Contemplative Marist Living

How can this come about?
This months regular post on Contemplative Marist Living comes to us from Ted Keating sm, USA:    "I was challenged to consider a few words on the gifts of a Marist contemplative life while approaching the "biblical four-score" shortly. I am aware of the frequent line of the mystics in all religions: "Those who know do not speak, and those who speak do not know". The language of God is silence and It is always poorly translated. But I am foolish enough to try. I am convinced with experience that Eric Erickson who did his lifelong work on the tasks of each of the stages of life has it right: he terms it "integration or despair" for this period.   I have some close friends t...
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Myanmar and Marists

Sister Ann Nu Thawng - pleads for an end to violence
Fr Peter Nawt Lawt, a Diocesan Priest from Myanmar, left our General House Community 2 weeks ago to return to his home Diocese in Myitkyina. Amidst the political turmoil caused by the military coup he felt he needed to be with his People in this time of their need. He had been staying with us, completing his Licentiate in Canon Law, due to a connection with Fr John Larsen, who had spent some years in that part of Myanmar where Fr Peter comes from.  Fr John Larsen, our SG, writes: Marist connections with the diocese of Myitkyina (pronounced myit-shi-na, meaning "near the big river"), in the north of Myanmar, go back to the 1990's. At that time the Bishop sent young people from Myitkyina ...
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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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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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MARIST EDUCATION - A SECOND CREATION

Colin - Education - A Second Creation
"We contribute with God to forming a man, in a real way. When a man leaves the hands of his nurse, he is only sketched in rough. We must make him into a man, form his heart, his character, virtue, etc. That is what education does. Nothing is more lofty. You give him as it were A SECOND CREATION." (Fr Jean Claude Colin, November 1838 at the College in Belley, A Founder Speaks, Doc. 13, nn. 10 – 11, pp. 67 – 68). As I write this blog I am mourning the death of a 23 year old former pupil of 'Apifo'ou College, a Catholic secondary school founded by the Marist fathers, and they are still running the school at present, 155 years ago in the Diocese of Tonga. This student (RIP) grew up in a Marist p...
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Black Lives Matter: Australia-Pacific

Aboriginals in Chains - 19th C
Black Lives Matter has shone a light on Australia's systemic mistreatment of Aboriginal people.     Part 1 - Aboriginal Deaths in Custody The Guardian UK: (8th June, 2020) David Lammy, the shadow justice secretary, said it was "real ignorance" to suggest that the protesters were angry only about police brutality in the US rather than discrimination in the UK as well, while Dawn Butler, a Labour former minister, said suggestions that the protests largely related to America were a sign that the government was "again not listening and shows no commitment to resolving the issues of racism in our own country". The story is similar here in Australia - there is an ignorance and dare ...
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A hunger pandemic

Alan Kurdi
Fr Jim Carty sm, Australia, writes:  "In the summer of 2015, three-year-old Alan Kurdi was found dead on a Turkish beach. His Syrian family had fled their war-torn homeland. The image of that drowned child in the arms of a soldier disturbed us all. "In the fall of 2018, Amal Hussain died of a deadly disease: hunger. Her photograph appeared in The New York Times: undernourished, she lay waiting for death, without even the strength to cry. Amal was in a health centre where the nurses gave her milk every two hours. It was useless. She could not keep it down and also had severe diarrhea. In her war-torn country, Yemen, a hostile coalition had set up a blockade making it extremely diffi...
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Vatican Commission for Covid-19

On 20 March 2020, Pope Francis asked the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (DPIHD) to create a Commission, in collaboration with other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, to express the Church's solicitude and care for the whole human family facing the COVID-19 pandemic, including analysis, reflection on the new socio-economic-cultural future, and the proposal of relevant approaches. Accordingly, DPIHD has established a Vatican COVID-19 Commission to take up the Pope's concern through the activities of five Working Groups. The activities of these five working groups, which were presented to the Holy Father on 27 March 2020, will be coordinated by a Directorate reporting directly...
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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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Saving Economy or Saving People?

'You are concerned about saving your economy in Australia … I am concerned about saving my people in Tuvalu,'" - Mr Sopoaga [Prime Minister of Tuvalu, South Pacific].​Ross Flint, Anglican Priest and Marist Associate, writes from Launceston, Tasmania: ​ Pacific Islands Forum: How Enele Sopoaga and Scott Morrison lost when Australia scuttled Tuvalu's hopes  at the Pacific Island Forum, Tuvalu. 13-16 August 2019 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-18/pacific-islands-forum-2019-climate-change-focus/11417422 The Prime Minister of Tuvalu went fishing on Thursday morning. Up before dawn, he'd arranged for a dozen Tuvaluan men to join him in a demonstration of traditional fishing methods for th...
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Street boys - new life - Dakar

Marits students, Toulon, with street boys
Fr Christian Abongbong writes from Africa:  Giving meaning and orientation of life to street boys in Dakar - Senegal In the year 2005, the Marist family (Fathers, SM Sisters, SMSM and Lay Marists) in Senegal started an association for the rehabilitation of street boys in Dakar city and also for home economics for girls in the poor neighbourhood. Keur Nazareth, as it is known now as "Nazareth Centre", takes care of street boys in Dakar. Since obtaining legal status from the Senegalese government, the team at the Centre has been working tirelessly for the rehabilitation, family and social reintegration of street boys. It is worth noting that this phenomenon is a big social problem in Sene...
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Reaching for excellence

Cohort 2021 S ready for a fun and exciting day of learning at Reach for Excellence!
Karen Dessables is Executive Director of Reach for Excellence at Marist School Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She writes from there to share about a fine initiative for students with limited opportunities and resources … "Reach for Excellence" has begun its 18th year in Atlanta! As a program of the Society of Mary, it prepares talented middle school students, who possess limited opportunities and resources, to succeed in college preparatory programs. "Limited opportunities and resources" means that the student's family income is "low income". Usually that will also mean that where the family lives, the public school for that area is a Title I school where a certain percentage, de...
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Human trafficking: a crime against humanity

Sr Noelene Simmons SM: awareness-raising in Australia's national capital.
Australian Marist Sister, Noelene Simmons, locates human trafficking close to home. She writes... Did you know that millions of women, men, boys and girls are trafficked each year into situations such as domestic servitude, forced labour, sexual exploitation, organ harvesting, force marriage and child slavery? Many people believe that slavery was abolished in the nineteenth century but unfortunately that is not the case. Slavery today does not involve physical but psychological chains as people are convinced they, or their families, will be harmed if they escape. Pope Francis has referred to human trafficking as "a crime against humanity". In 2015 he proclaimed the feast of St Jose...
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