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International Organization of MLC:
Region of North America, Asia
Ireland and Australia
February, 2008
In This Issue
Woman and Man
Reflections on Congress
MLC Korea
FMI in Japan
New de Lamourous Resource
Spring VLCFF Courses
Next Issue
Quick Links
women's congress 2

Dear friends,

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
Regional Responsible
North America, Asia
Ireland and Australia
signature logo  
International Congress:
Woman and Man

Participants from 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.

The Pontifical 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.

women's congress collage

A full list of speakers, the program, and photos may be found at .


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 CongressIsabella at Congress2

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.

Mulieris 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 action.

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 invitations.

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

Korea Consecrations 1

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)

Korea Consecrations 2

Eun-Hee Kim Thersa, President of the Korean MLC National Board, led the consecration ceremony.


 Korea Consecrations 3


Ms Hwang Agnes Sun-re entered her aspirant program.


FMI in Japan

Marie Joelle 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?

Ben DoughertyBenjamin 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


March 30-May 3

Registration: February 26-March 26


Marianist Studies: Founders

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.


Marianist Studies: Community

Enhance your ability to form community in the Marianist Spirit as you learn about the roots, expressions, and unique characteristics of Marianist Communities.


Marianist Studies: Justice

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.


Marianist Studies: Leadership

Discover a leadership style that is purposeful, developmental, adaptive, collaborative, and transformative in connection with the Marianist tradition.


May 18-June 21

Registration: April 1-May 14


Marianist Studies: Prayer

Explore various "methods" or practices of prayer. Notice how the Spirit of God is always at work, everywhere-including our own hearts.


Marianist Studies: Charism

Develop a deeper and broader understanding of how to live out the Marianist charism, spirituality, and mission in the wider Church and global community.


For more information on our courses please go to:, or contact 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 convenience.





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