Laudato Si & a Marist's Thesis

7th Anniversary of Laudato Si - Encyclical of Pope Francis

Fr Samuela Tukidia sm, Fijian Marist, completed a Thesis in Rome last December which is good for us to share as we approach the seventh Anniversary of the Encyclical of Pope Francis - Laudato Si - on May 24th.   Samu's 145 page thesis has 4 Chapters:    1. Setting the Scene - The Roots of the Ecological Crisis and the Search for An Integral Ecology 2. The Creator and Creation: Thomistic Perspectives on Divine Action, Emergence, Analogia Entis, and the Eschatological Challenges of Ecology 3. The Relationship of Human Beings to Creation 4. The Sacramentality of the Cosmos Following are his own words of reflection when he shared his Thesis with the other membe...

Continue reading
2 Comments

New Life starts in the Dark

New Life starts in the Dark

Easter Sunday 2022 - Peter Healy sm offers this reflection: He is not here, He has risen!  Kāhore ia i konei, engari kua ara! These words in the middle of today's gospel of Luke, come amidst puzzlement, disbelief and amazement and indicate perhaps a new stage of faith? On Good Friday at the last Station of the Cross on Pukekaraka Ann-Marie lead us in a final refrain: "Were you there when they sealed the tomb with stone?" Solid stone, almost immoveable, silent and deathly in shape and weight. We walked down the Puke , encouraged by Adi Leason to stay in the story, to stay with our desolation. On our Lenten journey this year we explored our relationship with God our Creator...

Continue reading
1 Comment

TAKARANGI - The Importance of Space

Takarangi - Origin / Beginning of Life

Phil Cody sm - Kiwi Marist - writes of - Takarangi -  the importance of Space in the Maori Tradition.  We are probably familiar with 'The Dash' poem by Linda Ellis.[1] It portrays the 'dash' which is the space between the dates of birth and death of a person, for example, 1944 – 2022. Linda relates how a person giving a eulogy on the death of a friend, referred to that 'dash' in their life. They argued that the years represented by the dash, the space between being born and dying, were what mattered most in his or her life. The space or dash marks the time they were alive. The challenge for them and for us is how much love and life they and we put into that space! In this refl...

Continue reading
4 Comments

Pacific Islands - rising sea - maritime borders

Pacific Islands - risings seas - maritme borders

Francois Grossin sm, in New Caledonia, sent this article - November 2021 - relevant now and in the years ahead. In the Pacific, maritime borders threatened by rising sea levels and land erosion:     With rising sea levels and the erosion of their islands, Pacific states fear that their maritime boundaries will be lowered. They want to preserve their marine spaces or EEZs, Exclusive Economic Zones, as registered by the United Nations. From the Pacific Islands Forum to COP 26, the leaders of the countries affected by the rising waters carried their fight. To avoid losing their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and becoming high seas areas open to all states, they drafted a De...

Continue reading
0 Comments

Marist Project - Bahia, Brazil

Praying and Working for the Project

Our Marist Confreres in Bahia, Brazil are developing a Marian Ecological Project, and send this report:   Humanity at the moment finds itself with an urban environment where contact with nature is increasingly difficult and this is creating social and environmental problems such as: air pollution, destruction of natural resources, local climate change, floods, slips, lack of recreational space as well as psychological difficulties associated with an excess of information and the stress of daily living. This being the case it is necessary to maintain the green space that belongs to the Parish of Our Lady, Mother of God and Humanity (Caetité Diocese) in Palmas de Monte Alto, Bahia. W...

Continue reading
3 Comments

Marist LSi Project - Cameroon

Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm - LSi - Cameroon

Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, sent this news, at the end of last year, from District's Laudato Si Project in Cameroon:  Dear friends of the poor, I hope you are all well. Here in Cameroon the rainy season is ending, thank God this year has been more lenient than in previous years and has not done much damage. The work, in accordance with Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si, continues well, young people and families participate with commitment and enthusiasm; now we are working to build a third chicken coop of 9 x 20 meters and for the canalization of the water in order to be able to bring it to all points of the project (houses, farms, plantations ...). The work we are doing no...

Continue reading
3 Comments

Christmas in Context

Christmas in Context

We celebrate Emmanuel 'God-with-us'. He will work with us, through us, and in us to bring about "a new heaven and a new earth". He is already totally committed - faithfulness is his nature. Having become human flesh himself in Mary's womb, and been suckled at her breast; having been sustained by the fruits of the earth, and the crops of the land; having drunk the rain waters of the heavens; and having given himself to us in the form of bread made by human hands: then he will never fail us. Our role is to do our best not fail him, or any of his creatures. An integral ecological conversion calls us to live with a profound respect and a deep humility for who we are in the web of life, and ...

Continue reading
0 Comments

Our Time of Transformative Action

Time for Transformative Action

Peter Healy, Kiwi Marist, writes:  Manaakitia a Papatūānuku tō tātou kāinga/Let us care for Earth our common home. The Dicastery For Promoting Integral Human Development has released the Laudato Si Action Platform for "preparing a future" together. This Platform is an invitation to the whole Church to undertake and deepen our ecological conversion over the next seven years. As the Dicastery release puts it, "assisted by a multi-year rollout process, the action platform will be dedicated to assisting local communities on their journey towards integral ecology through actions based on global knowledge and local realities." Every Catholic is called to engage; families, parishes and di...

Continue reading
1 Comment

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...

Continue reading
3 Comments

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...

Continue reading
10 Comments

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...

Continue reading
3 Comments

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 ...

Continue reading
4 Comments

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...

Continue reading
3 Comments

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...

Continue reading
2 Comments

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...

Continue reading
5 Comments

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...

Continue reading
2 Comments

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...

Continue reading
0 Comments

Transforming Mary's Grove - Monte Alto Brazil

Brazil - Frs Renivaldo, Arnaldo, and Roberto

Fr Jose Maria Da Silva sm, former major superior of the Marist District of Brazil writes this week about the Transformation of a Shrine in the Parish of Monte Alto [north west of Sao Paolo].  The Project is  called: The Stations of the Cross, Our Lady's Grove, and the Path of the Seven Sorrows. He begins with quoting Laudato Si:  " Praised be to you, my Lord Jesus Christ! " "The urgent challenge of protecting our common home includes the concern to unite the entire human family in the search for sustainable and integral development, as we know that things can change. The Creator does not abandon us, never retreats in his project of love, nor does he regret having created ...

Continue reading
1 Comment

Laudato Si - Marists in Africa

Luigi sm - Feeding the Families

THE "LAUDATO SI' PROJECT OF THE MARIST FATHERS OF THE DISTRICT OF AFRICA  Fr Luigi Savoldelli sm, writes: I would like to begin my article by focusing on the experience that I have been living with African confreres and the people of Cameroon for some years now; our experience is grounded in the encyclical "Laudato Si'" by Pope Francis. The Agricultural project that we began as Marist Fathers of Cameroon, working with a group of poor, local, people has its origins in meditating on this encyclical, and finding a way to develop and express its meaning. The Nkoloman II community field project, which began in 2014, is in the heart of the forest on the outskirts of Yaoundé. The area of ...

Continue reading
2 Comments

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 ...

Continue reading
9 Comments