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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The World, the Church, & the Marists

Joshtrom Kureethadam SDB - Integral Human Development
Gaudete Sunday: and a couple of us Marists attended a Laudato Si Circle Eucharist in the Gardens of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart here in Rome.  This monthly Eucharist is organized by the Global Catholic Climate Movement  Our celebrant today was Fr Joshtram Kureethadam sdb ,  coordinator of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development    On of Fr Josh's responsibilities is to spearhead the Laudato Si 7-year Roll Out Plan, due to be formally launched on 24 May 2021, and of which we Marists plan to be a part, to fulfill a goal of our 2017 General Chapter, n.47:  'to create a program for an a...
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Educating Young Immigrant Leaders - Ranong

Marist Team and Graduates Ranong - ACU
An historic Day, 05 December, for young Myanmar Immigrants in Thailand. The Graduates in our photo, Left-Right, in this report is from our Marist Asia Foundation Project in Ranong on the Thai - Myanmar border, are  Tint Zaw Lin, Thet Htar Oo, May Thazin Oo, Yoon Thiri, Soe Myat Tun. They have graduated with a Certificate in Teaching and Learning Graduation.  Special Congratulations to this first group of Teachers at Marist Asia Foundation to complete the Australian Catholic University Certificate in Teaching and Learning. Wonderful to be able celebrate your achievement together. Thanks to our ACU Professors back in Australia for sending your messa...
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Living Dialogue with the Māori People

Christianity comes to NZ
Phil Cody sm, writes from Aotearoa / NZ on his experience of living amongst, and working with Indigenous Māori People and Culture over many years.  In our Care for Common Home, Pope Francis calls us to listen to, dialogue with, and learn from the Indigenous Peoples of the world, "Here are some personal reflections on twenty-five years living with and ministering alongside Māori in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. A lot of that has come from studying at a local Māori University [Te Wānanga o Raukawa] and relating to Māori involved. How can we engage with Māori Spirituality? What are some of the points of dialogue that emerge. Māori have a spirituality that is integrated with life. Everything from ...
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Which Soul of the Nation?

3-month old Asylum Seeker
Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes from Brownsville, Mexico Border: Here, fear of the effects of COVID on self and loved ones, its restrictions on a free and easy life, are leading to consequences in MENTAL HEALTH. At the same time like in the novel "Gulliver's Travels where half the people crack their egg at the big end and another half at the small end, we have a country completely polarized as if the two halves live in two different worlds, one party standing for the lives of migrants, and against kids in cages, escaping certain death in their homeland; the other for the rights of the unborn; one in a seemingly "dog eat dog" seeking a raw POWER grab "in contrast to the other espousing the ol...
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Marie Françoise Perroton - Oceania Legacy

Marie Francois Perroton a Pioneer of the SMSMs
Marie Francoise Perroton left France for Oceania on 15th November 1845.  The accounts below are from her Legacy - the SMSM Sisters - Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary - and the work in Oceania today in regard to the Season of Creation.   Jean Claude Colin, Marist Founder, passed away on the same day, 15th November 1875.    "Let us rejoice that our loving Creator sustains our humble efforts to care for the earth, which is also God's home …" These closing lines of Pope Francis' Message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation have led us to ask our Sisters to share with us here in Australia some of the concerns, challenges and efforts to cope w...
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Marists- L Si - Atlanta

Cardinal Gregory-as Archbishop in Atlanta
 Fr Jim Duffy sm, writes from OLA Parish, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A:    A Beginning In the Fall of 2012, fifteen parishioners from Our Lady of the Assumption Church (OLA) in Atlanta, Georgia gathered in the parish library to begin a comprehensive study and prayerful discussion of the Church's rich body of teachings on social justice. The group used materials designed by Just Faith Ministries, an organization that provides resources to help people respond to the Gospel's call to love, peace and justice for all. Over the course of 30 weeks the group read several books on Church teaching, engaged in lively discussion, and prayed together. As the weeks progressed discussio...
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Islam-Christian Dialogue in France

Fr Olivier Laurent sm - Interfaith-Toulon-France
Fr Olivier Laurent sm, Toulon, France, has been engaged in Islamic-Christian, and other Inter-religious Dialogue Initiatives for many years.  Toulon is 150 km from Nice, where recent terrorist killings took place. At a time of heightened tensions in France, and on the world scene, we have this encouraging report sent by Fr Paddy O'Hare sm, in community with Olivier.    Olivier Laurent lived in Senegal for 30 years, a country 90% Muslim, where the Christian community has become well integrated. For ten years he took part in a project to improve the living conditions in Dakar's disadvantaged areas with a team that was 70% Muslim. He then spent four years at the Forum 104 in...
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Marists Ecological Education - Toulon, France

Students-St Josephs-La Cordeille-Toulon
Fr Paul Walsh sm writes from Toulon:  INSTITUTE OF SAINT JOSEPH, LA CORDEILLE,  is a very large educational establish on a large campus on the outskirts of Toulon. It comprises, among other elements – a technical and ordinary high school (lycee ), full secondary school with specializations, full primary and infant schools. It also offers post high school for public examinations for entry into elite third level institutions. The school is one of three schools in the Toulon area under the aegis of the Marist Tutelle (umbrella organization responsible for all 7 educational establishments in France for which the SM is responsible). There are about 2,400 pupils enrolled. The school...
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Marist Ecology - Tutu

Planting Nitrogen-fixing trees
Fr Petero Matairatu sm, Director of Marist Training Centre, Tutu, Fjii, sends this Report:     INTRODUCING SUSTAINABLE COMMERCIAL FARMING SYSTEMS AT TUTU AND IN ITS CATCHMENT AREA Soil Health Soil health is still Tutu's main priority for sustainable expansion of the formation of self-employment training for youth in agriculture. With the lessons learned from the previous soil school program, Tutu has integrated soil health into its course for the formation of young farmers and its staff. The continuous covering of Tutu land with mucuna beans, kaliyandra, drala and bainicagi as nitrogen fixing trees have helped the formation of Tutu's participants as custodian of the land. The ...
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Cook Islands - Laudato Si

Cook Island Children - Cosmopolitan
+Paul Donoghue sm, Bishop of the Cook Islands, former Provincial of Oceania Marist Province, sent this Article during the Season of Creation:  The Diocese of Rarotonga is one of those places where the document "Laudato Si" has gathered dust on the book shelf for 5 years. The excuse is that themes from Rome come a bit too quickly and it takes more time to do them justice than Rome allows. For example we spent nine months on the Extraordinary month on Mission in 2019 rather than just one month. We were finishing this theme keen to be joyful missionary disciples when our churches were closed for COVID-19. We moved into the reality of the Domestic Church - a church operating in families wit...
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Peace through Interreligious Encounter

Pope Francis - Myanmar Visit
Fr Kevin Medilo sm, has just completed his Licentiate on Inter-Religious Dialogue:  his thesis is Living Together in Peace Through Interreligious Encounter: Christian and Buddhist Dialogue in Myanmar.   Kevin shares some of work with us here: on the Feast of St Francis, and the day after Pope Francis signed his Encyclical: "Fratelli Tutti"   There is a growing global awareness and realization of the crucial role of interreligious dialogue among the religious believers in the quest for world peace and sustainable development. For years, the United Nations agencies have partnered with faith-based organizations and inter-religious groups to work for lasting pe...
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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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