Tuesday, July 17, 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.

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

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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

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mission Trip to Lourdes 1

One of Marianist high schools, Kellenberg Memorial, has sent the a second group of missionaries for summer service in St. Bernadette's town of Lourdes.

The missionaries have arrived in Bordeaux! Tomorrow they will tour the city and attend Mass with the Marianist Community of Bordeaux while they visit the holy sites associated with Blessed William Joseph Chaminade before heading to Lourdes.

May Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception protect these missionaries of mercy during their time of service.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

35th General Chapter - Society of Mary 3

Three members of our Province of Meribah are assisting at the 35th General Chapter of the Society of Mary. Here Brothers Timothy, Michael and Peter pause after their preparations for this year's Chapter has been made.

Friday, July 13, 2018

35th General Chapter - Society of Mary

The capitulants concluded their official tasks of the day by choosing, according to the Manual of Procedures, Bro. Douglas A. Roper (PE) as president of the Coordinating Committee of the Chapter and Bro. Timothy Driscoll (ME) as secretary. Fr. Ignace Pagnan (TO) was chosen as the third member of the Coordinating Committee, which will guide and organize the good progress of the Chapter.
In the afternoon the capitulants came together to celebrate the Eucharist. United in the spirit of Mary, which Blessed Chaminade called the “spirit of the Institute”, the Brothers meditated on the message of the prophet Hosea: “I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart.” (Hos 2:16ff.) 

 Let us pray that the unity of the capitulants would be strengthened so that the spirit of the Society throughout the world would also grow stronger.
Brother Timothy 
Bro. Michael and Fr. Manuel
Bro. Peter

Thursday, July 12, 2018

35th General Chapter - Society of Mary

After many months of preparation and prayer, the 35th General Chapter of the Society of Mary opened with its first session at 11:00 am with 32 capitulants from five continents. The Superior General, Fr. Manuel Cortés, exhorted the delegates to be conscious of this historic and grace-filled moment that the Society of Mary is living now. With prayer, asking the intercession of our Founder and the strength of the Holy Spirit, the delegates solemnly began the Chapter.

Immediately following, the capitulants voted for the official opening of the Chapter, and approved the Manual of Procedures and the Calendar proposed by the Preparatory Commission (PREPCO).

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

St. Benedict - pray for us!

Pius XII wrote about our saint for today:

Like a star in the darkness of night, Benedict of Nursia brilliantly shines, a glory not only to Italy but of the whole Church.

Saint Benedict: lived from 480-547A.D.

We do know he is the twin brother of St. Scholastica, Abbess of Plumbariola, and Foundress of the "sister" Order of Benedictines.

St. Benedict is the Patron of:

* Monks
* against fever
* against gall stones
* against inflammatory diseases
* against kidney disease
* against nettle rash
* against poison
* against temptations
* against witchcraft
* agricultural workers
* bee keepers
* cavers
* civil engineers
* coppersmiths
* dying people
* Europe
* farm workers
* farmers
* Italian architects
He is the Founder of the Benedictine Order, known as the father of Western Monasticism as most monks today still follow his rule. In his time he founded twelve small monastaries, the most famous of which is Monte Cassino, the "cradle of the Benedictine Order, which housed at one time or another such great saints as:

•Saint Apollinaris
•Saint Bernard Valeara
•Saint Bonitus of Monte Cassino
•Saint Clinius of Pontecorvo
•Saint Constantine of Monte Cassino
•Saint Deusdedit of Montecassino
•Saint Maurus
•Saint Petronax of Monte Cassino
•Saint Placid

There are a bazillion other saints hailing from the Benedictine Order!

St. Benedict's iconography often shows him, with an abbot's staff and a raven, since it was a raven that brought him his daily bread while he lived as a hermit in the desert. Jealous monks one (at least) tried to poison St. Benedict's wine, but at the sign of the cross over the goblet, it shattered, saving the abbot from the poison. This is the meaning of the snake within the goblet. Known for his gift of prophesy, St. Benedict is also shown with a closed book, indicating the mystery of his knowlege.

Things to do for the feast:

* Order your own copy of the original Rule of St. Benedict.
* Since St. Benedict is the patron of beekeepers, you could read up today on bees and bee keeping this day.

* Learn about the medal of St. Benedict.

* But, the best thing to do on the Feast of St. Benedict is follow his motto: Ora et Labora ~
Work and Pray.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

St. Benedict - Listen

“Listen carefully, my child,
to your master’s precepts,
and incline the ear of your heart (Prov. 4:20).

Receive willingly and carry out effectively
your loving father’s advice,
that by the labor of obedience
you may return to Him
from whom you had departed by the sloth of disobedience.

To you, therefore, my words are now addressed,
whoever you may be,
who are renouncing your own will
to do battle under the Lord Christ, the true King,
and are taking up the strong, bright weapons of obedience.

And first of all,
whatever good work you begin to do,
beg of Him with most earnest prayer to perfect it,
that He who has now deigned to count us among His children
may not at any time be grieved by our evil deeds.
For we must always so serve Him
with the good things He has given us,
that He will never as an angry Father disinherit His children,
nor ever as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil actions,
deliver us to everlasting punishment
as wicked servants who would not follow Him to glory.”
–the beginning of the Rule of St. Benedict, whose feast we celebrate tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Spread the Good News

The New Evangelization calls each of us to spread the Good News in ways that it has never been done before. We have to understand that we have a part as well - we are to take the message to all people.

We need to be willing to go out of our way to bring the message. We need to be willing to give ample opportunities to respond to the message. And we need to understand and communicate that there are consequences for rejecting the message, because the message of repentance and faith in Christ is still relevant today.

So here’s the question: who do you know right now, in your immediate sphere of influence that you can be praying for?

Someone who you can either tell about Jesus yourself, or give a tastefully done tract to, or invite to Church, or whatever.

Someone who needs to hear the message maybe one more time.

So who are you thinking of? Commit to praying for them. This summer is a great time to be inviting people to Church, especially this Sunday.

So if nothing else, be praying that God will help you invite someone and that they will accept the invitation. I promise they’ll hear the Good News.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

St. Benedict - relevant for today

So how does St. Benedict speak to us today?

How does he address the issues that we face?

How, particularly, does he speak to grade school or high school communities on Long Island, New York.

Can it be that this tiny Rule, written some 1500 years ago for men in rural Italy, is still vibrant, life-giving and relevant?

I believe it is. I believe that in Benedict we find a man with vision and practical wisdom whom we can hear because he speaks out of his personal experiences. It is precisely because he has such a grasp of the human psyche and how it works that he can touch us with practical wisdom and insight.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

St. Benedict - the Rule

The Benedictine tradition and the Rule of Benedict that shapes it, has had this role for 1500 years: prayer and work to light a flame so that the world does not run aground and destroy itself.

The great monastic Benedict of Nursia (he had a twin sister Scholastica, also sainted. Benedict turned his back on what society had to offer. Like the Desert Fathers and Mothers from whom he learned much, he went into the mountains to grow as a Christian in solitude, at last spending three years in a cave outside the town of Subiaco. Students came to him seeking wisdom, and a nearby monastery asked if he would serve as abbot.

This first experiment did not turn out well; the brothers rejected Benedict. But in the years following, he synthesized half a dozen existing monastic codes as he established a dozen monasteries, learning, listening, and praying about how people from very different walks of life might live, work, and pray together as Christian monastics.

The result was one of the formative documents of Western Civilization, the Benedictine Rule. Its virtues are many: Benedict's Rule is simpler and less restrictive than eak in ways that are appropriate if not extravagant. In doing so, he was enabling a healthy and lifelong Christian journey in community.

A medieval saying records that "A lamb can bathe in the Rule without drowning, while an elephant can swim in it." It is at once, accessible and deep. The Rule welcomes Christians of all stations, experiences, and degrees of knowledge to band together, learn together, love each other, and grow together toward God. A central difference between this monastic theology and that of the Desert is that the Benedictine Way sees us progressing toward God primarily in community, rather than primarily through our own efforts. The Rule is, in a real sense, about our salvation together.rlier monastic codes, making common sense decisions about how people should dress, sleep, eat, and drink

Friday, July 6, 2018

St. Benedict - bless your food

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Saint Benedict was born in a small town in central Italy to noble parents. He had all the blessings that wealthy Roman life could provide in the late fifth century, but, at the turn of that century, he realized how horrendous society was, rejected the dissolute lifestyles he saw all around him and spent three years living as a hermit in a cave by himself.

Eventually, a group of monks begged him to come to their community and become their abbot, the head of a monastic community. He agreed and they regretted it. After a short period under his strict governance, the monks tried to poison him—twice actually. First, they poisoned his cup. When Benedict prayed a blessing over the chalice, it shattered. The monks likewise poisoned his bread. When he blessed the bread, a raven flew into the the room and swooped off with the poisoned bread. Let that be a lesson to you: always bless your food before you eat it!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th !

There is probably no document in the history of the United States of America that has had a more profound influence upon our nation than the Declaration of Independence. Its implicit meaning not only reflected the attitude of those who strove to separate themselves from the tyranny of England, but has also guided the principles of freedom for a nation for over two-hundred years.

There have been many revolutions and many upheavals since then. Yet there is only one America, only one United States. And we, in this greatest of countries, have a legacy to uphold and a purpose to continue, something that goes beyond petty differences in party or thought, something that in the end will, as it must, bring us all together.

We are all Americans.

Happy Birthday America!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

XXXV Marianist General Chapter Prayer



Loving Father, you formed us as men in your likeness
and shared with us your gifts of knowledge and creativity.
Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us that we may be both bold and prudent as we discern the path you invite us to walk.

Make us more devoted sons of your servant, William Joseph Chaminade.
Let us be what he called us to be:
“other Sons of Mary”, conformed to the likeness of her adorable Son.
As Brothers united in prayer and mission, let us be “the man who never dies,” zealous for the salvation of souls, and untiring in our efforts to form communities of faith.

With gratitude born of two centuries of apostolic life and mission,
let us look to the future with hope and courage.
Guide the deliberations and decisions of our General Chapter.
Inspire the capitulants to be alert and attentive as Mary was at Cana.
Open their ears to hear with faith,
and their hearts to respond with obedience to the needs of the Church and our world, so that all of us, together as Brothers, may respond faithfully and fruitfully
to Mary’s invitation: “Do whatever he tells you.”

Monday, July 2, 2018

Jairus' daughter

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Some people come from the house of Jairus to tell him that his daughter is dead. But overhearing what they say, Jesus says to Jairus, "Do not fear, only believe." He's challenging Jairus to trust with the very same conviction that the bleeding woman had just shown. 

Jesus cuts through a commotion of people weeping and wailing loudly, and enters the house. He asks them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping," (v. 39). They laugh at him, like the abusive high school classmates who mock.

But Jesus kicks them out and gathers the child's father and mother, along with his disciples. He takes the girl by the hand and says to her, "Little girl, get up!" And Mark tells us that immediately the girl gets up and begins to walk about. Jesus saves her not only from illness, but from death itself.

And the witnesses? Not surprisingly, they are "overcome with amazement."

Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Sunday Word

James Tissot, 1836-1902 The Bleeding WomanJesus has come to save us from anything that can damage, divide or destroy us. And he does this not only through his unique powers, but through our willingness to trust him.

Notice that Jesus says to the woman, "Your faith has saved you." It is her willingness to trust Jesus that permits the healing power of God to flow into her. Jesus says that her faith is the source of her healing, rather than his clothes or even his touch. She's saved by her willingness to believe that Jesus is the hero sent by God to do a rescue mission on Earth. After commending her for her faith, Jesus says, "Go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

Catholic Experience - 2018

The Catholic Experience enjoyed the week of camp while using Founder's Hollow as sustenance and rest.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Work and play

The Catholic Experience is not just about work and prayer. There is always energy for a friendly volleyball game at The Breuderhof Mount Academy.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Ora et Labora

The Catholic Experience at Kellenberg Memorial engaged in some serious work with the Breuderhof community at the Mount Academy. Here the Catholic Experience join in to the Community project of a wood chip path building.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Summer Camps

Our Marianist high schools have begun the summer months with a variety of camps to continue educating our students. Our students are taking advantage of cooking, writing, volleyball, football, civil war, art, drama, baseball,  and a plethora of other interests. Below the Catholic Experience camp visited St. John's University as part of their camp this week. Campus Ministry assisted in a morning of ice breakers, adoration and prayer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Marianist profession

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Blessed William Joseph Chaminade spoke of rebuilding the church in post-revolutionary France by forming small Christian communities that would be a "joyful spectacle of saints" who would spread the faith by "contagion." When joy and goodness abounds, others notice and "want what they have."

Last Sunday, three young Marianists — (l.-r.) Bro. Patrick Cahill, Bro. Andrew Santoriello, and Bro. Peter Sennert — made their first profession of vows. 

May God who has begun this good work bring it to completion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Marianist retires from teaching

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After 52 years at Chaminade, Bro. Lawrence Syriac, S.M. has retired from teaching. He will remain on the school staff as a guidance counselor, homeroom moderator, moderator of the Social Studies Club, and assistant moderator of the Catholic League.

“I’ve never regretted a single day as a Marianist,” Bro. Lawrence said. “It’s the greatest blessing I’ve ever had.”

Bro. Lawrence began discerning his vocation as a 7th-grader in his hometown of Westfield, Mass. His school gave students the day off to visit a religious fair, and Bro. Lawrence signed up with many of the orders there for more information. The Society of Mary, the Marianists, was one of only two to respond.

“One of the Brothers drove four hours from Long Island through the Berkshires to Westfield – and this is before the age of superhighways – to see me on my lunch period, speak to me and my family for ten minutes, turn around, and drive four hours back home,” Bro. Lawrence recalled. “I was fascinated that the guy would do all of that just to see me.”

In the next few years, Bro. Lawrence enrolled at the Marianist Preparatory School in Beacon, Dutchess County.

“Every Brother was so professional, friendly, spiritual, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. They were very different than anyone I ever met. They made me into the person I became.”

In those days, the Marianists were ordained as priests, or professed their vows as teaching or working Brothers. A Brother in Beacon suggested teaching history. The idea never came to Bro. Lawrence, but he was told to pray about it. “That was the Word of God,” he thought.

Bro. Lawrence began teaching in 1961 at St. James High School near Philadelphia (The late Rev. Paul Landolfi, S.M. was there, too, and later lived his final years Chaminade in Mineola with Bro. Lawrence.) and then at Colegio San José in Puerto Rico. By 1966, he had come to Chaminade, where he remained ever since.

Generations of Chaminade men know Bro. Lawrence as an authority on all things American – a historian whose knowledge particularly of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars is unmatched. His connections to notable people in history, the military, and politics have made him a legend among students and alumni. Many of his contacts are graduates, colleagues of graduates, or members of organizations with which Bro. Lawrence has worked. He currently serves as chairman of the Friends of Sagamore Hill, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and protecting the former home of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and, for 25 years, as the Chaplain of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College.

Whenever he meets someone, Bro. Lawrence said, “The first thing I ask is, ‘Would you like to speak to the Social Studies Club?’”

Military leaders, members of the FBI, even a Saudi prince have taken the invitation. Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin is on a first-name-basis with Bro. Lawrence. She knew of him before they even met; she had family on Long Island. When conversations turned to politics or history, “She told me, ‘the Chaminade boy will know more than anyone in the room.’”

Bro. Lawrence also oversaw Chaminade’s Hiking Club. From there, he pioneered the USA Tour – a longtime summer program bringing students to all corners of the country.

“That helped me teach American History,” he said. “I’ve been to every National Park in America except those in Hawaii. I could bring history to life by physically seeing the Oregon Trail, the Alamo, and other sites of historical importance.”

Bro. Lawrence also spent many years as moderator of the Catholic League, which brings students together to understand, enhance, and protest the religious and civil rights of all people, especially Catholics and the unborn. Each year, Bro. Lawrence traveled with Chaminade men to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Right to Life March.

For Bro. Lawrence, it wasn’t just the places he’s been. It’s was how he could pass his experiences on to students.

“On hiking trips,” he recalled, “I’d tell a student to give me a word – any word – and I’ll start a story. They’d have to continue the story. We could walk 30 miles and tell 50,000 stories.”

It might be a modest estimate.

Through it all, Bro. Lawrence never lost touch with the ever-present figure on every trip he took, every class he taught, or every prayer he said.

“Everything I’ve always done has been connected to Mary,” he said.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Lourdes Mission Trip

One of our Marianist high schools sponsors a Mission Trip to Lourdes, France.There they assist the malades as they come on pilgrimage.  

The first Lourdes Mission Trip began their journey to Lourdes last week. 

Please keep this group in your prayers as they begin their service in Lourdes.

O glorious Mother of God, so powerful under your special title of Our Lady of Lourdes, to you we raise our hearts and hands to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the gracious heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare and for the special favor we so earnestly seek.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette, pray for us.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Marianist religious life

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Religious life has a long history in the example and teaching of Jesus. He himself lived a life of chaste self-dedication to God, in poverty and obedience, and He encouraged His disciples to do the same.

From the earliest days of the Church men and women responded to this call, imitating Christ more closely and following Him with greater liberty, through lives of committed poverty, chastity and obedience.

Saying ‘yes’ to the Father’s call and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, they choose this way of life to devote themselves to Christ with an undivided heart. Like the Apostles, they leave everything to be with Christ, and to put themselves at the service of God and of their brothers and sisters.

The Marianists from the Province of Meribah live together in Community, supporting each other in a shared way of life, in prayer, and in dedication to the apostolate of education.

The Marianist religious life is a gift of God for the individuals who are called, and for the whole Church.

Friday, June 22, 2018

In honor of the Day

Master's Touch

“We approach Christ, and He responds with love.”

St. Matthew offers us the story of the leper whom Jesus healed. The leper who showed great faith was convinced that Jesus could help him if he wanted to. But knowing that wasn’t enough; he had to do something about it as well. Despite his disfigurement and illness, he made his way through the crowd and walked up to Jesus. It took all the courage he had to declare: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus rewarded his confidence: In an instant, his leprosy was gone. But that wasn’t the end of the story.

We know the leper’s approach had basically three elements:

1) The leper came with confidence. He had no doubt that, if Jesus willed, Jesus would make him clean. He had perfect confidence in Jesus’ power.

2) The leper came with humility. He did not demand healing. It were as if he said, “I know I don’t matter; I know the other men will flee from me and will have nothing to do with me; I know that I have no claim on you; but perhaps you will give your power even to one such as I.” It is the humble heart which is conscious of nothing but its need that finds its way to Christ.

3) The leper came with reverence. That leper could never have told anyone what he thought Jesus was; but he knew that in the presence of Jesus he was in the presence of God.

And then came the reaction of Jesus. First and foremost, that reaction was compassion. For Jesus there was only one obligation in life – and that was to help.

For us now, we know the power of the touch of Christ. We are engaged in his mission on a daily level. In a very real and dramatic way we are asked to imitate the power of Christ. Pope Benedict put it this way just a few weeks ago:

"If your mission is to be truly effective -- if the words you proclaim are to touch hearts, engage people's freedom and change their lives -- you must draw them into an encounter with persons and communities who witness to the grace of Christ by their faith and their lives.

”May we continue to be graced with confidence, humility, and reverence, to respond with compassion. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade calls all of us: "It is an infinite honor to be like Him."

Thursday, June 21, 2018

God's Real

It is a rare occasion when we hear a Hollywood speech like the one below.

Actor Chris Pratt was honored at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards yesterday.this week.

He delivered an earthy, frank, funny, gross, yet inspirational speech that encouraged young people to learn how to pray, reassured them that God loves them.

One writer said, "he knows his audience and how to tell them what they might not have expected to hear."

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

"What gift do you have for us?"

As Christians, we can rest assured that we are constantly receiving God's gifts in our lives.

Even during spiritual "dry spells," our potential for "giftedness" is still there. Especially during these desert-moments, we should be bold enough to go looking for our spiritual gifts. When we try on new possible roles that might enable us to find and claim new spiritual gifts for ourselves, we are renewed. God never approaches us empty-handed.

As members of the Body of Christ, we are responsible for the health and maintenance of that Body. The gifts of love and leadership, compassion and counsel are all exercises we perform for the sake of the Body's health.

In the world of fitness experts we hear them preach, "If you don't use it, you lose it." Each of us must flex our spiritual gifts in order to keep the Body of Christ fit and strong.

So, "What gift do you have for us?"

Monday, June 18, 2018

Nothing is impossible for you

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“This is how it is with the reign of God. A farmer scatters seed on the ground, goes to bed, and gets up day after day. Through it all the seeds sprouts and grows without the farmer knowing how it happens.” – Mark 4.26-37

A farmer in Jesus’ time and all of us who grow plants today inherit the leap from ocean to land that early cellular life made. We can ready the field, sow the seed, and sleep awhile. It’s organic. Seeds have it in their DNA how to grow and mature with rain and sun. We live in a dynamic, evolving world in which all that is has the capacity to become more, to self-organize into new wholes. We humans live and thrive in relationship with others–in mutual, reciprocal love for family, friends, neighbors. Who do we count as neighbors, we Christians who embrace the moral challenge to do unto others what we do for ourselves–to act like one human family?

I am feeling shame these days that the law of our land requires splitting up parents and children at the Mexican border. Kids are crying there and all over the country where deportation is happening. Who has a stomach for cruelty to little kids? One can go bed and let the consequences play out while we sleep. Yet who of us like these children’s parents does not want safety, education, and a good life for their children? That’s what I want for my family. That’s what the kin*dom of God is like.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Happy Father's Day!

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God our Father,
in your wisdom and love you made all things.

Bless these men,
that they may be strengthened as Christian fathers.

Let the example of their faith and love shine forth.
Grant that we, their sons and daughters,
may honor them always
with a spirit of profound respect.

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Marianist News!

Congratulations to our Brother Peter who was installed in the ministry of acolyte this morning in Rome. May God bless him as he continues to deepen his commitment to his vocation. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

Emotional Reunion

Over the past 30 years the Marianists of the Province of Meribah have maintained a strong relationship with the Little Sisters of the Poor at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village.

We have shared our students in many service projects, prayer and the yearly Junior-Senior Prom. Take a look at the video below filmed at Queen of Peace this week which gives testimony to the Little Sisters impact on the young and the elderly.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Beatification Adele 4

Happy Beatification Day.

All day yesterday more groups arrived- Japan, Korea, Chile, lots of French and Italians, and finally at 7:30 pm Brother Michael and the General Administration after facing every possible obstacle.

The day was filled with prayer and festivities. The day ended with a very French “Spectacular” at the chateau de Trenqueleon. The show concluded with fireworks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Beatification of Adele 2

The Beatification of Adele is marked with prayers and thanksgiving as the Beatification Day approaches in Agen.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Beatification of Adele 1

Our Marianist pilgrims had a wonderful day in Paris as they travelled to Agen for the Beatification of Adele.. The day was sunny with clear blue skies but not hot and the city looked beautiful. They went to the shrine of the Miraculous Medal for Mass and some quiet time. Following they went to the Sainte Chappele. The stained glass windows glowed in the morning sun and we spent an hour tracing all the stories told in glass. After a stroll around Norte Dame to admire the spires and buttresses, we stopped for lunch along the Seine.

This morning we bid farewell to Paris and travel to Agen.

Imagine Sisters Movement

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Vocation: your deep gladness meets the world's deep hunger

From David Brooks, in the New York Times a little profundity —and a challenge to the world—

A human life is not just a means to produce outcomes, it is an end in itself. When we evaluate our friends, we don’t just measure the consequences of their lives. We measure who they intrinsically are. We don’t merely want to know if they have done good. We want to know if they are good.

That’s why when most people pick a vocation, they don’t only want one that will be externally useful. They want one that they will enjoy, and that will make them a better person. They want to find that place, as the novelist Frederick Buechner put it, “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

If you are smart, hard-working, careful and lucky you might even be able to find a job that is both productive and internally ennobling. Taking a job just to make money, on the other hand, is probably going to be corrosive, even if you use the money for charity rather than sports cars.

We live in a relentlessly commercial culture, so it’s natural that many people would organize their lives in utilitarian and consequentialist terms. But it’s possible to get carried away with this kind of thinking — to have logic but no wisdom, to become a specialist without spirit.

Making yourself is different than producing a product or an external outcome, requiring different logic and different means. I’d think you would be more likely to cultivate a deep soul if you put yourself in the middle of the things that engaged you most seriously. If your profoundest interest is dying children in Africa or Bangladesh, it’s probably best to go to Africa or Bangladesh, not to Wall Street.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Culture of waste

As we have heard before Papa Bergoglio often recycles his content so that his message is impossible to avoid.

Along those lines, Wednesday's Audience had a crowd close to 100,000 people and Francis' catechesis focused on the "culture of waste":

This "culture of waste" tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed - such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however, that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity,
have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto You in the name of sinners; and in Your great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Your mercy, in the name of the same Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You, world without end. Amen.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Prayer for a Frustrated Catholic

Many thanks to Fr. James Martin, S.J. for this Prayer for a Frustrated Catholic below.

Dear God, sometimes I get so frustrated with your church.

I know that I’m not alone. So many people who love your church feel frustrated with the Body of Christ on earth. I know that laypeople feel frustrated. Priests and deacons, and brothers and sisters, can feel frustrated, too. And I’ll bet that even bishops and popes feel frustrated. We grow worried and concerned and bothered and angry and sometimes scandalized because your divine institution, our home, is filled with human beings who are sinful. Just like me.

But I get frustrated most of all when I feel that there are things that need to be changed and I don’t have the power to change them.

So I need your help, God.

Help me to remember that Jesus promised that he would be with us until the end of time, and that your church is always guided by the Holy Spirit, even if it’s hard for me to see. Sometimes change happens suddenly, and the Spirit astonishes us, but often in the church, it happens slowly. In your time, not mine. Help me know that the seeds that I plant with love in the ground of your church will one day bloom. So give me patience.

Help me to understand that there was never a time when there were not arguments or disputes within your church. Arguments go all the way back to Peter and Paul debating one another. And there was never a time when there wasn’t sin among the members of your church. That kind of sin goes back to Peter denying Jesus during his Passion. Why would today’s church be any different than it was for people who knew Jesus on earth? Give me wisdom.

Help me to trust in the Resurrection. The Risen Christ reminds us that there is always the hope of something new. Death is never the last word for us. Neither is despair. And help me remember that when the Risen Christ appeared to his disciples, he bore the wounds of his Crucifixion. Like Christ, the church is always wounded, but always a carrier of grace. Give me hope.

Help me to believe that your Spirit can do anything: raise up saints when we need them most, soften hearts when they seem hardened, open minds when they seem closed, inspire confidence when all seems lost, help us do what had seemed impossible until it was done. This is the same Spirit that converted Paul, inspired Augustine, called Francis of Assisi, emboldened Catherine of Siena, consoled Ignatius of Loyola, comforted Thérèse of Lisieux, enlivened John XXIII, accompanied Teresa of Calcutta, strengthened Dorothy Day and encouraged John Paul II. It is the same Spirit that it with us today, and your Spirit has lost none of its power. Give me faith.

Help me to remember all your saints. Most of them had it a lot worse than I do. They were frustrated with your church at times, struggled with it, and were occasionally persecuted by it. St. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by church authorities. St. Ignatius Loyola was thrown into jail by the Inquisition. St. Mary MacKillop was excommunicated. If they can trust in your church in the midst of those difficulties, so can I. Give me courage.

Help me to be peaceful when people tell me that I don’t belong in the church, that I’m a heretic for trying to make things better, or that I’m not a good Catholic. I know that I was baptized. You called me by name to be in your church, God. As long as I draw breath, help me remember how the holy waters of baptism welcomed me into your holy family of sinners and saints. Let the voice that called me into your church be what I hear when other voices tell me that I’m not welcome in the church. Give me peace.

Most of all, help me to place all of my hope in your Son. My faith is in Jesus Christ. Give me only his love and his grace. That’s enough for me.

Help me God, and help your church. Amen.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What gift do you have for us?

As Christians, we can rest assured that we are constantly receiving God's gifts in our lives.

Even during spiritual "dry spells," our potential for "giftedness" is still there. Especially during these desert-moments, we should be bold enough to go looking for our spiritual gifts. When we try on new possible roles that might enable us to find and claim new spiritual gifts for ourselves, we are renewed. God never approaches us empty-handed.

As members of the Body of Christ, we are responsible for the health and maintenance of that Body. The gifts of love and leadership, compassion and counsel are all exercises we perform for the sake of the Body's health.

In the world of fitness experts we hear them preach, "If you don't use it, you lose it." Each of us must flex our spiritual gifts in order to keep the Body of Christ fit and strong.

So, "What gift do you have for us?"

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

We are what we eat...

On Sunday, the Solemnity of the Body of Blood of Christ, we gathered to celebrate the feast where we attempt to understand and explore the belief that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. There comes also a challenge, to believe not only that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, but to believe also that, indeed, we are to become what we eat and drink: we are to become the true presence of Christ breaking ourselves like bread to nourish our neighbor; pouring ourselves out like wine in outreach to those in need. 

Hundreds of years ago St. Augustine said it oh-so-well when he wrote these words:

Image result for corpus christi feast"What you see (on the altar) is the bread and the chalice;
that is what your own eyes report to you.
But what your faith obliges you to accept
is that the bread is the Body of Christ and the chalice the Blood of Christ…

How is the bread His Body?
And the chalice, or what is in the chalice, how is it His Blood? These elements, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments,
because in them one thing is seen, but another is understood. 

What is seen is the corporeal species,
but what is understood is the spiritual fruit…St. Paul wrote: 'You are the Body of Christ and his members.'(1 Cor. 12:27)

If, therefore, you are the Body of Christ and his members, then your own mystery is presented at the table of the Lord, you receive your mystery. To that which you are, you answer: `Amen...' For you hear: `The Body of Christ!' and you answer: `Amen!' Be, then, a member of Christ's Body, so that your `Amen' may be the truth."

Monday, June 4, 2018

Marianist Monday

Try forgiveness

Did you ever try forgiveness, real forgiveness?

Last week in our Communtiy liturgy our homilest spent some time fleshing out his ideas on forgiveness. It is not an easy thing. But it is essential in all committed relationships. It is a pre-requisite for community living.

As we get older, we can even trim our spiritual vocabulary down to just three words: Forgive, forgive, forgive! That's really what it is all about. It is all about forgiveness.

To die with a forgiving heart is the ultimate. We shouldn't delude ourselves on this. Everything in the world does little for us if our hearts are bitter and incapable of forgiveness.

But it’s not easy to forgive. Most everything inside of us protests. When we have been wronged, when we have suffered an injustice, when someone or something has treated us unfairly, thousands of physical and psychological mechanisms inside of us begin to clam-up, to shut-down, to freeze- over, to self-protect, and to scream-out in protest, anger, and rage.

Forgiveness is not something we can just wish and make happen. The heart, as Pascal once said, has its reasons. It also has its rhythms, its paranoia, its cold bitter spots, and its need to seal itself off from whatever has wounded it.

And finally, all of us have been wounded. No one comes to adulthood with his or her heart fully intact. In ways small or traumatic, we have all been treated unjustly, violated, hurt, ignored, not properly honored, and unfairly cast aside. We all carry wounds and, with those wounds, we all carry some angers, some bitterness, and some areas within which we have not forgiven.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Corpus Christi is Here!

Come and Kneel Before Him Now
You have to see this on this Corpus Christi weekend.
In February, two Franciscan Capuchins held a Eucharistic Adoration Flash Mob in front of a busy mall in Preston, UK. They read out a powerful list of Jesus's atttributes in each book of the Bible and then call passers-by to "Come and Kneel Before Him Now". And slowly, one by one, they do. Then they begin to clap before him.

The comments on the You tube page add this information:
A small team of Catholic evangelists mingled with the crowd to hand out cards and explain what was going on. Here are some of the reactions....

"What is this about? What is happening? What is this about?"
One young girl said: "I've not seen anything like this since Church."
"Are they doing this all day? ... Will they be doing it again? ... Are they doing this any where else?"
Two young women asked: "Why does God allow hurt and pain in the world?" They agreed it was not God's fault but ours. Then they asked: "Why doesn't Jesus come again?" We explained that He is here in the form of bread, but would come again and we invited them to think about Him now.
"Is it religious? What is inside that thing?"
A man said: "What is that guy doing?" An old woman with him replied: "That's Jesus. Show respect."
"This is so moving! It is the first time I have seen it done outside. I can't wait to tell my parish priest!"

Corpus Christi

We wait in silence and trust our rock-solid God to help shape our decisions, we usually make a better choice. The very same is true when we're wrestling with a big decision and decide to "sleep on it."

Waiting in silence is not enough -- it's also important to pray. "Trust in God at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us."  We pour out our hearts when we ask for guidance in our decision-making, and when we pray about the various options that lie before us. Taking the time to discern God's will can help us to eliminate a number of options that will lead us in the wrong direction.

Letting yourself have fewer options can actually lead you to a better outcome.

So pray about it. Pour out your heart before God, and let the Lord be your guide and your refuge. You'll end up with a better decision.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Psalm 62

Psalm 62

"For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him."

Often we feel pressure to make choices quickly, whether we are rushing to declare a major in college, or jumping at the first job that's offered to us. But when the choices are serious, we almost always have time to wait.

So how should we wait? Wait in silence. Wait for God. Wait for the One who is our source of hope. The psalmist says that God "is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God."

This God is worth the wait.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Saint Justin, martyr

Image result for Justin martyr

St. Justin was a philosopher and martyr, and was probably the most important of the second-century apologist Fathers. He set out to defend the new religion from the weighty accusations of both the pagans and Jews, and to spread the Christian doctrine in terms suited to the culture of the time. So, he had a twofold concern: defending the newborn Christian faith and explaining the content of the faith in a manner comprehensible to their contemporaries.

Justin was born around the year 100, near an ancient city in the Holy Land, and was the son of pagan nobles, so he was not raised in the faith. But he was very well educated, studying poetry, history and science, and he was deeply schooled in the ancient Greek philosophers. Though he was not raised to know the truth about God, he was certainly on a quest for truth.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Mary - Pentecost

Image result for marko rupnik mary

Pentecost mosaic. It represents one of the art works of Marko Ivan Rupnik, Slovenian Jesuit, artist, theologian and presbyter. It is handmade in Italy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Mary - Fr. Marco Rupnik, SJ

The Virgin stands at the left pondering these things in her heart. In her hands are two balls of yarn, a homely image that suggests the ordinary life of the Lord’s Handmaiden while suggesting the poetic image that she will knit together in her womb the long-awaited Messiah. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Mary - Mother of the Savior

God the Father gave his only Son to the world only through Mary.

Whatever desires the patriarchs may have cherished, whatever entreaties the prophets and saints of the Old Law may have had for 4,000 years to obtain that treasure, it was Mary alone who merited it and found grace before God by the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues.

"The world being unworthy," said Saint Augustine, "to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of the Father, He gave His Son to Mary for the world to receive Him from her."

The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.

God the Holy Spirit formed Jesus Christ in Mary but only after having asked her consent through one of the chief ministers of His court.

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Trinity Sunday

"It is the mystery of the Trinity, which gives the answer to the quest for our happiness and the meaning of Heaven. Heaven is not a place where there is the mere vocal repetition of alleluias or the monotonous fingering of harps. Heaven is a place where we find the fullness of all the fine things we enjoy on this earth. Heaven is a place where we find, in their plenitude, those things which slake the thirst of hearts, satisfy the hunger of starving minds, and give rest to unrequited love. Heaven is the communion with perfect Life, perfect Truth, and perfect Love, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, to whom be all honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."
Archbishop Fulton Sheen

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mary - Hagia Sofia

Mosaic of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary in church of Hagia Sofia, Istanbul

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Mary - Madonna della Strada

Rome - fresco Madonna della Strada - Our Lady of the Road from 15th century by unknown artist in church Chiesa del Jesu.
Image result for mary mother of