Monday, July 18, 2022




Lord Jesus,
we gather in spirit at the foot of the Cross
with your Mother and the disciple whom you loved.
We ask your pardon for our sins,
which are the cause of your death.

We thank you for remembering us
in that hour of salvation
and for giving us Mary as our Mother.

Holy Virgin,
take us under your protection
and open us to the action of
the Holy Spirit.

Saint John,
obtain for us the grace of taking Mary
into our lives as you did,
and of assisting her in her mission.

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


Friday, July 15, 2022

The essential

July 2022

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

Recently, I read a description of refugees fleeing Ukraine. The author described a typical image of a woman on foot, carrying a single heavy bag of belongings. Such an image prompted the question: If you were forced to leave your home with one bag, unsure if you would ever return, what would you take with you?

What is essential? The use of the word essential has increased exponentially during the global pandemic, hasn’t it? Supplies, services, and even human workers have been identified as essential or not. One thing we might learn from the Ukrainian refugees is that the most important things in life are not things. The refugees are fleeing with so little because their own lives and the lives of their loved ones are more important than their homes, cars, and personal possessions. What is essential? People, relationships.

Two thousand years ago, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were refugees themselves. I wonder what they considered essential for their journey? On several occasions, they traveled long distances, over fairly inhospitable terrain, on roads and paths far inferior to ours.

What is essential? I’m guessing the Holy Family packed pretty light. After all, Jesus would later tell his Apostles as he sent them out to preach: “Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick.” (Mt 10:9-10)

July is a month when many of us end up traveling and therefore packing a bag. We ask ourselves: “What will I need? What is essential for this trip?” I am the first to admit I am terrible at packing. I leave it to the last minute and always bring way more stuff than I really need.

Imagine one more traveler: Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. It is 1797, and the Revolution is at the height of its fervor in France. Fr. Chaminade has ministered in secret to a faithful flock in Bordeaux for as long as he could, but now he is forced to go into exile. He travels to Spain, eventually staying in Saragossa for three years. As far as I know, we don’t have definitive information about his mode of transportation or his exact route, and we certainly don’t know what he packed in his bag. But Blessed Chaminade does offer an answer to that perennial question: What is essential? “The essential is the interior.” By this he means our heart, mind, and soul, the center of our self that defines who we are.

In the writings of our Founder, we find many references to the importance of the interior life. For example, Father Chaminade writes to one fellow Marianist: “Be careful that the great number of your occupations does no harm to the interior spirit.” Blessed Chaminade’s words ring true for all of us today. The stories of each of the travelers we’ve just met bring his point home that much more poignantly. The essential things in life are not things, but people: ourselves and every single human person we meet, because we are made in the image and likeness of God.

If our interior life is essential, how do we care for it? We don't have to travel long distances or pack a suitcase. This is the beauty of our Catholic faith: Prayer, Scripture, and the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation are straightforward, readily available means to nurture our interior life. Hopefully, the summer affords us a little breathing room to work on the essentials.

Prayer is essential: We share our interior with God, and listen to the Father’s voice within us. 

Scripture is essential: The Word of God penetrates deep within.

The Eucharist is essential: We literally receive Christ’s Body into ours and unite our soul with His.

Reconciliation is essential: We reunite our heart with God and all those from whom our sin divides us.

Ukrainian refugees, the Holy Family, and Blessed Chaminade were forced to pack a single bag and leave their homes for a long journey. Their circumstances pushed them to ask: what is essential?

As Christian pilgrims journeying back to the Father, we are blessed to be able to ask that question from a place of freedom, rather than fear and necessity. We can respond on a spiritual level, recognizing that “the essential is the interior” -- our interior, our heart and soul. Whether we are covering lots of miles this summer, or just sitting quietly on a beach, let’s give the essential its due and take time to cultivate our inner life, using this Magnificat magazine and all the beautiful means our Catholic faith offers. As Fr. Chaminade said to another fellow Brother: “Work at becoming an interior man, a man of faith.” And if there is anything any of us can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

On behalf of all of my Marianist Brothers,

Fr. Peter Heiskell, S.M.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Consecrated life - It is JOY.

“This is the beauty of consecration: IT IS JOY.”
                                                                                              Pope Francis
A vocation is an invitation to love. It is the response to a call deep within the mystery of each heart. The heart of one called to religious life is kindled with a love that can only be satisfied by a total and radical gift of self to Christ who calls her to Himself. This animating response of love is expressed in the great JOY of a life freely given to God.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Life Testimony - Fr. Paul Landolfi, SM

Life Testimony - Fr. Paul Landolfi, SM

Once, when writing an appreciation of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Father Paul Landolfi used words that could easily have been applied to his own life as well: “It is a fundamental truth of faith that God is always present in our lives, loving us, guiding us, and revealing himself to us. Usually, when we look back in retrospect, we recognize that God always has been with us.”

In Paul’s case, God’s provident care was intimately connected to the Society of Mary. The beloved teacher, chaplain and spiritual director had 73 years of religious profession when he died in 2017 at the age of 90. But he had actually spent nearly 85 of his years in the company of Marianists, having grown up in an orphanage run by them. He lost his mother when he was only five years old, and his father died a few years later; still, he found in the Brothers’ care a family spirit that sustained and nurtured him as a boy.

Greatly attracted to the life of the Marianists, he entered the postulate at the tender age of 14 and went on to profess first vows in 1944. Brother Paul then continued studies to become a teacher, and served in that capacity at several different high schools before entering the seminary in 1952. Ordained in 1955 at Fribourg, Switzerland, he returned to the United States and continued his ministry as a teacher, chaplain and administrator.

During these early years in the classroom, both his colleagues and the Brothers noted something special about his demeanor and spirituality. It was said that Father Paul never uttered a harsh word or committed an unkind act. Instead, he was revered as someone who practiced the beatitudes in everyday life and was known for being open, gentle and extremely kind.

Father Paul would go on to serve in a variety of ministries, including formation work and a return to his childhood residence, St. John’s Home in New York, where he served as chaplain. Ever an educator and always a learner, Father Paul eventually earned two master’s degrees, one in administration and the other in pastoral counseling.

By the mid-1970s, he was ready to begin a new phase of ministry, beginning a two-decade term in leading the Marianist Spiritual Renewal Center in Pennsylvania. In that role, he designed and provided programs of retreats, spiritual direction and religious instruction – encountering many Lay Marianists who were seeking to deepen their Marianist commitment. Renowned as a most devoted son of Mary, he also became widely known and loved for serving as a gentle guide who demonstrated a genuine, simple joy in all of his encounters.

Deeply respected for his insights into Marianist spirituality, Father Paul once shared thoughts from a “dream interview” with Blessed Chaminade about the unique nature of the Marianists’ vow of stability. Using his “voice of Chaminade,” he wrote, “I wanted Stability to mean [that] members would enter and remain in a state of being much more than in a place…I wanted persons who would not be fixed to a house but would be fixed in a state, the state of being devoted to Mary. That’s what Mary wanted. She wanted dedicated people who would help her. She wanted her sons and daughters to be open and docile to the Spirit of Jesus. This required more than permanence in a place.”

The everyday holiness first noted by the Brothers in the 1940s continued in Father Paul until his death. A resident at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York, in his final years, he seemed to those around him to be a human stained-glass window of sorts – someone through whom the light of Christ, in all its radiance, persistently shines. Widely known in the Chaminade community as a kind and compassionate confessor, he also displayed an attitude that was bursting with life, invariably engaging those around him into action, thought and prayer. In the end, he died as he had lived, ever in the service of Mary, reciting the words of the Memorare along with members of his community.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Father Vicente Lopez de Uralde - Beatification process initiated

Postulator General, Father Gascón, with Marianist religious from Cádiz and Jerez in the chapel with the remains of Father Vicente in the back wall to the right.


The Cause of beatification and canonization of Father Vicente Lopez de Uralde was initiated in 2017 in the diocese of Cadiz (Spain), and on March 1, 2022, his Positio was examined with a favorable vote at the congress of theologians of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Consequently, his mortal remains were transferred on Saturday, June 25th, from the cemetery of Cadiz to the church of the Marianist Colegio of St. Philip Neri.

The ceremony was presided over by the Judicial Vicar of the diocese, Pedro Belo, with the assistance of the diocesan notary, the Marianist Postulator General, Father Antonio Gascon, the superior of the community, Father Jose Antonio Barbudo, and numerous faithful, former students, Marianist religious, teachers of the Colegio and friends. Representing the Province of Spain were Father Francisco Sales (Assistant for Religious Life) and Brother Lander Gaztelumendi (Assistant for Temporalities).

The mortal remains of Father Vicente rest in a beautiful chapel where they can receive the veneration of the faithful. We hope that in the coming year Father Vicente will receive the title of "venerable".

No photo description available.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Independence Day

The Declaration of Independence

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.

But July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).

It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).

And it wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They'd been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we’d followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed!

How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday?

For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people didn’t celebrate it much on any date. It was too new and too much else was happening in the young nation. By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies.

By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. But that would soon change.

After the War of 1812, the Federalist party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to be celebrated.

Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941.

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