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.
SOCIETY OF MARY: MARIANISTS JOHN HABJAN, S.M. Marianist Province of the United States
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.
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.
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 earth.
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.
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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.
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.