Consolation for Children with Special Needs

Our Lady of Compassion Care Centre

Mrs Chwefung Anastasia Sama writes from the Our Lady of Consolation Care Centre for Children with Special Needs, a Marist Project in Bambili, Cameroon:  PURPOSE / OBJECTIVES Our Lady of Consolation Center Bambili is a day care center for children with special needs - existing now for close to 14 years and it is being run by the Marist Fathers. It has grown and it is still growing, in the objective to trained and interact with children living with disabilities (and also with their families). This interaction involves familiarizing both children their families with the concern center and civil authorities involved in their social interaction. To be a child of disability is a ser...

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Code Red for our Planet Home

Code-Red-for-our-Planet-Home

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on climate change has released its latest report. This Sixth Assessment Report is a weighty document at nearly 4000 pages and the science is described as robust. It has been tagged "code red" because human activity is changing our climate in unprecedented ways. A key word for the whole report, according to  Will Steffen  an Australian climate systems scientist, is "urgency". We have this current decade to act and to do so decisively. To shift all human activity and the global economy to a low-carbon footing is the task before us. There can be no new coal, gas or oil developments and existing fossil fuel extraction has to be phased out. 2030 is a key d...

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Marist Contemplative Living

The Assumption of Mary

This month's reflection on Marist Contemplative Living comes from David Kennerley sm, former Provincial of Aotearoa - New Zealand, "Marist spirituality almost has too many 'core' themes. We have the three founding, formation moments of Fourviere, Cerdon, Bugey and then of course there are the classic Colinian-life themes of Hidden & Unknown, Nazareth, One in Mind and Heart, Perseverance of the Just and the Conversion of Sinners, Instruments of Mercy etc. For me, however, Mary in the midst of the Church is in a sense the sun in our spiritual galaxy, THE theme around which all the others revolve and thereby receive their own particular light and significance as well. In term...

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The Pandemic & the People of God

The Pandemic & The People of God

Fr Gerald Arbuckle sm, is about to publish his latest book:    The Pandemic and the People of God: Cultural Impacts and Pastoral Responses.  He provides us with this summary overview:  The world is grappling with the most severe health, economic and political emergency since the Second World War as a consequence of covid-19 disease. It has left so many people in so many nations traumatised. An untold number of people have died. The enduring human suffering especially among society's most vulnerable - the poor and elderly – is incalculable. It is estimated that the pandemic could cast 490 million in 70 countries into extreme poverty, reversing almost a decade of ...

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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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