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
MARCH 2010

Below the Scroll
AROUND THE REGION... Creative Retreat Idea Haiti Update & Prayer Asian Marianist Studies Continental Assembly Harvest Women Retrt. Spring VLC Schedule
AROUND THE WORLD... A Letter from Chile Friday Magnificat Marian Feasts - April Via Latina
Quick Links
Greetings!,Susan photo
As we enter Holy Week and look forward to Easter, Christians face the contradiction of Palm Sunday joy, changing to Good Friday grief, and back to Easter joy. The story of our faith can be confusing and conflicting. We stand with Mary and John at the foot of the cross, then again with the women and the apostles after Christ's resurrection. Our emotions can be jerked in different directions as we move from praise to sadness to joy. Life is like that, isn't it?

Last month I told you about my Lenten blog: Letting Go of Stuff - For Lent or Forever. Writing the blog has been like that for me too. I feel virtuous that I'm cleaning house and giving things to those who need them more than I do. Then I feel guilty that I haven't done more when I see the immensity of the need. For those who
are curious yesterday I gave away "Dead Pets." Today it airplanewill be "Past Pests."
The photo at left is all the stuff I collected during the first half of Lent. During Holy Week I will be letting go of sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.Visit me.

Indian cultural Mass - RomeSince India is our featured country this month, I thought I'd share a photo from the Indian Cultural Mass that was held when the International Team met in Rome last November. Present are the Indian concelebrants and Indian seminarians.

From my home
to yours,
Susan Vogt
Regional Responsible
N. America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

PS: While Haiti is still on our minds and India is our focus country for this month, CHILE's story is different but compelling. It's at the end. Don't miss it.

The Good News:
*There are currently three MLC communities in India: one in Kolambi, one in Budkata, Orissa and the other in Lowadih, Ranchi.
*Fr. Marianus Lugun SM, (Head of Religious Life in India) is challenging each SM community in India to form at least one lay community in their area. It's starting to work.
The Bad News:
*Previously there was a community in Bangalore, led by Veronica Thekkethil which I had the pleasure of visiting about five years ago. Sadly, that community is no longer active.
The Hopeful News:

*Since India is in the process of rebuilding MLCs, a national responsible has not yet been selected. Gratefully, Fr. Marianus has agreed to be the interim contact until the communities have enough experience to elect a national responsible.

The Budhata, Orissa Budkata India 3 leadersMLC has selected 3 leaders: 
Mr. Carlus Sanga (Religious Life),
Ms. Pushpa Horo (Education), and Ms. Sanjucta Lugun (Temporalities)
These 3 office bearers also represent the 3 states of life of community members: Fathers, Youth, and Mothers.

Jinius, contact for the north India MLCs, writes, "I am happy to see the news you mail. it really links us with all the MLCs round the world. The SMs and FMIs greatly support us."

September 12 was the birth of the MLC of Lowadih, Ranchi as 12 men and women agreed to start the journey of becoming lay Marianists.
Budkata India 3 leaders

They started by learning about the history of MLCs in the Marianist tradition and hearing from MLC members from Kolambi who had attended the July international meeting in Nairobi.

On February 27 the community gathered at left named themselves the St. Joseph MLC Group, Ranchi with the purpose to learn more about Marianist spirituality and to live true Christian lives.

1. To help the downtrodden, vulnerable, deprived, marginalized, and suffering.
2. To advocate for justice for those deprived of their rights
3. To model the right path to youth and the needy
4. To increase awareness of social ills in our society
1. Meet 3 times to learn about Marianist spirituality
2. Meet for prayer and to make strategies to reach our goals
Future Plans:
1. To develop our spirituality and faith.
2. To grow towards self sufficiency in finance
3. To give workshops to the youth and work with the REDS program.

Creative Retreat Idea: Pati Krasensky of Philadelphia reports that recently there were two family retreats held by lay Marianists across the miles - one in Long Island, NY. USA and the other in Basel, Switzerland. They were both held on the same day, with the same theme - participants and staff prayed for each other during the day. What a concept!

Haiti update: Of course we continue to keep Haiti in prayer - especially on the 12th of each month for the next 12 months. Click below to see photos and commentaries of Marianist connected people and places.

ACEMS India logoMarianist Studies in India:
Dear Fellow Marianist,
I am writing you to announce the creation of a new center for the service of all branches of our Marianist Family in Asia - the Asian Center of Marianist Studies)(ACEMS) which has been established by the Asian Zonal Conference of the Society of Mary with the hope of serving the entire Family. This center is not so much a place as a service to promote study, dialogue, research, and reflection on our Marianist heritage and its application to today's realities in the different parts of Asia. 
In particular, we would like to call two projects to your attention:
  • A seminar on "Marianist Servant Leadership" in Asia scheduled for August 7-20, 2011 in Bangalore. This is open to SM, FMI, and MLC. Please let me know if you would like to send someone by November 1, 2010.
  • A booklet for the Chaminade Year 2011 with prayer services, reflections and readings. We hope to publish this for your use in ample time before the beginning of the year on January 22, 2011.
David Fleming, s.m.
Coordinator, ACEMS

Remember the MLNNA Continental Assembly: July 22-25 in Honolulu, HI

Harvest Women MLC hosts 4th Annual Women's Retreat
The Harvest Women MLC, based in Hoyt, Kansas, hosted a women's retreat for local parishes on March 5 & 6, 2010. Joanne McCracken from New Jersey and Chris Suriano from Florida were the facilitators. Women from local parishes were invited. AMLF Group Photo
The theme this year was The Women We Come From. Participants recognized how God works in our lives and through others as they engaged in meditation, learning sessions, and community prayer services. The group created a picture "quilt" of the women who have influenced their lives.
The Harvest Women MLC read and discuss spiritual books together in monthly phone conferences.  Hosting the women's retreat has been an annual event for the Harvest Women since 2007.   Their mission is to support and enhance women's spiritual growth.

Spring Virtual Learning Community Schedule: Want to learn more about Marianist heritage, spirituality, leadership, community and much more? Maybe you live in Podunk (not Dayton, San Antonio, or Honolulu) or don't have time or money to attend a class. Online learning may be what you've been looking for. Check out these courses sponsored by NACMS.

A Letter from the FMI's in Talca, Chile(These excerpts are long but worth it.)
March, 7th 2010
Dear friends, family, brothers and sisters of the Marianist Family,Chile map
As the community of Talca in Chile we would like to share with you what we have lived through since that early morning of February 27. The current year's community of 2010 had come together just hours before the catastrophe. There was a lot of merriment in the house that evening. At nightfall we all went to bed wishing one another a "good night." At 3:34 a.m. we lived through a shaking like we had never before experienced. Those three minutes that the earthquake lasted changed the life of each one of us, of the community, of the city, and of the country.

Our community was sleeping on the second floor of the house.
Each of us reacted with the greatest caution we could, and when the movement finally ended we gathered immediately on the first floor of the house but immediately our electricity went out. A small battery-powered radio that Sister Adelia had was our only connection to the rest of the world. We could get no local or national radio stations, but the antenna was able to pick up Argentinian broadcasts that announced the earthquake. Between the newscasts and in the darkness we went to look over the house and discovered that the roof over the kitchen and laundry room had collapsed. The second floor wall of our neighbor's house had fallen down upon ours. It was shocking to see the destruction in candlelight, but even standing next to such destruction, it seemed to be nothing-the important thing was that we were alive.

At the time of the earthquake we lost water also, and the following day only a few small businesses in the neighborhood were selling what they could rescue from the ruins or breakages. All the people were frightened, without transportation or any basic services, and here also we began to bury some of the nearby dead.

Once this stage of the tragedy had passed, solidarity did not delay. People were moving around to know what else happened, sharing water, until we had the luck that the swimming pool of the stadium across the street opened its doors, and we went with all the neighbors to get water with whatever containers that would serve. We went to the city center, where practically everything was down to the ground. We were thinking about how many workplaces were damaged and, in consequence, how much economic difficulty there will be in time to come in those central streets through which we all go. Because Talca is such that we all go to the same places, the same businesses, the same churches, the same expanding areas, it is common to meet more than one person you know wherever you go.

We are profoundly grateful for the calls we were receiving from many directions, such as Argentina, Colombia, Spain and other places, as well as for all the international aid that has been coming into our country. Both church and state organizations have been distributing the aid; the House of Christ and Caritas are outstanding in the way they have functioned with the reliability which characterizes them.

As a community we have many new challenges, new priorities, new scenarios, because after February 27 everything has changed. We are sad, we are concerned, but we have faith that God will help this people to get back to their feet. There has already been organized at the national level a campaign with the slogan "Chile helps Chile," Nature showed us her power, the earth shook us up, the sea devastated us, and we say like Habakkuk: "Lord, in the earthquake grant us your mercy," and thus it has been. In the ruins the people are bewailing the fallen, and it is here that the essential is the interior life, which is what will rebuild a people en marche, so that the future generations may enjoy the beauty of a coastline with beautiful and crowded beaches and a beautiful city called Talca.

Patricia Acuña R. fmi

Friday Magnificat - Focus on Haiti & Chile Chaminade Institute Peru French
Our Lady of GuadalupeAs always, all Marianists are asked to pray the Magnificat always - but especially on Fridays to be in solidarity with those around the world who are suffering from injustice. Mary cried out to raise up the lowly and cast the mighty from their thrones - and so do we. The 1st Friday of each month we focus on a different part of the world that needs our prayer and attention. Although it was out of order, Haiti and Chile have been so much on our minds that we lift up these brothers and sisters this month. Pray with us and for each other.
Click to read more in:     FRANÇAIS          ESPAÑOL    ENGLISH

April Feasts

Chaminade in oval

April 8 -249th Birthday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was born in Périgueux, France,
on April 8, 1761. He was the fourteenth of fifteen children of Blaise Chaminade and Catherine Béthon. The rest is history.
See Fr. George Cerniglia's reflections and other April Feasts.

Via Latina 22 Online

Haiti SM Formators
The following articles are found in the March #190 issue of
Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary:
    • Earthquake in Chile
    • Continuation of Prayer for Haiti
    • Lenten Campaign 2010
    • Mixed Composition Results Available

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