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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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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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...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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Marist Family - L Si - 7 Yr Action Platform

Invitation to join the 7 Year Journey
Marist Family members, from all branches of the Society, from all around the world, attended a Laudato Si Webinar on 11 February.  The Rev. Dr. Joshtrom Kureethadam is Coordinator of the Sector of "Ecology and Creation" at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is also Chair of Philosophy of Science and Director of the Institute of Social and Political Sciences at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. His most recent books include Creation in Crisis: Science, Ethics and Theology (Orbis Books, 2014), The Philosophical Roots of the Ecological Crisis (Cambridge Scholars, 2017), The Ten Green Commandments of Laudato Si' (Liturgical Press, 2019).  ...
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Cycling for Children

Br Charlie - Cycling for Children
Ride on, Br Charlie!     [This article is from Ron Nissen sm, long-time cycling companion of Charlie] Charlie Randle and cycling go back a long way. Brisbane-born Charlie's earliest memories include racing down the hills of Bulimba on a two-wheeled tricycle. Yes, the Randles could not afford a bicycle so Charlie and his brother, Tom, would take off one of the trike's wheels in order to race their neighboring children with real bikes.  In teenage years Charlie and Tom commenced competitive cycling, culminating in winning Queensland's State Tandem championship in 1963 and placings in Australia's national titles. Charlie was 23 years of age and already a budding and talented...
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Recycling - Mexican Border

Recycling-on the Mexican Border
Fr Tony O'Connor sm writes to us from Brownsville, USA, on the Mexican Border:  RECYCLING ON THE UNDERSIDE AND OVER THE GREAT DIVIDE:     Introduction: It is difficult to write in this time of political transition. Biden's Agenda priority on migration reform will need time. Hopefully the culture will change slightly and gradually, and compassion and some executive orders lead to more moderation. The "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" (D.A.C.A) order will increase help to younger ones brought here to the US when they were kids. COVID properly tackled should gradually allow the border to open fully and maybe asylum seekers will be permitted to cross the bridges o...
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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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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 ...
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Francis and the Catholic Dormitory of Ee Tu Hta

​This is a story of a kind of 'sustainable development' by a refugee youngster. Former Mission Centre director, Fr Ron Nissen SM, remembers...   Francis Hsa Ku was a teenager when we first met in 2003. It was at MMC* Hostel, Maera Moo refugee camp, Thailand, deep in the jungles on the border of Myanmar.(*Marist Mission Centre Australia). He was one of the tens of thousands of refugees from Myanmar (then Burma) fleeing the brutality of the military regime. MMC had begun funding the Hostel in 1998. I first visited (on the back of an elephant!) in the rainy season of 1999. Since then the Hostel has continued to receive MMC support and is still known as 'MMC Hostel' despite attemp...
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The Bugey in Brazil

Kiwi Marist, Fr Patrick ('Paddy') O'Neil SM, writes about the Marist mission in Bahia, Brazil, inspired by the pioneer Marists' first missions in the remote and rugged Bugey mountains of France. ... The Mission of the Marist Fathers in Bahia, Brazil began in 1987 after much research in order to find a Diocese that was in a poor area of the country where we could offer support not only in Parish Ministry but also to the Diocese as a whole. The idea was to re-model our Marist origins in Bugey among the rural poor. Eventually the Diocese of Caetité in the southwestern area of Bahia State was chosen. At the time the Diocese, which is the same size as Holland, had 35 parishes but only twelve prie...
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