Rome Meetings– Day 1

Assisi 1

Ernest Kasongo, MLC, Fr. José Ramón Sebastián de Erice, SM, Sr. Susanna Kim, FMI, Bro. Domingo Fuentes, SM, Susan Vogt, MLC, Agathe Senou, AM, Félix Arqueros Pérez, MLC, Sr. Maria José Jaurégui, FMI, Isabel Duarte Quapper, MLC, Bro. Charles Henri Moulin, SM, Christiane Barbaux, AM, Isabella Moyer, MLC

We began our time together in Rome with a pilgrimage to Assisi. Contrary to the weather reports, we didn’t have the expected heavy rains – just unexpected heavy crowds! All Saints Day is a holiday in Italy, so the weekend drew many visitors. Despite some inconveniences, it was great to see so many families and tour groups coming to experience these holy places. It was especially good to see so many young people!

Grazie mille to Brother Michael McAward for organizing all the details of the day. He now has a permanent role on our team as official tour guide and pilgrimage leader. Shhhh…..don’t tell him we’re already making plans for next year. ;-) And thank you to Brother Domingo for planning our prayers, Fr. José Ramón for celebrating mass with us, and Brothers Charles-Henri and Michael for expertly chauffeuring us through unbelievable traffic jams and tight parking spaces.

Assisi 2

Bro. Michael McAward, SM (2nd from right)

Tomorrow we will begin the day with a mass for All Saints Day in the main chapel at Via Latina. Then we will begin our team meetings for the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities. We pray that the spirit of Saints Francis and Clare will guide us in the week ahead. Inspired by their simplicity, humility, and prayer, may we share their passion for God, creation, and renewal in our Church.

Preparing for Rome Meetings

The leadership team of the International Organization of MLC is preparing for our annual meetings in Rome from October 31 to November 6. We will begin our time together with a one day retreat and pilgrimage to Assisi. Monday and Tuesday the MLC team will meet. The World Council meeting will be on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturday the MLC team will meet again to finalize the work for 2011.

The work of the MLC team is directed by the Challenges of the previous International Meeting. Last year, these Challenges were divided among the Three Offices of Education, Religious Life and Temporalities. Preliminary working plans were put in place for each Challenge. This year, we will be moving forward with each of these Challenges. Forming international working groups for each task is imperative for the success of our goals. We cannot do this work alone! The agenda and work of the World Council is directed by the three year Objectives that were approved last year.

Here are some other items on our MLC team agenda:

  • Regional Reports
  • Finalize a location for our 6th International Meeting of MLC (It will be a country in Latin America)
  • Choose a theme and writing team for the 6th International MLC Document
  • Present a Finance report of Incomes and Expenses from August 2009-December 2010 (The final report will be available at www.clm-mlc.org )
  • Collaborate with the World Council to develop an international web page for Formation Resources for all four branches of the Marianist Family
  • Collaborate with the World Council to develop an international web page to promote and support Social Justice projects of the Marianist Family
  • Reflect with the World Council on Common Mission

I hope to send updates on our meetings while in Rome. Please pray for us, that we may be open to the action of the Holy Spirit, like Mary was. May she guide us in an honest and true family spirit, working together in the tasks and challenges before us.

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 www.clm-mlc.org 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!