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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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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