International Organization of MLC:
Region of North America, Asia
Ireland and Australia
I'm back from Rome and the International Congress, "Woman and Man". There was much to absorb, and my mind is still in pondering mode! I'll be writing a report for a future International MLC bulletin, but I wanted to share some initial reflections with you in this newsletter.
I pray that you will be richly blessed in these last weeks of Lent as we prepare our hearts for the glorious celebration of Easter.
Isabella Moyer, MLC
North America, Asia
Ireland and Australia
Woman and Man
49 countries, 40 episcopal conferences, 17 Catholic women's organizations, 28
ecclesial movements, and representatives of religious orders attended the International Congress, Woman
and Man, the humanum in its entirety:
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Apostolic Letter, Mulieris Dignitatem (1988-2008) in Rome
from February 7th - 9th.
Council for the Laity, sponsors of the Congress, invited an exceptionally high
calibre of speakers. Together, they offered an interdisciplinary analysis of Mulieris Dignitatem and the Church's
role in the promotion of women's dignity from the fields of philosophy,
theology, anthropology, sociology, history, law, and politics.
A full list of
speakers, the program, and photos may be found at www.laici.org .
The last day of the
Congress included a papal audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Clementine Hall
at the Vatican.
Pope Benedict's Address to the Congress
|Reflections on the Congress
by Isabella Moyer, MLC
I attended the Congress wearing "two
hats". I was representing the International Organization of Marianist Lay
Communities. I was also the delegate for
the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Dignitatem, has produced varying degrees of
acceptance since it was published twenty years ago. I wondered how this would
affect the dialogue of the Congress.
Many women in attendance embraced the document unquestioningly. They defended and promoted the document
in a well-versed and skilled, apologetic style.
At the other end of the spectrum are
women who reject completely the document. I don't think any of these women were
present at the Congress. (If they were they were very quiet!)
There are also women who stand with
the Church in promoting the dignity of women but who question the document's promotion
of women's active role in society while still preventing them from having a more
full and active role within their Church. They are concerned that promoting a "feminine
genius", focused on women's capacity to nurture and give life, will continue
to perpetuate a form of biological determinism that has too often been used to
keep women within the private sphere of the home. Some question how their local
Church can represent their concerns without asking them to take part in the
dialogue. Several of these women courageously asked questions at the Congress,
and their questions enriched the discussions.
And then there was Josephine from Lebanon, Bassima from Jordan, Elaine from India, Eisabeth from Gabon, and many
others who reminded us that beyond the theorizing is the reality of women
around the world who live with poverty, violence, war, abuse, and no education
- women who often have no rights at all. They begged that we share their
stories, educate ourselves to their plights, and unite with them in prayer and
Although nervous at first, I was
pleasantly surprised by how quickly I "felt at home" in this international
gathering of women. Reflecting on it now, I think this came from my own
experience within the Marianist family. As Marianists, promoting women - and
the "feminine" aspect of the church found in the Marian model - is second
nature to us. We uphold the inherent truth and beauty in the teachings of the
Church, but we are also comfortable with questions and uncertainties. We acknowledge
that areas of disconnect might need further study but they need not force us to "leave
the table". Our voice is important to the discussion. We try to avoid the
dichotomous camps of liberal/conservative where dialogue is seldom fruitful. We
try to accept the creative tension that comes from working together for a
common good despite differences of interpretation and experience.
We were invited to the Congress because of our Canonical recognition as a Private Association of the Lay
Faithful. It costs a lot of money, time and energy to attend national and international
ecclesial gatherings. But, it is a good investment. It is an opportunity for us
to grow and learn as an international organization. It is also an opportunity
to share the gifts we have with the Church and with the world. I hope that we
will always have the funds and support available to say "yes" to future
I thank you all for the opportunity
to attend this Congress. Through your prayers, I felt your presence with
me. Thank you, also, to Sr. Marie Joelle
Bec, Sr. Estella Ibarra, and all the Marianist Sisters in the Generalate in
Rome for your gracious hospitality. It was good to "come home" every evening to
a warm welcome and a listening ear to share the day's events.
|MLC Consecrations in Korea
by Brother John Ko, SM
Five Korean Marianist Lay Community members consecrated themselves to
Mary during the monthly Mass on 3th February 2008, in Seoul MLC Center. Their studies for the last several years have included: Marianist Spirituality, history of the Society of Mary, our Founder Blessed
William Joseph Chaminade, and Mary.
(From left: Youn-kyong Kim Maria, Chun-za Kwun Maria, Fr.
Chan-bok Park Dominic, Bok-youn Jung Clara, and Won-bae Kim Andrew)
Thersa, President of the Korean MLC National Board, led the
Ms Hwang Agnes Sun-re entered her
|FMI in Japan|
Echos of the Visits
is a newsletter published by the Daughters of Mary Immaculate chronicaling the international travels of the General Administration. The January. 2008 issue highlights the visit of Sr. Marie Joelle Bec
, FMI (Superior General) to Japan.
English Français Español
Other issues, including the November, 2007 visit to Korea, may be found at the Daughter's of Mary web-site at
|NACMS Resources Online
Did you know that the North American Center for Marianist Studies offers many rich resources online, under their "Special Articles" link?
Benjamin Dougherty, a NACMS intern,has recently completed an essay titled :
"A Spiritual Crucible:
The Life of Mlle de Lamourous During the French Revolution".
The essay balances skillful scholarly research with a
lively readability. Ben weaves Marie Thérèse's story into the
historical times of the French Revolution - a time of horrific violence which
served to highlight her deep faith and courageous actions. "These years were the
crucible that purified her soul and prepared her for the work for which she
would become so well known", the founding of the Misericorde.
Virtual Learning Community Faith Formation
Marianist Virtual Learning Community Courses
Spring/Summer Schedule 2008
Registration: February 26-March 26
Walk with the founders as they respond to the needs of
their day. Learn their personal stories, and reflect on the legacy they left
for us to draw on in our times.
Enhance your ability to form community in the Marianist
Spirit as you learn about the roots, expressions, and unique characteristics of
Envision social change from a Marianist perspective through
integrating Chaminade's insights about responding to the world's needs with the
realities of modern life.
Discover a leadership style that is purposeful,
developmental, adaptive, collaborative, and transformative in connection with
the Marianist tradition.
Registration: April 1-May 14
Explore various "methods" or practices of prayer. Notice
how the Spirit of God is always at work, everywhere-including our own hearts.
Develop a deeper and broader understanding of how to live
out the Marianist charism, spirituality, and mission in the wider Church and
For more information on our courses please go to: http://campus.udayton.edu/~vlc/, or contact Patti.Gehred@notes.udayton.edu.
Groups of 6-12 participants interested in taking a course together can contact
NACMS and, if possible, we will schedule a "reserved" section at your
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