Street boys - education for a future

Fr Lionel sm - Prayer with the Street Boys

Fr Lionel Mechavez sm, Davao, Philippines, reports on our Marist mission there with the street boys:  Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, our works, our communities, and our way of life. During this time we wanted to reach out and update you on our life here in Balay Pasilungan. Our government agency, the Department of Education (DepEd), has decided that schedule of opening of classes for school year 2020-­‐2021 be moved to October 5, 2020 from the previous schedule of August 24, 2020. This is to give the Department of Education ample time to prepare all necessary requirements for the imple...

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MARIST EDUCATION - A SECOND CREATION

Colin - Education - A Second Creation

"We contribute with God to forming a man, in a real way. When a man leaves the hands of his nurse, he is only sketched in rough. We must make him into a man, form his heart, his character, virtue, etc. That is what education does. Nothing is more lofty. You give him as it were A SECOND CREATION." (Fr Jean Claude Colin, November 1838 at the College in Belley, A Founder Speaks, Doc. 13, nn. 10 – 11, pp. 67 – 68). As I write this blog I am mourning the death of a 23 year old former pupil of 'Apifo'ou College, a Catholic secondary school founded by the Marist fathers, and they are still running the school at present, 155 years ago in the Diocese of Tonga. This student (RIP) grew up in a Marist p...

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Bolivia-John Hopkinson sm

Fr John Hopkinson sm - Bolivia - with his Team

Fr John Hopkinson sm turned 75 on 25th June, in Bolivia: the day on which he wrote this letter:  At this time last year in our letter I mentioned that I was entering my 75th year and if I had been made a bishop then I should start preparing my letter of resignation to the Pope as required.However no such rule applies to us priests; it is presumed that we just keep going in what we are doing.So here I am having today reached that significant point in my life and still very active in my priestly and missionary service to our people and loving it, without thought of retiring. For all this, I give thanks to our Creator and to Mary our Mother and Protector. I turn 75 at a time when the whole...

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Marist Education - a new creation - Senegal

Prize for the most clean and most green school

Fr Cyr Avalilgbe sm, recent manager of Institution Mariste Jean Claude Colin de Ndiakhirate, Dakar, Senegal, Africa sent this short report to our Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue. Our Founder, Jean Claude Colin, saw education as a ministry of bringing about a new creation in the students. So, this is a fitting reason to share this news in the current Season of Creation. The Ndiakhirate Marist School Complex is open to everyone without distinction of race, sex or religion. in Senegal, I am a school manager. We have a nursery school, primary and secondary school. We have 620 students and among them, only 80 are Catholics.Note: In the photos below: the photos without masks were take...

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Hope in the face of no hope

Rodrigo with his daughter & neice

How worse can it get? "Hope in the Face of no Hope" That is what is needed. As we enter the Season of Creation, Tony O'Connor sm sends this tragic story from the USA-Mexico Border it is a call to Conversion we all need to face, we who are the pinnacle of God's Creation, and  in God's Image:We read in the newspaper accounts of sad things that happen. But sometimes the inside story is tragically unbelievable. I send this account because I believe that it goes to the "grain" and prohibits us from saying when we read it "Yeah Right" It also is a call for prayer for this part of the world and for a change in the treatment of asylum seekers which at present according to international and...

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Australia's growing list of 'Dodos'

Tasmanian Tiger - Dead as a Dodo

The Season of Creation: 01 September - 04 October: will soon be here for us to honor.  One of the key issues is loss of Biodiversity in our Common Home.  Our blog this week comes from Fr Jim Carty sm, on the increasing loss of biodiversity in Australia.  Australia's Shame If something is said to be as dead as a dodo, it means that it is not working, or obsolete, or has disappeared. It refers to the flightless and now extinct bird that was taken by sailors to their ship and kept alive for fresh meat. The Portuguese named the birds "doudo', meaning stupid. In a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald writer Mike Foley asks: "Why is Australia a Global leader in wildlife extin...

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Covid & Ecology in Africa

Covid-Fr Modeste-Cameroun-Africa

Fr Albert Kabala sm, District Superior, wrote recently of news in Africa:  During confinement, Fr. Modeste in Bambili produced hand sanitizers and distributed to all confreres in Cameroon, And at the Colin District House in Yaoundé, we have a test kit for confreres and our students who wish to carry out individual and voluntary tests. Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Bambili, Cameroun: The family at work. In consideration of our situation in Bambili, the Our Lady of Fatima Parish decided to build the Parish hall. The building of the Parish hall is the business of all classes of people in the Parish as our family work pictures can attest.  The Laudato Si project: Two sows gave birth ...

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'Give it a go' - 'Echale Ganas'

The Spirit in Covid times - Brownsville

Tony O'Connor sm, writes from Brownsville, on the USA-Mexico border:  You know that the pandemic is affecting you when you wake at 3.00 am every morning with a frog in your throat and butterflies in your tummy. You are even more sure of this when someone says to you "We will get over this and things will get better" and your arms spontaneously float up to the skies in a gesture of praise and as a great sense of gratitude and relief fills your heart. But apart from that, every day you "Echale ganas" "Give it a go" "give everything a go". The article with national coverage "Neither a hurricane nor this pandemic stopped this confirmation" -  https://cruxnow.com/church-in-the-usa/...

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Cathedral of Hope - Oslow - Laudato Si

Elizabeth Golding - Oslow - Norway

Elisabeth S. Golding. Friend of the Marists in Norway, delivered the address below in the Cathedral of Hope, Oslow, on World's Environment Day Friday 5 June 2020  Five years ago, Pope Francis asked us all to take care of the Earth. Have we listened? After Pope Francis, five years ago, published his "Laudato Si" Encyclical (circular document) to the Catholic Church, to other Christians and to world leaders, as well as to all people of goodwill, many around the world became aware of the environmental challenges facing us all. The Holy Father said "The environmental challenge we are undergoing - and its human roots - is worrying and affects us all… As Christians inspired by this ...

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Marist Tutu Rural Training Centre

Shoreline at Tutu - Fiji

Fr Isaia Wairoga sm sends this news from Tutu, Taveuini, Fiji: a Prioritized Ministry in Oceania Marist Province, which has been developed over 45+ years:  The Aim of our Training Centre is to provide a Place and a Presence where the local People are empowered to become more autonomous, and take charge of their own lives in a rapidly changing world.  It involves a transforming and reciprocal outreach to the People of the Pacific. MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR  [Fr Isaia]  Greetings and Bula vinaka to you all friends of Tutu. This year we have just launched a Tutu Bulletin to share our own stories with you. We are so blessed with the continuous support of all Tutu friends on wha...

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Black Lives Matter: Australia-Pacific

Aboriginals in Chains - 19th C

Black Lives Matter has shone a light on Australia's systemic mistreatment of Aboriginal people.     Part 1 - Aboriginal Deaths in Custody The Guardian UK: (8th June, 2020) David Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, said it was "real ignorance" to suggest that the protesters were angry only about police brutality in the US rather than discrimination in the UK as well, while Dawn Butler, a Labour former minister, said suggestions that the protests largely related to America were a sign that the government was "again not listening and shows no commitment to resolving the issues of racism in our own country". The story is similar here in Australia - there is an ignorance and dare ...

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Ministry to Street Children, Dakar - Senegal

Seeking the lost - bringing them home

Fr Roger Kasiama sm [on the right in the picture below] writes from Dakar - Senegal, on the Marist Ministry of Family and Social Reintegration for Children in Street Situations:   Street actions are frequent visits by animators to various known drop-off points where street youth gather. They make it possible to keep in touch with the youth, to make sensitizations, to practice care on the spot and to give a practical help if necessary… Nazareth Wednesday's These days are reserved for the welcoming of young people in the Nazareth center, in the continuity of street-actions. The focus is on the well-being of children, a great family atmosphere during this day, better sensiti...

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Sandwiches for the homeless in London

Br Ivan Vodopivec sm writes from Notre Dame de France, London: Normally on a Saturday morning our parish centre would be full of volunteers preparing sandwiches, crisps, cakes, biscuits, fruit and soup ready to welcome our 100 -120 visitors, most of them living on the streets or vulnerably housed. But on March 14th that all stopped. The normally lively bustling Leicester square with hundreds of people on the go became a still and quiet and somewhat eerie space. The lock-down had begun and due to socially distancing measures our centre was not able to welcome our guests and keep everyone safe from the virus. Westminster council swung into action and along with organisations like ours beg...

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Home ecology - Marist college Suva

Marist College Suva - home garden

Donato Kivi sm, leader of our Ecology Commission, and Superior of Marist College, Suva, Fiji, sends this report:     Outreach   29th May - Members from the Pacific Conference of Churches Programs Team visiting Marist College. The PCC programs team have been running the Green Church Project with their member churches in Tuvalu, Kiribati and our Secretariat Office; just recently with Vanuatu and Tonga. This started in 2013 after the 10th PCC General Assembly Meeting in the Solomon Islands. The initial aim of the project was to promote locally grown food and build healthy families and communities through the various activities associated with backyard gardening to the '...

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Peru Prison Ministry in Covid-19 times

Sr Carlotta smsm Prison Ministry Peru

Sr Calota smsm writes from Peru:  The Covid-19 pandemic, has unveiled realities that were previously unknown to much of humanity, among them the prison world. In order to situate us and enter a little the world of the incarcerated in Peru it is important to mention three critical points: 1. Overcrowding (140% of overcrowding is the national average): the penal population is 96, 145 prisoners as of January 2020, located in 68 prisons, with a capacity to house only 40,137, that means that 56,008 inmates have no bed or place to sleep. They try to find accommodation where they can: passageways and staircases. 2. Health Conditions of the Prison Population, accor...

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Reconciliation - Aus-Usa - a common need

Minneapolis burns

Jim Carty, sm, Aus, sends this Pentecost reflection:    Following the death of George Floyd, an African American, while being arrested by four Police officers last Thursday,angry mobs took to the streets in protest. Below, a picture of the arrest graphically shows one of the officers kneeling with force on the neck of a prone and handcuffed man for at least nine minutes - for a while Mr Floyd pleaded with the officer to let him breath until he no longer could. Soon after, he died in the hands of Medics.    At a press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the protests stemmed from built-up anger and sadness "ingrained in our black community not just because of...

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Laudato Si' - Judge - Act

On this 5th Anniversary of Laudato Si' we recall: For some fifty years science has been telling us of serious concerns for all life on Planet Earth: - Since the Industrial Revolution, some 200 years ago, the population of the world has had a 15x increase: from .5 billion to 7.8 billion - During the same time, with the use of fossil fuels, people use on average 20x as much energy / day as we did before the Industrial revolution. - This means that in the last 200 years there is a 300x greater use of energy to utilize, or exploit, the natural world's resources per day than there ever was before in the 200,000 years of human existence, and the 3.8 billion years it took the planet to evolve these...

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Laudato Si 2015-2020

Wisdom figure - NDF London

​ Sr Catherine Jones smsm, NZ-London, writes:    This beautiful tapestry of the Wisdom Figure, "who delights to be with the children of the earth" (Prov 8:31) welcomes you as enter Notre Dame de France Church, London, a Marist ministry. Wisdom is in our midst inviting us to live in respect and harmony with all of God's creation. Yet Pope Francis reminds us in Laudato Si (LS) that our Mother Earth "cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her" (LS 2) The Pope has invited us to remember the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, with a week of prayer, conversion and activities, 16-...

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A Faith greater than Fear

A Faith greater than our fear

​ "May your Faith be greater than your Fear" [Heb 13:6]     Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes from San Felipe de Jesus Catholic Church, Brownsville, Texas. Here we were : attending Central American Minors in their centers and in the parish; taking food, clothes, and provisions to the asylum seekers over the border; and to the poor "ranchos" on the other side of the river in cooperation with the valiant people there; getting our kids ready for First Communion and Confirmation, 30 R.C.I A. candidates adults and children;fully attended Sunday masses; baptisms; weddings;15 year old birthdays; Zumba; Yoga; Praise; Adoration; adult education; Bible; food bank;social assistance. Then C...

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Post Covid-19 - what will be 'normal'?

St Peter's Lent Solidarity in Solitude

From politicians, business leaders and the population in general are eagerly waiting and hoping for the day when life can return to normal. Question: Is that the best we can hope for? I would ask you to ponder upon this enforced semi-isolation as an opportunity to reflect upon our lifestyles. Quakers (in their gathering for worship) are comfortable with the sound of silence. It is an attenuated openness to the inspiration of God or the Spirit. The journalist Tom Robinson writes: If God is trying to tell us something, the thinking goes, how can we hear him amid the hymns, psalms, sermons, and recited prayers of a conventional church service. So, for 350 years Quakers having been sitting down,...

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