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  
MAY 2011

In This Issue
Remembering Japan
Friday Magnificat
Via Latina
Quick Links
Greetings!,   Susan photo

It's almost May and it's that time of year again - at least in the northern hemisphere - planting time. I've stolen time from my regular work to get some seeds and seedlings into the ground because the timing of planting is so important.

This all makes me think about "planting" new Marianist Lay Communities (MLCs). This past year a new MLC has sprung up in Poland - the first in this country. Also HB Denny of Indonesia has gathered some energetic young people there who are committed to serving the poor and vulnerable around Jakarta - sounds very Marianist. So what does it take to plant an MLC. Although no one has written a rule book on this, historically it has included:

  • Formation in the Marianist charism
  •  A desire of individuals to make a commitment to the MLC as a way of living their faith. (Often this takes the form of an Act of Consecration)
  •  A leadership structure to facilitate the life of the MLC. (Often groups use the framework of Chaminade's 3 offices of Zeal (spirituality), Instruction (education), and Temporalities (stewardship/service)
  • Connection with regional MLCs and the International Organization of MLCs.

Of course communities come in many shapes and stages.

  • Perhaps your community has been around so long that these qualities are intuitive and happen under other names.
  •  Perhaps you belong to an emerging community that is still learning and discerning a Marianist way.
  • Perhaps your community is dwindling in members and struggling to stay alive.
  • Perhaps you are without a physical community and have been living a virtual Marianist life.
  • Perhaps you are a "Goldilocks" community with just the right balance of young and old, male and female, black, white, yellow, and brown, with a healthy mix of lifestyles.

Regardless, it's good to occasionally take your community's temperature. Do you need more structure or less? Do you have a way of formalizing people's commitment to the community? Is it life-giving or stuck in a rut? Just as a spiritual adviser can be an aid to an individual, a community mentor can help a community grow. Contact me if you want suggestions.

United across the miles and kilometers,

Susan Vogt
Regional Rep: N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland


Ahern - color

Julie Ahern

Australia Rep.


Greetings from  Langwarrin, Australia. 

I send a "down under" hello to you from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Community in Langwarrin. Our group is small, consisting of 12 members and currently is the only MLC in Australia. Our autumn weather is coming to a close at the end of this month, and winter will be with us. We have had a mild summer this year, and the days have entwined into the autumn, with snow on some mountain peaks.


Australia MLC 2011We have had a special visitor, Bro. Don Neff SM, from the States who came to stay for a couple of months and it has been a delight to have him with us. Don was able to meet with some of the new members after morning Mass for a coffee and chat. It was a great way for them to learn some of our Marianist heritage. Bro. Don discussed our early founders and gave suggestions that will help for our future meetings. Three new members have joined our community and another lady is coming to our next meeting.  

Don was also able to catch up with staff of the two colleges that the Marianists started in Australia, the College of St. Paul and the College of John Paul. Wishing you all many blessings as you approach your summer.


Julie Aherne

                            AROUND THE REGION     



In early 2011, I introduced the idea of forming a Marianist Lay Community to a group of faith sharing friends that already existed. They responded positively to having a 'Family' in other parts of the world who shared the same vision and mission.

From that point I contacted several MLC leaders on the International Team to guide us in forming an MLC in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Every other month we meet as a faith sharing group. On the alternating months we do a service project such as visiting poor children in orphanages, or going to a prison, rehabilitation center, or nursing home. We bring a donation, entertain residents, and try to share some happiness with them.

We have about 10 committed members and our service projects have drawn up to 25 people. We always start with a small idea but the strong commitment of the members keeps us growing. We think that being connected with the Marianist Family will help us become a better community.

Indonesian MLC ar orphanage 2011

Indonesian community helps out an orphanage

Bara, Jinius

Jimius Bara

India Rep.


Here in India we had a memorable celebration of the 250th birthday of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. It was a.good gathering of SMs, FMIs and MLC members from the part of India around Ranchi. Like most of the countries featured last month, we too had Holy Mass, fun, and food together. Though we are far away, I feel very much one with you all.

Chaminade 250 - USA 

We pray that Mother Mary be at your side and guide us all to her son, Jesus.
United in prayers.



Inspiration from Japan


The following was excerpted from a letter written by a Vietnamese immigrant who is a police officer in Fukushima Japan.


Dear brother, there was a really touching incident involving a Japanese boy who taught an adult like me a lesson in how to behave like a real human being.

Last night I was sent to a nursery school to help a charity distribute food to refugees. There was a very long line and I saw a boy of about nine years wearing a shirt and a pair of shorts.

Food line after earthquakeIt was getting very cold and the boy was at the end of the queue. I was worried that, when his turn came, there could be no more food. I was talking to him. He said he was at school when the earthquake occurred. His father worked nearby and was heading to school. The boy was on the third floor balcony when he saw the tsunami take the car from his father.

I asked about his mother. He said his house was right near the beach and that his mother and sister have not survived. He turned his head to wipe a tear.

The boy was shaking. I took off my police jacket and put it on him. It was then that my bag of food fell. I took it and gave it to him. "When your turn comes, the food might be over. So here is my portion. I already ate. Why don't you eat it?

He took my food and bowed. I thought he was going to eat immediately, but he did not. He took the bag of food, went to the front of the queue and put it where all the other foods waiting to be distributed.

I was shocked. I asked him why he had not eaten instead of putting food on the pile for distribution. He replied: "Because I see people hungrier than me. If I put the food there, they will distribute the food more evenly."

When I heard that, I turned around so that people can not see me cry.

A society that can produce a person of 9 years who understands the concept of sacrifice for the greater good should be a great, great people.

Ha Minh Thanh



Map - Japan 2011-3

Ten Things to be Learned from Japan

by Liubomir Topaloff, April 8, 2011 



Not a single visual of wild shouting displays of grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated to a new level.



Disciplined lines for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.



The incredible architectural achievement--buildings swayed but didn't fall.



People bought only what they needed for the present, so that everyone could get something.



No looting in shops. No honking, and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding.



Fifty workers stayed in the high radiation level area to pump sea water into the nuclear reactors. How will they ever be repaid?



Restaurants cut prices instead of raising them. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.



The old and the children--everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did it.



They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly antics to gain attention. No over-blown emphasis on tragedy to gain ratings. Only calm reporting.



When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.


FEASTS: June 12, Pentecost  


All of us have been baptized into one and the same Spirit. That same Spirit, the Advocate, was given as a gift to the disciples to strengthen them to go forth in the name of the Lord, "to renew the face of the earth."

 Read other  June Feasts 





FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - Chaminade Anniversary Year


During 2011, the Friday Magnificat is featuring an historical moment in Fr. Chaminade's life. In addition, it features a work of justice within the Marianist Family to remind us of our call. Below is May's photo.  





Members of the Alliance Mariale in Quebec, Canada helped serve a "hunger dinner" at a local parish.   


Archived Friday Magnificats


Via Latina
The following articles are found in the April #204 issue of
Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
- A festival of photos from around the world showing the Marianist Family celebrating the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
- Chaminade Year 2011-2012 - News and Reminders

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