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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Contemplative Marist Living

Contemplative Marist Living: Fritz Arnold sm, writes from Furstenzell, Germany: "I am grateful that Justin Taylor referred so strongly to the statements and decisions of the last General Chapter in his article on Marist Contemplative Living. I would like to add a personal note to this. Every religious, in the course of his or her life story, can always discover a new side to his or her vocation in religious life. As an aging religious s/he may discover a new emphasis in the cultivation of the contemplative life. We are a community of older confreres in many countries of the world. Therefore, in 2012 - I was then involved in the accompaniment of our novices in Tutu/Fiji - I sent a postulatum ...

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I was Sick and you took Care of me

"I was Sick and you took Care of me" [Matt 25: 36]  This is the Second Reflection from the Solidarity Commission of the European Province.  Translations below are in French and Spanish. God the Father, in sickness you let us experience the vulnerability of frail creatures: Bestow upon us abundantly your compassion. Jesus Christ, Son of God, sustain us in times of illness and help us carry your burden. Holy Spirit, we pray to be restored in moments of weariness, that we might ourselves become instruments of your loving mercy.  [Francis: XXVIII World Day of the Sick, 11 February, 2021] Constitutions: Sick and Elderly "The call (of the Marists) is to be truly missionary...

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Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan

Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan

Peter Healy sm, writes this Report on the recent Webinar for Marist Family: The Dicastery for Integral Human Development recently presented a webinar for the Marist Family on the Laudato Si Goals and Action Plan. The presenter was Salesian priest Fr. Josh Kureethadam. At the beginning of his presentation he talked about St Francis hearing the call of God to rebuild and repair the Chapel of St Damiano and eight centuries later another Francis (Pope Francis) is sharing with us an equally profound call, to go and repair our common home. Laudato Si reminds us that human life is grounded in three fundamental intertwined relationships: with God, our neighbor and our planet home. Within these ...

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Marist Family - L Si - 7 Yr Action Platform

Invitation to join the 7 Year Journey

Marist Family members, from all branches of the Society, from all around the world, attended a Laudato Si Webinar on 11 February.  The Rev. Dr. Joshtrom Kureethadam is Coordinator of the Sector of "Ecology and Creation" at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is also Chair of Philosophy of Science and Director of the Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. His most recent books include Creation in Crisis: Science, Ethics and Theology (Orbis Books, 2014), The Philosophical Roots of the Ecological Crisis (Cambridge Scholars, 2017), The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si' (Liturgical Press, 2019).  ...

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Contemplative Marist Living

Contemplation - the energy source

Contemplative Marist Living comes to us from Fr Justin Taylor sm:   Karl Rahner famously wrote: 'The Christian of tomorrow will either be a mystic or won't be Christian at all.' Perhaps we could adapt Rahner's saying: 'The Marist of tomorrow will either be a mystic or won't be Marist at all.' In case anyone gets frightened off at this stage by the word 'mystic', let us substitute the word 'contemplative', taken in the sense intended by the General Chapter of 2017, when it stated in its Declaration on the Mission of the Society of Mary Today (n. 4): 'As Mary pondered the Word, so are we called to a life of contemplation, centred on the Eucharist, bearing fruit in service within...

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Cycling for Children

Br Charlie - Cycling for Children

Ride on, Br Charlie!     [This article is from Ron Nissen sm, long-time cycling companion of Charlie] Charlie Randle and cycling go back a long way. Brisbane-born Charlie's earliest memories include racing down the hills of Bulimba on a two-wheeled tricycle. Yes, the Randles could not afford a bicycle so Charlie and his brother, Tom, would take off one of the trike's wheels in order to race their neighboring children with real bikes.  In teenage years Charlie and Tom commenced competitive cycling, culminating in winning Queensland's State Tandem championship in 1963 and placings in Australia's national titles. Charlie was 23 years of age and already a budding and talented...

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Recycling - Mexican Border

Recycling-on the Mexican Border

Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes to us from Brownsville, USA, on the Mexican Border:  RECYCLING ON THE UNDERSIDE AND OVER THE GREAT DIVIDE:     Introduction: It is difficult to write in this time of political transition. Biden's Agenda priority on migration reform will need time. Hopefully the culture will change slightly and gradually, and compassion and some executive orders lead to more moderation. The "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (D.A.C.A) order will increase help to younger ones brought here to the US when they were kids. COVID properly tackled should gradually allow the border to open fully and maybe asylum seekers will be permitted to cross the bridges o...

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Marists Refugees and Migrants

Migrants, Refugees, Marists

Br Ivan Vodopicec sm is Chair of the SM Solidarity Committee Europe. We introduce today the first of 4 Reflections they have prepared on Marists and Solidarity. The theme is Refugees and Migrants - "I was a stranger and you welcomed me" - Matt 25:38. These Reflections are available also available in Spanish and French [see below] and can be obtained from Br Ivan at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      "Marists attend especially to the most neglected, the poor,  and those who suffer injustice."  (MARIST CONSTITUTIONS No.12)        SONNY'S TESTIMONY               A refugee from Nigeria where he almo...

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Sustainability Covenant - SM

The Sustainability Covenant is the work of the Marist Ecological Commission , adopted by the SM General Council, 29 September 2020. This document is a Sample , to be adapted and implemented according to what is locally possible. It is available below also in French, Spanish, and Italian. [Scroll down in that order].  Preamble: This Covenant sets down for the Society of Mary practical steps towards the creation of a life sustaining world. Care of our common home is an intrinsic part of living the gospel today. We take inspiration and direction from Laudato Si 'and GC2017. Marists do the work of "Mary, the Mother who cared for Jesus, who now cares with maternal affection and pai...

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Contemplation - New Year

Contemplation - Energy for Mission

Christmas and New Year have provided us with the opportunity to pause, to watch, and to wonder at the event of the Word continuing to be made Flesh in our time.  Perhaps we have found ourselves pondering with Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi at the unfolding of a Revelation among us that draws us to wonder, to encounter, to hope, and to be replenished with a new Divine-given energy.  With the Divine energy, the gift of Contemplation, we are in union with the One Who is calling us to mission - to heal the wounded world - in the year ahead.  When we encounter this One, we are able give from the Source and we are renewed in the giving, [wher...

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Dadirri-Christmas-Deep listening

Dadirri- Aboriginal Christmas

  Dadirri - Deep Listening - is a Gift of the Indigenous People of Australia. This post is the work of Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann - an artist, a tribal elder and Principal of St Francis Xavier School, Nauiyu, Daly River, N.T. Paul Sullivan sm, Australian Marist, worked with the Aboriginal People for many years, and recommended this essay. [Permission has been sought to publish it]  Dadirri - A Reflection By Miriam - Rose Ungunmerr- Baumann NGANGIKURUNGKURR means 'Deep Water Sounds'. Ngangikurungkurr is the name of my tribe. The word can be broken up into three parts: Ngangi means word or sound, Kuri means water, and kurr means deep. So the name of my people means 'the Deep Water...

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