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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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...
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Dismantling the Communal Sin of Racism

From Communal Sin to Communal Grace
Our Lady of the Assumption Marist Parish, Atlanta, Georgia have begun a new program: Dismantling the Sin of Communal Racism:  They recently published this article: Peace and love to all from Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church (OLA) in Brookhaven, GA. We send our prayers for hope and healing to all, as we join in combatting the urgent crisis of our time. We are beginning a journey to dismantle the communal sin of racism in our church, our school, our parish, and our community, and we appreciate the opportunity to share our work and to seek the prayers and guidance of all. Our Identity We are a parish and congregation born in 1951 in the north Atlanta suburbs, amidst Jim Crow...
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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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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...
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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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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...
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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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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...
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Share the Journey - Marists, Migrants & Refugees

Atlanta-Marist Students Share the Journey
Marist Campus Minister Bernadette Naro writes from Atlanta, Georgia, USA: " In May this Year we again joined Share the Journey Pilgrimage during which we walked in solidarity with immigrants and refugees. I am happy to report that we had over 135 participants from across the Atlanta community. Four other area schools joined us as well, as did Catholic Charities Refugee Services office, and two agencies that serve immigrants in detention, Casa Alterna and El Refugio. Moira Ujda, a newly graduated Marist alumna, was a participant and has this to say:  "Community has always been important to Share the Journey. Especially after the isolation of this past year, it was powerful...
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Contemplation - Renewing Society

Reflection-Bridge-Sister's Creek-Tasmania
Ross Flint, Ordained Anglican and Marist Associate, writes from Tasmania: Lately the news has become a bit overwhelming, but fortunately Ps 62 drew me from the despair that was hanging over me: In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety; he alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold so that I stand unshaken. … Rest in God alone, my soul! He is the source of my hope. He alone is my rock, my safety, my stronghold, so that I stand unwavering. In God is my safety and my glory, the rock of my strength. In God is my refuge; trust in him, you people, at all times. Pour out your hearts to him, God is a refuge for us. Thanks for the Contemplation theme that you have been fe...
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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...
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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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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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