Helping each other to live the Gospel
both at home and around the world
International Organization of MLCs:
Region of North America,
Asia, Australia, and Ireland
September 2009
In This Issue
Focus on the Philippines
Nairobi document Refelction Questions
Around the Region
Around the World
Archives & Subscriptions
Quick Links
Greetings!,Susan photo
Welcome back!
We begin where we left off last month. Remember the Marianist World Day of Prayer (WDP) is only two weeks away - October 11. Although the official site of the WDP is Congo Kinshasa, you can join in solidarity with this event by praying with your local community - or just by yourself. Pati Krasensky of MLNNA in Philadelphia has developed a beautifully PowerPoint and prayer service that can be used almost right out of the box.
WDP Kinshasa

Isabella MoyerAlthough we said goodbye and congratulations to Isabella Moyer last month as she accepted the position of President of IO-MLCs, Isabella is always leading us into new fields. Today, I am happy to introduce her new blog, The initial article is titled "Women in the Church and in the World."

And finally, Welcome to the
Philippines - our featured Johneleen Larderacountry for this issue. There are two lay Marianist communities in the Philippines - one in Manila which has about 30 members, and the other in Davao City which has about 12 members. Johneleen Lardera is the National Responsible and is part of
the Davao City community.

United in prayer across the miles,
Susan Vogt
Regional Responsible
North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland
PS: One of Philippine lay Marianists asked to call me "Naney Susan." He said it meant "mommy." Being the mother of four, that's fine with me.
Focus on the Philippines

Philippines-Davao MLC larger
Davao City MLC Community

The Davao City Community quickly followed up on the International meeting in Nairobi. They have already started discussing the Document, MLCs in the Church and in the World, and according to Carlo Datulayta (also know as Kahloi) "We have realized that our experiences are not so different from MLCs all over the world. We are now convinced that we are on the right track and the Holy Spirit is working with us."
According to Johneleen, earlier this month, the Davao community celebrated the feast day of "Holy Name of Mary" together with invited friends. "We began our celebration with evening prayer during which we also remembered our sister Marianist Lay Community in Manila. Bro. Hugh Bhil, SM shared with us the significance of this feast day to the Society of Mary and to the whole Marianist family as well. We offered a song & roses to Mother Mary as a symbol of our love and gratitude for always being there to show us how to be closer to Jesus Christ, her son. Following prayer we had a simple but meaningful program during which the SM aspirants and novices shared a song and enjoyed some parlor games. It was an opportunity for the lay Marianists of Davao to share what it means to be lay Marianists with our friends who celebrated with us."
Kahloi writes that "Soon the community will be scheduling activities for the rest of the year drawing upon MLNNA resources and other Marianist "gimiks" (bonding activities). We are in the midst of planning how to celebrate the World Marianist Day of Prayer with the assistance of Fr. Pablo Rambaud, SM who is a human resource to our community.
Daghang salamat (thank you)"

Philippines-Manila MLC
Manila MLC Community
MLCs in the Church and in the World
What good is the Nairobi document if communities don't wrestle with it and own it?
In order to help you start this process, I propose the following questions for community reflection. This is just a draft. Too long in some ways; too short in others. I encourage your to adapt it, try it out with your community, and give the the International Team feedback. Click here to read the whole document. E-mail me at if you'd like the questions as a Word file.

??  Questions for Community Reflection  ??
SESSION 1: What does it mean to be in a Marianist Lay Community (MLC)Community Image?
  1. Horizontal communities.  Marianist communities are known for being "horizontal." No one person or group has a higher status or power than another. Does the organizational structure of our community reflect this value of equality? Does leadership rotate among members? What different gifts are present among our members? Do we make use of the various talents in our midst?
  2. Collaboration with other branches of the Marianist family.  What activities have we had in the last year that included SM's or FMI's? How do these vowed religious enrich our gatherings? What do we ask of them?
  3. Individualism.  List three ways that individualism impacts my life? (Consider wanting private space, my own personal possessions, having my way...) What is the "cost" of community? What do I give up as in individual for the sake of the common good?
  4. Hospitality.  Assuming that a person approaching our community sincerely seeks a faith grounded in Jesus Christ, are there any circumstances that would stand in the way of us welcoming him or her? (Consider age, educational level, sexual orientation...)
  5. Prayer.  How satisfied are we with how our community prays together? Are our liturgies and prayer services life-giving and celebrative? Do we use a variety of prayer styles and leaders to take advantage of the Spirit working among us in creative and different ways?
  6. Recruitment.  Do we wait for people to find us or do we actively leave our comfort zones and creatively put ourselves in places in which we might meet people who are seeking a faith community?
  7. Formation.  If a person shows interest in our community, how do they find out about our values, history, and come to a point of commitment? Is it simply by hanging around for while or do we have an intentional formation process?
  8. Financial support. How does our community pay for its own needs? How committed is our community to support the national and international structures that form and sustain MLCs?
SESSION 2: What does it mean for an MLC to be part of the Church?Dove
  1. Embrace the spirit of Vatican II.  Are we sufficiently educated in the documents of Vatican II and understand the Church as the "People of God."
  2. Involvement in the institutional Church.  Although at times we may meet in homes, how do we take responsibility for the larger institutional Church, calling it to become its best self at the parish, diocesan, national, and international levels?
  3. Challenging the Church to be more Marian. Mary's focus was always on Jesus who came not in power and wealth but humility and service. When has our community had the courage to challenge our Church to let go of signs of wealth and power and take up the role of servant leaders?
  4. Women. Assuming that the gifts of both women and men are exercised in our communities, are there any steps we can take to enhance the voice of women in the decision making of the broader Church? Are our communities balanced with involvement from both women AND men?
  5. Young Adults. Evaluate whether our community is young adult friendly. If we are an older community, what creative ways can we reach out to young adults to either join us, or to support them in forming their own communities?
SESSION 3: What does it mean for an MLC to be part of the World?
IO/MLC logo
  1. Family.  In addition to nurturing our own families, how does our community reach out to support the children, married couples, parents, and single adults in our community and nation who are struggling because of lack of money, relationship skills, health, or other barriers?
  2. Work. Whether my work is at home, in an office, or elsewhere, what does it mean to do it with honesty, professionalism, and to do my best? If I am the employer, what labor practices and profit do I consider fair?
  3. Simplifying our own lifestyle.  MLC members are challenged to live simply and to avoid materialism. It's easy to be blind to our own wealth. How to live more simply and share our goods more generously?
  4. Charity. While simplifying one's personal lifestyle is a first step, it must be followed by using our resources for the poor. List ways that you and your community are already doing this. Brainstorm additional ways. Pick at least one new way to act on this information.
  5. Social Justice. What social and political structures does our community have the power to impact? Consider lobbying, advocacy, getting involved in social justice movements. If we could only pick one social justice cause to put our energy behind, what would it be?

Around the Region
Ranchi, India: Check out the Newsletter of the Marianist Sisters in India. Enjoy the beautiful photos.

Hawaiian Lay Marianists meet to plan the 2010 Continental Assembly. Save the date: July 22-25, 2010.

Hawaiian MLCs

And one more group:
Northeast Lay Marianists
gather to share resources, and plan for future.
On September 19, the Marianist Center in Philadelphia hosted a gathering for lay Marianists. Pati Krasensky and Brian Reavey facilitated the event for the various lay groups. Each community was asked to send at least one representative, and voila, more than 20 people representing 15 different communities attended plus three Marianist priests seeking greater collaboration with lay people in the northeast.
Northeast MLCs 2009
Around the World
Our friends in Brazil have translated MLCs in the Church and in the World into Portuguese. If you know Portuguese, you get bonus points.

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