March 25th- The Annunciation and World Day of Prayer for Marianist Vocations




Dear brothers and sisters,

The World Council of the Marianist Family, meeting in Rome in November of 2011, decided to celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Marianist Vocations on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Here is what the World Council said in its document about this

“We desire to continue emphasizing its importance and we wish to give it a more specific character. For this purpose, we are establishing March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, as the World Day of the Marianist Vocation. If we have chosen this date it is because on that day that we celebrate the vocation of Mary and her “yes,” just as we celebrate the “yes” of the Word to God’s plan of salvation. The Marianist vocation in all its forms is best understood in the light of the Annunciation, which is fundamental for the understanding and integration of our charism into our lives. This new World Marianist Day will be the occasion for prayer in common with the Family.

So let us not miss this event with the Family. Each of our branches needs the support of the fervent prayer of each one of us in order to grow, to be renewed and to develop. On the 25th of March let our prayer rise unanimously from the four corners of the world. Let us listen to how the Word of life resounded in the heart of Mary when, at the “yes” of his Mother, he responded within her: “Behold, here I am.” Let a new missionary drive renew our personal and communitarian Marianist vocation. We are offering a document as a guide to meditation, to reflection, to personal or collective prayer.

Together, with Mary, let us celebrate, pray and listen to what the Spirit is saying to us.


Christiane Barbaux (Director of the Alliance Mariale)

For the World Council of the Marianist Family

World Day of Prayer for the Marianist Vocation 2012

Día mundial de oración por la vocacion marianista 2012

Journée mondiale de prière pour le vocation marianiste 2012

Prophets with Mary for a New World

The Chaminade Year Resources for December provide us with a wonderful reflection, Like Chaminade, Prophets with Mary for a New World. Roger Bichelberger, CLM, offers an inspiring description of the prophetic role of our founder, of Mary, and of all of us who bear her name. Here are some excerpts,

Prophets are those who keep their eyes and ears wide open to the surprising and new invitations/incitements that the Lord never ceases to address to them. “Nova bella elegit Dominus”, Chaminade repeated. The Lord is constantly choosing new ways of doing battle…

Prophets are those who refuse to let themselves be hemmed in by the past, by routine or by timidity…

Prophets are those who will have the courage to experiment, to live provisionally. They will certainly need to relearn how to live in a tent like our ancestors in the faith, to be a people always on the march toward new horizons…

In short, Chaminade proposes to us to be prophets with Mary, the first “modern” woman, a woman for our times…

The prophet is mandated for the establishment, in the heart of the old world, of a new world: the world, according to the word of the Apostle, of the “Joy which is to come.” Joy which is Christ, this Christ to receive whose coming we prepare during this time of Advent…

It was on December 8th, 1800, that Blessed William Joseph Chaminade gathered the members of the Congregation of the Immaculate. Today is the Patronal Feast Day for our Marianist Lay Communities and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. May Mary, who was graced so generously by our loving God, continue to guide our Marianist Family. And with her at our side, may we be courageous and faith-filled prophets in our Church and in our world. A happy and blessed feast day to all!

Latin American CLM Meet in Quito, Ecuador

The National Responsibles of our Marianist Lay Communities in Latin America are presently meeting in Quito, Ecuador. The goal of the meeting is to discern future actions based on present realities, in light of our Marianist charism. The meeting began with the highlights and challenges of the CLM in each country. Cecilio de Lora, SM gave a presentation on Marianist Charism Today . Monsignor Fausto Trávez, Archbishop Primate of Ecuador, gave a talk on the Challenges of the Latin American Laity.

Isabel Duarte Quapper, our Regional Responsible for Latin America, sends the following report. It is always a great and important event when the Marianist Family gathers to meet. May we unite in prayer with our sisters and brothers in Latin America for a blessed and fruitful meeting!

Queridas y queridos:

El día de ayer comenzamos nuestro encuentro de Responsables Nacionales de CLM de Latinoamérica, pidiendo al Espíritu Santo que nos iluminara, para alcanzar nuestro objetivo de construir líneas de acción en base a nuestra realidad y a nuestro carisma, enmarcados en los desafíos de la Misión Continental.

Compartimos las luces y sombras de las CLM en cada uno de los países y descubrimos grandes coincidencias, también algunas distinciones que compartir.

Luego iluminamos nuestra realidad con el aporte Cecilio de Lora sm y Monseñor Fausto Trávez, Arzobispo Primado del Ecuador, quienes nos presentaron el “Carisma Marianista hoy” y “Desafíos para los laicos latinoamericanos”, respectivamente. terminamos el día con una Eucar´sitía presidida por Monseñor Trávez.

Hoy estamos analizando nuestra realidad para identificar los desafíos que son comunes a todos nosotros.

Les agradecemos los saludos que nos han enviado y por sobre todo, sus oraciones, que la hemos sentido en la alegría, la esperanza y el espíritu de Familia que vivimos quienes nos hemos conocido acá.

Les ruego sigan pidiendo al Padre, para que nos envíe su Espíritu y seamos audaces para construir espacios y oportunidades de encuentro con Jesucristo, al interior de la Familia Marianista.

Un abrazo grande y fraterno,


Marianist World Day of Prayer 2010 Photos

Gathered in prayer

Offertory Procession

Two hundred members of the Marianist family in Haiti travelled to the shrine of Notre Dame de Fatima in Bois Neuf for the 2010 Marianist World Day of Prayer. They gathered in union with Our Lady of Perpetual Help (patroness of Haiti) and Marianists around the world. Thank you to our brothers in Haiti, Fr. Hervé and Jacques Shuba, for producing a wonderful slide show of the celebrations.

May Our Lady of Perpetual Help look kindly on all our sisters and brothers in Haiti during this difficult time of re-building and healing.

Marianist Connections

David and Isabella Moyer, Pati Krasensky, Anne-Catherine Beaudoin, Michael Chiuri

David and Isabella Moyer, Pati Krasensky, Anne-Catherine Beaudoin, Michael Chiuri

Working with the Marianist Lay Network of North America (MLNNA) and the International Organization of MLC-CLM, we often discuss ways to connect with other Marianists around the continent and around the world. How can we improve our presence on the internet? How can we publish better newsletters and increase their distribution? How can we use new social media tools to form friendships and expand our networks? We need, and use, all these tools. And, we need personal initiatives to make intentional connections – one person at a time.

A couple of months ago, I received a lovely email from a woman in Paris. Anne-Catherine Beaudoin is a friend of Charles-Henri Moulin, SM. I work closely with Charli on the World Council, and he is a dear friend. Anne-Catherine was traveling to Winnipeg for an academic conference at a local university. Would I be willing to host her for a few days before her conference? The timing was great. Pati Krasensky (Associate Director of NACMS-Philadelphia Office) was coming to present a retreat to our local Marianist Family. Michael Chiuri (SM Novice) is staying with us while awaiting a visa to the USA. It was a golden opportunity for a mini-International Marianist meeting! Our time together was full of laughter and fun. We had many enriching conversations, sharing our multi-cultural experiences of our Marianist charism.

What can we do to help promote these wonderful connections? The first step is a simple but very important one. We need to have basic directories available. We need to know where Marianists live, and whom to contact. Making connections between two or more persons can quickly lead to larger connections. (We already have plans for using Anne-Catherine`s talents within our International Organization!) We are slowly building an International MLC Directory. The national pages on are being updated regularly as we receive the necessary information.

I encourage you all to be intentional in making connections with Marianist sisters and brothers around your country and around the world. Send an email. Post a comment on a Facebook page. Make a Skype call. And, if you`re traveling, be intentional in visiting any local Marianists. It will be a gift shared by all!

Fr. Lee Sciarrotta, SM – Memories from Australia

Fr. Lee Sciarrotta brought the Marianist presence and charism to Australia. Sadly, he died on September 24, 2010 in Dayton, Ohio at the age of 72. Below is a beautiful tribute from Julie Aherne, MLC National Responsible, and other lay Marianists.

We the Family of Mary, called The Immaculate Heart of Mary, MLC. of St. Jude’s Parish, in Langwarrin, would like to send our Condolences to our Marianist Family, and to the Sciarrotta Family and his friends.

Father Lee will never be forgotten by those who had the privilege of knowing him. He was known for his hospitality, friendship, warm heart, and welcoming manner, and the steadfastness of his Faith. We would like to thank The Marianists of America, for sharing him with us here in Langwarrin. He was a pioneer Missionary in the then bushland of Langwarrin. Father Lee was our first Parish Priest. Here are just a few comments from some of members of The Family Of Mary who knew him.

Don and Pat Larken,
Please send our Condolences, and we will keep him in our prayers.

Paula Stanley.
I have many special memories of Father Lee, and he remains in my heart with much love and prayers.

Christine Flanagan
Father Lee blessed our home. He would often come to see us and make himself at home, and  would have a coffee or tea and have a chat. He was so easy talk too. He would sit at the table and stretch out his legs. We liked him very much, and I will keep him in my prayers.

John and Carmel Russell
He’s the reason why we come to Langwarrin. When we came to visit our daughter here, we met him at Mass. He found out that I was a teacher, he wanted me to start a Religious Education Group in the Parish. He told us about the land, we looked at it and here we are.. 23 years later.  We moved into our house on the Tuesday and he said I’ll be around Wednesday to bless it. We have very happy memories of Father Lee and we will pray for the repose of his dear Soul.

Julie Aherne
I remember Fr Lee’s wonderful hospitality. After morning Mass on a Friday he would invite everyone in for a cup of tea, or coffee. Someone would make biscuits, or he would have something to eat. This was different for me, I have never experienced such openness and hospitality from a Priest. This was one of the reasons why I liked the Marianist’s. He had a special charism that was different to other Priest’s that I had known. He was interested in everyone, and treated everyone the same. With a smile, and was always warm and friendly. We have a lot of wonderful memories of Father Lee, and how generous he was in many ways to our Parish.

These are just some of our warm memories of Father Lee, that we wanted to share with you. How blessed we were to have him as our parish priest in Langwarrin.
Eternal rest grant unto to him O Lord, and May your Perpetual Light shine upon him. Well done good and faithful servant of The Lord. Rest In Peace.

Mrs Julie Aherne,
MLC Responsible for Australia.

To Know, Love and Follow the Founder

Fr. Manuel Cortés, SM, the Superior General of the Society of Mary, has published his 4th Circular, To Know, Love and Follow the Founder. It continues the objective of the previous three Circulars to “revitalize and deepen our understanding and experience of our own charism, our particular reason for being in the Church and in the world”. In order to better understand a charism, one must be intentional in learning about the founder not as a “‘documentary memory’ from the past, but rather, as a living presence which spiritually inspires and motivates”. In using the verbs “to know”, “to love”, and “to follow”, Fr. Cortés stresses that “‘external’ knowledge is not enough. This knowledge needs to be internal, affective, and practical – brought to life”.

chaminade_col_3The Circular carefully describes the relationship between a charism and its founder. The existence of a charism depends on both the holiness of the person of the founder and the inspiration that they received from the Holy Spirit. The future of a spiritual family depends on deepening their knowledge of the founder and their faithfulness to the charism. An interesting example is mentioned of a “recent case of a well known religious institute”. Having followed the news, I had often wondered what effect the scandals of that founder would have on the existence of the institute. If the sinfulness of a priest does not affect the validity of the sacrament, would the same logic be used towards a charism? It is not. Fr. Cortés writes that “the real problem that arises is not the repair of the damage which this dysfunctional life has caused, but rather, the authenticity and validity of the alleged charism which a particular founder bequeaths.” If the link is so close between the sanctity of the founder and the charism, then such gross sinfulness does, indeed, put the existence of the charism in jeopardy. On the other hand, this is all the more reason to rejoice in the Church’s recognition of the sanctity of Blessed Chaminade. We look forward, with hope, to his eventual canonization.

This Circular is a well written, scholarly work but it is also alive with the author’s personal devotion to the founder – a devotion that he promotes for the entire Marianist family. The Circular concludes with the practical call to be “attentive to the historical and documental rigor of our studies”. We need to encourage and support scholars, both young and old, to continue the work that has already been done. This timely Circular is a valuable resource as we prepare to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade in 2011.




Gather at the River

Gather at the River

Gathering of the SM Province of the United States – Louisville, KY, June 30 to July 4, 2010

It was a joy and an honour to be with our Marianist Brothers to celebrate the first eight years of the unified US Province, the installation of the new Provincial Council, and to share the gifts and challenges of their strategic plan, Vision 2020. The welcome was warm, the prayer inspiring, and the laughter contagious. As Marianists, we speak often of the importance of ‘reading the signs of the times’. But, what we read often requires difficult discernments. In small group discussions and in “open mike” sessions, the sharing was honest and the listening sincere. The Spirit was alive, indeed!

Click here for my reflections on the Louisville Gathering, and here for a copy of my presentation on behalf of our MLCs.

Louisville 2010

Back: Fr. Martin Solma, SM (new Provincial), Joan and AJ Wagner (MLNNA President), Isabella Moyer. Front: Jean and Tony Fitzgerald (Vision 2020 Facilitator)

CLM Poland

Here is some exciting news from Félix Arqueros, our European Responsible.

Witamy Polskę do grona Wspólnoty Świeckej Towarzystwa Marianistów!

Welcome to our Marianist Lay Comunity in Poland!


Greetings to all!

On May 28, 2010, I visited the Marianist community of Warsaw, Poland. I give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to accompany the birth of the first CLM in Poland. During my visit, I shared experiences with the religious community who, after 17 years in Poland, are immensely happy to see our Family grow.

1ª CLM Polonia

I give thanks to God to be able to accompany the birth of the CLM in Poland. The first adult community has a total of 10 members. After a meeting and pilgrimage, we celebrated the Eucharist. I received a formal letter requesting to be accepted as a Marianist Lay Community and I read a letter of welcome from Isabella. I presented each member with a Marianist cross as a sign of welcome to our great family. In Poland there is a great feeling of nationalism, and the members were touched by the fact that our president has Polish ancestors.

Entrega carta Isabella al reponsable CLM Polonia

I also had the opportunity to meet with a group of university youth interested in learning more about the CLM. They would like to form a fraternity in September. It was an exciting encounter. They are very animated and thanked me a lot for the visit.

Reunion con jovenes

The reception on the part of the religious has been excellent. I felt very much at home, despite the difficulties of language. I thanked them a lot for their support and interest.

Comunidad marianista

I also had an opportunity to have an encounter with the head and advisor of the Marian Congregations in Poland. They have been present in the country since before the community era. In recent years they have revived, and are walking with the Polish Marianist Family. In spite of our differences, it was an enriching encounter with much possibility of sharing mutual knowledge. The Marian Congregations direct the school in which the religious Marianist work, and they feel very close to our family.

In short, these days have been a wonderful encounter of happiness and the grace of God. I thank you for all or your prayers. They have served to guide my steps.

A hug

Félix Arqueros Pérez

Regional Responsible – Europe

International Team

Marianist Lay Communities


Hola a todos:

Como sabéis este fin de semana, he visitado la comunidad marianista de Varsovia (Polonia).

Doy gracias a Dios por haber tenido la posibilidad de acompañar el nacimiento de las CLM en Polonia.

Durante estos días he compartido vivencias con la comunidad de religiosos que después de 17 años en Polonia  ven con inmensa alegría crecer la Familia allí.

1ª CLM Polonia

He podido compartir el inicio de una CLM de adultos, son un total de 10 miembros. Después de un encuentro y peregrinación, celebramos la eucaristía donde me entregaron una carta de solicitud para integrarse en las CLM. Aprovechamos el momento para leer una carta de bienvenida escrita por Isabella y entregar a cada miembro de la nueva CLM una cruz marianista como signo de bienvenida a nuestra gran familia. Les emociono mucho saber que nuestra presidenta tiene antepasados polacos. En Polonia hay un gran sentimiento de nación y para ellos los orígenes polacos de Isabella fueron muy emocionantes

Entrega carta Isabella al reponsable CLM Polonia

En otro momento tuve la oportunidad de encontrarme con un grupo de jóvenes universitarios interesados en conocer las CLM con idea de formar una fraternidad a partir de septiembre. Fue un encuentro ilusionante, están muy animados y agradecieron mucho la visita.

Reunion con jovenes

La acogida por parte de los religiosos ha sido excelente. Me he sentido y he estado en casa, a pesar de las dificultades del idioma. Les he agradecido mucho su apoyo e interés.

Comunidad marianista

También tuve la oportunidad de tener un encuentro con la responsable y el asesor de las congregaciones marianas de Polonia. Son congregaciones muy asentadas en el país, desde antes de la época comunista. En los últimos años han resurgido y están caminando junto a la Familia Marianista polaca. A pesar de nuestras diferencias fue enriquecedor el encuentro y la posibilidad de conocimiento mutuo.  Las congregaciones marianas dirigen el colegio en el que trabajan los religiosos marianistas y se sienten muy próximos a nuestra familia. La responsable nacional compartió con nosotros la eucaristía en la que quedo formalmente constituida la 1ª CLM polaca.

En fin han sido unos días de encuentro, alegría y gracia de Dios.

Os enviaré algunas fotos del encuentro en breve.

Muchas gracias a todos por vuestras oraciones, han servido para guiar mis torpes pasos.

Un abrazo

Félix Arqueros Pérez

Responsable regional de Europa

Equipo internacional

Comunidades Laicas Marianistas