Monday, July 22, 2019

Marianist Monday

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August 2019

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

As I read Bro. Stephen’s July Magnificat letter, I was struck by memories of my own summers growing up in Saratoga Springs, New York. I spent most of my mornings working at the Saratoga 
Race Course, and most of my afternoons enjoying any number of thrilling watersports on Saratoga Lake. I have never really been one to stop and let the beauty of nature -- of God’s creation -- sink in. I am usually too busy diving headfirst into something fun, fast, and exciting. I guess witnessing the beauty in nature as God’s creation was automatic for me.

This was also the way I tended to look at the natural sciences. Rarely, if ever, was I troubled by what society sees as mutual exclusivity of science and faith. Science usually answered the “how?” and sometimes the “what?” Faith and God, on the other hand, always answered the “why?” In high school, I was fortunate enough to have teachers who gave witness to true academic passion for the natural sciences but seemed to have no difficulty balancing this out with steadfast faith in God.
This changed for me during my freshman year of college. At the time, I was a biology major at the University of Miami, taking the normal first-year courses of general biology and biology lab. I found these courses fascinating and sometimes intense and difficult, but, still, there was never a conflict for me between faith and science.

One day, however, as the semester neared its end, my professor was flipping through PowerPoint slides on evolution, Darwinism, and natural selection. He concluded class with a slide entitled THERE IS NO GOD. From what I remember, the professor spent the remainder of class essentially “preaching” an emotional sermon about the pains of suffering and loss in his own life and, thus, how there could be no God. I felt for this obviously grieving man; his final sermon was devoid of hope. Personal tragedy weighed so heavily on him that he had lost sight of the God lurking behind the myriad natural phenomena to whose meticulous observation he had dedicated his life.

As college continued, many of my friends and peers were shocked to find out that I had eventually switched from a biology major to a religious-studies major with a minor in biology. Many of my peers thought that these two areas of study made no sense together and questioned how and why I came up with that combination. And, to be honest, it was difficult to verbalize why I wanted to study both, other than my standard response, “It makes sense to me.”

The quest to understand this synthesis of faith and science for myself and to be able to explain it more effectively to friends certainly led me to a deeper understanding of my own religious beliefs and the beauty of the created world. I learned that there is nothing to fear about looking to science and reason for answers to questions and for greater knowledge. On the other hand, I grew increasingly convinced that science and reason alone cannot answer all of life’s questions.

Pope Benedict XVI expressed the complementary of faith and science quite well when he addressed the creation vs. evolution debate:

. . . there are so many scientific proofs in favor of evolution, which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other [hand], the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man?

Regardless of our programs of study, I think we will all confront questions and challenges about our faith. At some point in our lives, we are all going to have to reconcile faith and reason, religion and science. At some point, verbalizing our religious beliefs -- and even living our faith quietly -- will most likely elicit questions from others -- and in some cases, even criticism. Sadly (and erroneously!), professors and peers will try to use “science” to drive a wedge between us and our faith.

How do we answer these challenges? For me, what I have known for so long seems to be the best response: Faith answers the “why?”, while science answers the “how?” As Pope Benedict XVI pointed out, we need both religion and reason to understand our world. Both the tenets of faith and the tools of science are absolutely necessary to appreciate and respect the beauty of creation.
During this month of August, we celebrate a feast that has become increasingly special to me. On August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, we remember that Mary was raised - body and soul - into eternal glory. This is the feast day on which I made my Aspirancy and Novitiate promises for the first two stages of my vocation as a Marianist Brother. As we all enjoy this truly beautiful month of August and celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, let us allow God to “raise” both our intellect and our faith to a more complete understanding of His mysteries.

You will all be in my prayers; I would appreciate it if you could keep me in yours! 

On behalf of your Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Thomas Terrill, n.S.M.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Marie-Saint Frai residence

Our young Ladies are helping in the Marie-Saint Frai residence, cleaning and preparing the rooms for the sick who are arriving this weekend. We are working on arranging the schedule for the final days and taking care of any last minute things with the students. It’s been a very good trip so far and these students have worked hard. We are proud of how much they have given of themselves through out the week!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Lourdes Procession

The most distinctive part of the experience of Lourdes is the nightly torchlight procession. This always begins at 9 pm. At this hour it is still light. During the hour or so of the procession, the sun sets and night falls.

During the Procession, the Rosary is said. The Our Father is sung in Latin at the beginning of each decade, then the Hail Marys are said in different languages, usually five Hail Marys per language. Then the Gloria is sung in Latin. In between each decade, there is a hymn or chant. The first is always the traditional Lourdes Hymn. At the Ave, everyone holds their candle up.

At the square in front of the Basilica, the procession is directed by the brancardiers to zig-zag while wheelchairs and flags are directed to the front. By this time, it is dark and the raising of the torches becomes more dramatic. When the Rosary finishes, one of the Bishops present gives a pontifical blessing. The evening finishes with a multi-lingual invitation to exchange a sign of peace.

Then off to the grotto for a night visit or back to the hotel for a nightcap and to exchange experiences of the day.




Wednesday, July 17, 2019


"The question whether I feel worthy to be called is beside the point; that God has called me is the one thing that matters."

Image result for HumilityWe know that the Christian life consists in a transformation in Christ. Only to the extent that we are united to him do we enter into communion with the living God, the source of all charity, and become able to love others with the same love. To become humble as Christ was, means serving everyone, dying to the old man within us, overcoming tendencies in our nature that original sin has unleashed.

Thus a Christian understands that "humiliations, borne with love, become sweet and savory; they are a blessing from God."

When we accept humiliations in this way, we open ourselves up to all the riches of the supernatural life and can exclaim with St. Paul: For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Story of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

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Near the Fountain of Elijah in northern Israel lived some hermits on Carmel in the 12th century. They had a chapel dedicated to Our Lady. By the 13th century they became known as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.” They soon celebrated a special Mass and Office in honor of Mary. In 1726, it became a celebration of the universal Church under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For centuries the Carmelites have seen themselves as specially related to Mary. Their great saints and theologians have promoted devotion to her and often championed the mystery of her Immaculate Conception.

Saint Teresa of Avila called Carmel “the Order of the Virgin.” Saint John of the Cross credited Mary with saving him from drowning as a child, leading him to Carmel, and helping him escape from prison. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus believed that Mary cured her from illness. On her First Communion day, Thérèse dedicated her life to Mary. During the last days of her life she frequently spoke of Mary.

There is a tradition that Mary appeared to Saint Simon Stock, a leader of the Carmelites, and gave him a scapular, telling him to promote devotion to it. The scapular is a modified version of Mary’s own garment. It symbolizes her special protection and calls the wearers to consecrate themselves to her in a special way. The scapular reminds us of the Gospel call to prayer and penance—a call that Mary models in a splendid way.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Bastille Day

Our Lourdes Mission trip celebrated Bastille Day last evening participating in the evening's Candlelight Procession. Thousands gathered to pray the Rosary followed by the town's annual fireworks display from the fort.

On this clear and cool night, our group followed Our Lady's statue.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Our Mission Trip has arrived at Lourdes after a bus ride from Bordeaux.

After lunch we all moved out to say a pray of thanksgiving at the Grotto where St. Bernadette saw the apparitions of our Blessed Mother. While our pilgrims stood in awe at the crowds they were equally surprised at the size of Lourdes. The Basilica's spires gave a majesty about that had happened in this humble little village.

And so we begin our Mission of Mercy in Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lourdes Mission Trip


Yearly one of our Marianist high schools take students on a Mission Trip to assist the maladies at Lourdes, France. We arrived at the beginning of our Mission trip to tour the city of Bordeaux and to visit the home and Chapel of our Founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.
We have been blessed with two wonderful days in Bordeaux. Our students have enjoyed the hospitality of this great city. We were blessed to visit the Chapel of the Madelaine, the birthplace of the Society of Mary.

Friday, July 12, 2019


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Steven Petrow is a writer who lives in North Carolina. He was recently waiting in a long line at his favorite bakery, a shop which makes amazing scones. Watching the people ahead of him pluck the delicious scones out of the glass case, he worried that the bakery would run out. But when he got to the counter, he saw that there was one left, so he pointed and said, “I’ll take that.”

No sooner had he spoken than the guy behind him shouted, “Hey, that’s my scone! I’ve been waiting in line for 20 minutes!” Petrow knew that the man had been waiting, but a line is a line.

What do you think Petrow said to the man? He could have declared, “Sorry, it’s mine!” He had every right to do so. Instead, he asked him, “Would you like half?” The man was shocked into silence, but after a moment he accepted the offer and made a suggestion of his own: “Why don’t I buy another pastry and we can share both?”

Then they sat down on a nearby bench to share their pastries.

The two men had almost nothing in common in terms of jobs, age, political views or marital status. They were strangers. But they shared a moment of connection and simple kindness. “I felt happy,” says Petrow, “and, frankly, wanted more of that feeling.”

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Ora et Labora

Saint Benedict of Nursia (480 - 547) was a saint from Italy, and a rule-giver for cenobitic monks. His purpose may be gleaned from his Rule, namely that "Christ ... may bring us all together to life eternal."

Benedict founded twelve communities for monks, the best known of which is at Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. There is no evidence that he intended to found a religious order. The Order of St Benedict is of modern origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations, most of which are made up of autonomous monasteries.

Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness, and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, the Rule of Benedict became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason Benedict is often called the founder of western Christian monasticism.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Marianist Monday

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July 2019

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

Azure blue skies, wispy white clouds, glorious sunshine, a gentle breeze, low humidity, and temperatures in the mid-80s are making this an absolutely magnificent day. In fact, the day on which I am writing this July Magnificat reflection is so splendid that I decided to quit the confines of my office,grab my laptop, and compose my letter on the school’s rooftop patio. In the foreground, the glass-curtain window walls of the new Dolan Family Science, Technology, and Research Center glint in the golden sunshine. In the distance, the spires of Manhattan’s supertall skyscrapers punctuate the horizon, likeexclamation points proclaiming the breathtaking view. Behind me, I can hear the windchimes that Fr. Ernest has suspended in one of the trees.
Yes, it’s a picture-perfect day, and we’ve been blessed with three such perfect early-summer days in a row. Two nights ago, while the Brothers were enjoying dinner on this same rooftop patio, we viewed a vibrant, technicolor sunset. Its overwhelming beauty prompted more than a few of us to quip, “Brought to you by the Maker of Heaven and Earth.” I find it hard to see such splendors and not believe in a God who created it all.

I am well aware, however, that many would question my leap of faith from the beauties of creation to faith in a Creator. They might point to the processes of evolution as the source of all that I see before me. Others might charge me with telling only half the story. I have enjoyed three back-to-back beautiful days, but my weather app predicts rain for Monday and Tuesday, clouds for Wednesday, and thunderstorms from Thursday. Elsewhere in the country, heavy rains and flooding have submerged entire towns, and tornadoes have ripped through neighborhoods and left complete devastation in their wake. I remember well the missions trips that Kellenberg and Chaminade made to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina. The destruction of homes there was heartbreaking.

What holds true in the world of nature holds no less true of human nature. While humanity is capable of great kindness and nobility, it is also capable of terrible cruelty, division, and depravity. In late May, we brought a group of Chaminade and Kellenberg students to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The site reminds us all of the senseless hatred and violence that can not only topple buildings, but shatter lives as well. At the same time, this hallowed ground reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit, the reverence for those who lost their lives, and the resolve to bring good out of evil.

Were the world all sunny days and triumphs of the human spirit, it would be easy to believe in God.

Belief in God, I think, challenges more of you, our former students, than we, your former teachers, might care to admit. Surely any graduate of one of our Marianist schools has a solid fatih foundation!

Well, maybe not. Maybe the widespread assaults on faith and the many legitimate reasons for doubt leave several of you struggling to believe in the living God you learned about in high school. At our most recent Day of Recollection for our college-age graduates, one particularly honest young man
said to me, “Bro. Steve, all these college-age programs that you sponsor assume that we believe in God.But I’m not so sure I believe in God anymore.” Many in the conversation circle agreed.

Why do I believe? In light of the challenging question posed to me at our most recent Day ofRecollection, I think that’s a fair question. I want to try to answer it -- not by reviewing Aquinas’ fiveproofs (as cogent and convincing as they are to me), but from a more personal perspective. Here goes.

I believe because I am a sinner. I’ll be the first to admit it: I need Jesus. A perfectionist and an idealist by nature, I want to do what is good and noble, right and true. As a human being, I often fall far short. Christ put it quite poignantly when He found the Apostles asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane:“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26: 41)

In the Biblical story of the Fall, I find a spot-on parallel to what I see in my own life and in the world around me. No other explanation of the problem of evil makes more sense to me than the Biblical explanation. What God wants for us is the Garden of Eden, Paradise -- a place where man lives in complete harmony with God, with his fellow man, and with the world of nature. But because of our selfishness and sin, because we so often want be be God rather than submit to God, that harmony has been broken -- on all levels. What God wills for us is not disease and misfortune, alienation and war. What He wills for us is Paradise.

I believe because I have experienced some of that Paradise in my own life. This is not to say that my life is a utopia. It is not. This is not to say that the Marianist Community is a utopia. As fervently as I am devoted to bringing new members into the Society of Mary, I know all too well the shortcomings of my Brothers, just as they know mine. But, by God, in the Brothers, in my family, and among my students, I have seen people who strive mightily to do the right thing, who ardently desire to do what is noble and true, kind and good, and who pick themselves up and start over again when they stumble and fall. It is God, I believe, who keeps this hope alive in us.

I believe because Christ has opened the door of Paradise to us. We are not perfect. Neither is our world. But Christ bore our sins and shortcomings, our imperfections and our failings, on His own shoulders. He died for our sins so that we might die to our sins and be born to eternal life. When I think of who I am -- a sinner -- and the kind of graced life I’ve been blessed to live, then my decision is to believe. I’m not saying that I don’t have my doubts from time to time -- I do -- but, as I look around me,the evidence for God’s existence definitely outweighs the evidence that He does not.

I believe because, on the whole, I’ve been blessed with more sunny days than rainy ones. Andbecause we have been empowered to bring some sunshine where there are clouds, light where there is darkness. This speaks powerfully to me of God.

Look, I realize that a two-page reflection provides hardly enough reason for those who find itdifficult to believe that God is real. But it’s a start, and I look forward to dialoguing with you again onthis and other questions that go to the heart of our lives.

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Stephen

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hi God

Hi, God.
I am just a mess.
It is all hopeless.
What else is new?
I would be sick of me, if I were You,
but miraculously You are not.
I know I have no control over other people’s lives,
and I hate this.
Yet I believe that if I accept this and surrender,
You will meet me wherever I am.
Wow. Can this be true?
If so, how is this afternoon--say, two-ish?

Thank You in advance for Your company
and blessings.

You have never once let me down.

(from Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

"Lead, Kindly Light."

You might know the story of its writing. When the young Newman was traveling in Italy he fell ill. He experienced a time of great emotional and spiritual discouragement. When a nurse asked him what troubled him, he responded, "I have work to do in England." Eventually he got passage on a boat home, but they were constrained to heave to, slowed by a thick fog and nearby cliffs. Trapped in the fog, on June 16th Newman wrote The Pillar of the Cloud:

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see

The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,

Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile

Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Fourth of July

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

Let us be grateful for the freedom that is ours; let us pledge to live that freedom more responsibly; and let us work to share that freedom with those whose lives are shackled by oppression, poverty and war.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

St. Thomas the Apostle

The Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle

Here are some images for the feast of St. Thomas the Apostle who we celebrate today.

Certainly we remember the Gospel that offers us the story of Thomas and his doubts after the Resurrection. Enjoy these variations Caravaggio's The Incredulity of Thomas.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tuesday Tunes

Originally named after a major east-west road in Palm Beach County, Florida, Tenth Avenue North’s goal is to newest song “You Are More” speaks to the broken and those that have wandered in their walk with God.

Part of the band’s second album, The Light Meets the Dark, the song is coupled with the album’s first single “Healing Begins.” The album as a whole was designed to call listeners to repentance by confessing their sins in accordance with James 5:16, "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."

"You Are More" serves as a reminder to all that we have been "remade," and we are not defined by our past mistakes, but rather by the sacrifice made for all of us on the Cross.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Marianist Monday

"The Lord is with you."

These words are taken from the Annunciation scene from the first chapter of Saint Luke. 

Speaking about the Fiat of Mary, Pope-emeritus Benedict says,

In one of his Advent homilies, Pope-emeritus Benedict says, "Bernard of Clairvaux offers a stirring presentation of the drama of this moment. After the error of our first parents, the whole world was shrouded in darkness, under the domain of death. Now God seeks to enter the world anew. He knocks at Mary’s door. He needs human freedom. The only way he can redeem man, who was created free, is by means of a free “yes” to his will. In creating freedom, he made himself in a certain sense dependent upon man. His power is tied the unenforceable “yes” of a human being. So Bernard portrays heaven and earth as it were holding its breath at this moment of the question addressed to Mary. Will she say yes? She hesitates…will her humility hold her back? Just this once – Bernard tells her – do not be humble but daring! Give us your “yes”!…It is the moment of free, humble yet magnanimous obedience in which the loftiest choice of human freedom is made.”

“Mary becomes a mother through her “yes.” The Church Fathers sometimes expressed this by saying that Mary conceived through her ear – that is to say: through her hearing. Through her obedience, the Word entered into her and became fruitful in her. In this connection, the Fathers developed the idea of God’s birth in us through faith and baptism, in which the Logos comes to make us ever anew, making us God’s children.”

He who has begun this good work in you, bring it to completion.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Sunday Word

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WE are celebrating the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time this week. Our Gospel for this Sunday talks about excuses. We all have our own excuses. We have excuses for not following through on our good intentions, not living up to the challenge of discipleship. Jesus encounters in this week's Gospel text three would-be followers. These three would-be disciples were great at manufacturing excuses that would allow them to gracefully bow out of discipleship when it got too demanding or uncomfortable. Jesus responds with a no-nonsense, no-excuses mandate, separating those who would follow from those who could only hesitate and calculate the cost of their commitment.

The naive, thoughtless pledge of the first of these three potential disciples sounds as though he were actually committed to joining Jesus. But Jesus' response lays out the truth about his identity and mission, and makes it clear how demanding a personal commitment to this path would be.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Sts. Peter and Paul

Today we remember the apostles Peter and Paul, commemorating not only their divinely inspired writings in the New Testament but also their efforts as apostles of Christ.

Here are a few interesting facts about their lives and ministry:

Peter and Paul both ended their ministry as apostles in Rome. The Gospel had reached Rome before their arrival, but they both saw it necessary to journey to Rome and bring apostolic leadership to the church there. Since Peter is not mentioned by name in Romans, he arrived in Rome at some point afterwards, perhaps in the late ’50s or early ’60s.

Paul was called to be an apostle on the street. Acts: 9 tells the story of Paul’s mystical encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. As a Pharisee, he was committed to the persecution of those following "the Way," but was now being confronted by the Lord for his actions. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" In persecuting the Church, Paul was persecuting Christ himself, for the Church is his Body.

The apostles were at first divided over the treatment of Gentile Christians. This controversy came to a head in Antioch, where Paul opposed Peter “to his face, because he stood condemned." Much of the New Testament is devoted to the issue of whether one must become a Jew before one can be a true Christian, and it was a great controversy in the early decades of the Church. Paul was resolute: we are justified through our faith in Jesus Christ, regardless of one’s adherence to Jewish law.

Both apostles died as martyrs in Rome. Since Paul was a Roman citizen, it seems that he was given the more “merciful” death of beheading in the mid-’60s.

Peter was to be crucified, and he requested that he be hung upside down, feeling unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

Friday, June 28, 2019

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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Cenacle

“Jesus made visible the love that is open to us all: none excluded! Open to all without borders.” 

— Pope Francis

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Fr. Matthew Browne Ordained

Fr. Thomas Cardone, S.M., Bro. Michael Gillen, S.M. and Bro. Kenneth Hoagland, S.M. attended the ordination of Fr. Matthew Browne ‘11 to the priesthood. Fr. Matthew will celebrate his first Mass tomorrow, at 10:15 a.m. at the Church of Holy Name of Mary, Valley Stream.

Friday, June 21, 2019

"Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire."

Graduation of the Class of 2019
Graduation is often a time of celebration. Graduates of all ages are recognized for their academic accomplishments at the end of each academic era in their lives. This past Sunday our two high schools, Chaminade and Kellenberg Memorial, held their Baccalaureate Masses and their Commencement Exercises. In all, close to 1,000 young men and women graduated from our Marianist high schools.

Graduation quotes can provide insight to new graduates as they make their way on to the next chapter in their lives. A graduation quote can be written in a card to personalize a graduation message or used in a speech. Many graduation quotes celebrate accomplishment, new beginnings, and success. The top ten graduation quotes are a sampling of graduation quotes that stand out among the best.

1. "Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire." (William Butler Yeats)

2. "Knowledge is power." (Francis Bacon)

3. "The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done." (Arnold Palmer)

4. "The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever." (Louis L'Amour)

5. "The important thing is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become." (DeSeaux)

6. "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

7. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." (Mahatma Ghandi)

8. "Carpe Diem!" (Seize the day, translated from Latin)

9. "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only dream, but also believe." (Anatole France)

10. "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Vocation: your deep gladness

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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

"All love relationships don't end at the altar."

"Listen and attend with the ear of your heart." - Saint Benedict

Dolores Hart stunned Hollywood in 1963, when after ten highly successful feature films, she chose to enter a contemplative monastery. Now, fifty years later, Mother Dolores gives this fascinating account of her life, with co-author and life-long friend, Richard DeNeut. Dolores was a bright and beautiful college student when she made her film debut with Elvis Presley in Paramount's 1957 Loving You.

She acted in nine more movies with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn and Myrna Loy. She also gave a Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play The Pleasure of His Company and appeared in television shows, including The Virginian and Playhouse 90. An important chapter in her life occurred while playing Saint Clare in the movie Francis of Assisi, which was filmed on location in Italy.

Born Dolores Hicks to a complicated and colorful Chicago family, Mother Dolores has travelled a charmed yet challenging road in her journey toward God, serenity and, yes, love. She entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, at the peak of her career, not in order to leave the glamorous world of acting she had dreamed of since childhood, but in order to answer a mysterious call she heard with the "ear of the heart". While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she abandoned everything to become a bride of Christ.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Aims of Marianist Religious Community

Community life is designed to be a support and stimulus for holiness. The grace of Jesus is concretely at work in each of us. When we share our living of that grace, we all become enriched. Our prayer, our living of the vows, our faith, hope and charity thus develop new dimensions. When we accept the challenges of community as occasions for grace and conversion, when we overcome hostility by sympathetic understanding and indifference by interest and concern, we all support one another in our common call to holiness. 

Community prayer is a “source and summit”: it both expresses the life of the community and aims to deepen our sense of God and to enrich our practical charity for one another and for the world around us. A prayerful community immeasurably stimulates and deepens the spiritual experience of its members. We need to recognize that we can learn from one another in our spiritual lives, from the different ways in which others pray and experience God. A reasonable diversity of styles and modes of prayer, corresponding to the religious sensibilities of the different members, should be an enrichment for everyone.

Marianist community is also a permanent mission, not a cozy atmosphere closed in on itself. To share in the mission of Jesus is to join in the company of his disciples, companions whom he sends to preach the good news and to heal. We find ourselves together in communities, not by personal choice, but in function of a mission we share in the local Church. Our community is meant to be less a refuge from apostolic battles than a source of creativity and strength for mission.

We are not meant to be individual free-lancers in our ministries. Our whole history as a Society teaches us that. Great Marianist success-stories, great times and places of grace, have always involved a vital and unified community. The witness of a group of people – whether three or fifty – who truly work together in harmonious support is contagious, sometimes overpowering. It attracts followers.

Even if we may at times be called to work more individually, we need to consider our ministry as an outreach of our Marianist community, and ask for the support, guidance and evaluative discernment of the community (Rule of Life, 68).

A key element of our apostolic mission as Marianists is the discovering, building and maintaining of close community among us and the extension of such an experience of community to those around us. This is a deep way of understanding our ministry as religious within the entire Marianist Family – even within the whole Church.

The emphasis on prayer with and for one another, on trying to understand one another, on affirmation, on team work, on dialogue and a strongly felt community life is not navel-gazing or “nesting” in a warm, supportive atmosphere. It is an essential mark of our Marianist mission.

Rev. David Joseph Fleming, S.M. 
Superior General of the Society of Mary 
Missionary Apostolic
Rome, September 12, 2004 
Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Celebrate Dad!

From the great Grassroots Films comes this short video that sums it all up beautifully. Happy Father’s Day dads.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

We Live in Community

Read a book that I have read a while ago. It touches at the heart of our Marianist community life. Each and every day we attempt to build this Gospel community that is the essential core of our lives. Our vowed life in the Church focuses on the two tables; the table of the Eucharist and the table of community.

The book is described as follows:

Everyone these days seems to be searching for community in one way or another - whether in the form of committed, nourishing relationships at home and at work, support networks, small groups, house churches - even cyberspace. But mention "community" and many people literally go blank. They claim that they're not ready for the commitment such a term implies, or lack sufficient energy, gifts, or time. It's just not 'where they're at.' Or is it? This new translation of a time-honored manifesto adds a fresh, engaging voice to the vital discussion of what real community is all about: love, joy, unity, and the great "adventure of faith" shared with others along the way. Neither Arnold nor Merton describe (or prescribe) community here, but for the individual seeker, they do provide a vision to guide and inspire the search, and for those who may have already answered the call to community, they offer the disarming challenge of greater commitment and a continually deepened faith.

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Spirit's flame

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The coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost lit the fire of the Church. God’s Spirit is still and must always be the main source of light for Christians. Individually and as the church, we should do what is necessary to keep ourselves good places for the Spirit’s flames to burn hotly and the Spirit’s light to shine brightly. It’s not our job to extinguish lesser lights that shine for the benefit of humankind so that we’re the only light in town; indeed, sometimes we should help their light be seen. 

At the same time, however, we should never be so dazzled by other lights that we no longer shine for Christ or no longer “reproduce” and bring forth new generations of Christians.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Light of the Spirit

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In some of Jesus’ subsequent followers, the light of the Spirit can be almost visually seen. Several years ago, after the English writer Malcolm Muggeridge spent some time observing Mother Teresa working in Calcutta, India, taking care of dying people she plucked off the streets, he wrote a book about her he titled Something Beautiful for God. In it, he said, “God’s universal love has rubbed off on Mother Teresa, giving her features a noticeable luminosity, a shining quality.”

In most of us who follow Jesus today, the light within us may not be quite that apparent to others, but when we confront darkness in our lives, we often become conscious of how the way of the Lord is the primary light of our lives.

The thing is, in this world, there are lots of other lights, some that seem more glitzy or powerful or, in some fields, even more illuminating. And just as fireflies are finding their inner lights overpowered by bright but artificial lighting, so, too, we Christians sometimes find the light of God within us — especially if we don’t tend it — growing dim.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


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On Sunday we celebrated Pentecost. It is the anniversary of that first-century day when the Holy Spirit came in a mighty way upon the disciples of Jesus hunkered down in an upper room in Jerusalem. The Bible’s description of the sudden infilling of those disciples with the Spirit includes this: “Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” Even since then, fire, which, of course, is a source of light, has been a symbol of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, that symbol also connects to Jesus, who said, “I am the light of the world.”

The fact that these tongues of fire rested on each of Jesus’ followers on Pentecost is a way of showing that when the Spirit fills us, we, too, radiate the light of God. Thus, Spirit-filled Christians are light-bearers. And over the centuries, Christians have “glowed” with that light as they have spread the gospel, shared the good news, gone about doing good, committed sacrificial acts of love for neighbor and even for enemies, and have sought to understand and do the will of God.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Marianist Monday

June 2019

Dear graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres,

This month we celebrate the feast of Pentecost. The event of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles and empowering them for their work of evangelization is one of the most important moments in the history of the Church. This great gift of God’s grace is given again to each of us in the sacrament of Confirmation. How frequently, though, do we properly reflect on the magnitude of this gift? Do we recognize in our daily lives how the Holy Spirit is working in and through us?

It is not always easy to live up to the standard set by the Apostles and the early Church. Following their example of steadfast faith through adversity is definitely not the easy road to take in life. We may not come up against the violent persecution and martyrdom faced by most of the Apostles and many other disciples throughout the early days of the Church, but our culture today is at odds with many of our Church’s teachings and values. There is a great temptation and societal pressure to brush off these differences as merely old-fashioned remnants of a morality long-since rendered irrelevant by our modern and enlightened sensibilities. And while our approach is certainly allowed to evolve to encounter the world as it changes around the stalwart foundations laid by our forebears, this does not mean that our convictions should waver. Reflect on the strength the Spirit offers through your Confirmation – the very same strength given to the Apostles – which allowed them to forge the way for our Church, which has survived for two millennia.

The sacrament of Confirmation strengthens us spiritually to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ and to spread our faith as messengers to the world. Through the anointing, we are able to participate in a share of what the Apostles were blessed with at Pentecost. On that day, about two thousand years ago, they were together. In your minds, place yourself in their midst. The first community of Christian faith was all together, but the Lord had ascended into Heaven. The Apostles knew what they were called to do, but how to go about it? How could a group made up largely of fishermen – common men who did not hold respected theological positions – convince others of the Truth they had received? God did not leave them to find this strength and ability on their own. We read in Acts of the Apostles, “And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:2-4)

While we may not be miraculously gifted with the ability to speak in different tongues at Confirmation, we aregiven gifts that will help us with our ministry. The Apostles needed the strength and ability to found the Church, and weneed the strength and ability to keep the faith alive for ourselves and others. We are all called to go out into the world and live the Gospels in all aspects of our lives. Let Christ enter into your lives as much as possible. He is the Way that will lead you to a blessed and joyful life.

I challenge each of you to reflect this summer on what it means to share in this blessing. We, like the Apostles, are sent out on a mission to bring Christ to the world. How do we live our lives? Do those around us see the Light of Christ shining through us in our words and actions? A good way to start living this way is to reflect on our own Baptism and Confirmation. I will leave you with one bit of prayerful advice: Look up the dates of your Baptism and Confirmation and treat these as important days for you. Let them serve as spiritual birthdays, and take the opportunity to renew and reflect on these Sacraments and the strength God offers through them.

God bless each and every one of you, and have a blessed and peaceful summer!

Yours faithfully in Christ through His Blessed Mother,

Bro. Andrew Santoriello, S.M.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pentecost Sunday

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Today, Pentecost, is the day the church of Jesus Christ entered the public domain, and it's today that we can also say to the church, "Happy birthday to you!"

Until Jesus' little band of disciples experienced the descending dove, the tongues of fire and the babble of ecstatic voices, they weren't ready for prime time. Their faith was somewhat private. After those remarkable events, though, their old song suddenly became new.

Pentecost is the third biggest celebration of the Christian year, but it runs far behind Christmas and Easter in popularity. In the case of the other two holidays, secular culture has embraced the religious feast, manufacturing its own cheap knock-offs. There's secular Christmas, with its blatant consumerism and ethic of doing something nice for someone you already love. As for secular Easter, it's nothing more than a rite of spring.

No one has trouble finding decorations and greeting cards for secular Christmas or secular Easter. Many of them feature the familiar mascots of the holidays, Santa and the Easter Bunny. But there is no particular decorations, greeting cards or mascots for the great feast of Pentecost. And you will never hear the secular culture sing, "We wish you a merry Pentecost."

Nobody's trying to hijack the rights to this great holiday.

Pentecost is ours alone.

Enjoy and "Happy Pentecost to you and the whole Church."

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Jesus is truth

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"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

"Truth" is a major theme in John's Gospel. In fact, it will be Pontius Pilate who asks the question on the world's mind as they are confronted with Jesus: "What is truth?"

The truth is, however, that Jesus himself is the way, the truth and the life. In other words, if we emulate Jesus, our lives will not be a lie. Our lives instead will be lives of integrity, honesty, service, selflessness and humility -- all counterintuitive from the world's point of view.

If the disciples want to follow Jesus where he is going, then that means following his way, his truth and his life in spite of the dangers, twists and turns ahead. The only way to navigate that way is with a Guide who will take what Jesus has said and done and "declare it" to us so that we will glorify him