Saturday, July 2, 2022

Mass of Profession of First Vows - Togo


Bro. Patrice Agao, SM, with Fr. Jonas Kpatcha, SM, Regional Superior
and his family.

On Sunday, June 26, 2022, the Mass of Profession of First Vows of Patrice Médésso Agao took place in Kara, Togo. The celebration was presided over by the Regional Superior of the Marianists of Togo, Fr. Jonas Kpatcha, SM. The profession took place in the chapel of the Collège Chaminade in Kara. 

Members of the Marianist Family, the family and friends of the professed and of the educational community of Collège Chaminade and Collège Adele of Kara attended the profession. In his homily, the Regional Superior asked the professed to stand firm always in the commitment he has decided to make. To do so, he must fundamentally put on the characteristic virtues of the Virgin Mary. It is then that he can assume a happy and fruitful religious life.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Happy Anniversary Kellenberg Memorial - 1987

 Kellenberg Memorial High School

A Catholic School in the Marianist Tradition

Founded July 1, 1987

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador

"Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of San Salvador who served his people to the point of martyrdom during a long and bloody civil war, once wrote, “We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing this. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.”

There is freedom in these words. There is liberation in not judging all our efforts as futile before we even get started. There is peace in surrendering to what’s demanded and doing what’s possible. There is something salutary in contemplating our own mortality, as long as we don’t let it keep us from being fully alive. What we do matters, even if only for a little while.

Anyone can imagine a long stretch of time, whether it’s a thousand years from now or the few hours until the next bedtime, and use that as an excuse for procrastination or self-destructive behavior. That’s not hard to do, and it doesn’t make you a deep thinker. What’s hard is facing up to our limited existence and conscientiously fulfilling our daily obligations to God, others, and ourselves, whether we feel like it or not. The former leads to misery and despair, the latter to what the Bible calls “beatitude”—the joy experienced by the saints and angels who behold God in heaven face-to-face. How we act informs how we feel. Living an ordered life leads to having an ordered soul. And it all starts with making your bed in the morning.

This summer, make your bed every morning."

- Bishop Robert Barron

Monday, June 27, 2022

Marianist Monday

“Remember, brother, that the goal of your prayer is that God may be all in all. You do not pray simply because of your personal needs and wants, nor because of your finding comfort and consolation, nor to win the admiration of others, nor to appear wise in their eyes, nor for any other reason than to give yourself wholly and completely to God.”

- Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

Thursday, June 23, 2022



Paray-le-Monial, France is a small town in the Bourgogne region of eastern France. It is the place where the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque. The apparitions and subsequent devotion to the Sacred Heart took place in the late 17th century. 

St. Margaret Mary's spiritual director was St. Claude de la Colombiere S.J. Both consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart and promoted the devotion with much suffering. 

In 1856, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the Feast of the Sacred Heart for the entire Church and exhorted the faithful to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart (1875). 

St. Margaret Mary was canonized on May 13th, 1920.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Sr. Margaret Mary - Sacred Heart


Lord Jesus,

let my heart never rest until it finds You,

who are its center, 

its love, and its happiness.

By the wound in Your heart

pardon the sins that I have committed

whether out of malice or out of evil desires.

Place my weak heart in your own divine heart,

continually under your protection and guidance,

so that I may persevere in doing good and in fleeing evil until my last breath. Amen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Heart of Jesus

O most holy Heart of Jesus, 

fountain of every blessing, 

I adore You, I love You, 

and with a lively sorrow for my sins, 

I offer You this poor heart of mine. 

Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to Your will.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Graduation moments

 Both of our Marianist high schools celebrated their annual Commencement Exercises on Pentecost Sunday. Families and friends gathered to watch the events at the Hofstra Arena and Tilles Center.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


May 2022 

My dear friends in Christ, 

Χριστός Ανέστη! Aληθώς ανέστη! Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! 
Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! (Traditional Greek Easter Greeting) 

A very Happy Easter to you and your families! 

You might think that this greeting is a tad late. Easter, after all, was back on April 17. But, really, it’s right on time. This year, the entire month of May falls within the Easter Season, or Paschal Tide as it’s sometimes called. Easter doesn’t end until Sunday, June 5. Has it ever struck you as strange that we put so much emphasis on having a “Good Lent” but almost never hear anybody talking about having a “Good Easter,” unless they mean having a pleasant time with family and friends on Easter Sunday?

Easter is the most important celebration of the Church year, but for some reason it seems to take the back seat to Lent, the season that is meant as a preparation for it. In the weeks leading up to Ash Wednesday, my inbox is filled with ads for all sorts of Lenten aids, companions, and guides; books that are meant to help you journey through the season with St. Benedict or St. Francis or Bl. Fulton Sheen or just about any Saint you can think of; commentaries on the daily Mass readings; emails that will give me a quote of the day for each day of Lent. The list goes on and on. Then Easter rolls around, and the advertisements disappear. Nobody seems to be particularly interested, at least from a commercial point of view, in helping us have a “Good Easter.” We spend roughly six weeks preparing for Easter Sunday, and then it’s over. But the thing is, it isn’t. Easter Sunday is just the beginning. When I say that Easter Sunday is just the beginning, I don’t just mean the beginning of the Easter Season. Easter Sunday is the beginning of everything. Everything changed when Jesus was raised from the dead, so much so that 

Easter is said to be the start of a New Creation. Pope St. John Paul II said that “The new creation comes about at Easter. In the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection, all is redeemed, and everything becomes once more perfectly good, according to God's original plan.” Pope Benedict wrote, “Easter is the feast of the new creation. Jesus is risen and dies no more. He has opened the door to a new life, one that no longer knows illness and death. He has taken mankind up into God himself.” These are two powerful statements. St. John Paul said, “Everything becomes once more perfectly good, according to God’s original plan.” The Resurrection gives us a new world, a blessed world. Pope Benedict said that Jesus has taken mankind up into God himself. 

The Resurrection gives us eternal life, life with neither illness nor death, with God himself. It’s more than we could have hoped for – more than we could have dared to ask for. Easter changes EVERYTHING! (Sorry if it seems like I’m raising my voice.) But nothing is the same after Easter – nothing. In the Book of Revelation, God is seated on His throne, and He says, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) So, how should we celebrate something as momentous as Easter? Jellybeans and chocolate bunnies don’t really seem to do the trick when we consider what we are actually celebrating. 

I’d like to offer three suggestions: First, reflect on what we’ve just experienced in the Paschal Triduum. Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday’s Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil are spiritually rich celebrations that could provide a lifetime of material for prayer and meditation. Second, do some good. If we are encouraged to make some kind of sacrifice during the season of Lent as a spiritual discipline, it seems appropriate to perform some sort of positive good for the season of Easter as a form of gratitude. The traditional Works of Mercy could be a good starting point. For your reference, they are: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; visit the sick; visit the imprisoned; bury the dead; counsel the doubtful; instruct the ignorant; admonish sinners; comfort the afflicted; forgive offenses; bear wrongs patiently; pray for the living and the dead. 

Finally, spread the joy. St. Augustine tells us that “We are an Easter people, and alleluia is our song.” The last two years have been extremely stressful for all of us. God willing, we’re starting to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, it still feels like there is a heavy weight bearing down on us. It would be great if each of us could do something to lighten the mood. We have good news to share, the best news. So, smile; plant flowers; wear bright colored clothes (if that’s your thing). And, if anybody asks you what you’re so happy about you can tell them – 

Christ is Risen! Truly, He is Risen! God bless, 

Bro. Patrick 

P.S. – Disclaimer – I have nothing against either chocolate bunnies or jellybeans. In fact, I am overly fond of both.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Holy Saturday - 2022

The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging
The Mother stood grieving beside the cross weeping while on it hung her Son
The sorrowful Mother stood full of tears by the Cross while her Son was hanging thereThe grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging

The Mother stood grieving beside the cross weeping while on it hung her Son
The sorrowful Mother stood full of tears by the Cross while her Son was hanging there
The mother of sorrows stood in tears beside the cross on which her Son was hanging
Weeping stood the Mother of Sorrows next the Cross, the while her Son hung there
The Mother stood sorrowing by the cross weeping while her Son hung there
The sorrowful Mother stood weeping before the cross where hung her Son
At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Holy Thursday 2022

A new commandment I give unto you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.

By this shall all know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one for another.


Monday, April 11, 2022

Holy Week

Happy Holy Week, friends. 

Let us prepare ourselves for the largest event in human history, 
but also our hearts for the greatest act of salvation known to man.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Peace for Ukraine

O great and almighty Lord,

Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Bless her with the freedom and light
Of your holy rays.
With learning and knowledge
enlighten us, your children small,
in love pure and everlasting

O Lord, let us grow.

We pray, O Lord Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine,
Grant our people and our country
All your kindness and grace.

Bless us with freedom, bless us with wisdom,
Guide into a kind world,
Bless us, oh Lord, with good fortune
For ever and evermore.

Friday, April 8, 2022


“No stage was ever better set for the drama of hope than Calvary.”

- Bishop Fulton Sheen

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Lenten forgiveness


“What Our Lord did say on the cross was to forgive. Forgive your Pilates, who are too week to defend your justice; forgive your Herods, who are too sensual to perceive your spirituality; forgive your Judases, who think worth is to be measured in terms of silver.”

-Bishop Fulton Sheen

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Lenten hope

“Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you.”

Monday, March 21, 2022



The ultimate origin of Lent

lies in man's awareness of his 

need to turn back to God.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Saint Joseph - Patron

From its very beginnings Saint Joseph served as the patron protector of the Marianists:
Father Leo Meyer, S.M., and Brother Charles Schultz, S.M., set sail for the United States on May 28, 1849. Their boat landed in New York on July 4, 1849, and on July 16 they arrived in Cincinnati, hio. Because of the cholera epidemic then taking its toll on the inhabitants of Cincinnati, Meyer and Schultz traveled to Dayton, Ohio, where they worked at Emmanuel Parish and cared for people suffering the effects of the epidemic. (Members of the Society of Mary still serve the needs of the parish community today).

At the end of July 1849, Father Meyer met John Stuart who owned 125 acres of land close to Emmanuel Parish. Stuart was eager to sell his proper- ty and return to France. He informed Father Meyer that he would sell him the property for $12,000. Though he had no money, Father Meyer agreed to buy the property. His first payment was a medal of Saint Joseph which was accepted by Stuart. Father Meyer was able to pay off the debt in 1861. The newly acquired property was called Nazareth.

Marianist Province of the United States

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Saint Louise de Marillac

Saint Louise de Marillac was born in France, on August 12, 1591. 

She was educated by the Dominican at Poissy. She desired to become a nun but on the advice of her confessor, she married Antony LeGras, an official in the Queen's service, in 1613. After Antony's death in 1625, she met St. Vincent de Paul, who became her spiritual adviser. She devoted the rest of her life to working with him. She helped direct his Ladies of Charity in their work of caring for the sick, the poor, and the neglected. In 1633 she set up a training center, of which she was Directress in her own home, for candidates seeking to help in her work. This was the beginning of the Sisters (or Daughters, as Vincent preferred) of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.

She took her vows in 1634 and attracted great numbers of candidates. She wrote a rule for the community, and in 1642, Vincent allowed four of the members to take vows. Formal approval placed the community under Vincent and his Congregation of the Missions, with Louise as Superior. She traveled all over France establishing her Sisters in hospitals, orphanages, and other institutions. By the time of her death in Paris on March 15, the Congregation had more than forty houses in France. Since then they have spread all over the world. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934, and was declared Patroness of Social Workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960.

Friday, March 11, 2022

400th Anniversary of Canonizations

As we celebrate this Year of St. Ignatius of Loyola (the founder of the Jesuits), we remember his emphasis in his Spiritual Exercises to meditate on the scene of our death beds as a way to discern what is truly important in the present. 

On Saturday, March 12, 2022, we will celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the Canonization of St. Ignatius. 

On March 12, 1722, St. Ignatius was canonized that day along with St. Francis Xavier, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Philip Neri and St. Isidore the Farmer.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Marianist Monday

March 2022

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite Christian songs is Chris Tomlin’s Good Good Father. You might remember hearing it often at XLT or on the morning announcements. For me, it’s one of those songs that gets stuck in my head for days at a time – whistling it down the hallway, singing it in the shower, playing it over and over while I’m working at my desk. While the melody and instrumentals are catchy, the lyrics
echo in my heart and my spiritual imagination, helping me to pray. The song is a gift to me, and I want to share with you my favorite verse and the refrain:

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still

As You call me deeper still into love, love
You're a good, good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are,
it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

Sometimes we can get caught up in the idea that our worth depends on what we experience or
achieve: our GPA, our next internship, our good or poor health, our past relationships, or our tough
family situations, for example. The song reminds me that when I lose sight of God’s action in my life, it
is God who reminds me of who I am in His eyes. I am his beloved son, and He is my loving Father. St.
John Paul II sums up this truth perfectly, saying, “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures;
we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of His Son Jesus.”
We are truly brothers and sisters of Jesus, so God is our Father who calls us deeper into relationship with Him. Just this past September, Bro. Andrew and I were blessed to be able to embrace that vocation to deeper communion with God by professing final vows as Brothers of the Society of Mary. “Brother” is not just a nice title to describe a Marianist who is not a priest; it is a constant reminder to me that God the Father has created me to love each and every person in my life as if he or she were my brother or sister – because it is who I am as a consecrated religious.

In preparation for our final vows, Bro. Andrew and I made an incredible 30-day silent retreat
last summer. While challenging, the experience was a beautiful moment to step aside to hear the Lord
speak to me in silence and to fully embrace the vocation the Father has offered to me as a gift. Since the
time I started high school in 2007, I have been steadily growing in my relationship with Mary, the
Mother of Jesus, but I really wanted to deepen my devotion to St. Joseph, the husband of Mary. As I
prepared to consecrate myself to Mary for the rest of my life, I thought St. Joseph would be the perfect
patron saint to help me grow in my love for Jesus and Mary, just as he loved them during his life on

St. Joseph did not disappoint me in any way, and I knew I picked a good patron for the retreat
when I arrived at the retreat house in Columbus, Ohio and saw a tremendous statue of Jesus’ earthly
father. In fact, I realized that just as Jesus has a Good Father in Heaven, he has a good father on earth
too. While we know so little about St. Joseph, he was the man who showed Jesus and Mary the love of a father and husband. I spent many hours (I had a lot of time during 30 days of silence...) praying with
this quote by Blessed Chaminade about St. Joseph: “We wonder why the Gospel makes so little mention of St. Joseph. But did it not say everything when it taught us that he was the husband of Mary?”

So, what does any of this have to do with this letter? This month, we both begin the sacred season of Lent, and we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary. While you are trying to decide on your Lenten practices and sacrifices, I thought I could suggest three quick lessons that I learned from St. Joseph on while preparing to make my final vows. They are taken from the Litany of St. Joseph and line up with each of the vows that the Brothers profess. I hope they will be
meaningful to you and start you off on a good path this Lent.

St. Joseph, lover of poverty, pray for us! Poverty enables us to love God and others more than we love the good things in this world. Does that mean you should get rid of everything you have and start begging? I personally don’t think so, but can you try to live more simply this Lent? Give up the
daily Dunkin’ Donuts run or try to rely less on Amazon. Are you wasteful or greedy with your time?

Make a spiritual commitment to procrastinate less. Maybe plan to leave for class a few minutes earlier
and spend the extra few minutes praying a decade of the rosary (or call your mom on the walk to class!)
We have so much in our lives; what can you give up for a few weeks to help you grow closer to Jesus?
St. Joseph, most chaste spouse, pray for us! The virtue of chastity is all about integrity.

Our actions should correspond with the faith we believe in our hearts. Can you skip the raunchy songs
on your playlist? Do you practice modesty and self-control? If you’re struggling with this virtue, maybe
reach out to a spiritual friend or mentor for some advice. It’s never shameful or too late to ask for help!
St. Joseph, most obedient, pray for us! None of us likes being told what to do. The virtue of obedience helps us to be open to God’s action in our lives. I know I often get confused by nice phrases like “Just do God’s will.” What does that even mean? Take the days of Lent to trust that God’s will is simply to love the real people right in front of you at any given moment. Focus especially on listening to what they say to you. If you start there, you can’t go wrong.

Lent is a time to remember that God is our Good Father whose love for us is undeniable and who
desires to give us peace beyond our comprehension, not only in Eternal Life, but right here and right
now. If you are looking for something to help you pray, I would suggest sitting down somewhere quiet
and offering the lyrics of this song as your words to God in prayer. Remember that you are loved by
God, and take some time with St. Joseph, the man Jesus was happy to call his father on earth. I pray
that this Lent will be a blessed one!

In Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

Bro. Patrick Cahill, S.M.

P.S. Follow us on Facebook(Bro Stephen Balletta Or Marianists - Province of Meribah),
Instagram (brostephenballetta OR marianistsli) and Twitter (Bro Stephen Balletta
@MarianistsLI) for updates about the Marianists of the Province of Meribah.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Lenten Immersion

Jodel Lutchman offers us some recommendations to maximize silence in lent.

If you’ve been unable to immerse yourself into the season of Lent, all hope is not lost. I want to offer you two very simple, yet powerful suggestions.

1. Do nothing!

Usually, during our Lenten, we hear about abstinence and/or taking on something– abstain from social media, from chocolate or anything that can distract us from God and perhaps become a kind of idol in our lives. One of the things that we do not think about is the idol of busyness.

2. Immerse yourself in this season of Lent

I’m not talking about praying the rosary or listening to spiritual talks on YouTube; these are all very good and have their rightful place in our prayer life and spirituality. However, they can lend to the busyness and distract us from some great thing that God may be trying to do in our lives. Take the downtime to clear your mind and become conscious of God’s presence around you like the trees and their fruits, the birds of the air, the dogs and the wind. Focus on your senses, your ability to breathe, see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Notice, too, that I did not say to spend the nothingness in offering petitions. 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Lenten Silence


To approach Lent with a fresh perspective, try to find moments of silence.

Think of Lent as a season of rest, said Paul Jarzembowski, author of the 2022 book “Hope from the Ashes: Insights and Resources for Welcoming Lenten Visitors.”

“Lent affords us some time to really be quiet. If that’s quiet in one’s personal prayer space; if that’s quiet getting in the car and going over to a church or a sacred space; if that’s online. Wherever someone can find that quiet and you know that you have the time to do,” he said.

Thursday, February 24, 2022


Pope Francis made a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine at his public audience in the Vatican on Feb. 23 as the situation continued to deteriorate between Russia and Ukraine. He appealed to the consciences of “those with political responsibility” and “all the parties involved” to “refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilizing coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.”

He also appealed “to everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike” to make March 2—Ash Wednesday—“a day of prayer and fasting for peace.”

Monday, February 14, 2022

Marianist Monday

February 2022

Hi, everyone, and Happy February. For this reflection, I have a simple question for you:

What do you consume?

I ask this question speaking as someone who consumes a lot, but I don’t necessarily mean food.
Although with Valentine's Day around the corner, I’m sure chocolate and a nice dinner are on the
horizon for many of you. Consumption doesn’t just have to do with the things we eat, though. We
consume all different types of things: media, literature, music. It all affects us one way or another, just
as the foods we eat do too. I’d like to propose some questions for self-reflection that you can use in prayer throughout this month. I pray that these help you on your pilgrim journey to God’s kingdom. 

According to my Spotify Wrapped, I spent 60,547 minutes listening to music last year, which is over 40
days of songs (and that’s almost exclusively all music, because I’m not a big podcast guy). It’s mostly
mindless pop music, something I can put on and not think about, but even still, that inordinate
consumption of music affects and impacts me. Oftentimes, I take a step back and speculate that, if I
knew about American literature or biology the way I know lyrics to Taylor Swift’s songs, I would be the
most effective teacher alive. But unfortunately, my mental real estate is taken up by thousands upon
thousands of song lyrics, and most of them are not helpful to my everyday life.

Luckily, to combat the “love” songs of today and other musical messages of never-ending parties and
risky behavior, I get a generous helping of the songs of Scripture, the psalms. The Brothers sing the
psalms every day, and even without knowing it, we either allude to or straight up quote the psalms
regularly throughout our days because of our constant contact with them. In our consumption of the
psalms, we consume and are transformed by the words of God. With the words of the psalms on our
lips and in our hearts, our lives are directed to that constant prayer with God, using the words He
inspired and gave us to offer back up to Him. Arguably, these are still not “useful” for our everyday
lives, but they are pivotal for our journey to eternal life. So I ask you: What do you consume in

Just as music and lyrics get into our heads, so too do the things we witness. As the old adage goes,
our eyes are the windows to the soul. Anything we take in by sight can move us to tears, outrage, joy,
fear, apathy, or even a mixture of many emotions. The commercialism of Valentine's Day takes
advantage of this too, emphasizing the need for physical beauty on a day dedicated to romantic love.
Beauty affects us profoundly, and through beauty, we get glimpses of the Divine with us on earth, since
there is nothing that is beautiful that doesn’t also participate in God’s beauty. Whatever we see and
willingly put before our sight is “consumed” by us, at least through mental understanding.

During February, we have the feasts of some powerful saints. These men and women are saints
because Jesus was always before them, in their sights, and they found Jesus in the people whom they

I’m thinking of people like St. Josephine Bakhita, who, even after enduring slavery, found joy in a life
devoted to Christ, or St. Bernadette Soubirous, remembered during the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Cyril and Methodius were brother saints who brought the Gospel to the Slavs. All these and many
others distinctly saw Jesus in their lives. We too have the opportunity to see the Lord, particularly in
Adoration. Many of you, I’m sure, had powerful faith experiences at XLT, and I challenge you this
month to set the Lord before your eyes in Adoration. Worship the source of beauty and be willing to be
looked at in return by Him who watches over all of us. So I ask you here: What do you consume

Now let’s actually get back to food for a second. If you’re a recent graduate, you might be familiar with
the name Carlo Acutis, a young man with an ardent devotion to the Eucharist. We are blessed with the
opportunity to take into ourselves the One and Living God when we participate in Mass. Acutis knew
this so acutely that he felt it was his mission, his ministry, to reorient the world back to the Eucharist.
Our encounter with the Eucharist is an opportunity for us to be transformed, to become more like Him
whom we take into ourselves. A famous quote from Father Chaminade, plastered (quite literally)
throughout your alma maters is that “it is for us is an infinite honor to be like Him.” The Eucharist which we consume is our gateway, a contact point for us to begin and perfect that imitation. Just as the
things we watch and the songs we listen to shape our minds and our outlooks, maybe even our moods,
so does our consumption of the Eucharist shape our souls.

I like to remind the students on retreat with me, before we go into Mass, that what we're about to enter
into (the liturgy of the Eucharist particularly) is the SOURCE and SUMMIT of the Christian life. The
SOURCE, because without Jesus Christ, the Mass would not exist, we would not exist, for “in the
beginning was the Word.” He is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, and we are given a
great gift to be able to come before the Maker of All Things. So great is this gift that we also call it the
SUMMIT. The Eucharist is not only my origin, but it is also the best thing in which I will participate on
any and every given day. And that participation culminates in consumption. To consume the Lord and
to acknowledge this blessing, this gift, this grace, is the cornerstone of my prayer, of my life with God.

And so I ask you here: What do you consume to bring you closer to God?

My prayers and those of all the Marianists at Chaminade and Kellenberg are with you. Be safe and
secure, and know that God loves you.

God Bless,

Bro. Peter Sennert, S.M.

P.S. Follow the Marianists on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, where you will find weekly videos and
frequent updates and photos of the Community.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Intercession of Blessed Chaminade

The Marianist Community requests your prayers for the healing of Fr. Thomas Cardone through the intercession of Our Lady and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. Earlier this morning, Fr. Thomas underwent surgery to repair serious bleeding in his small intestine. He remains in critical condition and in need of many prayers for healing. Please join the Brothers in asking our Blessed Founder to intercede for Fr. Thomas.

O Lord, you are constantly at work in your Church
and, through individuals and communities,
you manifest your Spirit for the good of your people.
In a special way you bestowed your spirit on your Servant,
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
so that he might live fully according to the Gospel
and with love devote himself to your saving work.
You have inspired communities of men and women
to follow his example by consecrating themselves to you
to serve the Church under the leadership of Mary.
We now pray to you to give us visible signs
of your grace and holiness in his life by granting us
the special favors we ask through his intercession
for the healing of Fr. Thomas Cardone,
a faithful Marianist missionary of Mary.

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

Monday, January 31, 2022

St. John Bosco

Did you know Don Bosco is the patron saint of Catholic Publishers? 

He even had his own printing presses in 1861, telling his early followers "You’ll see, we shall have a printing press, two, no, ten printing presses! Just wait and see." 

Why printing presses? Because, in his own words: 

“Only God knows the good that can come about by reading one good Catholic book.”
                                                                                                                              — St. John Bosco

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Conversion of Saint Paul

“Conversion of St. Paul on the Road to Damascus” – Caravaggio (1601) 

Saint Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. 

In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly. Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “…entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b). Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior.

Monday, January 24, 2022

St. Francis de Sales


"Gentleness towards ourselves makes us moderate in our emotions and feelings toward ourselves; regulate all violent, impetuous and passionate thoughts. Gentleness must permeate our whole being, interior and exterior. He who is able to preserve gentleness among pains and weakness and peace among troubles and a multiplicity of affairs is almost perfect."

-St. Francis de Sales

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade - Happy Feast Day!

"Ours is a work, a magnificent work. If it is universal, it is because we are missionaries of Mary, who has said to us, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Each one of us has received from the Blessed Virgin a commission to work at the salvation of our brothers and sisters in the world.” 

Today we celebrate the feast day of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Marianist Monday

January 2022

My Dear Graduates of Chaminade, Kellenberg Memorial, and St. Martin de Porres Marianist School,

You are probably not going to believe this, but I was once suspended from school. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

My suspension from school occurred in the seventh grade. I was attending St. Peter of Alcantara Grade School in Port Washington. We were on our lunch break, and all of us boys were playing keep-away. Now, you must understand that keep-away was strictly forbidden on the St. Peter’s playground. Our principal, teachers, and lunch/recess monitors deemed it entirely too rough a game, and, in truth, it really was, especially because our “playground” at St. Peter’s was an asphalt parking lot. We had no grass fields, no sandboxes, and certainly no FieldTurf. So, as you can well imagine, any athletic activity beyond kickball and stickball was pretty risky.

In seventh grade, however, we didn’t see it that way. At least we boys didn’t, and we were constantly breaking the rules regarding keep-away and other unsafe playground games. Needless to say, our defiance did not ingratiate us to the recess monitors, almost all of whom were our own parents. In fact, one of the strictest of the recess monitors was my own mother, who, as a former grade-school teacher, was not about to brook disobedience from a bunch of hyperactive boys.

I can picture the scene as if it had occurred yesterday. My mother -- ever the leader and spokesperson in whatever parent group to which she belonged -- told all of the seventh-grade boys that we were to cease and desist immediately from our roughhousing and report to the gymnasium, where we should take a seat and calm down. And then something transpired that probably could have happened only in those heady, halcyon days of the 60s. All the boys sat down in the parking lot/playground and started chanting, “Hell no, we won’t go!”

Well, to make a long story short, the principal was called to the scene. We were summarily suspended for the day and were readmitted the next morning, upon an interview in the principal’s office with one of our parents.

And there it is -- the unsavory saga of one Stephen Balletta and his transformation from grade-school rebel without a cause to high-school teacher with plenty of causes. I guess, in the long run, I turned out more like my mother than Jimmy Dean. (No surprise there, for anyone who knows me.)

Thank God for the possibility of transformation. Now, I’ll admit, I was in no way the grade-school bad boy and ringleader, although my friends took great delight in getting me -- generally the teacher’s pet and goody-two-shoes of the class -- involved in their antics and thus caught up in trouble. No, I wasn’t the proverbial bad boy, but I wasn’t perfect either. I shouldn’t even need to write this, but I am in no way perfect now, not even close.

But I do believe in the possibility of transformation. I believe in second chances -- in third and fourth chances and, in fact, an infinite number of chances to start over and be transformed.

In the secular world, we celebrate second chances on New Year’s Day, when we make our resolutions for the coming calendar year.

In the religious world, recognizing second chances is part and parcel of our faith. Think of St. Peter. He denied Christ three times, yet he went on to become our first Pope, the rock on whom Christ built His Church. Or St. Paul, the feared persecutor of Christianity who became the faith’s greatest promoter. St. Augustine of Hippo comes to mind as well -- a man consumed by enormous pride and no small degree of lust -- who became one of the most prominent Doctors of the Church. As this famous quotation from St. Augustine reminds us:

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness, I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Except for the poetic phraseology, that sounds like something any one of us could echo. Late, have I loved you, O Lord, late have I loved you. And even then, I continually backslide, stumble, and start all over again. Thank God you are the God of second chances. Thank God you are the merciful God who forgave the repentant thief and promised him, “This very day, you will be with me in paradise.” Talk about last-minute transformations! And thank God for that!

My least favorite sacrament (if I am to be honest) is a powerful witness to our God of second chances. That sacrament, as you may have guessed, is Confession. There’s something in me that balks at cataloging my sins in the confessional. Maybe that’s the perfectionist in me. Whatever the reason, I have not yet grown comfortable with reciting my sins to another person. Still that person is a priest, and that priest stands in persona Christi -- in the person of Christ. As such, that priest mediates the ultimate sacrament of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances, and chances ad infinitum -- as long as we are sincerely sorry for our sins. As long as we are willing to be transformed, we are washed clean, making progress by the grace of the sacrament and assured that Christ will extend His mercy when we fail again.

So, yes, New Year’s provides us with a day to make resolutions, keep a few, and break a lot. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for efforts at self-improvement. But maybe we should focus less on our own efforts and more on the God of second chances. It is His mercy that can bring about real transformation -- transformation in Christ.

On behalf of all my Marianist Brothers,

Bro. Stephen

P.S. Follow the Marianists on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, where you will find weekly videos and frequent updates and photos of the Community.

Monday, January 3, 2022

The stable is a place for the outcasts

“There was no room in the inn, but there was room in the stable. The inn is the gathering place of public opinion, the focal point of the world’s moods, the rendezvous of the worldly, the rallying place of the popular and the successful. But the stable is a place for the outcasts, the ignored, the forgotten. The world might have expected the Son of God to be born – if he was to be born at all – in an inn. A stable would be the last place in the world where one would have looked for him. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.”

- Fulton Sheen

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.”

“In the filthiest place in the world, a stable, Purity was born. He, who was later to be slaughtered by men acting as beasts, was born among beasts. He, who would call himself the “living bread descended from Heaven,” was laid in a manger, literally, a place to eat. Divinity is always where one least expects to find it.”
- Fulton Sheen

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Mary, Mother of God


You are invited to join the Marianists of the Province by reciting the following prayer as we celebrate Mary, Mother of God today:

The Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my mother. To you I come; before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.