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
JULY 2010

Below the Scroll
AROUND THE REGION New Provincial Council 40 Years of LIFE
AROUND THE WORLD One Billion Hungry Friday Magnificat Marian Feasts for July Via Latina
Quick Links
Greetings!,Susan photo
Why am I still Catholic? With all the scandals in the Church and young people leaving in droves, it's easy to get disheartened by the Church of our Baptism. This was the topic that the Anawim Community posed recently. Following are my thoughts on -
1. The essence of
what I know about Jesus from the Bible rings true.
2. The "Communion of Saints." By this I mean all the good Catholic people, dead and alive, whose lives have been a witness to me.
3. The strong social justice heritage of the Catholic Church.
4. The strong sense of equality, hospitality, and family in the Marianist tradition. Just as "All politics is local," so also a lifegiving local experience of Church can compensate for institutional weaknesses. Terrible things might be happening nationally and globally, but if your local church is feeding you, you stay. For me, the Marianist order and charism have been a refuge when I find myself railing against abuses and clericalism. Religious orders like the Marianists can bring an authentic Catholicism combined with depth of understanding and flexibility of implementation.
5. The Incarnation. The Catholic Church has always honored the body. We understand the need for the spiritual life to be intellectual, emotional, and physical. The sacraments and other rituals embody this awareness.
6. The universal and historical nature of the church. Although Catholic parishes vary in quality and certainly the history of the Catholic Church has been marred by ignorance (Galileo), militarism (the Crusades), scandal (indulgences, sexual sins) and pride (clericalism), still it eventually seems to right itself. I may not see the changes I seek in the institutional Church in my lifetime, but history leads me to believe, like Chardin, that we are spiraling upward.
7. "Lord, to whom should I go?" Despite its flaws, as I look around at other ways to seek a spiritual grounding in life, other religions have their own set of imperfections. This is my heritage and where God has placed me in history. It's about stability.

Why do you stay? Perhaps your MLC could spend an evening on this question.
Question mark
With questions abounding,
Susan Vogt
Regional Rep:N. America, Asia, Australia, & Ireland
AJ Wagner USA Responsible 

AJ Wagner is the President of the Marianist Lay Network of North America (MLNNA). Although the USA has the most lay members (1,500), MLNNA also includes French and English speaking Canada (82 members) as well as Haiti (100 members). The  leadership team consists of AJ, Kay Stone (Community Development), Jacqui Griswold (Communication), Kathleen Henricksen (Co-secretary), Caitlin Jacob (Co-secretary), and Carol Weiss (Treasurer) as well as eight Area Reps and six Project Reps.

MLNNA's big news is that the Continental Assembly which occurs every three years is taking place as you read this (from July 22-25) in Hawaii. Yes, we are redefining "continental" since technically Hawaii is not physically attached to the mainland. 134 lay Marianists plus 16 supportive SMs and FMIs from across North America come to what is often referred to as "paradise." Guests will also be coming from Korea.

The first Continental Assembly was held in 1988 in St. Louis, MO. Since then, six Assemblies have been held in various cities. One or two people from Hawaii often came but distance and cost prohibited significant attendance. The lay movement has been growing stronger in Hawaii, however, and it seemed only fair to finally join the islands on their own turf. The Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC) and the Marianist State Community are holding their annual meeting and retreat in conjunction with the Headshot-Stone1Assembly.

Kay Stone, chair of the Continental Assembly, tells us that it is the first Assembly west of the Rockies and will have a heavy emphasis on introducing the "rest of the continent" to the indigenous culture of Hawaii. Networking, workshops on social justice, and of course prayer to stir our hearts will all be included in the agenda.

Province of the USA installs new Council
Front: Ed Brink, Martin Solma, Joseph Kamis, William Meyer
Back: Dennis Schmitz, Francisco Gonzalez, Paul Marshall, Charles Johnson
Provincial Council 2010
On July 1, 2010 Fr. Martin Solma was installed as the new Provincial for the Marianists-USA. A new Provincial Council was also installed at the Province USA assembly, "Gather at the River - Boldly Claiming Our Future" in Louisville, Ky. See photo at left. Council members will serve five-year terms. The lay Marianists of North America add our congratulations and prayers for the new Provincial Council as it guides the future of the Marianist Province.

LIFE logo
Living in Faith Experience
As of July 1, Marianist LIFE officially celebrates its 40th anniversary year! The Lay Marianists congratulate Brian Reavey, director, and all the energetic young people who have participated in LIFE retreats and have been inspired by LIFE over the past 40 years.

FAO-UN - 1 Billion Hungry Campaignapostrophe yellow
Dear friends,
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) there are 1 billion people who are suffering from hunger in our world today. Thus, UN FAO has started a "1 Billion Hungry" project aimed at drawing attention to this fact and also putting pressure on world leaders by asking people all over the world to sign the petition calling for more to be done to combat hunger.
This is an important campaign. We ask that you take a few minutes to read the content. We suggest that you sign it, if you wish.
Remy Sandah SM and Charles-Henri Moulin SM,
Peace, Justice, and Integrity of Creation Group, Rome
Translations into Spanish, French, and other languages are available at the top of the video.    Click here   Clica aquí   Cliquez ici 

Friday Magnificat - Focus on ArgentinaChaminade Institute Peru French

Fri Mag 2010-7 Argentina
Education for justice and peace is carried out through the influence of the Marianist Mission Foundation and through the involvement of teachers, students, and parents in projects for educational and social advancement among the poorest and most neglected groups. At left, students and alumni of the Colegio Marianista of San Agustin, work at the renovation of a chapel in a poor section of the city. Click below to read more:
       FRANÇAIS         ESPAÑOL       ENGLISH
July Feasts
Feast 2010-7 MarthaJuly 29 - St. Martha

Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, and all three were friends of Jesus. She is a model of hospitality as well as fidelity in discipleship. At the raising of Lazarus from the dead, it was Martha who went out to meet Jesus and confessed her belief that He was the Christ, the Son of God. Martha is the patroness of housewives, waiters, and waitresses.
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.
  • Superiors appointed in Togo and Argentina
  • News from Haiti
     ENGLISH       FRANÇAIS         ESPAÑOL     

Past issues of Gifts and Tasks are archived online at GIFTS AND TASKS ARCHIVE

Gifts and 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 by the previous Sunday.

Kindly 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.