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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Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Giriteka - Regain your dignity

Sr Christiana Nshimiyimana smsm - Rawandan Marist Missionary Sister - gives us this news from Ngozi, Burundi:   GIRITEKA is a project set up to respond to the phenomenon of street children in the city of Ngozi which, in recent years, has experienced accelerated expansion with its corollary of new problems. One of the consequences of this reality is the sad situation of street children given their ever-increasing number. The Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (Marists), called by the Bishop of Ngozi, sought ways to "recover" street children with a view to social reintegration. The reception Centre was set up in 2003. Since the beginning, we have been in contact with...

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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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Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry

Reintegration Camp-Marist-Dakar-Senegal

Fr Roger Kasiama sm, Superior of our Marist Community in Dakar, Senegal, wrote this Report at the end of 2021:  Nazareth - Family Reintegration Ministry -  represents the visible face of a project that aims to intervene with children and young people in family breakdown still living on the street, as well as with parents and guardians in order to achieve a healing reintegration into the family.  After a brief break during the winter months, the center's activities resumed at the beginning of October. The purpose of this report is to provide a brief illustrated summary of the achievements of the Nazareth Centre in 2021 THE IMPACT OF FIELD VISITS&nb...

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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...

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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...

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New Year - signs of Hope

Mary - Mother of Hope

1.  Unpatented Shot Dubbed 'The World's Covid-19 Vaccine' Wins Emergency Approval in India "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic," said Dr. Peter Hotez, a U.S.-based vaccine scientist. Jake Johnson     - Common Dreams   December 28, 2021 An unpatented Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, and the pharmaceutical firm Biological E. Limited received emergency-use authorization from Indian regulators on Tuesday—news that the jab's creators hailed as a potential turning point in the push to broaden global vaccine access. "Our Texas Children's Center does ...

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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 ...

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Christmas - an Outback-Bugey

By Sister Mary Farrelly SM - writes of her mission in outback Queensland I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of drought and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me! A stark white ring-barked forest, All tragic to the moon, The sapphire-misted mountains, The hot gold hush of noon. Green tangle of the brushes, Where lithe lianas coil, And orchids deck the tree-tops                                    And ferns the wa...

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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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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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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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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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