Indigenous Peoples - A Living Cry of Hope

Maori Rock Carving
 World Day for Indigenous Peoples occurs this year on August 09.  We reproduce here the work of Maori Marist Seminarian, Hemi Ropata, which first appeared in Today's Marists - as "I am the Land - Indigenous Reflections on Laudato Si" The indigenous Maori 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 waterwa...
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Inter-religious Dialogue in Japan

Buddhists - Fukushima - Praying for an end to Covid
Fr Michael Jacques sm, Australian with 40+ years experience in Japan, recently gave some input to our Inter-religious Dialogue Commission.  He says a good place to start is with the Four Ways of Dialogue:   DIALOGUE of LIFE: In which people of different faiths and spiritual traditions strive to live in an open and neighborly spirit – includes socializing and hospitality DIALOGUE OF ACTION: In which people of spiritual commitment and faith collaborate with others in building a just society – includes service and working for justice DIALOGUE OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE: In which people steeped in their spiritual traditions share their ways of searching for God or...
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A Synodal Church

Pope Francis' Call for a Synodal Church
We Marists SM are committed to having an International 'Omnes Gentes' community in Paramatta. Covid has slowed us down, and while we are waiting it is worthwhile to ponder on a summary reflection of the Bishop of Paramatta, +Vincent Long OFM Conv, in his recent Helder Camara lecture. "My hope for the [Australian] Plenary Council"  What follows are 'tastes' of what he has to say under each heading:  Plenary Council: Abundance of goodwill or the last throw of the dice? With a few months to the first session of the long-awaited Plenary Council, we are finally headed down the home stretch. The initial phase of listening drew nearly 220,000 people across Australia and 17,500 i...
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Marist Contemplative Living

The Wedding Feast - Cana
In Irish mythology there is a well-known exchange between the mythical king, Fionn Mac Cumhaill, and some of his warriors. Fionn is asking them which is the most beautiful music of all. One speaks of the clashing of spear on shield, another of the baying of the hounds as they move in on a cornered stag. They turn to Fionn, and ask his view. "The music of what happens" is his reply. For me, this could be a key to contemplative living, for Marists, as for anyone else. It came to mind at a recent community reflection on a short text by Simone Pacot, entitled Choisir de vivre le present: "to desire the present is a marvelous way of living God's will". It has echoes of the old monastic adage: age...
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Tutu - providing a future

Tutu Tree - Inner and Outer Life
This weeks blog is drawn from the TUTU RURAL TRAINING CENTRE, FIJI, Strategic Plan 2018 - 2023 - the significance of which is clear in these Covid times. VISION: To be Mary, our Lady of Lura, in using her soil to provide joy through the development and empowerment of people, so that the door to a hopeful future is open to them  MISSION: The aim of the Tutu Rural Training Centre is to provide a place / presence in which the people of Cakaudrove, and some tikina's of Bua and Macuata are empowered to become more autonomous, and take charge of their lives, in a rapidly changing world. It involves a transforming and reciprocal outreach approach to the people of the P...
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Share the Journey - Marists, Migrants & Refugees

Atlanta-Marist Students Share the Journey
Marist Campus Minister Bernadette Naro writes from Atlanta, Georgia, USA: " In May this Year we again joined Share the Journey Pilgrimage during which we walked in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. I am happy to report that we had over 135 participants from across the Atlanta community. Four other area schools joined us as well, as did Catholic Charities Refugee Services office, and two agencies that serve immigrants in detention, Casa Alterna and El Refugio. Moira Ujda, a newly graduated Marist alumna, was a participant and has this to say:  "Community has always been important to Share the Journey. Especially after the isolation of this past year, it was powerful...
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'He Comforts us in our Sufferings'

Inside Castro-Castro Prison, Peru
Marist Missionary Sister,  Carlota Calle smsm, and her Team, write on their ministry as Chaplains at Miguel Castro Castro Prison, Peru:  "He comforts us in our sufferings, so that thanks to his consolation we can comfort all who suffer" (II Cor. 1, 4) We have been dealing with the pandemic now for more than a year, we thank God the inmates of Castro Castro prison are calmer because there has not been more persons infected by the virus inside. However, it still remains a very difficult situation because they do not have visits from relatives, pastoral agents, or lawyers. The family provides them with their basic needs ..., despite everything they do understa...
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Contemplation - Renewing Society

Reflection-Bridge-Sister's Creek-Tasmania
Ross Flint, Ordained Anglican and Marist Associate, writes from Tasmania: Lately the news has become a bit overwhelming, but fortunately Ps 62 drew me from the despair that was hanging over me: In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety; he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken. … Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope. He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering. In God is my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. In God is my refuge; trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us. Thanks for the Contemplation theme that you have been fe...
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Interreligious Dialogue - A Marist's Journey

Gerard Hall with 'Aunty' Joan Hendricks, Raimon Panikkar, & Francis D'Sa
Australian Marist, Gerard Hall sm, recently presented his Journey in Interreligious Dialogue to our Marist IRD Commission.     His full presentation can be found here:  This blog begins at the end, where Gerard writes his SUMMARY STATEMENT I feel in many ways that my ecumenical and interreligious journey is just beginning if for no other reason than that my knowledge of other religious traditions is so minimal. Even though I was drawn to Panikkar's inter- & intra-religious dialogue with Hinduism & Buddhism and then, through circumstance, found myself involved in dialogue with Islam, in many ways, like Panikkar, I have been increasingly focused on th...
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Student Awareness - Food Insecurity

Over the course of the year Marist Way and Campus Ministry at Notre Dame Preparatory and Marist Academy in Pontiac Michigan, created a series of video instruction courses implemented grades 9-12 focusing on advocacy, bias, empathy, and Christian stewardship. All content designed through a Marist Lens incorporates awareness and the values of humility, caring and inclusivity. In other words, a hands-on approach to what it means to think, judge, feel and act like Mary in all things. The final set of videos walks students through how to implement the steps of advocacy using the issue of food insecurity as an example. It concluded during last Lent with students engaged in a project centered aroun...
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Connections - the Earth and the Poor

Migrants - Park Reynosa - Mexico
One of the 7 Goals of Laudato Si is to respond to the Cry of the Poor. Tony O'Connor, on the Mexican Border, writes that the Cry of the Earth – drought in Honduras and Guatemala compounded by the Climate Crisis, and political instability, leads to the Cry of the Poor – of those he is working with. I got a call the other day asking if I could get someone to find out the situation of a Venezuelan migrant youth with COVID interned in the Carrion Hospital, Callao, Peru. That's right they asked me!! I left Peru in 2007! However, Pigeon Post is pretty sharp in Callao. We were able to report on the girl to her family in Valencia, Venezuela. That's connection. I was also really affected em...
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Contemplation - A Personal Reflection

Mary-Presence-Tasting God
Michael Whelan SM, Australian Marist writes:  "In the seminary – 1965-1972 – my spiritual life was nurtured by the old manuals. In particular, the old meditation books written by Jesuits outlining a very limited way of "discursive meditation". I found it very frustrating. After six or seven years I told my spiritual director that I thought I was being called to "a deeper form of prayer". He smiled and said he did not think so, that I should persevere. Soon after ordination in May 1972 – courtesy of Philip Callaghan SM – I joined a charismatic prayer group. I found myself drawn into a contemplative style of prayer that was liberating. The rational mind did not have to keep working and th...
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Myanmar Coup - a Marist View

suffer the little children.... Matt 19:14
The Military Coup in Myanmar and the Marist Mission in Ranong      [Frank Bird, Kiwi Marist, writes from Ranong.] While the rest of the world has been watching the horrific scenes of the recent coup in Myanmar, or perhaps looking the other way, our Marist Mission in Ranong, Thailand, has been affected by collateral damage. Visits were made to the Marist Centre by special intelligence officers to declare protests were not allowed. Every child and adult became fixed to their phone worried for their family members back in Myanmar. The Thai Government designated Ranong as one of 9 areas on the Thai Burma Border to allow fleeing refugees and asylum seekers to find shelter and safet...
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Towards a Marian Integral Ecology

A Marian Integral Ecology  - Peter Healy sm NZ - Donato Kivi sm Fiji    We acknowledge you Mary Protector of the Whole World. You are Mary, Virgin Soil. You are Mary, our Food Garden. You are Mary Queen of the Whole World. Dear Reader may this ecological spirituality open your heart at this critical time. This essay is an exploration of a Marian Integral Ecology. Integral ecologies are a creative response to the multi-faceted crises of our times. A Marian integral ecology is unique in the way it gives prominence to the person of Mary and her role as we enter a new period of human-earth relationship. It focuses on three of Mary's well-known titles; Virgin, Mother...
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Marists & Inter-religious Dialogue

Pope-Iraq-Ayatolla Sistani-Shia Leader
Our Superior General, John Larsen sm, met on-line with the Marist Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue on Saturday 24 April.   The outline of his Presentation is below:   Dialogue and Encounter Needs to be Good News! Matthew 15: 21 – 28.The Canaanite woman's faith Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon - foreign territory. A foreign woman makes demands on Jesus and his disciples Jesus struggles himself to accept this foreigner ("I came ONLY for the lost sheep of ISRAEL".) He is dismissive, even rude … comparing her to a dog! She dialogued with him and he was enlightened, he is presented as growing through the dialogue, and proclaims  -"How great is your...
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Contemplative Marist Living

How can this come about?
This months regular post on Contemplative Marist Living comes to us from Ted Keating sm, USA:    "I was challenged to consider a few words on the gifts of a Marist contemplative life while approaching the "biblical four-score" shortly. I am aware of the frequent line of the mystics in all religions: "Those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know". The language of God is silence and It is always poorly translated. But I am foolish enough to try. I am convinced with experience that Eric Erickson who did his lifelong work on the tasks of each of the stages of life has it right: he terms it "integration or despair" for this period.   I have some close friends t...
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Transforming Mary's Grove - Monte Alto Brazil

Brazil - Frs Renivaldo, Arnaldo, and Roberto
Fr Jose Maria Da Silva sm, former major superior of the Marist District of Brazil writes this week about the Transformation of a Shrine in the Parish of Monte Alto [north west of Sao Paolo].  The Project is  called: The Stations of the Cross, Our Lady's Grove, and the Path of the Seven Sorrows. He begins with quoting Laudato Si:  " Praised be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ! " "The urgent challenge of protecting our common home includes the concern to unite the entire human family in the search for sustainable and integral development, as we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us, never retreats in his project of love, nor does he regret having created ...
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Deep Resurrection

Alpha & Omega - New heavens and new earth
"Deep is calling on deep" - these words from Ps 42:7 help us appreciate the Paschal Mystery at the heart of the unfolding universe.  Science informs us of Deep Time, and Deep Space. Faith informs us of God at work in the ultimate, and deepest ways, in these created mysteries. 'Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, all time belongs to him, and all the ages. By his wounds  we have been healed" - These words from the Easter Vigil invite us to celebrate the Deep Presence of the Word from Beginning to End, and to live in and through the Presence of Christ Risen, as daily we make our humble contribution in brining about a new creati...
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Laudato Si - Marists in Africa

Luigi sm - Feeding the Families
THE "LAUDATO SI' PROJECT OF THE MARIST FATHERS OF THE DISTRICT OF AFRICA  Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, writes: I would like to begin my article by focusing on the experience that I have been living with African confreres and the people of Cameroon for some years now; our experience is grounded in the encyclical "Laudato Si'" by Pope Francis. The Agricultural project that we began as Marist Fathers of Cameroon, working with a group of poor, local, people has its origins in meditating on this encyclical, and finding a way to develop and express its meaning. The Nkoloman II community field project, which began in 2014, is in the heart of the forest on the outskirts of Yaoundé. The area of ...
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Myanmar and Marists

Sister Ann Nu Thawng - pleads for an end to violence
Fr Peter Nawt Lawt, a Diocesan Priest from Myanmar, left our General House Community 2 weeks ago to return to his home Diocese in Myitkyina. Amidst the political turmoil caused by the military coup he felt he needed to be with his People in this time of their need. He had been staying with us, completing his Licentiate in Canon Law, due to a connection with Fr John Larsen, who had spent some years in that part of Myanmar where Fr Peter comes from.  Fr John Larsen, our SG, writes: Marist connections with the diocese of Myitkyina (pronounced myit-shi-na, meaning "near the big river"), in the north of Myanmar, go back to the 1990's. At that time the Bishop sent young people from Myitkyina ...
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