A Marianist Women`s Summit was convened today in San Antonio, Texas. The Summit is a combined vision and effort of Sister Grace Walle, FMI, Sr. Laura Leming, FMI and Pati Krasensky, Director of the Marianist Center in Philadelphia. The Summit was timed to coincide with the Assembly of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate from the Province of the United States of America. In total, over fifty Marianist women – lay and professed religious – gathered to begin a weekend of celebrating who we are as Marianist women, and visioning together possibilities for our future in our church and in our world.
The evening began in the art studios of Brother Cletus. The colourful paintings of this well re-known Marianist artist added a joyous atmosphere to the gathering. We then moved to the Center for Legal and Social Justice (former Marianist Sisters` Retreat Center) for opening remarks and a prayer service. The Feast Day of the Annunciation provided the perfect theme and setting for us. We followed our reflection with an activity focused on our personal naming of Mary.
We thank all who have sent their prayers and support for this Summit from around the world, including Sr. Marie Joelle Bec, the Superior General of the FMI, and Brother Michael McAward on behalf of the SM General Administration in Rome.
Tomorrow, we will be spending time learning about the graced collaboration between Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Mother Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Marie-Thérèse de Lamourous. As we celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Blessed Chaminade, it is good to remember the prophetic and inspiring model that he has given to our Marianist Family. In the evening, we will have a Cana gathering to reflect, ponder, and celebrate Mary`s role at the wedding feast.
photo from www.cbc.ca
Japan quake death toll exceeds 10,000 – World – CBC News.
Dave Herbold, SM, shares news from our Marianist Family in Japan on behalf of Fr. Louis Shimizu, SM.
We apologize that the report is not available in Spanish. We unite in love and prayers with all the people of Japan in the wake of this horrific disaster, with hope that the coming days will not add to the present destruction.
We join Mary and all the saints in heaven in prayer. Loving God, hear us!
A powerful social justice Lenten program from Spain focuses on the 40 least economically developed countries. 40 Days with the 40 Least is a collaborative effort of the Marianist Family in Spain. It has grown over the years and is now available in Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. Just click on the calendar for each day`s resources.
This year`s theme is on health care. According to the web-site,
In the year 2000, in the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, eight ambitious “Millennium Development Goals” (MDG) were set to be accomplished by 2015. Those goals committed the governments to establish policies that would favor the development of all peoples and “to free our fellow human beings… from the dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.” Well, three of the eight MDG’s make direct reference to health. Development and health go together inseparably.
Each day, we are invited to visit a different country through the first-hand experience of a person working on the ground. We learn about a specific social justice project that attempts to address the needs of health care. We learn about some of the issues faced in international development. We are called to respond in a small way with concrete actions of our own. And, we are invited to unite with our sisters and brothers through prayer.
Our online MLC, Our Lady of the Round Table, journeyed through the program together last year. I was humbled by my lack of geographical knowledge. I was introduced to countries that I hadn`t even heard of, countries that depend on our support and aid. I was inspired by the work that is being done quietly and effectively around the world. The stories were both heart-breaking, and heart-lifting. We cannot save the whole world, but maybe we can find one small place where we, too, can make a difference. And what better time to contemplate changing minds and hearts then in this season of Lent?
With much love and gratitude to our dear Marianist Family in Spain, who continues to make this valuable Lent resource available to us all….muchas gracias!
As women are remembered and celebrated around the world, I`d like to offer a prayer of gratitude for all our Marianist women! Take a moment to pause and think of the Marianist women in your life. For me, memories come quickly to mind of women who have been, and continue to be, my models, mentors, inspiration, and true spiritual sisters.
We are blessed in our Marianist family. We are not intimidated by strong women. With Mary as our model and guide, how can we be? We know the power of true collaboration – women and men, lay and religious. And, we work hard to live this collaboration in reality, in true family spirit.
Our church and world still struggles to live with true gender equality and justice. May we, as Marianists, have the courage to shout out the good news of a discipleship of equals. May we show that it is not only possible, but necessary if we are to empower the gifts of all for the good of all.