Sunday, July 22, 2018

Society of Mary - NEWS


Rome. July 21, 2018. The first order of business this morning was to determine the order of election for the three Assistants who, with the Superior General, will compose the General Council. The oldest member of the chapter, Fr. José María Arnaiz (attending his nineth General Chapter!), was chosen to select by lot the order of election. The first Assistant to be elected was the Assistant for Religious Life. The Assistant for Temporalities was chosen as the second to be elected, followed by the election of the Assistant for Education. After this order was determined, the capitulants continued with the election of the three General Assistants. Listed below are the results.

Assistant General for Religious Life: Fr. Pablo Rambaud, Province of Spain, was born on May 1, 1965 in Madrid, Spain. He made his novitiate at Zaragoza. On July 30, 1988 he professed his first vows in the Society of Mary at El Escorial, and perpetual vows in September 12, 1994. Later, he studied theology at the Gregorianum in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood on June 27, 1998 in Madrid. Fr. Pablo was a teacher at Colegio Nuestra Señora del Prado in Ciudad Real prior to his seminary studies, and then at several other Marianist schools following his ordination.

From 2004-2013 he served as the director of the Marianist Foundation in the Philippines, as well as Novices Director there. He returned to Madrid in 2013 and has served as chaplain of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, and director of the community. Fr. Pablo speaks fluent Spanish, Italian, English and has some command of French. Fr. Pablo has been elected to his first term as Assistant General for Religious Life.

Assistant General for Education: Bro. Maximin Magnan, Region of Togo, was born on May 25, 1961 in Lomé-Tokorin, Togo. Having completed novitiate studies in 1986, he professed first vows at Abidjan that same year. On September 21, 1991, Bro. Max professed perpetual vows. He has studied in Africa, Europe and the United States and has degrees in Catechetics, Mathematics and Physics. He speaks several languages fluently. In the SM, Bro. Max has served many years as a leader both on the Unit level and in education. He has been a provincial counselor, sector coordinator and regional superior (he was in his second term at the time of his election).

Throughout most of those years, he also served as director Collège Chaminade in Kara, Togo. He is well respected in Africa and beyond for his leadership skills and commitment to education. He is the first African to serve of the General Council of the Society of Mary. He is fluent in French, English, Italian, Spanish, German and Kabye. He was elected to his first term as Assistant General for Education at the General Chapter of 2012.

Assistant General for Temporalities: Bro. Michael McAward, Province of Meribah, was born on November 5, 1958 in New York, USA. He made his novitiate at Chaminade, Mineola, New York and following his first profession on May 30, 1978, he pursued higher studies leading to degrees in Theology, Mathematics and Spanish. He professed perpetual vows on May 31, 1981. Bro. Michael spent nearly 30 years at Chaminade High School in Mineola, serving as teacher, Counselor, Dean of Students and Principal.

He served two terms as community director and was a member of the Provincial Council. In 2005, he came to Rome to serve as Director of Communications for the General Administration and assisted in the preparation of the General Chapter of 2006. That year, with the election of Fr. Manuel Cortés as Superior General, he was appointed Secretary General, and served in this capacity until his election as Assistant General for Temporalities in 2013. Bro. Michael is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and is able to understand French. Today, he begins his second term.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Society of Mary - NEWS

The General Chapter of the Society of Mary (Marianists) currently in session at the Marianist Generalate in Rome, the delegates elected Fr. André Fétis, S.M. to become our 15th Superior General. He succeeds Fr. Manuel Cortes, S.M. who just completed his second term as Superior General.

Fr. André Fétis, member of the District of Ivory Coast.

Following the celebration of the Eucharist and invocation of the Holy Spirit for the election before them, the delegates from all Marianist Units throughout the world met in General Assembly for voting. At the Eucharist, presider and homilist, Fr. Hans Eidenberger, S.M., called on the delegates to listen to the Spirit and to reflect upon the current needs of the congregation and who might best be called to leadership at this time. Later, Fr. André was elected on the first ballot.

A member of the District of Ivory Coast, Fr. André was born on April 16, 1961 in Périgueux, France, the same city where our Founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was born 200 years before! Fr. André made his novitiate at Art-sur-Meurthe, France. On August 31, 1985 he professed his final vows in the Society of Mary at Bordeaux. Later, he studied theology at the Gregorianum in Rome. Fr. André was ordained on June 25, 1996 at Antony.

Prior to his election in 2006 as the Assistant General for Religious Life, he served as rector of the Marian Shrine in Abidjan. Before going to Abidjan, Fr. André majored in music, studying both in Paris and Bordeaux. He was also the master of novices. He has the ability to communicate in several languages, including English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. Fr. André shared that, after 12 years as Assistant General for Religious Life, he thought his time in Rome was coming to a conclusion.

Yet, the Holy Spirit had other plans for him and, through the fraternal voice of his Brothers, the Spirit has called Fr. André to additional service of leadership in the SM and the Church. As always, Fr. André has responded with humble generosity.

The General Chapter continues, with the election of the General Assistants. The Chapter is expected to continue until July 29th. During this time, directions and priorities for both the new General Council, as well as the Society as a whole, will be discussed and determined.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Lourdes - Mission of Mercy

Our Missionaries of Mercy have had the chance to experience almost every area of the hospitalité and the sanctuary in some way by now. The Hospitalité has been particularly helpful on this trip because of the great deal of native-English speakers volunteering during our time here. We have learned a lot from them.

The weather has changed some of the plans in recent days but there is always still work to do for our students. We have been scheduled at the train station for a number of services already as there aren’t many volunteers this week and our students have done a very good job in their service at the station.

We are looking forward to getting the most out of the days we have left! Students will continue their formation classes tomorrow and be back again at the station in the evening.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lourdes - Evening service

Part of of the hospitalier service is demanding. Last evening we were asked to greet and transport the large train filled with Italian pilgrims. They had travelled over 40 hours to arrive at Lourdes at 9:30p.m.

Along with many other volunteers, our Marianist pilgrims greeted the pilgrims with humility. Many were tired and hungry. A good number were maladies who needed greater attention and assistance moving to their transport.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Lourdes - Service Preparations

Our first evening in Lourdes led us to the rosary candlelight processions with an international flavor. Our students participated from the top of the Basilica the first night in Lourdes.

At the conclusion of the evening we stayed for a magnificent firework show set off from the Lourdes Fort. While Macy's does a great job back in New York, the French version on Bastille Day gave some serious competition.

Sunday, July 15th we participated in English Mass in the St. John Paul II Center and acquired our service papers in the Hospitalite - Notre Dame de Lourdes. WE shall start our service tomorrow in various sites.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

35th General Chapter - Society of Mary

As our 35th General Chapter continues in Rome, our capitulants gather in our "chapter room" above. Here Province of Meribah Michael McAward addresses the General Chapter during one of the sessions.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Marianist Monday

Related image

July, 2018

My dear graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,

I must admit that my perspective for this letter has changed about four or five times since I began mulling it over in my head

My thoughts are occasioned by the recent suicides of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Spade rose to the top of her profession as a fashion designer, and, as I learned from my mother and my sisters, any stylish woman would be happy to number a Kate Spade handbag among the accessories in her wardrobe.

Bourdain was the executive chef for many years at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. He authored a number of books about his experiences in the food industry, including Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. As many of you know, Bourdain went on to host the popular CNN series Parts Unknown, a television travelogue featuring unique destinations all over the globe and, of course, their exotic foods. The show aired (and still does, posthumously) on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. After a long afternoon of marking papers or preparing class, it was – and still is – one of my guilty pleasures to travel with Tony to places like Sicily and South Korea, Uruguay and Appalachia, Reykjavik and Riyadh.

What are we to make of these suicides, both of which occurred, apparently, by hanging?

I thought I had the answer, and I thought the answer was God. I was going to opine that, ultimately, all the success in the world will not shield us from darkness and despair if we do not have God in our world. That seemed obvious enough to me.

But then a colleague, quite coincidentally, forwarded an article to me: “Every Day, a Survivor,” by Daysi Calavia-Robertson, appearing in the June 15, 2018 edition of Newsday. In it, the reporter bravely reveals,

I have a job I’ve dreamed of since I was a little girl, and a career I’m deeply
passionate about. I’m married to a handsome godsend of a man whose love
and support are the envy of many of my single friends. I have two, beautiful,
healthy children.

In many ways, I believe I’m one of the happiest, luckiest people I know.
And yet, it’s too easy for me to imagine the unbearable pain that drove
both Spade and Bourdain to their fates.

Ms. Calavia-Roberston goes on to describe the suicidal thoughts that she has entertained, from “slipping” into “a tub full of water and never coming up for air” to fantasizing “what it would be like to fall asleep and never wake up.”

When my anxiety is at its peak, depression swallows me like a puddle of quicksand. It strips me of myself. I look into the mirror and find nothing but loathing because I don’t feel like myself. And then this shocker: “As much as I believe in God, I know it can’t be faithed away.”

Needless to say, a statement like that gives me great pause. It leaves me speechless, at the very moment when I want to give an answer, when I want to say, “Do this, believe this, and you will find a way out of your darkness.”

Calavia-Robertson then poses the question I think we are all asking these days: “So, how do we fix this?”

Her answer consists of a combination of family and friends, professional help, medication, and candor about her condition:

Every day that I take my medication, every day that I reach out to
someone to talk about how I’m feeling, every day that other people’s
kindness and love remind me that I am not alone, and every time I
recognize that my mental illness does not define me, I win and
my demons lose.

Even as suicide, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse climb to record levels in our country, there is no room for simplistic solutions or a facile faith in our attempt to be of help.

Still, I would like to believe that God can and does play a significant role in helping us turn away from darkness and into the light. Newspapers, television news shows, and social media are all publicizing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), and rightly so.

I’d like to suggest another “lifeline” to those struggling with the forces of darkness: John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Reach out. Get help. From all the many people out there who are waiting to help. Including God.

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Stephen