A new creation-building bridges

Columban presents to Marist Inter-religious Dialogue Commission

Columban Missionary, Fr Patrick McInerney ssc, recently gave a Presentation to the Marist Inter-religious Dialogue Commission. Patrick is the Director of the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations, situated in the Paramatta Diocese, Sydney. He was ordained in 1978, ministered for many years in Pakistan, and since return worked in interfaith in Sydney for the past 20 years. A Summary of Pat's Presentation: Introduction: On the Positive side: Pat has been invited to address the Clergy Conference of Paramatta, as a way to get them onside with the ministry of IRD [Inter-religious Dialogue].He was also invited, as a consequence, to give a full day presentation to the students at the Dioce...

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I have observed.... I know... I will deliver

... I have heard .... I will deliver....

This Reflection and Meditation anticipates the 4th Week of the Season of Creation, September 25th, World Day of Migrants and Refugees As people of faith, we can add our gaze to that of God's. We can acknowledge suffering, share the promise, and be the witness and voices that help bring about deliverance. Introductory word "Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees (WDMR), celebrated on September 25, 2022. Pope Francis highlights the commitment that we are all called to share in building a future that embraces God's plan, leaving no one behind. …Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:7-10 Then the Lord said, "I...

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Marist Asia Foundation - inside view

Marist Asia Foundation-Ranong-inside view

Fr Arnold Garferio sm, current Director of MAF recently made this Report:  Burmese Migrant Secondary Education Program Thai Government Non-Formal Education (KOSONO) Preparation Program Marist Outreach Program A.   NUMBERS Student Population Towards the End of the School Year 2021-2022: 62    Students in Preparation Program 156   Students in Burmese Migrant Secondary Program 218  Total Number Students 25     Graduated from Burmese Migrant Secondary Program Examinations Passing Rate and Class Attendance Rate (End of School Year 2021-2022) 82 %    Preparation Program students class attendance rate 47 ...

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Opening of Harmony Centre - Ranong

Opening & Blessing of Harmony Centre - Ranong

Fr Hermes Larry Sabud sm, Superior of our Marist Community in Ranong, Thailand, recently sent this news to us:  Le P. Hermes Larry Sabud sm, supérieur de notre communauté mariste de Ranong, Thaïlande, nous a récemment envoyé cette nouvelle : Blessing of the Harmony Centre, Ranong, Thailand:    Bénédiction du Centre Harmony, Ranong, Thaïlande : During an interreligious and intercultural celebration on 10 June, the Marist Harmony Centre in Ranong was blessed in the presence of many faithful and their religious leaders, the Muslim Imam, Buddhist Monks and Catholic priests and also other civil authorities. The Centre envisions harmony in cultural and religious diversity in Ra...

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Sacred Sleep - Ministry with the homeless

Sacred Sleep - Working with the homeless

 Mary Ghisolfo, Lay Marist serving with Notre Dame des Victoires, San Francisco, California, writes to answer the question:  "Why Does Ministry Among the Poor Awaken for Us the Critical Role of a Marist Vocation?"  "At our best, we are instruments of God's mercy working to help others taste the boundless love of the Lord, especially those who find themselves on the margins." (Statement of Identity, US Province of the Society of Mary – Assembly and Chapter June 2013 The parishioners at Notre Dame des Victoires Church (NDV) are committed to supporting the Gubbio Project, an organization which serves the homeless, hungry and those in need of various health services...

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Laudato Si - Marist Asia Foundation

Laudato Si - Marist Asia Foundation

Laudato Si Week, with the Theme – Journeying together – is on, you can register here Marist Asia Foundation works with 3 of the 7 goals of Laudato Si, in response to: Cry of the Poor; Community Engagement and Participation; and Ecological Education. Cry of the Poor: Education of Migrant Children The Marist Asia Foundation's migrant community education center happily welcomed two hundred eighty-five students to another exciting year of learning, on May 19. The Parents' support is very much appreciated as they accompany their children for registration. The first three days of school are set specifically to orient the students to MAF child protection policy, transportation safety, anti-bul...

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Inter-Faith encounter: a Marist's experience

L'Arche - Interfaith - Indian Batique - note the Centre

Sr Catherine Jones - a Marist Missionary Sister from NZ - recently shared something of her life and work,  with our Marist Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue.  She began with the Batique, from India, in the cover photo - which she said was designed for one of the first Inter-Faith L'Arche communities in the world. Their symbol is the center piece of the Batique.   Catherine was professed in 1970 and applied for a Fiji Mission appointment, knowing that Fiji was both a multi-religious and multi-faith society.  She was no stranger to inter-faith encounters, since they began for her with the Buddhists in Shotover River Valley, Central Otago, NZ, where she grew ...

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Walking for Wilai - Stateless children

Fr Jim Carty sm - Walking for Stateless Children

Ron NIssen sm writes from Sydney, Australia: Some weeks ago I was part of a fund-raising Camino, Walk for Wilai, a ten-day chapter in the adventure of tackling the statelessness of thousands of children worldwide, beginning with a young girl called Wilai. In a hospital by the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi, Thailand, and close to Myanmar, Wilai was born to parents whose origins are 'unknown' but thought to be somewhere in the border forests between the two countries. From them she inherited statelessness. The 14 yr old presently lives in an orphanage in Thailand. As a stateless person she is denied opportunity for education and the freedom to embrace young womanhood as a free person in a fr...

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Francis' Prayer - Ukraine-Russia-World

Francis' Consecration Prayer: Russia-Ukraine-World

 Pope Francis—united to all the Bishops and Catholic faithful around the world— consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation. The Act of Consecration was prayed during the "24 Hours for the Lord" Lenten penitential service led from St. Peter's Basilica, which began at 5 PM Rome time. The official text is below - and offered for ongoing prayer and reflection:  O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you. As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you. Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care a...

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No to human trafficking

Josephine Bahkita - trafficked & Canonized

This week's blog, comes from Fr Kevin Head sm, written as the editorial for February's  Marist Messenger : Human trafficking occurs for many reasons – for work in sweatshops, illegal adoption of children, organ transplants, forced marriages, drug trafficking, begging and prostitution among others. When she was twenty-six, Blessing Okoedion went to Spain from Nigeria with a promise of work in a computer business. However, when she reached Spain, there was no job for her, she had a forged visa, and her traffickers said she owed them $70,000. She had no way to pay, so they sent her to Naples and forced her to work on the streets as a prostitute. Blessing found her way to a shelte...

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Border Town-Sleepy-what's going on?

What's Going On at the Border?

Tony O'Connor, Kiwi Marist, writes from the USA-Mexico Border:    All is pretty quiet here in February. It is colder than normal which makes people sleepy perhaps? Or is there a weariness in the air? At first glance nothing seems to be happening. Lots of planes fly over without our knowing where they are going or who their passengers are. Unaccompanied Central American Minors protected by a US 2008 law are still being allowed to cross the river. But with COVID the centers for minors have them all grounded from coming to religious services here in San Felipe. Trump's Title 42 is perpetuated still by Biden because of OMICRON so they say, which means no to asylum seekers Many peo...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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