Marist Project - Bahia, Brazil

Praying and Working for the Project

Our Marist Confreres in Bahia, Brazil are developing a Marian Ecological Project, and send this report:   Humanity at the moment finds itself with an urban environment where contact with nature is increasingly difficult and this is creating social and environmental problems such as: air pollution, destruction of natural resources, local climate change, floods, slips, lack of recreational space as well as psychological difficulties associated with an excess of information and the stress of daily living. This being the case it is necessary to maintain the green space that belongs to the Parish of Our Lady, Mother of God and Humanity (Caetité Diocese) in Palmas de Monte Alto, Bahia. W...

Continue reading
576 Hits
3 Comments

Marist Contemplative Living

JC Colin - Statue - General House

We continue, for the third month, with words from 'A Founder Speaks' : Jean-Claude Colin sm:   141:4 'Let those who are burning to go out there [Oceania] remember it well. They must not count on themselves, but solely on grace, on prayer, on the spirit of prayer. 141:5Messieurs, without that spirit of prayer we shall not achieve anything anywhere, either on the foreign missions, on the home missions, or in schools. The spirit of prayer softens hard hearts, brings graces, brings enlightenment. Often it will suggest a word, a single word, which goes right to the heart. ... Certainly, we cannot always be on our knees with our hands joined; that indeed is not our vocation. Bu...

Continue reading
515 Hits
1 Comment

Marist LSi Project - Cameroon

Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm - LSi - Cameroon

Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, sent this news, at the end of last year, from District's Laudato Si Project in Cameroon:  Dear friends of the poor, I hope you are all well. Here in Cameroon the rainy season is ending, thank God this year has been more lenient than in previous years and has not done much damage. The work, in accordance with Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si, continues well, young people and families participate with commitment and enthusiasm; now we are working to build a third chicken coop of 9 x 20 meters and for the canalization of the water in order to be able to bring it to all points of the project (houses, farms, plantations ...). The work we are doing no...

Continue reading
683 Hits
3 Comments

New Year - signs of Hope

Mary - Mother of Hope

1.  Unpatented Shot Dubbed 'The World's Covid-19 Vaccine' Wins Emergency Approval in India "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic," said Dr. Peter Hotez, a U.S.-based vaccine scientist. Jake Johnson     - Common Dreams   December 28, 2021 An unpatented Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, and the pharmaceutical firm Biological E. Limited received emergency-use authorization from Indian regulators on Tuesday—news that the jab's creators hailed as a potential turning point in the push to broaden global vaccine access. "Our Texas Children's Center does ...

Continue reading
1262 Hits
5 Comments

Christmas in Context

Christmas in Context

We celebrate Emmanuel 'God-with-us'. He will work with us, through us, and in us to bring about "a new heaven and a new earth". He is already totally committed - faithfulness is his nature. Having become human flesh himself in Mary's womb, and been suckled at her breast; having been sustained by the fruits of the earth, and the crops of the land; having drunk the rain waters of the heavens; and having given himself to us in the form of bread made by human hands: then he will never fail us. Our role is to do our best not fail him, or any of his creatures. An integral ecological conversion calls us to live with a profound respect and a deep humility for who we are in the web of life, and ...

Continue reading
403 Hits
0 Comments

Christmas - an Outback-Bugey

By Sister Mary Farrelly SM - writes of her mission in outback Queensland I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of drought and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me! A stark white ring-barked forest, All tragic to the moon, The sapphire-misted mountains, The hot gold hush of noon. Green tangle of the brushes, Where lithe lianas coil, And orchids deck the tree-tops                                    And ferns the wa...

Continue reading
732 Hits
2 Comments

Marist Contemplative Living

Advent - Hope and Promise

This month's blog builds on last month's, where we ponder our Founder's own words on Contemplative Living.  All quotes are from "A Founder Speaks": 39:19 'Keep well in mind that you must direct your house by prayer. That is very important. Everything by prayer. 47:2 'When you want to obtain something, you do the same [procession] in Heaven, making a round and passing all the saints in review. I make a halt before the holy patriarchs, the holy apostles, the prophets, the martyrs, the bishops, the holy women, the virgins, the confessors, and the holy innocents – yes, especially the holy innocents. I am very fond of turning to them; I pray to them with special affection. They are...

Continue reading
571 Hits
1 Comment

Our Time of Transformative Action

Time for Transformative Action

Peter Healy, Kiwi Marist, writes:  Manaakitia a Papatūānuku tō tātou kāinga/Let us care for Earth our common home. The Dicastery For Promoting Integral Human Development has released the Laudato Si Action Platform for "preparing a future" together. This Platform is an invitation to the whole Church to undertake and deepen our ecological conversion over the next seven years. As the Dicastery release puts it, "assisted by a multi-year rollout process, the action platform will be dedicated to assisting local communities on their journey towards integral ecology through actions based on global knowledge and local realities." Every Catholic is called to engage; families, parishes and di...

Continue reading
547 Hits
1 Comment

Dismantling the Communal Sin of Racism

From Communal Sin to Communal Grace

Our Lady of the Assumption Marist Parish, Atlanta, Georgia have begun a new program: Dismantling the Sin of Communal Racism:  They recently published this article: Peace and love to all from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (OLA) in Brookhaven, GA. We send our prayers for hope and healing to all, as we join in combatting the urgent crisis of our time. We are beginning a journey to dismantle the communal sin of racism in our church, our school, our parish, and our community, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our work and to seek the prayers and guidance of all. Our Identity We are a parish and congregation born in 1951 in the north Atlanta suburbs, amidst Jim Crow...

Continue reading
641 Hits
2 Comments

A School with an edible forest

First School in Mexico with an edible forest

This news comes from the Marist Affiliated 'Franco-Ingles Colegio' in Mexico.   A 1.5 min overview of the school and its projects can be seen here "The first school in Mexico with an  EDIBLE FOREST where students learn" Edible forest. Production of fruit trees and shrubs, aromatic and medicinal plants. 5 Sections:Succulent | section reproduction and marketing 2020Development of aromatic and medicinal plants | transformation, reproduction and commercialization 2020 Edible forest (fruit trees) | Production start in 2021.3 learning paths.Edible shrubs (blackberries and raspberries) | Start of production 2020-2021 EDIBLE FOREST AND LEARNING TRAILS CONCEPT Unit price Quan...

Continue reading
530 Hits
3 Comments

Marist Contemplative Living - our Founder Speaks

Jean Claude Colin-General House Statue

Perhaps there is no better way to celebrate the Anniversary of Jean-Claude Colin than to encounter him again in his own words. All quotations below are from A Founder Speaks. Suggested reading - Lectio Divina style: Doc 9:3 In a word you must live in complete detachment from everyone, detach yourself from any judgements that others may pass on you. We should exist before God, as if there were none but he, seeing him alone, walking boldly by faith. If people are wanting in virtue it is because they lack courage, because they do not pray as they ought. Do not be self-seeking in meditation, otherwise you achieve nothing. It was prayer which made the saints. If you get nothing out of it, neither...

Continue reading
759 Hits
13 Comments

Aboriginal Spirituality

Art - Australian Aboriginal Peoples

Fr Paul Sullivan sm, Director of Marist Mission Centre, has worked for many years with the Indigenous People of Australia.  He recently gave some input to our Marist Commission for Inter-Religious Dialogue. Paul began by quoting the work of W.E.H. "Bill" Stanner CMG, an Australian anthropologist who worked extensively with Indigenous Australians. Stanner quotes an Aboriginal elder as saying: "White man got no Dreaming - Him go another way"; and he quotes Captain Cook's Journal: "they do not have the things that we have for contentment, for example …. …… and ………… yet they have contentment' …..'what we need for contentment – they regard as superfluities'. Stanner claims that Abo...

Continue reading
673 Hits
2 Comments

Life - let go, or take away?

Kevin Bates sm, Australian Marist, reflects on Euthanasia 'Voluntary Assisted Dying' and Palliative Care:   Some time ago, "A Current Affair" ran a poignant piece telling the story of Gabe Watkin, a Queensland woman suffering the effects of Motor Neuron Disease. She had been pleading with Queensland Health for access to a surgical procedure that will likely extend her life. At the time of the broadcast, Queensland Health's Ethics Committee had kept Gabe and her family waiting twelve months before declining her access to the tracheotomy she was seeking. All Gabe wanted as she said herself was the right to live. The Queensland Government at the same time was preparing its Right to Di...

Continue reading
717 Hits
4 Comments

Earthshot Prize Awards

Earthshot - A Decade to heal the Earth

The Earthshot Prize is awarded by the Royal Foundation to five winners each year for their contributions to environmentalism. It was first awarded in 2021 and is planned to run annually until 2030. Each winner receives a grant of £1 million to continue their environmental work.  Justin Taylor SM presented the following text from recent BBC News :  There were five winners announced in London, each receiving £1m. Prince William was joined by stars including Emma Watson, Dame Emma Thompson and David Oyelowo for the ceremony at Alexandra Palace. Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and KSI were among the acts that performed - and in keeping with the eco message, the music was powered by 60 cyclis...

Continue reading
616 Hits
5 Comments

Marist Contemplative Living

God needs Dry Wood

Fr Frank Bird sm, waiting to return to NZ, writes from Ranong, Thailand:  God needs dry wood As a Marist venturing down the contemplative tradition, I have been deeply struck by an image used by St John of the Cross: God needs dry wood. I think John of the Cross means that the fire of God's love needs to be physically warm and visibly bright, so it can be a real experience for others. This image has captured my imagination ever since the Marist Renewal experience at Le Neyliere in 2017, and the past few years while here in the Marist Mission in Ranong, Thailand. I think the Church, Mary, the Society of Mary - also needs me to be dry wood. I think contemplative prayer and practice i...

Continue reading
640 Hits
5 Comments

Mary - support of the Church

Marist - support the Church

To support the Church and the Pope is at the heart of our Identity as Marists. Our founder, Jean Claude Colin, in the founding days of the Society of Mary, understood Mary to have said 'I supported the Church at its birth; I shall do so again at the end of time' [C.2]. Following in the footsteps of those who began the Marist Project, we are determined to fulfil Mary's desire to be 'a support for the Church in these uncertain times' [C.5].We are called to do this with all our strength [C.6]. Fortunately for us Pope Francis is a Prophet as well as an Administrator, and so we find it a joy and a strength to support and defend him, and to encourage his vision and action to flourish. A way o...

Continue reading
692 Hits
10 Comments

Christian-Muslim Marriage

Christian-Muslim Marriage - Fr Damien

In a recent Inter-Religious Dialogue on-line Meeting we listened to Fr Damien Diouf sm [Senegal – London], share on his experience of preparing engaged couples, one party Christian, the other Muslim, for marriage. Damien shared that his own parents were Christian, then, when his father died his mother married again – this time to a Muslim, from whom Damien now has 4 siblings. So he has a solid personal experience to work with inter-faith relationships. It is important, he says, to start from human experience: how did the couple meet? How did their relationship grow? How do they experience the Mystery of Love? On this last question, he says, he is grateful for the papal document Amoris L...

Continue reading
679 Hits
10 Comments

Del Rio - a Can of Worms

Haitians at Del Rio - Texan Border

Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes from Texaa: "DEL RIO" is a Texan town of some 35,000 people some 230 kilometers west of San Antonio on the Rio Grande River with an international bridge connecting with the town of Acuña (215,00 Pop) on the Mexican side. It is a quiet out of the way connection with the two countries and with very reduced border patrol facilities. The first photo below shows Haitians and Central Americans at Del Rio.  The  second shows them camped under the International Bridge at Del Rio. The stretch of border near Del Rio became the second busiest Border Patrol sector this year with nearly 215,000 arrests out of 1.47 million across the entire border s...

Continue reading
945 Hits
2 Comments

Bearing Witness - Peace by Piece

The Author in Actiion

'Fratelli Tutti" was anticipated twenty-six years ago by Brendan Murphy, teacher of history at Marist School Atlanta, when he became aware of the need to engage the whole person in a humanizing endeavor. Since then he has been engaged in the development of three such programs at the School: "Peace by Piece" – engaging students and teachers from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Faiths: "Bearing Witness" – engaging students and teachers from the Christian and Jewish Faiths, and "Share the Journey" – engaging students and teachers in solidarity with migrants and refugees. Brendan is a member of the Marist Commission for Inter-religious dialogue, and some weeks ago, when sharing his journey wit...

Continue reading
763 Hits
4 Comments

Buddhist Retreat - a Marist's experience

Marist Contemplative Living

Kevin Duffy sm, well-known Marist, currently based in England, writes: I was invited to write something for this JPIC Blog, something personal, saying something, if I felt inclined, about Buddhism. Here goes. I had the interesting experience of attending yoga lessons from a fellow Marist, Bernard Rérolle, in The Forum in Paris, and although I didn't take up his kind offer of instruction in Zen Buddhism, I did subsequently have some experience of another variety of Buddhism - in  the form of Vipassana Retreats. Benefits were calmness, focus, concentration, but I can't report any spiritual benefit in a more particular sense. This wasn't interreligious dialogue, but a typical Wes...

Continue reading
654 Hits
0 Comments