|GIFTS & TASKS |
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|
We begin where we left off last month. Remember the Marianist World Day of
(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.
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
The initial article is titled "Women in the Church and in the World
finally, Welcome to the Philippines
- our featured
country 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
United in prayer across the miles,
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
Davao City MLC Community
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."
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."
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
Manila MLC Community
| MLCs in the Church and in the World
What does it mean to be in a Marianist Lay Community
(MLC)? ?? Questions for
Community Reflection ??
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 SusanVogt@fuse.net
if you'd like the questions as a Word file.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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...)
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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."
- 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?
- Challenging the Church to be more
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
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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
: Check out the Newsletter of the Marianist Sisters in India
. Enjoy the beautiful photos.
meet to plan the 2010 Continental Assembly. Save the date: July
And one more group:
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.
Around the WorldOur friends in Brazil have translated MLCs in the Church and in the World into Portuguese. If you know Portuguese, you get bonus points.
Past issues of Gifts and Tasks are archived online at GIFTS AND TASKS ARCHIVE
Tasks is published on the last Friday of each month. We need local and national
news, stories, reflections, and photos. Please send submissions and ideas for next
month's issue to email@example.com
by the previous Sunday.
forward this issue to contact persons within your country to help with its
distribution. If anyone would like to be added to the subscription list, please
send email addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org.