Saturday, February 27, 2021

Fratelli Tuuti - 8

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Pope Francis spends significant interest regarding the reform of the UN: in the face of the predominance of the economic dimension, a task of the United Nations will be to give substance to the concept of a “family of nations” working for the common good, the eradication of poverty and the protection of human rights. Tireless recourse “to negotiation, mediation and arbitration” – Fratelli Tuuti states – the UN must promote the force of law rather than the law of force.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Frateli Tuuti - 7

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The politics we need, Pope Francis emphasizes, is a politics centred on human dignity and not subjected to finance because “the marketplace, by itself, cannot resolve every problem”: the “havoc” wreaked by financial speculation has demonstrated this. Hence, popular movements have taken on particular relevance: as true “torrents of moral energy”, they must be engaged in society with greater coordination. In this way – Pope Franics states – it will be possible to go beyond a Policy “with” and “of” the poor.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fratelli Tuuti - 6

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The theme of the fifth chapter is “A better kind of politic.”

It is here that we see one of the most valuable forms of charity because it is placed at the service of the common good and recognizes the importance of people, understood as an open category, available for discussion and dialogue. This is the populism indicated by Pope Francis, which counters that “populism” which ignores the legitimacy of the notion of “people”, by attracting consensuses in order to exploit them for its own service and fomenting selfishness in order to increase its own popularity. But a better politics is also one that protects work, an “essential dimension of social life”. 

The best strategy against poverty, the Pope Francis explains, does not simply aim to contain or render indigents inoffensive, but to promote them in the perspective of solidarity and subsidiarity. The task of politics, moreover, is to find a solution to all that attacks fundamental human rights, such as social exclusion; the marketing of organs, tissues, weapons and drugs; sexual exploitation; slave labour; terrorism and organized crime. Finally Pope Francis makes an emphatic appeal to definitively eliminate human trafficking, a “source of shame for humanity”, and hunger, which is “criminal” because food is “an inalienable right."

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fratelli Tuuti - 5

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The 4th Chapter of Fratelli Tuuti is entitled: A heart open to the world.

In this chapter we focus on the theme of migration.

Pope Francis writes with their lives “at stake," fleeing from war, persecution, natural catastrophes, unscrupulous trafficking, ripped from their communities of origin, migrants are to be welcomed, protected, supported and integrated. 

Unnecessary migration needs to be avoided, Pope Francis continued, by creating concrete opportunities to live with dignity in the countries of origin. But at the same time, we need to respect the right to seek a better life elsewhere. In receiving countries, the right balance will be between the protection of citizens' rights and the guarantee of welcome and assistance for migrants. Specifically, Pope Francis points to several “indispensable steps, especially in response to those who are fleeing grave humanitarian crises”: to increase and simplify the granting of visas; to open humanitarian corridors; to assure lodging, security and essential services; to offer opportunities for employment and training; to favour family reunification; to protect minors; to guarantee religious freedom. What is needed above all – the encyclical states – is global governance, an international collaboration for migration which implements long-term planning, going beyond single emergencies, on behalf of the supportive development of all peoples.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Fratelli Tuuti - 4

Fratelli Tuuti - 

Chapter 3 continues to affirm that we have the right to live with dignity and it cannot be denied to anyone, and since rights have no borders, no one can remain excluded, regardless of where they are born.

In this perspective Pope Francis calls us to consider “an ethics of international relations,”  because every country also belongs to foreigners and the goods of the territory cannot be denied to those who are in need and come from another place. Thus, the natural right to private property will be secondary to the principal of the universal destination of created goods. The Encyclical also places specific emphasis on the issue of foreign debt: subject to the principal that it must be paid, it is hoped nonetheless that this does not compromise the growth and subsistence of the poorest countries.  

Monday, February 22, 2021

Fratelli Tuuti - 3

Fratelli Tuuti - 
We find in the thrid chapter of Pope Francis' encyclical the basic Christian principle love. Here he outlines that this capacity to love according to “a universal dimension.” 

“Envisaging and engendering an open world” is what we are called to embrace. In this chapter Pope Francis exhorts us to go “‘outside’ the self” in order to find “a fuller existence in another.” We are to open ourselves up to the other according to the dynamism of charity which makes us tend toward “universal fulfilment.” 

In the background – the Encyclical recalls – the spiritual stature of a person’s life is measured by love, which always “takes first place” and leads us to seek better for the life of the other, far from all selfishness. The sense of solidarity and of fraternity begin within the family, which are to be safeguarded and respected in their “primary and vital mission of education.” 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Fratelli Tutti 2

Fratelli Tutti -

The Holy Father's encyclical responds with a enlightening example, a herald of hope: the Good Samaritan.

The second chapter is entitled, “A stranger on the road.” This chapter is dedicated to the figure of the Good Samaitan. In this chapter, Pope Francis emphasizes that, in an unhealthy society that turns its back on suffering and that is “illiterate” in caring for the frail and vulnerable, we are all called – just like the Good Samaritan – to become neighbors to one another, overcoming prejudices, personal interests, historic and cultural barriers. 

In other words, we are co-responsible in creating a society that is able to include, integrate and lift up those who have fallen or are suffering. 

Love builds bridges and “we were made for love.”

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Fratelli Tutti 1

Fratelli Tutti - 

The first part of our Holy Father's encyclical called "Fratelli Tutti" is entitled "Dark Clouds over a Closed World."  It deals with global problems that call for global actions, also sounding the alarm against a “culture of walls” that favours the proliferation of organized crime, fuelled by fear and loneliness.

There are so many distortions in human life today.

Whether it is democracy, freedom, justice, loss of meaning of the social community and history, selfishness, indifference, unemployment, racism, poverty, disparity of rights, the culture of waste, slavery, trafficking, women subjugated and then forced to abort. 

The Encyclical aims to promote a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship.

Friday, February 19, 2021

The sacrifice of all


Blessed Chaminade: 
Letter 7.1521 to Father Caillet, November 20, 1849 (Near the end of his life) 

“Let us take for our rule of the life the motto “Each one sacrifices himself for the group and the group for the individual, to the extent that conscience will allow.” 

The members of the present administration and of its successors will rejoice rather than be distressed because Divine Providence has given them numerous opportunities to bear with one another. How consoling these will be to their faith because they will be a means of sustaining the spirit of abnegation which those in authority find it hard to develop in the absence of opposition. It is in the spirit which is proper to the beautiful Society of Mary that all superiors should be proof against every adversity. May I add that therein lies the only safeguard of our faith in these times, when lies can so transform themselves in the hearts of men that they appear under the trappings of virtues.”

Thursday, February 18, 2021


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WE offer our intentions today through the intercession of the Marianist Blesseds. 

1943: Blessed Jakob Gapp, priest and martyr
1936: Blessed Miguel Léibar Garay, priest and martyr
1936: Blessed Carlos Eraña Guruceta, religious and martyr
1936: Blessed Jesú Hita Miranda, religious and martyr
1936: Blessed Fidel Fuidio Rodríguez, religious and martyr
1936: Blessed Florencio Arnaiz Cejudo, religious and martyr
1936: Blessed Joaquín Ochoa Salazar, religious and martyr
1936: Blessed Sabino Ayastuy Errasti, religious and martyr
1850: Blessed Wiliam Joseph Chaminade, priest and Founder

May the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

60 Years Professed Marianist - Brother David

Brother David renews his vows with Father Andre

Congratulations Frere David 

Father Andre offers his congratulations!

Brother Michael John offers his congratulations!

Brother David Bruner's 60 Years of Marianist Religious Profession Celebration

Rome - 2021 02 08
Gen 1:1-19 - Ps 103 - Mk 6:53-56

God said: "Let there be a child in the Bruner family, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; let his birthday be July 14; let him be a good child who will make the whole family happy. And so, it came to pass: in his image God created him, and his parents named him David. God saw that he was a good child. And it was evening, and it was morning: the first day.

Later, God said: "Let this child be called to the Society of Mary; let a nun call him, in the school where he is studying. And so, it came to pass: David heard that voice as inspired by God and entered the Marianist novitiate. And his superiors saw that he was good…and there were 366 evenings and 366 mornings and, on February 11, 1961, a great year, David made his first vows – the second day, blessed day!

And his superiors said, he who was born on the 14th of July, let us make him study the beautiful French language ... They saw that he was good, and David was professor of languages over 49 nine years, and he trained many students ... He was good, really good. And many rejoiced in his service as a teacher, as a Dean of Discipline or librarian, and more so as an outstanding member of the Chaminade and Kellenberg communities. Mike rejoiced as well: David was his teacher and master of discipline: this was very good ... and perhaps ... very necessary... thus, it was a new day...

And there were 21,912 (twenty-one thousand nine hundred and twelve) evenings and 21,912 mornings ... and we had already made it to February 8 in the year 2021, in Rome ... and all the brothers of Via Latina were gathered to celebrate David and his 60 years of religious life ... and God saw what he had done, and behold, it was very good. And once again, as for the previous 21,911 days, God sent all his blessings on David and his family, on Brother Bob Fachet - his companion in vows and jubilee - and their brothers in the Province of Meribah, and on the whole community of Rome…and it was a splendid evening, full of joy, fraternity and filled with the grace of God -- a 'formidable' evening, foreshadowing many more evenings and many more magnificent mornings to come...

And we see how much God has done and how much David has cooperated in God's action.

It's really a beautiful, beautiful story. It is the story of a life given with fidelity and constancy, day after day, without interruption. A life given with great attention to all the details of the service required and with great respect for others.

We thank God and we thank you David.

It was certainly a great gift for everyone: students, fellow brothers.
It is a great gift to have a colleague or confrere who is always well prepared for the mission.
It gives one a lot of peace and confidence; is an example of one that leaves its mark on hearts
Being a faithful and constant servant is a truly beautiful thing; it gives everyone joy and a lot of peace of mind.
The Genesis account, which I have taken up with some freedom, you may have noticed ...,
reminds us that our lives, and your life, David, are part of God's great plan.

In that project, God expresses his love and faithfulness. Not just in general, to the whole world, but most of all personally to each of us, when he calls us into existence and when he calls us to follow him in a special way, that is, to be a sign of his love.

We are called to be with Jesus, like the disciples we contemplated in the Gospel sharing his whole life, passionate for him, ready to "do whatever he tells us," always, in every place and in every circumstance, wherever circumstances and the call has placed us:

walking with him,
praying with him,
crossing the lake with him,
and especially welcoming those who come to him:
sick, poor, thirsting for truth or justice, those thirsting for God's encounter;
and many students, families, brothers…

Like Jesus, at any hour of the day, to welcome everyone, speak, listen, heal, console, encourage, help, ...

This is our life: to be passionate for Jesus,
to do every day what Jesus would want to do for those He sends to us.
and make it known to all; witness the life He has given us.
To be for them a sign of His presence and of His personal love.

And, as Jesus wanted it for us, Marianists, according to Blessed Chaminade,
we also want to do it for Mary, and with Mary, in alliance with her,
"To the end of our days, we are happy to spend our lives and our strength
in Mary’s service, since they belong to her, giving ourselves to build
the city of God here below." (RL 91)

We want to do this by living a "lifestyle similar to that of Jesus and Mary" (RL 16)

Poor, chaste and obedient
We want to do this by coming together as a community,
in the image of the Jerusalem community gathered with Mary.

Let us thank the Lord for having called us to such a beautiful life.
Let us thank the Lord for the vocation He has given to each of us.
We thank David for his faithfulness to the call during these 60 years.
Lord, continue to bless David and to bless us.
Virgin Mary, protect him and protect us: we are at your service. Amen

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Saint Joseph 16

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St Joseph teaches us “the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour.” This aspect of Joseph’s character provides Pope Francis the opportunity to launch an appeal in favour of work, which has become “a burning social issue” even in countries with a certain level of well-being. “there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.”   Fr. Donald Calloway

Monday, February 15, 2021

Marianist Monday

February, 2021

My dear friends from Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,

On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis published Patris Corde, an apostolic letter commemorating the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being named the Patron of the Universal Church. In his letter, the Pope detailed the different aspects of Joseph’s fatherhood.

In mid December, we Marianists hosted our annual College-Age Evening of Recollection. At that virtual Evening of Recollection, Bro. Joseph, Bro. Stephen, and I spoke about the three key figures for Advent: the Prophet Isaiah; St. John the Baptist; and Our Holy Mother, Mary. I’m afraid, however, that one key figure, St. Joseph, was -- and often is -- overlooked. So, taking my cue from Pope Francis, I’d like to offer some prayerful reflections on St. Joseph, this silent figure who has been brought into the spotlight. His fortitude, obedience, and paternal care can inspire us for our Lenten journey in our practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Pope Francis’ third reflection about St. Joseph details his role as an obedient father. The Pope focuses on God’s communication with St. Joseph through dreams, “a way for Him to make His will known.” Joseph’s dreams and his responses to them provide a beautiful model for our own prayer lives, and while I’m not specifically talking about sleeping more, that would certainly be good for your life in general.

All kidding aside, Lent affords us an opportunity to fine-tune our prayer lives. Lent reminds us that prayer is not just for times of stress. Instead, prayer is an ongoing conversation with God in which we present our wills to Him, and He tells us His plan for us -- in one way or another. The Pope wrote “ ‘When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him’ (Mt 1:24). Obedience made it possible for him to surmount his difficulties. . . . ”

Oftentimes prayer can feel like periods of extended silence, but St. Joseph encourages us to accept the silence. A man of no recorded words in the Gospel, St. Joseph is nevertheless an important figure and the Patron of the Church.

The Church asks us to fast and abstain throughout the season of Lent so that we might be better prepared for the Triduum and Easter Sunday. Fasting “helps us to acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2043). Fasting and abstinence recall St. Joseph’s virtue of obedience.

Fasting and abstinence also highlight St. Joseph’s fatherhood, because fasting, abstinence, and fatherhood all require sacrifice. The Pope writes, “[Joseph] employed his legal authority over the Holy Family to devote himself completely to them in his life and work. He turned his human vocation to domestic love into a superhuman oblation of himself. . . . ”

Fasting is inherently about sacrifice, but fasting is not an end in itself. Rather, it is an opportunity for us to be reminded that “[God’s] grace is sufficient . . . for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:7-9). Pope Francis adds that “we must learn to look upon our weaknesses with tender mercy” (Patria Corde 2). And while we acclaim Joseph for his powerful witness, we know that his life of quiet witness was not accomplished without fear; nor was it realized without much grace and guidance. Consequently, Joseph is a model for us, showing us how God can work through our fears.

Fasting from our sinful habits is always a Lenten struggle. While we celebrate our victories, too often we are quick to beat ourselves up over our failures, those times when we let our sins slide. I encourage

you to boldly take up a fast that will challenge you toward holiness, either by subduing a vice or reinforcing a virtue, like prayer, prudence, chastity, or charity. While we may fail throughout our Lenten journey, we can take strength from Joseph’s model and intercession. We can always, always, always run to Joseph as a father, just as we look to our Heavenly Father for compassion and love.

The third and final pillar of Lent is almsgiving. By giving alms, we actively work to better the plight of the poor by sharing not only from our excess, but, as Jesus exhorts us, by giving our all. Further, the call to give all concerns not only money, but our time, our talents, our mercy, and our compassion as well.

Two final characteristics of St Joseph on which Pope Francis reflects are Joseph as a “creatively courageous father” and “a working father.” In his prayerful reflection, Pope Francis writes:

The Gospel does not tell us how long Mary, Joseph and the child remained in Egypt. Yet they certainly needed to eat, to find a home and employment. It does not take much imagination to fill in those details. The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like every other family, like so many of our migrant brothers and sisters who, today too, risk their lives to escape misfortune and hunger. In this regard, I consider Saint Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty.

Just as our hearts would be moved to help the Holy Family, so too does St. Joseph push our hearts to have compassion on all families and people suffering in our world today. Almsgiving reminds us that we are all members of the one body of Christ. When one part suffers, the whole body feels it. St. Joseph is the protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor, and the dying, and from him we are called to the same level of care and responsibility. While almsgiving is more commonly interpreted as a monetary donation, St. Joseph gives to us a new lens for us to view this Lenten practice,
to view the poor as our brothers and sisters and thereby be driven to help and love them as members of one Christian community. Almsgiving inspires a change of heart; fosters practices that support those in trouble; and highlights the dignity of the poor, who are so often neglected and downtrodden.

Pope Francis encourages us to Ite Ad Joseph, “Go to Joseph.” Under Joseph’s paternal care, we too can learn and grow and be formed, just as the Son of God did under his earthly father’s care. This Lenten season, I pray that all of us will spend more time with St. Joseph, joyfully adopting the practices of the

Lenten season with all the encouragement St. Joseph gives to us. Be assured that the Marianist Communities at Chaminade and Kellenberg are praying for you and your families. Continue to be safe, and to spread the joy of the Gospel.

God bless,

Bro. Peter Francis

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Saint Joseph 14

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“He's the patron of the dying, because the tradition says that when he died, he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. You won't get a better death than that, so when you pray to him for a happy death...we pray that we would be embraced by our Lord and our Lady.” 

Fr. Donald Calloway

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Saint Joseph 13

Catholic Wallpapers

“Part of what I would like the fruit of this to be is the affirmation that we do have a loving father in St. Joseph, and he's never going to hurt us. He's there for us and a good father who wants his children to make it to heaven. And he's ultimately, like Our Lady, not going to point to himself, but point us to Jesus and help us to grow.”  Fr. Donald Calloway

Friday, February 12, 2021

Saint Joseph 12

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Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, 
Take under your protection 
the serious and troubling situations 
that I commend to you, 
that they may have a happy outcome.

My beloved father, 
all my trust is in you. 
Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, 
and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, whose power makes the impossible possible, come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty.
show me that your goodness is as great as your power. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Saint Joseph 11

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In his letter, Pope Francis notes how, “Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds [Morning Prayer]” he has “recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary.” This prayer, he says, expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph,” on account of its closing words: “My beloved father, all my trust is in you. Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Saint Joseph 10

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True fathers, instead, “refuse to live the lives of their children for them,” and instead respect their freedom. In this sense, says Pope Francis, a father realizes that “he is most a father and an educator at the point when he becomes ‘useless,’ when he sees that his child has become independent and can walk the paths of life unaccompanied.” Being a father, the Pope emphasizes, “has nothing to do with possession, but is rather a ‘sign’ pointing to a greater fatherhood”: that of the “heavenly Father.” 

Fr. Donald Calloway

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Saint Joseph 9

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Happiness for Saint Joseph involved a true gift of self: “In him, we never see frustration, but only trust,” writes Pope Francis. “His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust.” Joseph stands out, therefore, as an exemplary figure for our time, in a world that “needs fathers,” and not “tyrants”; a society that “rejects those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction.”

Fr. Donald Calloway

Monday, February 8, 2021

Saint Joseph 8

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“Fathers are not born, but made,” says Pope Francis. “A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child.” Unfortunately, in today’s society, children “often seem orphans, lacking fathers” who are able to introduce them “to life and reality.” Children, the Pope says, need fathers who will not try to dominate them, but instead raise them to be “capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities.”

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Saint Joseph 7

Pope Francis encourages everyone “to rediscover the value, the importance and the necessity of work for bringing about a new ‘normal’ from which no one is excluded.” Especially in light of rising unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pope calls everyone to “review our priorities” and to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!”  

    Fr. Donald Calloway

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Saint Joseph 6

“A carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family,” St Joseph also teaches us “the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour.” This aspect of Joseph’s character provides Pope Francis the opportunity to launch an appeal in favour of work, which has become “a burning social issue” even in countries with a certain level of well-being. “there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.”

Friday, February 5, 2021

Saint Joseph 5

St. Joseph is “the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty.” As the guardian of Jesus and Mary, Joseph cannot “be other than the guardian of the Church,” of her motherhood, and of the Body of Christ. “Consequently, every poor, needy, suffering or dying person, every stranger, every prisoner, every infirm person is ‘the child’ whom Joseph continues to protect.” From St Joseph, writes Pope Francis, “we must learn… to love the Church and the poor”Fr. Donald Calloway

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Saint Joseph 4

Joseph’s spiritual path “is not one that explains, but accepts” — which does not mean that he is “resigned.” Instead, he is “courageously and firmly proactive,” because with “Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude,” and full of hope, he is able “to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and
disappointments.” In practice, through St. Joseph, it is as if God were to repeat to us: “Do not be afraid!” because “faith gives meaning to every event, however happy or sad,” and makes us aware that “God can make flowers spring up from stony ground.” Joseph “did not look for shortcuts but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it.” For this reason, “he encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak”
Fr. Donald Calloway

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Saint Joseph 3

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Joseph is “an accepting Father,” because he “accepted Mary unconditionally” — an important gesture
even today, says Pope Francis, “in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence towards
women is so evident.” But the Bridegroom of Mary is also the one who, trusting in the Lord, accepts in his life even the events that he does not understand, “setting aside his own ideas” and reconciling himself with his own history. Fr. Donald Calloway

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Saint Joseph 2

Joseph is also a father in obedience to God: with his ‘fiat’ he protects Mary and Jesus and teaches his Son to “do the will of the Father.” Called by God to serve the mission of Jesus, he “cooperated… in the great mystery of Redemption,” as St John Paul II said, “and is truly a minister of salvation.”

Fr. Donald Calloway

Monday, February 1, 2021

Marianist Monday

 VIDEO] Why Lent? Bishop Barron Explains - Word on Fire

March 2021

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

As we reflect on the liturgical season of Lent, we are called to see how we can become more like Christ. It is a time for consideration of our shortcomings, but also of the greatness for which we are all destined through our Baptism. We are all children of God, created in His image and likeness, and we are all here for a reason and a purpose.

The past year has felt to some, myself included, as an extended period of Lent. It is hard to believe that this month will mark a full year since the lockdowns and quarantining began. Just twelve months ago, so few of us used Zoom, or worried about being too close to our friends and loved ones, or wore masks every day, and yet these have become the norm. Many people were unable to celebrate Easter, or to attend Mass at all for months. As we saw all this pain and difficulty which seemed to engulf the whole world, it would have been all too easy to believe that there was no way through it. There was a very real loss, for many, of a sense of community, of togetherness.

Luckily, there were, and continue to be, countless examples of people overcoming the limitations of travel restrictions and quarantine to create a sense of community amidst the chaos. Performers took to the new stages of apartment balconies, YouTube, and Zoom to share their gifts with the world. Masses were livestreamed around the globe so that the faithful could at least make spiritual acts of Communion. Families had virtual reunions and in many cases actually spoke more frequently than they had before.
It is always important, but especially in times of trial, to look to where there is good in the world. There are many voices out there calling for further division and sowing seeds of conflict and strife. We must resist the temptation to give in to that division. We must seek to mend and unite, even while we can only do so virtually.

Last year, Bishop Robert Barron proposed the idea of making an extra effort during Lent to be forgiving, to love one’s enemies. In a world where so many wrongs are committed, there is a great tendency to hold on to rage and ideas of revenge. But, as Bishop Barron reminds us,“Thomas Aquinas defines the deadly sin of anger in his typically pithy manner as an irrational or excessive desire for revenge. Every one of us has been hurt by someone else, aggressed, unjustly harmed, insulted, perhaps to an extreme degree. And so, naturally enough, we harbor a desire to respond in kind. . . . We spend an extraordinary amount of time fantasizing about what we might say and do to our enemies if we ever had the opportunity or the requisite power. This is what Thomas Aquinas means by the ‘deadly sin’ of anger.”

If we follow Jesus’ call to not only forgive, but to love those who harm us, or at least to try, we can make great strides among people to mend rather than to tear down, to heal rather than to harm, to build community instead of sowing division. A good way to start on this difficult journey is to realize that in whatever struggles you have, you’re never alone. You always have the love and support of your friends, family, loved ones, and, of course, the Blessed Mother and the Holy Trinity. I have found that the Jesus Prayer, a beautiful prayer popular in the Eastern Church, is a simple and effective means of calming down and entering into meditation. I will leave you with the text of this brief prayer, in the hopes that it may help you to find the strength from Christ to forgive others and build meaningful community relationships among those you encounter.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
Have mercy on me, a sinner.

May God bless you all this Lent, and always,

Bro. Andrew Santoriello

Saint Joseph 1

And because of his role at “the crossroads between the Old and New Testament,” St Joseph “has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people." In him, “Jesus saw the tender love of God,” the one that helps us accept our weakness, because “it is through” and despite “our fears, our frailties, and our weakness” that most divine designs are realized. “Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser,” emphasizes the Pontiff, and it is by encountering God’s mercy especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation that we “experience His truth and tenderness,” – because “we know that God’s truth does not condemn us, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us.” 

Fr. Donald Calloway