|GIFTS & TASKS |
"DONS et DEVOIRS"
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
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?Susan Vogt
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 will 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.
Since 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
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.
FOCUS ON INDIA
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 Sadly, that community is no longer active.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
MLC 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.
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.Goals:
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 societyActivities:
1. Meet 3 times to learn about Marianist spirituality
2. Meet for prayer and to make strategies to reach our goalsFuture 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.
|AROUND THE REGION
|Creative Retreat Idea: Pati Krasensky of Philadelphia reports that
recently there were two family retreats held by lay Marianists across
miles - one in Long Island, NY. USA and the other in Basel, Switzerland. They
held on the same day, with the same theme - participants and staff
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.Marianist Studies in India:
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
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.
particular, we would like to call two projects to your attention:
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.
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.
Remember the MLNNA Continental Assembly
: July 22-25 in Honolulu, HIHarvest
Women MLC hosts 4th Annual Women's Retreat
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.
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.
AROUND THE WORLD
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
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.
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
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
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
As 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.
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.
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
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. To be added to the subscription list:
Click here to sign up for monthly Gifts & Tasks e-mails.