40 Days with the 40 Least – 2012

Once again, the Marianist Family in Spain is inviting us to enter into Lent with the 40 least countries of the world. The following is from the introduction to the 2012 campaign,

This year we wish to focus our gaze, our heart and our mind on the reality of the human rights of the people who live in the last forty, the forty countries with the lowest Index of Human Development, according to the 2011 Annual Report of the UN Development Programme (UNDP). We will do this in union with the social pain of those who are victims of the violation of their rights, and also with the witness of those who, in the midst of that situation, embrace the responsibility of denunciation, promotion and defense of those rights…

In identifying the current situation of human rights, contemporary reflection tends to highlight three concerns: the degradation of life, the loss of liberty, the lack of justice. Around these three universal principles – life, liberty, justice – in situations where they are lacking and in the forces that defend them, revolves our Lenten campaign this year…

As in other years, for each day of Lent we are offering a passage of testimony and, following it, a juridical text Signed and ratified, taken from the very rich universal legislative sources, which we will see. To help us pass from right to deed, there is a commentary and a proposal for action. Finally, a short Prayer will help us place into the hands of God both our plans and the situation of which we are witnesses. We hope that for another year this recourse to the situation of human rights in the last forty might help us to live this Lent in solidarity and compassion, as we walk with our Savior on his ascent to Jerusalem.

The 40 Least campaign is sponsored by the Society of Mary Province of Spain, and is a collaborative Marianist family effort. We thank them for their continued commitment to this project. It is a valuable and inspiring Lenten resource for us all. May we join our minds, hearts, and hands across the miles as we take this journey in union with all our sisters and brothers around the world.

Here are the links to the 40 Days with the 40 Least Project in English, Español, and Français. Click on the Calendar on the home page for each day’s resources.

Acción Marianista

On January 22, 2012, Acción Marianista celebrated its second anniversary. The NGO is a project of the Marianist Family in Spain. Having worked on education projects and international cooperation for development for several years, they accumulated a rich and varied experience in this area; from religious foundations to projects promoted by lay members of the Marianist Family.

While each of these experiences has its own origin and history, all have seen the need for coordination to improve awareness, commitment and training people of the Marianist Family in the North, and the implementation of projects in the South and the need for an exchange of ideas and people.

Acción Marianista para el Desarrollo (Marianist Action Foundation for Development) was founded to collect all these rich and varied experiences.

We place education and development as pillars of our action, considering education broadly understood not only as the acquisition of knowledge and promotion capabilities, but as the promotion of human values ​​of dignity, confidence and social engagement.

Acción Marianista is truly a family project, co-sponsored by Religious Marianists and Marianist Lay Communities. To find out more, visit their web site at http://accionmarianista.org/ and their Facebook page.

The latest Bulletin highlights two of the projects supported by the NGO: Balay Pasilungan for street children in Davao City, Philippines, and the Jesus of Nazareth Library in Medallin, Columbia.

We are united in a prayer of thanksgiving for all the good work that Acción Marianista has already accomplished, and pray that our sisters and brothers will continue to be blessed in the years ahead. And, in their words, Acción Marianista invites us all….Marianists….to Action!

Acción Marianis-ta te invita a la “acción” “marianista”. Anímate!


Feast of the Presentation 2012

I (baptismal name), servant of God and child of the holy, Catholic, apostolic, and Roman Church give, dedicate, and devote myself to the Immaculate Conception of the most holy Virgin Mary. I promise to honor her and to spread devotion to her, as much as I am able, as Mother of Youth. May God and his holy Gospels help me!

With these words, the first Sodalists consecrated themselves to Mary on February 2, 1801. Today, there are 563 Marianist Lay Communities in 33 countries. Marianist lay women and men number over 7,000 around the world.

On January 22nd, 2012, the Marianist Family celebrated the close of our Chaminade Year; commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. Together with Mother Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Marie Thérèse de Lamourous, Blessed Chaminade worked to re-evangelize post-revolutionary France. His method was to form faith communities that were to be a “spectacle of saints”. By their joy and enthusiasm, they would spread the faith by contagion. These communities gathered women and men for prayer, study, and mutual support. And these communities sent each member into the world as a Missionary of Mary.

We are the inheritors of this charism. It was a new method for the new times of early 19th century France. In our 21st century world, the method has proven to be prophetic. The Church has acknowledged this. Marianist Lay Communities are now canonically recognized by the Vatican as a Private Association of the Faithful.

This October, 2012, the Synod of Bishops will be meeting in a General Assembly to discuss the theme, “The New Evangelization and the Transmission of Faith”. As an Ecclesial Movement in the Church, we are called to study the roots of our charism and discern how we can be of service to this new evangelization. Our spirituality is rooted in the need for spreading the joy of the gospel message where it has been rejected or forgotten.

On October 11, 2012, the Church will enter into a Year of Faith. This date commemorates the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Faith, rooted in the Creed as it is prayed and lived, was vital to Chaminade’s spirituality. He believed that faith must go beyond the head. It must be embraced by the heart so it can be lived out with love and joy. The Year of Faith will be a graced moment for us, as Marianists, to study more deeply this Faith of the Heart.

Today, we celebrate the spiritual gift given to us. The Feast of the Presentation also marks the annual day of prayer for all in consecrated life. We unite in prayer with our sisters and brothers of the Society of Mary, The Daughters of Mary Immaculate, and the Alliance Mariale. In the months ahead, I pray that we will find ever new ways to deepen our commitment as an international community of communities. Together, with Mary always at our side, we can spread the good news of Jesus to all corners of the world.

Happy Feast Day to all!


International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities