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.