|GIFTS & TASKS |
"DONS et SERVICES"
Helping each other live the Gospel at home & around the world
Intl. Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC)
Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland
There are approximately 7,000 lay Marianists in the world
. Wow! So, even though your own Marianist Lay Communily (MLC) may seem small, you are not alone!
For those of you who like numbers, there are about 650 MLCs around the world. Some are large; some are small but the average number per community is about 10 people.
How do I know all this? I recently attended my first international meeting for the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLCs) in Rome. I got some new unpaid jobs and learned a lot of new acronyms. I will try to introduce my ever increasing alphabet soup initials to you slowly.
Let me introduce your new International Team: Back row: Ernest Kasongo (Africa), Domingo Fuentes (Advisor) MIddle row: Felix Arqueros (Europe), Isabel Duarte (Latin America),
Isabella Moyer (President)
Front row: Susan Vogt (N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland)
We spent an intensive week trying to speak slowly and without idioms so the translators could keep up. Such meetings give new meaning to Chaminade's virtue,the "Silence of Words."
Part of the week was spent in joint session with the World Council of the Marianist Family (WCMF). Yup, there's another ancronym for you. The WCMF is made up of the leadership teams of the SM, FMI, Alliance Mariale, and IO-MLC. See photo below.
United in prayer across the miles,
N. America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland
| CONSUMERISM UNPACKED
|Yes, this is a real, full length mink coat.
No, it is not mine.
I came to be wearing it because a foreign visitor found it at a local thrift shop and bought it to take home with her. It's beautiful, but it's not me.
Seeing something like this photo can provoke envy or judgment. For we Christians it should be hard to reconcile conspicuous consumption with a conscientious life style. Mink coats may be an easy call, but what about computers and other electronic gadgets that make our lives easier? What about educational expenses and books? What about eating out? It's hard to know how much is enough and how much is too much. Besides, one person's luxury is another person's necessity.
We're not alone in making these decisions, however. The Nairobi document, Marianist Lay Communities in the Church and in the World addresses these tough questions. Individuals or Marianist Communities can use the reflection questions to sort it out together. Everyone's answers may be different but talking it out with others can keep us honest. Check out the reflection questions below (especially Session 3) for use in your community.
FOCUS ON THE USA
AJ Wagner (MLC Responsible for the USA) welcomes us to the United States - our featured country for this issue. There are 88 MLCs in USA totaling about 1,500 lay Marianists. Communities are active in about 40 cities spread across the USA which of course means that some of them can only be reached by flying over the Pacific Ocean to reach Hawaii. (Or, as the Hawaiian's would put it, "to reach the mainland.")(Interesting how maps of the USA
make it look like Alaska and Hawaii
We kept reminding our international friends in Nairobi
Hawaii is six time zones from the East coast.)
As diverse as the USA is in geography and culture, so also are the Marianist Lay Communities.
- Some are very large - 50 or more members.
- Some are small - maybe 5 members.
- And some committed lay Marianists are in "Cyber Communities" meaning that they don't live near each other but rather connect primarily through the internet.
- Some communities have existed for over 40 years and the ages of their members reflect that (although they welcome young adults).
- Some are primarily young adults recently graduated from college.
- Some are college students who hope to continue their commitment after graduation.
- Many communities have parents with young children.
- Some are strongly committed to their spiritual growth. Some emphasize social justice. Hopefully, one emphasis leads to the other.
- Sometimes people of similar professions or political beliefs gather together.
- Sometimes MLCs are a mixture of socio-economic backgrounds that bring diversity but also a challenge to understand people who see life and the world differently.
- Few are rich by USA standards, but most are rich if viewed through the eyes of those living in developing countries.
- Some have African-Americans and Hispanics as members, but the majority are middle class and white.
- Many have an SM or FMI as a member or advisor, but not as the leader.
The Marianist Lay Network of North America
(MLNNA) is the leadership body that tries to keep track of all these fascinating groups. The next big MLNNA event will be the Continental Assembly in Honolulu Hawaii, July 22-25, 2010. Register
MLNNA Leadership Team:
AJ Wagner (President)
Kay Stone (Community Dev.)
Jacqui Griswold (Communication)
Anne Petratis (Midwest Area Rep)
Carol Weiss (Treasurer)
Caitlin Jacob (Co-Secretary)
Susan Vogt (IO-MLC)
Missing Area Reps:
Tina Bauman (East)
Bob & Mary Ann Valentine (Central)
Lisa Vega (Pacific)
Val Bergeron (Winnipeg)
Marcel Dion (Quebec)
Etienne Wesly (Haiti)
| ADVENT HUMOR
As we begin Advent, enjoy the silent singing
of the "mute monks."
|AROUND THE REGION
|FMI's Unite Japan and Korea
Historically the countries of Japan and Korea have often had strained relationships. Sr. Susanna Kim, FMI and Sr. Marie Joelle Bec, FMI of the General Administration recently visited both these countries and participated in a joint Family Council meeting in Korea. Read all about it:Nairobi continues to inspire
Nairobi participants from across North America offer additional reflections on their experience. Even if you sat home and prayed for them, their comments will inspire you. Read them on Alive Online
.Haiti to host 2009 World Day of Prayer
On October 10, 2010, Haiti will host the Marianist World Day of Prayer. This will also mark the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Marianist Lay Communities in Haiti.
|AROUND THE WORLD Expand your community
- Partner with another MLC
One way to become an international MLC without traveling is to partner with an MLC in another part of the world. Currently several MLCs in Hawaii are interested in such a "twinning" relationship with an MLC in a developing country - possibly in Africa. Twinning communities aren't necessarily the same. In fact it's probably desireable that they be quite different except for our common desire to bring Christ more fully into this world, as Mary did. If you are interested in developing such a partnership, contact Susan Vogt
or Julie Nagasako
World Council of the Marianist Family (WCMF)
The WCMF is comprised of the international leadership teams of the FMI, SM, Alliance Mariale, and Marianist Lay Communities. They met following the International Organization of MLCs (IO-MLC) meeting November 11-13. (Unfortunately, this is the 5th time my photo appears in this issue. I promise to hide more in the future so this doesn't become a "Where's Susan" e-mail.)
Tuesday, December 8, is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In celebrating this feast, we single out Mary among all women
for her pivotal role in our story. It is the patronal feast of the Sodality as
well as the foundation day of the Bordeaux Sodality and the Marianist
Family. Marianists are asked to remember their fellow brothers and sisters
on this special day.
See Fr. George Cerniglia's reflections on Advent and other December feasts
The following articles are found in the November issue of
Via Latina 22, the
newsletter for the General Administration of the
Society of Mary:
- Perpetual Vows in San Antonio and Ordination in Nairobi
- Bishop Paul Volmer, SM Retires
- Fr. François Rossier named Director of Marian Library
- Study on Mixed Composition
- General Council visits Eastern Africa
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