Beloved Amazon - Pope Francis

Pope Francis - beginning - Amazon Synod
​ A few days ago, Pope Francis released his post-synodal exhortation Querida Amazonia - Beloved Amazon. This week's blog is a 'taste' of a few gems of the four Dreams Francis offers us: a Social Dream; a Cultural Dream; an Ecological Dream; and an Ecclesial Dream. His concluding prayer is to Mary, mother of all creatures. The full text can be read   here    CHAPTER ONE - A SOCIAL DREAM"a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor". We do not need an environmentalism "that is concerned for the biome but ignores the Amazonian ...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

World Inter-faith Harmony Week

Marists in Inter-faith Dialogue 2019
World Inter-faith harmony week, 2020, has just been celebrated 01-07 February.Fr. Hermes (Larry) Sabud, SM, Chair of the Marist Inter-religious Dialogue Commission prepared this paper for the occasion. 1. What is World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW)?The United Nations (UN) on October 20, 2010, recognizing the need of dialogue among different faiths and religions and their contribution for peace in the world, has proclaimed the first week of February of every year the "World Interfaith Harmony Week" between all religions, faiths and beliefs. The UN encourages "all States to support, on a voluntary basis, the spread of the interfaith harmony and goodwill. The celebration based on the love of G...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Water: essential, fundamental

Fr Luigi Savoldelli's Well - Cameroon
Water: essential, fundamental, universal human right. With this title Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, Italian Marist in Cameroon says "I wanted to start this, my first article, on the experience that I am living with my brother Africans and the people of Cameroon, resuming a passage of the encyclical "Laudato Si" by Pope Francis. In the context of this encyclical, the agricultural project that we are sharing is part of the Marist community of Cameroon and a group of local poor families.Among the elements of the project an important aspect is that of water, a vital and essential element for human life; In order to respond to the need to be able to guarantee to the local community, which will gather a...
Continue reading
  2 Comments
2 Comments

Unusual Kindness

The Holy Family is still among us
The theme this year, 2020, for the week of Prayer for Christian Unity [18-25​ January], has been "Unusual Kindness" - words of St Paul, when given this experience during his own shipwreck off Malta. We share in this blog, in a timely way, stories from Tony O'Connor sm, working with People on the Mexican-USA border, who so much need those experiences of being shown an "Unusual Kindness". ​ "MILD MODERN DAY TORTURE"?Juan from Salvador, 16 going on 17, a tall stocky lad, well-spoken and decent hearted , arrived two weeks ago , crossed the river and was picked up by the border patrol a couple of hours from here. Is now in a center for migrant minors. They took him first as they do to all, t...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Laudato Si - Marist Family 2020

Cristina smsm, Anne sm, Ben sm, Ángel fms
This Year, 2020, is the 5th Anniversary of 'Laudato Si' and the 50th Anniversary of 'Earth Day'.On 11th January members of our Marist General Councils - Cristina Giustozzi smsm,  Anne McCabe sm, Ben McKenna sm, and  Ángel García fms,  met together to reflect on: 1. What are our General Chapters calling us to do? 2. What is happening in our Branch of the Society?  3. What Resources are we using?  and 4. How can we support each other and work together?     What are our General Chapters Calling us to do?Each member shared on their work and commitment to 'Laudato Si' within their branch of the Society ...
Continue reading
  5 Comments
5 Comments

Light that darkness cannot overpower

Light - Nativity Petrus van Schendel
Jim Carty sm,  leader of our jpic Australian group, has written the following Christmas letter: Chiaroscuro is an Italian term applied to those paintings where the central figure or feature is bathed or suffused in bright light (chiaro) surround by dark (oscuro) indistinct sometimes threatening, foreboding figures or features, suggesting danger, uncertainty- the nativity story as described in the Gospel is the focus of thousands of artists using this technique. Two such paintings by the same artist capture well this contrast:The calm before the approaching storm and all its concomitant fears. The nativity with its promise fulfilled, offering the light of hope and possible peace in a fra...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

There is always Hope

Centro Hispano Marista Graduates 2019
Dr. Leticia Valencia, program director of Centro Hispano Marista​  writes: Centro Hispano Marista is a ministry that provides affordable, bilingual, GED preparation classes for adults in Atlanta. Each Tuesday evening between 350 and 400 students arrive for classes taught by wonderful volunteers. Since its inception, the Centro has helped 290 graduates achieve their GED, or equivalent of a high school diploma, which has opened them the doors to higher-paying jobs, college, and job promotions. We have just celebrated our 2019 graduation on December 10th - see the cover photo! Although our program shrunk and had difficulties in the past, we keep seeing the potential in adult...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Mary-way to peace among cultures

Mary-dialogue-fraternity-culture
​Pope Francis, on the 4th December gave an address to the  participants in the XXIV Public Session of the seven Pontifical Academies.  His words are appropriate for us as Marists in this time of Advent: Mary, a teacher of humanity The Pope reflected on  "Mary - way to peace among cultures" and recalled briefly on how different popes expressed veneration for Our Lady.He recalled the dramatic experience of the two world wars that led Pope Pius XII to uphold Mary as a beacon of peace for a frightened humanity.The Second Vatican Council, he continued, pointed to her as a "teacher of humanity" and a model for the Church in its mission to serve the "deepest aspir...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

Prison ministry - lay Marist

Gemma at Digos Prison with her 3 children
Gemma Ando is a Lay Marist engaged in Prison Ministry in Digos, Mindanao, Philippines. She began this ministry in 2006 as a member of Marist Youth when she was in secondary school, under the guidance of Fr Joe McLaughlin sm.Gemma is a gifted musician and singer.She has three children Zedek, Francoise, and Stephen.Her husband died in 2014, when she was six months pregnant with Stephen.He died of heat stroke, as a construction worker.Gemma had won him over to the Catholic Faith, and he had been baptized 5 months before he died. Each Saturday morning Gemma goes to the Prison to prepare the readings and hymns for Sunday Eucharist with the prisoners. Faith sharing is an integral part of this proc...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

Enabling the under-served to reach for Excellence

Serving the Under-served: Board-Staff
​Mrs Karen Dessables, of Marist School Atlanta, shares an inspirational story for us on how an under-served student was enable to reach greatness through the program "Reach for Excellence"     ATLANTA-Reach for Excellence is proud of the success of Brandon Fountain, who first entered the academic enrichment program in 2009. Reach for Excellence is a three-year, tuition-free program, hosted at Marist School for underserved middle school students. As a sixth-grade student it was already evident that given the opportunity, Fountain was determined to succeed. Never one to shy away from a challenge, he eagerly entered the program Through a mix of academic, leadership and community ...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

HIV-AIDS Ministry - Ranong

Fr Gil Casio sm - Palliative Care
Fr Gil Casio sm, writes to us from Ranong, Thailand:  Marist prefer to work with the poor and vulnerable, opting for jobs that are unattractive or unrewarding. In 2006, we opted to go to Ranong, a border town across the southernmost tip of Myanmar which serves as a gateway for Burmese migrants to enter into Thailand. It has the highest density of Burmese migrants in Thailand, where many of them are working in the fishing - and its related - industries. It has a moving migrant population, extreme poverty, and migrant fishing population which increases the risks and vulnerability for getting HIV. Our Marist Community recognizes those living with HIV AIDS ...
Continue reading
  2 Comments
2 Comments

a Sandwich - a means of Encounter

Saturday Sandwich for the Homeless
Cosme, a Volunteer at NDF, London, a Marist Ministry writes:    "The sandwich service at Notre Dame de France is a special place". So I was told by my friend Laure a few years ago, at a time when I was looking to give some of my time to help others. I had been somewhat reluctant to go, wake up earlier than I used to on a Saturday morning and meet homeless people. I feared it might make me feel uncomfortable: what would I say, how should I speak, how could I really help? One day, I decided to go, and since then I have always wondered why I hadn't joined the service earlier. This has been a blessing for me in some many ways.The service is open every Saturday for two hours, ...
Continue reading
  2 Comments
2 Comments

SMNZ Draft Sustainability Policy

Kiwi Marists: Phil Cody & Peter Healy
​Peter Healy sm, a member of the Ecology Commission, has been working, in dialogue with the SM NZ Provincial Administration, to develop the following Draft Sustainability Policy Preamble:This policy sets down for the Society of Mary practical steps for our involvement towards the creation of a life sustaining world.Care of our common home is an intrinsic part of living the gospel today. We will take inspiration and direction from Laudato Si. Mary and her talent for homemaking and gardening in the village of Nazareth can be a model for our endeavors.  Principles: We will live the Spirit of the Society authenically by attending to our way of life and how it impacts on our planet home. We ...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

Born beside the bridge: Mexico-USA

Cristian - born beside the bridge
​Fr Tony O'Connor sm, wrote recently from Brownsville, USA:  This is Cristian He was born in Matamoros yesterday morning. His mother "Jessica" had been living on the bridge on the Matamoros (Mexico) side for some time awaiting asylum now that illegally the US government leaves them in Mexico with all the risks of living in the street the Mañia (gangs) and hunger, thirst, heat, and rain . By rights little Cristian should be a US citizen but thanks to Trump he is a little Mexican Honduran chamarco. His mom from Honduras is 23 years old and does not want to live in the bridge it would be too dangerous for Cristian. Efforts are being made to find a place to stay for this litt...
Continue reading
  4 Comments
4 Comments

O.C.E.A.N - one community embracing all nations

Wilai - Stateless - with Friend
​Fr Jim Carty sm recently gave the following address at Marist Cerdon College, Marylands, NSW:"We are one we are many"- a wonderful song by Bruce Woodley which captures the theme of today.This school Cerdon College Merrylands represents an example of what the world could and should become- for it is a microcosm where there isrespect for diversity,equality for alland strives to be united as one, in its commitment for the common good of the school, Australian and beyond. And you have the added blessing of the protection of the Patron of the College- Mary, mother of Jesus, Mother of us All.As the Entrance song was sung, the flags of the 81 nations representing the 81 nationalities who atte...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Web of life - ecumenical - inter-religious

The web of life
​Donato Kivi sm, presented the following homily [abbreviated here] at an ecumenical and inter-faith celebration at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Suva, 17th September:      We are here because environmental protection is a concern for all of us – we are concerned about the well-being of our environment because it touches our very being as humans living on this planet we call home. Our environment covers many areas like food security, health security, energy security, economic security, social security, cultural security and so forth. This all comes down to our human security.The first couple, Adam and Eve who Jews, Muslims and Christians believe as their first paren...
Continue reading
  1 Comment
1 Comment

Marists in Ranong - Critical Times

Marist Mission Ranong - Critical Times
Fr Frank Bird sm, Director, writes:  Our Marist Mission in Ranong, Thailand, has been supporting Burmese Migrant children and families since 2006. In the past few weeks we have had some challenges that remind us just how vulnerable Burmese Migrants are. An order was issued from the Department of Labour in Bangkok to search and scan all 10 Burmese Migrant Learning Centres in Ranong. 32 Burmese Migrant Teachers were arrested and deported.With the 9 other Migrant Learning Centres, we closed our Preschool and Secondary Education Programmes to protect and keep our Burmese staff safe from the possibility of arrest. Sadly around 3,000 Burmese children have now been without the opport...
Continue reading
  11 Comments
11 Comments

Season of Creation - A Prayer

All Life is interconnected and inter-related
God of Deep Time,God of the ever-expanding universe,God of Light of the Supernovas, and of the Darkness of the Black holes of our Universe,God who Resurrected Life after 5 mass extinctions of earth,God who knew us before we were born, and gave us our name and our place in this Universe, You know our predicament at this point in time,You gave us a mind to discern the signs of the times:The disruption in climate, The loss of biodiversity, and the fragility of our future,The fear of the stranger and the protection of borders to keep out our brothers and sisters. Darkness is not dark for You, and night is as clear as the day.In you we place our trust.Show us how to think, and what to do, to prov...
Continue reading
  4 Comments
4 Comments

Season of Creation - sustainability practices

Fr William Rowland sm, President of Marist School, Atlanta, USA recently sent this plan from his Staff, for the Season of Creation.  " We met yesterday to discuss ideas on how we here at Marist can best observe and honor the Season of Creation. Our idea is to focus on different sustainability practices each week. Below is an outline of the schedule:Sept 2-6 – Introduction of the Season of Creation through morning prayers and announcements Sept 9-13 – "Sorting Waste" – We will send a video made by Emma McEvoy that instructs students on how to properly sort their waste at lunch to foundations and advisories for viewing. Members of the environment club will also help students sor...
Continue reading
  3 Comments
3 Comments

Saving Economy or Saving People?

'You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu,'" - Mr Sopoaga [Prime Minister of Tuvalu, South Pacific].​Ross Flint, Anglican Priest and Marist Associate, writes from Launceston, Tasmania: ​ Pacific Islands Forum: How Enele Sopoaga and Scott Morrison lost when Australia scuttled Tuvalu's hopes  at the Pacific Island Forum, Tuvalu. 13-16 August 2019https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-18/pacific-islands-forum-2019-climate-change-focus/11417422 The Prime Minister of Tuvalu went fishing on Thursday morning. Up before dawn, he'd arranged for a dozen Tuvaluan men to join him in a demonstration of traditional fishing methods for the...
Continue reading
  2 Comments
2 Comments