will we answer? What happens if we, as

Church, do not address these questions as the Samaritan did?

Volume 6 | Issue 2 13

Marist Response to Racial

Sensitivity in Our Ministries

Marist School, in November 2021 Fearless Dialogues led faculty

and staff in a half-day workshop focused on transformation

and change in self and others. The experience helped to open

eyes to gifts rather than stereotypes, to cultivate the hope that

leads to sustainable change and to create an environment

for hard conversations. This type of training session will be

incorporated into new employee orientations each year and is

uplifted by a classroom and curriculum equity audit currently


Fearless Dialogues student ambassador training workshop, March 2021

Addressing the Fears that Stifle

Hard Conversation

by Marist School Office of Inclusion & Diversity, Atlanta, Georgia

As a Catholic and Marist institution, Marist School follows the

teachings of the Gospel, the Catholic Church and the Society

of Mary, all which call us to love and accept one another

unconditionally. We believe that diversity of humanity is a

blessing from God, and we seek to respect, understand and

celebrate the God-given gifts and dignity of each individual

in our school community and beyond. To support us in that

mission, Marist recently entered a two-year partnership

with cultural competency experts, Fearless Dialogues. Led

by theological educator Dr. Gregory Ellison, Ph.D. who has

a wealth of experience working with faith-based schools,

Fearless Dialogues is helping us build a model of openness at

Marist School while ensuring we stay true to our mission and

core values.

In May 2020, Fearless Dialogues completed an audit of the

26 annual programs sponsored by Marist School’s Office of

Inclusion & Diversity over the last decade, evaluating them

in terms of execution, outcomes and overall effectiveness in

reinforcing a sense of belonging. Most programs received high

marks, particularly those promoting student participation

and leadership. As enhancements are being made to address

the recommendations in areas of potential growth, Fearless

Dialogues has also spent time with teachers and students,

creating intentional space for dialogue and personal


Faculty and staff deliver the school’s mission every day,

advancing the school's diversity, equity and inclusion

standards, and encouraging students as they learn to

understand those around them through a lens of Christ-like

compassion. Given the important role of these individuals at

In March 2021 Fearless Dialogues began a series of workshops

for 200 faculty-nominated Marist students. These students will

become ambassadors among their peers working to foster a

culture of meaningful engagement across differences for the

remainder of this school year and in school years to come.

During their training, utilizing the signature Fearless

Dialogues methodology and online pedagogy, the student

leaders were divided into cohort groups and introduced

to the “Five Fears that Stifle Hard Conversation.” In

consecutive online sessions, Dialogues’ team of animators

moved students through several interactive experiments that

allowed participants to develop strategies to circumnavigate

these five fears and feel empowered to engage in challenging


The first two fears were the Fear of the Unknown and the Fear

of Strangers. In unpacking these, student leaders participated

in two activities that asked them to problem-solve together

and then consider how they might proactively demonstrate the

Marist value of Radical Hospitality to both friends and familiar

strangers in order to share their authentic truths, both inside

and outside the classroom.

Next, students explored the Fear of Plopping. “Plopping” is

a term coined by master educator Jane Vella that references

moments when a person shares their authentic truth in the

company of others and that disclosed truth is disregarded or

ignored. In short, the disclosed truth “hits the floor and plops.”

According to Vella, plopping is a violent act because it devalues

the speaker’s contribution to the ongoing conversation.

Plopping is also considered viral because if one person plops

others in the room may feel susceptible to a similar trauma and

refrain from sharing. In response to the experiment related

to this fear, participants came up with ideas for the student

population that would maintain an anti-plopping environment

at Marist.

Our biggest fears to tackle were the Fear of Appearing Ignorant

and the Fear of Oppressive Systems. Far too often individuals

believe that systemic ills like racism, sexism and homophobia

are too large for a single individual to make any lasting

impact. To contest this myth and address these fears, Fearless

Dialogues invited student leaders to identify a core energizing

14 Today’s Marists Magazine

value that can reframe, re-envision and revise the most

important roles they play in their daily lives. They also had

everyone engage in dialogue about life lessons and the great

hopes that guide them.

Overall, these workshops for students and faculty, along with

the audits and recommendations from Fearless Dialogues,

complement the school’s mission to form global-ready servant

leaders. It is our aim to produce graduates and community

members who understand and express the inherent value,

dignity, needs and perspectives of people from a variety of

cultures, places and experiences around the world, as well as

close to home. As expressed in the fourth priority of Marist

School’s Strategic Plan 2025, constructive dialogue goes handin-hand

with community outreach and spiritual practice

as the cornerstones of Christ-centered global readiness. At

Marist School, we are continuing to develop an inclusive

community that is built upon these principles and fosters

trust, accountability and mutual support for all members.

Pontiac Notre Dame ‘AIMs’ for

comprehensive DE&I program

Taking cues from the pope’s third encyclical, Fratelli

Tutti, Notre Dame continues its journey to a more

just and equitable campus using its Assessment of

Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) initiative.

by Mike Kelly, Director of Marketing, Notre Dame Preparatory and

Marist Academy, Pontiac, Michigan

In February, during Black History Month, Notre Dame

Preparatory School and Marist Academy’s (NDPMA) Head

of School, Andrew J. Guest, talked about the importance of

diversity with lower school students (Pre-K through 5th grade)

after one of their regular Wednesday Masses.

“As a Catholic school, we believe there is room here for

everybody,” he said. “We were all created in the image and

likeness of God and that’s why we are all different for a reason.”

He told the students that God made every person in the world

unique for a reason.

“We are all special. Some of us are tall, some of us are short.

ABOVE: Notre Dame Prep seniors Devarshi Mukherji,

left, and Nathaniel Nosegbe are in the school's

robotics center

RIGHT: Huge banners promoting NDPMA's "Many

Differences, One Inclusive Community" initiative are

displayed around the school's Pontiac campus

Some of us are old. Some of us are

young. Some of us can sing, some of

us play an instrument, some of us like

sports, some of us like creating and


He concluded by challenging the children to embrace Black

History Month and use it as an opportunity to learn more

about each other.

“Learn more about American history,” he added. “Embrace our

differences, and most of all, let us use this as an opportunity to

be nice and make our school the best school in the world.”

For the youngest students at Notre Dame, it was another touch

point for the school's ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

(DE&I) initiative that has at its core the third encyclical of Pope

Francis, Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship.

NDPMA's DE&I program has most recently been focused on

determining where exactly the school stands on fraternity and

social friendship as well as its diversity journey through the

lens of all constituents.

Kala Parker, Notre Dame's Director of Diversity and

Inclusion, has worked with a committee on the School

Board on administering the Assessment of Inclusivity

and Multiculturalism (AIM). The data obtained from this

assessment will provide more information about the school

climate from every member of the community: students,

parents, alumni, faculty/staff/coaches and administrators.

“AIM will provide school leadership with the necessary data

to identify school needs, set goals, and track progress towards

improvement and allow for the development and prioritization

of diversity, equity and inclusion [as specific] strategic goals

and objectives,” Parker said.

One of the Zoom focus-group sessions as part of the self-assessment portion of

NDPMA's Assessment of Inclusivity and Multiculturalism (AIM) program included

alumni, faculty, staff and coaches

Notre Dame's AIM has two parts: school self-assessment

(qualitative element) and an online climate survey

(quantitative element). The desired outcomes, according to

continues on page 16

Volume 6 | Issue 2 15

Parker are:

• Define diversity, equity and inclusion goals;

• Provide data to begin developing diversity and

multicultural programs and initiatives;

• Identify the school's current level of inclusivity as perceived

by multiple constituencies;

• Identify areas of need, whether in curriculum,

infrastructure, governance or services; and

• Facilitate an engagement process that illuminates patterns,

multiple perspectives and opportunities for improvement.

Recently, Parker and other school officials on the DE&I

committee, including board member Mia Burbank, wrapped

up the self-assessment portion of AIM. It involved several

intense focus groups conducted through Zoom.

“We believe it's critical to get all perspectives and having

everyone 'in the same room,'” Burbank said. “We went to great

lengths to get diverse representation from every constituency

on the Zoom sessions. For us, our entire community, past,

present and future, has a stake in the work and the safe,

equitable, affirming and just community we want to become.”

A total of seven Zoom calls were conducted with school

community members representing the following categories or

groups: parent/guardians; faculty and staff; admissions and

financial aid; student life; teaching and learning; alumni; and

school governance/leadership. Participants were encouraged

to be open and honest during the sessions and, according to

Parker, many were very spirited.

“Our Zoom facilitators said they had no problem getting people

to open up about diversity and inclusion issues within the

context of our Notre Dame/Marist school,” she said. “It also

was very clear that all were extremely passionate about DE&I

while at the same time recognizing the need to prioritize this

important work.”

Parker said that now her team's focus is on the second phase of

the school's AIM initiative, the climate survey.

“We launched the survey on April 12 and look forward to

presenting our findings along with the overall comprehensive

AIM report and recommendations at the June Board of

Trustees meeting,” Parker said.

Board member Burbank affirms the importance of this work.

“I'm so glad that DE&I is a priority at NDPMA and within our

Marist leadership,” she said. “We have done an amazing job

educating our students, but I believe, just as importantly, we

need to prepare them for a highly diverse world in which we

are all accepting and tolerant of other views and perspectives.

Encounters of Love and

Accompaniment: A Marist

Response to Racial Injustice

by Mr. Ashley Morris, Th.M., Associate Director, Office of

Intercultural Ministries, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

We have arrived to the point

where we have struggled with

the dual pandemics of the novel

coronavirus and the sin of racism

for one straight year. As we

consider the past year of protests,

riots and cries for racial justice,

as well as a rise in attacks against

sisters and brothers of Asian or

Pacific Island descent - including

the horrendous March 16th spa

shootings in Atlanta, Georgia

that took the lives of six Asian

women - there still remains a

sense of urgency in our hunger

for racial reconciliation and


Responding to Christ’s call to love our neighbors as we

love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40) requires an intentional

commitment on our part. Our Christ-centered response to

racial injustice necessitates striving for God’s mercy and

grace to reconcile and restore relationships fractured by this

egregious sin. That reconciliation and restoration must happen

between sisters and brothers in Christ, as St. Paul reminds us

in his first letter to the Corinthians, “If one member suffers, all

suffer together…” (1 Corinthians 12:26) We cannot continue to

think of racism solely as a set of individual acts, behaviors or

beliefs as the sin continues to erode the human dignity of all

within our communities and institutions.

The very heart of the Gospel empowers us to invite all into

an intimate relationship with God through Christ Jesus.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear on this matter,

noting that “every form of social or cultural discrimination in

fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color,

16 Today’s Marists Magazine

All participants were invited to experience a “conversion of

heart” in order to fully understand how racism affects the

victims, perpetrators, allies and alike. Participants were

encouraged to encounter and accompany one another in these

moments with a particular sense of compassion and empathy

that is not always present or easily visible in our conversations

today. Simply put, we must embrace the gift of accompaniment

and encounter on the straight and narrow path of celebrating

one another’s God-given human dignity, living as true

witnesses to the love that God extends to all through His

only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Parishioners of OLA have

begun taking those steps as a model for neighboring parishes,

Christian communities and people of God and goodwill.

social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and

eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.” (Catechism of the

Catholic Church, no. 1935)

The Marist community at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic

Church (OLA), located within the Atlanta, Georgia suburb

of Brookhaven, continues to take courageous and radical

steps towards bearing witness to these Gospel truths in their

local fight for racial justice. Beginning in late January of 2021,

parishioners at OLA participated in a four-week virtual series

focused on key components of Father Bryan Massingale’s

influential book, Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, and

the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral

Letter against racism, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring

Call to Love.

Three key components to Massingale’s work integral to the

four-week discussion on the Church’s response to racism

were understanding the sin of racism beyond individual acts

or behaviors, considering what has already been said and

implemented by the Church when it comes to racial justice

and utilizing the sacraments as a means to truly begin racial

healing and restoration. The Bishops’ message in the Open

Wide Our Hearts pastoral reiterates the necessity of Christians

to allow God’s love to resonate from our hearts into the world

to end racism and its manifestations. Both resources found a

perfect home in the parish family as the community at large

has hosted several conversations on race and reconciliation

through their Social Justice Ministry prior to this event.

What made these specific dialogues unique in the parish’s

racial justice toolbox is that Massingale’s perspectives as a

Roman Catholic priest providing academic, spiritual and

personal experiences with racism offered a patently different

lens through which parishioners could discern their own

experiences. With participants expressing a wide variety

of perspectives and beliefs regarding their knowledge and

understanding of the sin of racism, several moments of the

dialogues early on proved to be extremely challenging and

uncomfortable. It became evident through constructive

feedback and further discernment of the dialogues that

trust, vulnerability, compassion and listening would be key

values to embrace and exemplify within the gathering first

before embarking upon any program or activity to address

racial injustice within the parish and within the Brookhaven


The call for conversion undergirds all efforts to respond to

racial injustice. We embark upon these efforts by inviting God

to guide our hearts and minds and encountering one another

in an all-encompassing spirit of fraternal love.

Volume 6 | Issue 2 17


The Need for Hope

Prayerful Reflection with the Movie Nomadland

by Brian Cummings, SM, Director, Pā Maria Marist Spirituality Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

Frances McDormand is one of the leading

actresses of the current era. In fact, it

could well be argued that she is the leading

actress, having already won two Academy

Awards for Best Actress (Fargo (1996) and

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

(2017)) and being highly likely to win a

third this year, following her nomination

for her performance in Nomadland.

In her latest film she shares the attention

with director Chloé Zhao, who has made

Oscar history by being the first Asian

woman to be nominated for Best Director.

In one sense, it is challenging to see just

why Nomadland has gained so much

attention and has won an Academy Award

nomination for the Best Picture. It has

very few actors (McDormand and David

Strathairn being the main two) with nearly

everyone else playing themselves.

It is slow moving and reflective rather than

spectacular and dramatic. And yet it says

far more in its silences, vistas and brief

conversations than many high-paced and

fraught dramas.

The movie is based on Jessica Bruder’s

non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving

America in the Twenty-First Century (2017).

In the movie McDormand plays Fern,

“a woman whose circumstances – the

death of her husband and the post-Gobal

Financial Crisis and economic collapse of

the Nevada mining company where they

lived – has led her to a life in her van. She

drives where the seasonal work is. She’s

a packer in a Christmas-rush Amazon

warehouse, a beet harvester in Nebraska, a

campground cleaner in the Badlands too.

That, and her interactions with her fellow

nomads, all mostly scraping by and unable

to retire comfortably, is pretty much the

movie.” (Russell Baillie, NZ Listener,

January 2, 2021).

And yet, there is much more to Nomadland

than that. The movie is not so much “a film

of the book” but rather an “interpretation”

of it, in which director Zhao invites us not

to simply observe the world of the nomads

(as if the movie were a documentary), but

to enter into that world.

In the Foreword to the book, Bruder

writes: “They [nomads] are surviving

America. But for them – as for anyone –

survival isn’t enough. So what began as

a last-ditch effort has become a battle

cry for something greater. Being human

means yearning for something more

than subsistence. As much as food or

shelter, we require hope.” (Jessica Bruder,

Nomadland, Swift Press, 2021, p xiii).

Nomadland is not, as noted previously,

a documentary; nor does it endeavor to

present an idealized version of life as a

wanderer as if it is a lifestyle only and

always adopted by choice (although it is

true that is the case for some). Rather, it is

a movie about identity – about what gives

value and meaning to our lives; about

community; and about the value of human


It doesn’t provide answers so much as ask

questions – frequently through a glance

or sideways look or a brief comment from

McDormand (who has the wonderful

quality of being able to convey an

enormous amount of meaning with a

minimum of self-intrusion into a scene).

Viewed from a Marist perspective,

Nomadland immediately resonates with

something very deep in our “Marist DNA”

– the missions to the Bugey – a region in

the department of Ain in eastern France.

There might seem little in common

between RVs roaming the vast areas of

America and the mountainous area of

France between the Ain river and Gex,

near the border of Geneva. And nor did the

early Marists drive to the various villages

in which they gave missions – instead, they

generally walked through snow and mud.

Rather, the similarities are found in the

lives of the people. Both in Nomadland

and in the Bugey, the people have been

left behind by the world in which they live.

They struggle, as Bruder suggests, not only

to find food or shelter but also hope.

Watching Nomadland becomes an

experience in understanding – albeit from

a different perspective – the world in which

Marist founder Jean-Claude Colin and the

early Marists immersed themselves.

It was from these formative years in

the Bugey that Colin saw elements he

considered essential to Marist life and

ministry, and the “place” where Marists

should find themselves most at home:

among the abandoned; those on the

margins; those in danger of being left

aside. (cf The Marist Places, Marist Internet

Project - https://www.maristplaces.org/).

And what could be said to bring both

Nomadland and the Bugey together for

Marists today is the encyclical, Fratelli

Tutti, by Pope Francis.

18 Today’s Marists Magazine

In many ways, this encyclical is summed

up in No.8: “Let us dream, then, as a single

human family, as fellow travelers sharing

the same flesh, as children of the same

earth which is our common home, each

of us bringing the richness of his or her

beliefs and convictions, each of us with his

or her own voice, brothers and sisters all.”

Those are desires the travelers in

Nomadland could easily identify with;

they are desires every Marist can easily

resonate with.

And yet the very fact that Pope Francis

writes “Let us dream” reminds us that

there is still much to be done before the

dream can be called a reality.

It is not possible here to work through

all the rich themes in Fratelli Tutti and

identify how we as Marists could respond

to them.

However, there is what has been called the

centerpiece of the Letter – the Parable of

the Good Samaritan:

“The parable is clear and straightforward,

yet it also evokes the interior struggle that

each of us experiences as we gradually come

to know ourselves through our relationships

with our brothers and sisters. Sooner or

later, we will all encounter a person who is

suffering. Today there are more and more

of them. The decision to include or exclude

those lying wounded along the roadside

can serve as a criterion for judging every

economic, political, social and religious

project. Each day we have to decide whether

to be Good Samaritans or indifferent

bystanders. And if we extend our gaze to the

history of our own lives and that of the entire

world, all of us are, or have been, like each

of the characters in the parable. All of us

have in ourselves something of the wounded

man, something of the robber, something of

the passers-by, and something of the Good

Samaritan.” [No.69]

“Each day we have to decide whether

to be Good Samaritans or indifferent

bystanders.” In this world in which we

live today, there are no shortages of

opportunities to make that decision – and

no way to be ignorant of them.

And amongst the many that present

themselves – economic, political, social

and religious situations and policies –

there is perhaps one underlying theme

that both highlights and typifies the

challenges. It is one that the priest and the

Levite were very conscious of; it is one that

we here in New Zealand had put starkly

before us in the Christchurch Mosque

shootings of 2019; it is one that has been

highlighted in very recent days in the

Asian-American shootings in Atlanta,

Georgia: “they are not us.”

Ultimately, the priest and the Levite did

not recognize anything in common with

the wounded man. In New Zealand, the

Prime Minister worked very hard after the

Mosque shootings to stress “they are us”

(but surveys two years on suggest that has

only gained slight traction as a change in

attitude); and the Atlanta shootings have

highlighted the fear that Asian-Americans

and others (such as Latin American

immigrants and Pacific Islanders) feel

every day because they are conscious so

many view them as “not us.”

It can seem overwhelming, faced as we

are with so many lying wounded – not just

overseas but right at our feet in our cities

and in our neighbourhoods – and it can

also be very dangerous to stand up and

say, “they are us.”

But that is the call of Pope Francis in

Fratelli Tutti. And it is the call of Colin from

the Bugey where he experienced the mercy

of God; the strengths of working together;

the awareness of their limited resources

and the immense power of God at work in


That is both the invitation and the call to

all Marists today – to act together; to do

what we can (rather than focus on what we

can’t because of limited resources) and to

bring hope to people through the power of

God working through us.

Perhaps the final word can be left to a film

critic in New Zealand commenting on

Nomadland: “Personally, I found it to be

pretty much the perfect film for 2020; a

paean to all people who have re-examined

their lives, shifted their priorities and

rediscovered the profound magic of

empathy and quiet resilience.” (Graeme

Tuckett, Stuff www.stuff.co.nz, December

22, 2020).

Volume 6 | Issue 2 19


Indigenous Reflections

on Laudato Si’

by Hemi Ropata, SM

The indigenous M – aori people of New

Zealand claim a connection to land that

is both profound and formational. We

say ‘ko au te whenua, ko te whenua ko

au.’ which means, ‘I am the land, and

the land is me.’ This is not a metaphor –

in Thomistic terms we might say that the

land is substantive to who we are. It is the

foundation of our identity and of our being.

And yet, the land is dying. Pollution

and commercial run-offs poison our

waterways. Climate change affects

the availability of natural resources.

Traditional seafoods that were once

plentiful and available, even in my

own childhood, have been overfished

and effectively have disappeared. Only

11% of M – aori are proficient in their

own language. M – aori make up 14% of

the New Zealand population and 50%

of the incarcerated population (the

discrepancy is worse for M – aori women

who make up 63% of the female prison

population). Two-thirds of all people

shot by police are M – aori. M – aori who

work earn $140 per week less than the

general population. M – aori children live

in ‘material hardship.’ M – aori suicide

rates are nearly twice as high as those of

non-M – aori.

It might seem strange that I have listed

M – aori inequality statistics alongside the

effects of pollution and climate change.

Recall that for M – aori, the land and

the person are inseparable. Where in

Laudato Si’ Pope Francis states that “the

human environment and the natural

environment deteriorate together” (48),

keep in mind the M – aori position: the

human environment and the natural

environment are the same thing. So, it is

reasonable to think that the continued

degradation of the earth correlates with

poor social outcomes for M – aori because

ecology is a statement of human dignity.

It is truly an issue of social justice. The

proper care of the earth corresponds

to the proper care of our brothers

and sisters. Political structures that

hand over resources to the powerful

perpetuate systemic racism. Unfettered

greed and destruction lead only to death.

To paraphrase Patriarch Bartholomew,

“to commit a crime against the natural

world is a sin against ourselves, a sin

against one another, and a sin against

God” (Laudato Si’ 8). It is [a] violence

against the poor and the oppressed.

Therefore, what is the Christian

response? Pope Francis speaks

extensively on an integral ecology,

one that realizes that everything is

connected. An understanding of the

world in which consumption is replaced

with sacrifice, greed with generosity and

wastefulness with a spirit of sharing. A

way of loving, moving gradually away

from what I want towards what the world

needs, a liberation from fear, greed and

compulsion (See Laudato Si’ 7). And

what of a Marist response? This might

be illustrated in three M – aori concepts:

whanau (family), manaakitanga (care

and hospitality) and kaitiakitanga

(guardianship). Everything is connected

and so all of creation is one family given

to one another for the benefit of all. In

the same way that St. Francis was called

to care for all that exists, so too are we

called to care for and show hospitality to

our brothers and sisters. Ownership is a

foreign concept to M – aori; rather, having

possessions was only for the purpose of

serving future generations.

Nevertheless, despite all the injustice in

the world, there is still hope. For hope

“speaks to us of something deeply rooted

in every human heart, independently

of our circumstances and historical

conditioning. Hope speaks to us of a

thirst, an aspiration, a longing for a life

of fulfilment, a desire to achieve great

things, things that fill our heart and lift

our spirit to lofty realities like truth,

goodness and beauty, justice and love….

Hope is bold” (Fratelli Tutti 55). Perhaps

as Marists we are called to live in love so

that goodness, beauty and justice can

prevail, and so that we can promote the

boldness of hope to future generations.

20 Today’s Marists Magazine

Tenei au e tu ana ki runga i te

Marae tapu o Katihiku.

Here I stand upon the sacred

land of Katihiku.

E tiro ana au ki te Whare

Tipuna ko Tama Te Hura.

I see the ancestral house of

Tama te Hura.

Kei muri mai ko te motu tapu

o Kapiti, huri noa ki Tararua e

tu whakamaro mai i ahau.

Behind is the sacred island

of Kapiti, and the Tararua

mountains that abide and


E rongo au ki te rere o te awa

Otaki, e rongo hoki au ki te

iwi o Ngati Raukawa, ki te

hapu o Ngati Huia e karanga

mai ki au.

I hear the running of the

Otaki river, and of the people

of Ngati Raukawa and Ngati

Huia that call to me.

Volume 6 | Issue 2 21

Jean-Claude Colin, SM…“Politically Correct”

by Tom Ellerman, SM

Without a doubt in recent times politics

and economics are the subject of much

public and private discourse among both

the enlightened and the uninformed.

In the minds of the majority, politics is

associated with law, government, elected

officials, justice and opinions. Economics

has to do with money, labor, the rich and

the poor. Why do those topics occupy so

much of our attention and conversation?

“One heart

and one mind”

We forget that economics and politics are

really branches of ethics and that ethics

deals with topics of individuality and

community, unity and diversity. Ethics

does not stop with describing things as

they are but asks how they should be. Put

simply, “economics” asks the question,

“How should people live together in a

household?” while “politics” asks how

they should do so in the wider world.

How can humans be both individual and

communitarian? How can we be both

one and many; independent and interdependent;

diverse and the same?

In writing a Rule for a free-will society,

our founder, Father Jean-Claude Colin

had to deal with all these problems

and questions. How should Marists live

together in the Society of Mary and how

should the Society relate with the Church

and the world in which it exists?

Throughout his “Constitutions” (1872)

Father Founder uses many images for the

Society of Mary. Not all of them fit easily

together and the temptation is to hold on

to a simple image and forget the others.

Already within Article I Marists are looked

upon as a congregation, a society, an army

and a family. In Article III Father Colin

shows his awareness that the Marists

live in a wider world and that they must

deal with this wider world without being

absorbed by it.

In Article IV Colin turns to the Marists

themselves. Not only is the Society made

up of a diversity of members, but there are

diverse levels of membership “depending

on the bond by which they belong to the

Society or the duties to which they are

obliged.” Father Colin, facing diversity

within the Marists, insists that they all

“form one and the same family” and so

“there should be no difference between

them with regard to food or spiritual care.”

In Article V Colin takes up the topic of

“Unity among the members of the Society.”

We are told that there can be no unity

unless the members cooperate with God’s

grace by practicing the virtues and the

bond of charity. Father Founder proceeds

to describe how the bond of charity looks

in action.

Much more needs to be said about the

economics and the politics of the Society

of Mary, but something should be said

about the organizational images of Father

Colin. In Article I, #1 of his Rule, Colin

describes the Society as being under

the military banner of Mary “to serve in

fighting the battle of the Lord.”

In Chapter VIII on the government of the

whole Society he returns to a military

image in describing the Superior General.

The Society of Mary is described as “an

army arranged against the enemies

of salvation under the leadership and

protection of the Mother of God.”

The observations made in this article

about the economics and politics of the

Society of Mary raise many questions

about its interior organization and

its relationship to Church and world.

Nazareth and Pentecost form a kind of

tension that will hopefully be creative.

In #437 of Father Colin’s “Constitutions”

Marists are reminded: “…all must

remember that they form one and the

same family and are members of the same

body, whose good or bad rebounds to

the whole body; and since among them

all other things are held in common,

they must also have but one heart and

one mind; otherwise they can in no

way achieve the purpose they set before

themselves in joining the Society.”

Cause for Canonization of Venerable Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, SM

Founder of the Marist Fathers and Brothers

by Tom Ellerman, SM

Some have said that Father Colin would be against his own canonization. Such a view shows a misunderstanding of the purpose of the

beatification/canonization of some of the deceased members of the Church. The purpose is not to glorify the individual person, but to

glorify God by showing how God’s grace can transform and operate through ordinary, imperfect humans, as long as they cooperate with

God’s will. Thus, they become examples and intercessors for the living. Certainly, Father Colin would cooperate and want any process

that would bring glory to God and benefit to us. Mary, his Queen and example, has never been known to reject any honor shown to her

by the Church.

Please report any special and extraordinary favor granted through the intercession of Jean-Claude Colin to:

Marist Center | 815 Varnum Street, N.E. | Washington, DC 20017-2298 | USA

22 Today’s Marists Magazine

The “New Normal”

...Or Is It?

by Jack Ridout, Administrator of the Notre Dame des Victoires Retirement Community, San Francisco, California

Anything ‘normal’ has been challenged

for the past year, including our

relationship with others and our practice

of faith. We have been told to stay home,

not to interact with others, socially

distance and so on.

How has this distancing changed or

enhanced your relationship with God?

With others? Has it been strengthened

or are you staying away from others

as it is the "right thing to do" during a

pandemic? So many questions arise

when you look at your life and how it has

changed. Things are changed because

of the pandemic while others allow us

to hide from what we know is the right

thing to do.

Is it now ‘normal’ to pray by yourself

or has it changed? We can certainly

look back to Old Testament times when

a leper approached others shouting

"unclean!" Are we not in the same

situation now by avoiding others thus

setting oneself up as "clean" while others

are infected?

‘normal’ is not ‘new,’ it is the same, and

we need to see Christ in those faces

and not let a mask stand in the way of

reaching out to them.

The “new normal” is not really new at

all, but simply what a virus has done

to us. Has it changed things? I am sure

for many it has; how we work, how we

interact, how we pray, how we move

about in our daily lives.

Is this long lasting? For some yes, others

not so much; but we do have a choice to

not let this become the “new” normal

of our lives. It is possible that some now

view the world and those we share it with

as something or someone to be feared

not something or someone to be loved.

We only need to look to Mary as we seek

the way she looks to her Son and how we

can do the same to those around us.

This has separated us and we are in the

middle of the "new normal", but is it

really just an excuse to not care? To avoid

that new "leper" we wear a mask to keep

us from either spreading or catching

Covid-19, but has it also kept us from

being Christ like to all we meet in our

daily life?

A basic Marist value comes to mind

when Marists instinctively interact with

others as they are and not where they are

expected to be in society. This value is

shown in Mary’s example of compassion

to her Son, Jesus, and we are challenged

to extend that same compassion to

all with whom we come in contact as

“instruments of God’s mercy.”

This very human of trait transcends

pandemics, lepers, those with AIDS,

those different from us, those in need

and those who are hungry. Their

(Picture Credit: John Ahern)

Volume 6 | Issue 2 23



Early Catholic Voice Against

Segregation in the South

by Susan J. Illis, Archivist, Archives of the Society of Mary, US Province

Reverend Joseph A. Costello, SM,

“…let there be no

further discrimination

or segregation in the

pews, at the Communion

rail, at the confessional

and in parish meetings,

just as there will be

no segregation in the

kingdom of heaven.”

– Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel, 1953

Reverend Joseph A. Costello, SM, was

serving on the faculty of Notre Dame

Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana in

1953 when Archbishop Joseph Rummel

issued “Blessed are the Peacemakers,”

a pastoral letter calling for complete

desegregation of the Archdiocese of

New Orleans. Two years later, Rummel

signaled his commitment to racial equity

by discontinuing services at a Catholic

chapel where parishioners refused to

allow an African American priest to

preside at Mass. The following year he

issued another pastoral letter declaring

racial segregation “morally wrong and


Despite the fact the Supreme Court had

already declared school segregation

unconstitutional in 1954, Rummel

still faced criticism and angry attacks

from staunch segregationists in the

Archdiocese of New Orleans. In response

to the unrest over the issue, Father

Costello published “Moral Aspects of

Segregation,” supporting Archbishop

Rummel’s calls for desegregation and

underscoring the sinfulness of the


In writing this booklet, Costello drew

from both religious scholarship and his

own experience as a teacher of moral

theology and canon law. Since 1944 he

had taught at Notre Dame Seminary,

which Rummel had integrated in 1948

along with other seminaries in the

archdiocese. Father Costello, a native of

Boston, was born in 1916 and ordained

a Marist priest by Bishop Michael

Keyes, SM, in 1943. Costello earned

his doctorate in Sacred Theology from

The Catholic University of America

in Washington, DC, and continued

teaching at Notre Dame Seminary

until 1963.

In “Moral Aspects of Segregation”

Father Costello reminds Catholics that

because something, such as segregation

in the Deep South in the 1950s, is

customary does not mean it is moral,

and individuals should independently

distinguish moral right from wrong,

regardless of common practice or even

law. He also reinforces the authority of

the archbishop in making decisions and

leading Catholics within his charge while

also defending him against ridiculous

accusations, such as aligning himself

with Communist propaganda. He further

states that segregation contradicts the

principles of charity and neighborly love.

The entire text of Father Costello’s

publication may be read at https://bit.

ly/2R8m0gA. A few excerpts from this

publication are:

“…there is no inequality in human


“Charity is violated in customsanctioned

racial segregation.”

“Love of neighbor is violated in the

practice of racial segregation.”

“Basic natural rights flow from the

worth of a person and no particular

person can claim to be superior

to another in intrinsic worth and

dignity, for all essentially are equal.”

“Segregation - as now practiced -

involves discriminations which are

sinful and unjust.”

Racial segregation “should have

no place in Catholic life. To hold

the supremacy of the white race,

explicitly or implicitly, is a sin

contrary to the virtue of faith, if

knowingly and deliberately, it is a

grave sin.”

24 Today’s Marists Magazine

Archbishop Joseph F. Rummel at Notre Dame Seminary. Notre Dame opened in 1923; from the time of its founding until 1967, it was administered by the Society of Mary (Marists).

While a few outspoken segregationist

Catholics threatened to withhold

donations to the Church if Catholic

schools were desegregated, Father

Costello called upon Catholics to take

the lead in achieving social change:

“That Catholics have, as a social body,

a duty to follow the Commandments

of God, to repair, in so far as they

can, the evils that affect society is


Ultimately parochial schools in New

Orleans desegregated peacefully for the

1963-1964 school year.

In addition to teaching at Notre Dame

in New Orleans, Father Costello

served as defender of the bond on the

archdiocesan marriage tribunal. He

also served on the Court of Inquiry

to examine a miraculous cure in the

beatification process of Elizabeth Ann

Seton, who was canonized as the first

United States-born saint in 1975.

In 1963, Father Costello began another

stage of ministry - that of parish priest.

After serving as pastor of St. Vincent de

Paul Parish in Wheeling, West Virginia

for a few years, he was transferred to

Georgia, where he served in various

churches for the next twenty years.

His assignments included Waycross,

Saint Simons Island, Brunswick, and

Darien, where he was known as the

“Pope of Darien.” Throughout this time,

he continued his work on the marriage

tribunal for the Diocese of Savannah.

Although Father Costello spent his career

in the Deep South, his life ended near

where it began in New England. While

visiting family on vacation in 1996,

Father Costello broke his hip. During his

rehabilitation, he suffered a heart attack

and died on July 11, 1996. He is buried in

the Marist plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in

Malden, Massachusetts.

Booklet Cover (circa 1956)

“That Catholics have, as a social body, a duty to follow the Commandments of God,

to repair, in so far as they can, the evils that affect society is clear.”

Volume 6 | Issue 2 25

News Briefs

Society of Mary USA New Provincial

In February 2021, the final round of voting

for the office of Provincial of the United

States Province of the Marists concluded.

Fr. Joseph Hindelang, who is currently

the principal at Notre Dame Preparatory

School in Pontiac, Michigan, was elected

as Provincial of the United States Province.

His election has been confirmed by the

Superior General in Rome. His appointment

for the term is from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024.

We extend our congratulations to Fr. Joseph on the


Marist Teaching Brothers USA

New Provincial

Br. Dan O’Riordan, FMS has been elected

to serve as the next Provincial of the

Marist Brothers United States Province. Br.

Dan, who has spent the last six years as

Vice Provincial, will begin Provincial duties

at the USA Province Chapter Meeting,

scheduled for April 2021.

We extend our congratulations to Br. Dan

on the announcement.

Two New Appointments for

Today’s Marists Editorial Board

We are pleased to

announce the addition of

two new members to our

Today’s Marists Editorial

team, Elizabeth Piper

and Sr. Linda Sevcik, SM.

Elizabeth is Director of

Faith Formation at Our

Lady of the Assumption

Catholic Church in Atlanta,

Elizabeth Piper Sr. Linda Sevcik, SM

Georgia (a Marist ministry); a National Formation Leader for

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; and Co-Leader of World

Lay Marist. Sr. Linda is the Executive Director of Manresa

Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and serves

as regional leader with the Marist Sisters of Ireland, Canada,

Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and the United States. She has an

advanced degree in Psychology and Spirituality from the

Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, and has worked

extensively in formation with seminarians for the priesthood.

Both women bring enormous amounts of talents and gifts

to our Board and we are grateful for their willingness to



Father Peter Richard Blanchard, SM (1940-2021)

Father Peter Richard Blanchard, SM entered eternal life on March 17, 2021. He was born on April 19, 1940,

to Paul and Hazel Blanchard in Johnson City, New York. He attended elementary school at St. Anthony’s

in Atlanta, Georgia and graduated from Marist High School in Atlanta, Georgia. Fr. Blanchard was a novice

at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Fr. Blanchard made his profession to

the Society of Mary on September 12, 1963 at the Marist Novitiate in Rhinebeck, New York. Fr. Blanchard

completed his philosophy and theology program in 1967 at Marist College, Washington, DC. On February

2, 1967, Fr. Blanchard was ordained a Marist priest by Bishop Thomas J. Wade, SM. Fr. Blanchard received

his B.S. degree in education from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1971 and in 1973 was awarded his

M.A in religious education from Catholic University in Washington, DC.

From 1967 to 2012 Fr. Blanchard’s assignments included: Immaculata Minor Seminary in Lafayette, Louisiana; Chanel High School

in Bedford, Ohio; Marist Collegiate Community in New Orleans, Louisiana; De La Salle High School in New Orleans, Louisiana; and

as Chaplain for several nursing homes in Covington, Louisiana. In 2012, Fr. Blanchard retired from ministry.

Memorial donations may be made to the Society of Mary (Marists) online at: societyofmaryusa.org.

26 Today’s Marists Magazine


Why I Support the Marists

by Jim and Barbara MacGinnitie

Our Marist connection began many years ago

when we enrolled our oldest child in 8th

grade at Marist School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Later our two other children followed

and all three graduated from Marist

School, well prepared for college and

professional life. Since then three of

our grandchildren have attended the

school with the last one graduating in

May 2021. Through the years we have

enjoyed attending numerous sporting

events, plays, concerts, graduations,

grandparent days and many other events.

When our children were enrolled in Marist

School we had the opportunity to work with

many of the Marists through various school

groups and events. They were always friendly, gracious,

compassionate and helpful. Over nearly four decades we have seen

them work with the students through school Masses, retreats, mission trips and on an

individual basis.

We feel so fortunate that our children and several of our grandchildren have had the

opportunity to be taught and mentored by the Marists. The school’s mission, “To form

the whole person in the image of Christ,” has been of great value to them.

We have also been very fortunate to have become dear friends with some of the

Marists, including now Bishop Joel Konzen SM and Father John Walls, SM of New

Zealand. A special experience was to be guided around New Zealand by Fr. Walls,

visiting several of the historic Marist sites in that lovely country.

We have often been impressed by the quotation from Fr. Jean-Claude Colin, founder

of the Marists, which is prominently displayed on the wall in the Marist School

gymnasium: “Marists ought to have one ambition, the ambition to do good, and in

no way to make a show.” That motto – Do Good, No Show - epitomizes what we know

of the Marists. They have always been there for the school, working hard to make it a

school of excellence, employing the best teachers and yet staying in the background,

never seeking reward or attention.

To reach out to underserved communities, the Marists have created additional

programs at the school. One program, Centro Hispano Marista, offers adult GED

preparation classes for the Hispanic community of Atlanta. Another program,

Reach for Excellence, provides an enrichment curriculum to talented middle school

students to help them prepare academically for high school and beyond. As believers

in the value of education, particularly for the underserved, we have enthusiastically

supported these programs.

Through the years we have continued to support not only Marist School but also the

Marist Fathers and Brothers who have dedicated their lives to the school and other

ministries. Their commitment to education and to the students they mentor has made

a huge contribution to the lives of generations of young people and their families.

We will always be grateful for the guidance and dedication of the Marists. We believe

that supporting the Marists is important to help them continue their mission of

educating young people and to thank them for all they have done in fulfilling this

mission. We encourage all who have been touched and influenced by the Marists to

support them as they are able.

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Volume 6 | Issue 2 27

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Washington, DC

Permit No. 3070

Are you drawn to a life of

mercy and compassion?

We Marists seek to bring compassion and mercy to the Church and world in

the footsteps of Mary who brought Jesus Himself into our world. We breathe

her spirit in lives devoted to prayer and ministry, witnessing to those values

daily in community.

To speak with a member of the Vocational Team, call toll-free 866.298.3715.

Visit us online at: societyofmaryusa.org

All About Mary is an encyclopedia of

information on Mary, the Mother of

Jesus Christ. Created and maintained

by the International Marian Research

Institute, it is an online destination

with resources on the subject of the

Blessed Virgin Mary.

Locate online resources including:

• Art

• Life of Mary

• Music

Checkout the website:


Spirituality of the Society of Mary:

Contemplatives in Action

While the Church has always

emphasized Marian devotion, “We

(Marists) are called to something

much deeper … we are called to

become Mary’s devotion in the midst

of the Church.” – Fr. Ed Keel, SM

For featured articles and talks

checkout the website:


28 Today’s Marists Magazine

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