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 ...

Continue reading
3 Comments

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...

Continue reading
1 Comment

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

Paulin Batairwa Kubuya - PCIRD

Fr Paulin Batiwira Kubuya-Vatican Dicastery for Inter-religious Dialogue

The Marist Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue met, in December 2021, with Fr Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, a Congolese Xaverian Missionary. Paulin was professor at the Department for Religious Studies at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei and Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commissions for Interreligious and Ecumenical Dialogue of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Taiwan, before being nominated, in November 2019 as undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. [PCID]. This Pontifical Council was renamed by Pope Francis, on March 19th, as the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue. The purpose of the meeting was to see what insights we may gain from Fr Paulin ...

Continue reading
3 Comments

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...

Continue reading
1 Comment

Ever old, ever New

Lent-Prayer-JC Colin Speaks

Classic texts are ever old, and ever new. They speak to the truth of life. These words from our Founder, whose cause for canonization has taken another small step this last week, speak to us on our Lenten Journey, in the complexities of the world we live in. 182:11 'And what other subjects? You should meditate above all upon the passion of Jesus Christ. You will find such meditations less taxing, and the subject matter more tangible, striking, and compelling. 182:12 'Meditate also on the Imitation of the blessed Virgin. We bear her name, and it should not be to no purpose. 182:15 'Confessors, know where your duty lies. Take a young confrere, for instance, who neglects his meditation. If by t...

Continue reading
0 Comments

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...

Continue reading
1 Comment

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...

Continue reading
3 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 Contemplative Living

JC Colin - Statue - General House

We continue, for the third month, with words from 'A Founder Speaks' : Jean-Claude Colin sm:   141:4 'Let those who are burning to go out there [Oceania] remember it well. They must not count on themselves, but solely on grace, on prayer, on the spirit of prayer. 141:5Messieurs, without that spirit of prayer we shall not achieve anything anywhere, either on the foreign missions, on the home missions, or in schools. The spirit of prayer softens hard hearts, brings graces, brings enlightenment. Often it will suggest a word, a single word, which goes right to the heart. ... Certainly, we cannot always be on our knees with our hands joined; that indeed is not our vocation. Bu...

Continue reading
1 Comment

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 ...

Continue reading
5 Comments

Marist Contemplative Living

Advent - Hope and Promise

This month's blog builds on last month's, where we ponder our Founder's own words on Contemplative Living.  All quotes are from "A Founder Speaks": 39:19 'Keep well in mind that you must direct your house by prayer. That is very important. Everything by prayer. 47:2 'When you want to obtain something, you do the same [procession] in Heaven, making a round and passing all the saints in review. I make a halt before the holy patriarchs, the holy apostles, the prophets, the martyrs, the bishops, the holy women, the virgins, the confessors, and the holy innocents – yes, especially the holy innocents. I am very fond of turning to them; I pray to them with special affection. They are...

Continue reading
1 Comment

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...

Continue reading
2 Comments

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...

Continue reading
4 Comments

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...

Continue reading
5 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

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...

Continue reading
10 Comments

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...

Continue reading
2 Comments

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...

Continue reading
4 Comments