Sharing the Marianist charism without computers


 

I received an interesting letter yesterday. Interesting, because it was an actual letter. Almost all of my correspondence is done with the computer. I spend several hours a day at my desk writing, reading newsletters, browsing web-sites, and responding to emails. I am used to the efficiency of instant communications. It is a joy to send an email across the world and receive a response within minutes. I am still amazed at technology like Skype, which allows me to see faces and hear voices across the ocean. And, I appreciate the ease of sharing resources and materials by a simple online link.

The writer of this letter is from Victoria, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. Retired Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM was the bishop of Victoria before becoming archbishop of Vancouver. Presently there is no Marianist presence on Vancouver Island. My letter friend read a column that I wrote for the Prairie Messenger called An example of community: the Marianist tradition. This is what they said in the letter,

(Marianist Lay Communities) sounded like one of the best-kept secrets indeed of the Universal Church! As I do not have access to a computer, I’m writing you seeking printed information on MLC – from the perspective of a prospective lay member…I wish MLC would perhaps take out display ads in various pertinent periodicals on this continent so that more and more may learn of your charism and seek regional involvement. There’s no use in hiding your light(s) under a bushel nowadays!

This letter gives us several challenges.

  • Have we become too dependent on computers?
  • How do we reach out to those who do not have or use computers?
  • How do we respond to persons who are interested in our charism, but live in a geographical area where there is no Marianist presence? Do we have the resources and energy to do so?
  • Are we keeping our light under the bushel basket? If so, what is keeping us from placing it high on a stand for all to see?

Thankfully, we have some wonderful persons and resources in place to help us with some of these challenges. In North America, Pati Krasensky is the Assistant Director of the North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS) and the Director of the Marianist Lay Formation Initiative (MaLFI). She specializes in supporting new and emerging Marianist Lay Communities, and providing them with resources. The MaLFI program is a year-long program of formation for Marianist lay women and men, that prepares them to form new communities or nurture existing ones. Pati happily agreed to send a packet of Marianist materials to our letter-writing friend. I am very thankful for her expertise and generous response. It is a good first step.

We are called to spread our charism like a “contagion”. This is happening on the international level, usually with no initiative from our leadership teams or regional councils. It is coming from the grass-roots. We presently have emerging MLCs in Indonesia and Cameroon, thanks to the passion and commitment of one young Marianist lay man in each country. With our limited resources, it is a challenge for our leadership team to provide the necessary formation materials and support for these new foundations. Yet, the charism continues to spread. It is a challenge to keep up with the contagion!

In your region or country, what strategies do you have to help new Marianist Lay Communities? If a person comes to you asking to be a Marianist, but they live in an area with no communities, how do you respond?

We would love to hear from you….and learn from you!

Affectionately,

Isabella


International Marianist Communications

A priority for the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities is to help network our communities and share existing news and resources. Many of our countries have wonderful web-sites and newsletters. To help share our communication efforts, the following updates have been made to our IO-MLC communications.

WEB-SITE

We have revised our web-site at www.clm-mlc.org. The web-site is published in all three official languages: Spanish, English and French. The goal of our web-site is to provide quick and easy access to our documents, resources, and our Marianist Lay Communities around the world. The new Regional pages list all our countries with the names of the National Responsibles, statistics, and links to national web-sites. These national web-sites include access to newsletters, local projects and gatherings, prayer and formation resources. We encourage you to visit these web-sites to learn more about our Marianist Lay Communities around the world.

BLOG

We are continuing this blog at http://clm-mlc.org/blog/. The purpose of the blog is to share current news and reflections on Marianist life. It is usually written in English, but we have included an instant translator on the right-hand side of the page.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Our Facebook page is slowly gaining more friends. Please visit us, LIKE us, and share comments, news, links to newsletters and upcoming MLC events on our wall. All languages are welcome. The more we know about each other, the stronger our community of communities will be. You can also join us on our TWITTER account at clm_mlc.

If you have any questions or suggestions for improving our communications, please contact isabellamoyer@clm-mlc.org or any member of our International Team. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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


 

LETTER FROM THE WORLD COUNCIL

OF THE MARIANIST FAMILY

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.

Cordially,

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

Informativo Família Marianista Brasil

María de Lourdes Perezim de Mattos, (Malu), has sent the latest edition of Informative Família Marianista Brasil. The newsletter of the CLM in Brasil is filled with beautiful color and photos reflecting the joy of our Marianist Lay Communities in Brasil.

Malu has happily announced that the CLM Brasil will be celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2012. The actual anniversary was last year, but the communities wished to focus on the Chaminade Year. We unite with our sisters and brothers in Brasil in joyful gratitude for the past 25 years, and join them in prayer for continued growth in the years to come. We look forward to receiving news of the celebrations in the coming months.

“Que a graça de Deus, cresça em nós sem cessar.”

(May the grace of God grow in us without ceasing.)