Helping each other live the Gospel at home & around the world
International. Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC)
Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland
JUNE 2010

Below the Scroll
AROUND THE REGION.. Let Us Pray For -- World Day of Prayer
AROUND THE WORLD... Marianist Volunteer Friday Magnificat Marian Feasts - July Via Latina
Quick Links
Greetings!,Susan photo
I have a love/hate relationship with this Gifts & Tasks newsletter. Of course I love all of you and enjoy passing on interesting and sometimes humorous news from the international Marianist Family. It's one way to build community. I also enjoy trying to make this e-mail artful and concise. BUT, yesterday I spent way too much time with the tech support person from Constant Contact. I've now got the preparation for Gifts & Tasks down to about 10 hours if everything goes smoothly. Of course, more often than not there is a glitch. This time it was with the links not working. This all got me to thinking about the role of technology in our lives.

Most often technology is a boon to our lives and helps us build community. We can reach more people with less time and money through the internet. We can stay connected with our brothers and sisters across the world from Korea to Canada; from Ireland to India, from Australia to the USA; from the Philippines to Japan - and that's just our region. BUT, it can also eat up time trying to figure out why links won't work while wondering if anybody is listening. Does anybody really care? Face-to-face is always best and what we Marianists value in our local community lives.but I remind myself not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. God will have to take care of the rest.

My computer isn't an "Apple" but may this apple from my apple tree remind us of the original temptation in the Garden of Eden to try to control God and the world around us.

With hot, humid summer regards,
Susan Vogt
Regional Responsible,
N. America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

PS: While we're speaking of tech support, enjoy this short clip about the First IT Professional Service Call. Perhaps you will recognize yourself in one of the characters. Humor can help us remember how far we've come and not to make technology our God.
Isabella Moyer
Isabella Moyer

The French and Spanish versions of Isabella Moyer's Circular #1 are now available:
Being Marianist, Being Family: ENGLISH
Etre Marianiste, Etre Famille: FRANÇAIS
Ser Marianista, Ser Familia: ESPAÑOL
The circular emphasizes the Marianist charisms of equality, Mary as model for both men and women, and the interdependence of  the Marianist Family. It also calls communities to form Family Councils, strengthen global awareness, and share our resources.
English Speaking

Val Bergeron Canada Responsible (English Speaking)
Welcome to the Marianist English speaking Canadian world which centers around Winnipeg, Canada. Our groups were initially formed in the early 1970's. They started as faith sharing groups of young students from St. Boniface Diocesan High School. The young people were part of the Christian Life Community that Fr. Ray Roussin, SM and Fr. John Kracher, SM started while they were teaching at the high school. The groups started meeting weekly at the Marianist house. In time, parents of the students saw what was happening in their children's lives and wanted to start their own group which they named The Magnificat Community. These groups have endured through the years and now include other groups and priests including Fr. Luis Melo, who teaches at the University of Manitoba and Brother Joe.

Members of Our Lady of Peace Community
Our Lady of Peace group
Currently Winnipeg has four MLCs: Boa Nova, Faith & Family, Our Lady of Peace, and Magnificat. What a wonderful family! Our groups meet independently, usually bi-weekly or monthly and at least once a year we meet as one combined group where we share our faith, celebrate Mass and share a meal. (Good food and song fill our Marianist hearts!) We support each other in prayer and often try to help others by making and donating food for various charities. Our Marianist roots are deep and our lives are richer because of this. As a special request, we ask that you all remember Bishop Ray Roussin in your prayers as he has just celebrated his 71st birthday and his health is now weak.
Editor's note: I haven't cleared this with our Canadian friends but I hope they won't mind a Yankee sharing this modern rendition of Canada Please. We don't want to be too serious.

airplaneLet us pray...              
  • For brothers in the Society of Mary, Province of the United States, who will "Gather at the River" in Louisville, KY to "boldly chart their future," June 30-July 4
  • For the MLNNA Continental Assembly in Hawaii, July 22-25
  • For the people of South and North Korea who continue to struggle as a nation divided by politics and economics.
  • For the people and environment devastated by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
  • For those who are suffering from various physical and emotional ailments, especially Glen Bergeron, Ray Roussin, SM, Rich Csarny, and Chari Kabat.

Wesly Etienne
Responsible for Haiti
Etienne, Wesly 1
Our Lady of Perpetual HelpHaiti STILL to Host

World Day of Prayer!
Didn't Haiti just have a disastrous earthquake on January 12? Yes, of course, but their spirit is resilient and the Haitians are determined to carry out their commitment to host the Marianist World Day of Prayer on October 20, 2010. It will take place in Port-au-Prince at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help depicted in the icon at left. More details will come soon.


Marianist Volunteer, Angela Winterling, writes from Philippines
It is hard to believe that only 10 months ago I remember thinking it was a ridiculous notion that a 30-year-old woman with a mortgage, bills, 10 years of living in corporate America, and deep ties to her family and friends in Baltimore could ever live on the other side of the world.  But, here I am - 10 months later finding it hard to imagine my life any other way.  

As expected, the SM Community was warm and welcoming - immediately making me feel a part of their family. The men in the home were true gentleman giving me a cool, comfortable room with my own bathroom for privacy. Being in this community has given me tremendous insight to the lives of our religious community in the Marianists.  

Angela Winterling, 2nd from right
Angela Winterling w kids
My volunteer work here is ever evolving. Initially I started full time at Balay Pasilungan, a shelter for street boys ages 6-14.  I love this work and adore the kids. They are some of the greatest Marianists I've ever met - truly welcoming, inviting, caring and willing to love regardless of the abuse, neglect, and abandonment they've experienced in their short lives. I feel blessed to be loved by them. I help plan their summer schedule, take them on outings, and most importantly, talk and sit with them to let them know many people care about them. I love the weekly walks we do to get to know the other street kids and invite them back to the shelter.

Philippine kids w MadonnaAfter arriving I picked up a second ministry with Balay Dangpanan. This is a half way house for indigenous people in coordination with the State hospital. I came to know this home through the MLC of Davao since two of its members direct the shelter.  

Another important aspect of being in Davao has been this MLC. Johneleen Ladera and I work together in this group's ongoing formation. When I arrived I saw the group struggled with being a reflection of the Marianist charisms - especially service and inclusivity. As a result we had a Lenten retreat and set goals for the group to refocus. Since then the group brought in 10 new members, committed to weekly visits to Balay Dangpanan, and once a month feeds the homeless street families. My experience in working with MLC Davao has truly been rewarding.

The biggest challenge for me is financial. The realities of large expenses at home and the cost of travel added onto the expenses of life here in Davao are substantial. I fear my trip may have to be cut short, but I try not to let it distract me. One thing I've learned is to be open to God's plan, to trust it, and to follow it completely. God has never led me astray.  

I truly love my life here and I know it will be a time I will always look back on with great love and warmth. I'm working to be 100% present to the life and experiences here in every way; as a Filipina, as an American, as a woman and as a Marianist. (Letter courtesy of Jose Luis Perez, VIM Coordinator.)

Friday Magnificat - Focus on FranceChaminade Institute Peru French
Flying insect made from recycled objects
FM-France flying insect
It's a bird! It's a plane. No, it's a flying insect created by the children at a Marianist school in France. This mission of the school is to educate children for justice, peace, and respect for creation. They aim to instill courage in their students, comfort them, and to pray together.

Click below to read more:


July Feasts

Kateri TekawithAJuly 14 - Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

This native American woman led a life of great austerity and love in spite of ridicule and abuse. She was called "Lily of the Mohawks."
She died in Québec in 1680 at the age of 24. In 1980 she was the first native American to be declared "Blessed."

See Fr. George Cerniglia's reflections and other July Feasts.

Via Latina 22 - Online

Haiti SM Formators
The following articles are found in the June #193 issue of
Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
  • Inauguration of the Region of Eastern Africa
  • Nine make First Profession of Vows in India
     ENGLISH       FRANÇAIS         ESPAÑOL     

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