| GIFTS & TASKS |
"DONS et DEVOIRS"
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
The Cost of Community
It would be unthinkable to charge money to attend Mass or go to an MLC meeting. Faith and Love should be available to all and free. But cost is not always measured in money.
Sure, there is an expectation that MLCs will support the national Marianist lay networks through an annual contribution so our mission can continue, BUT we don't like to call it "dues." Consider the following Costs of Community:
1. I am reminded me of a community meeting in which a member said, "Community is when you get a call from a friend at 3:00am saying his car broke down and you don't hesitate to pick him up."
2. Community members usually rise to help a member in crisis like the death of a loved one or a job loss, but sometimes it's harder to let oneself be inconvenienced by another's need. Watching each other's kids, sharing a car, or taking on the burden of leadership (when you'd rather be a fearless follower) carry the cost of time, stress, and energy.
3. I was reminded of another Cost of Community on our recent trip to India. When we met with MLCs , several of the women said it took them 1½ hours to walk to the meeting. The temperature was in the mid 90's.
- How long would you walk to get to a meeting?
- How far would you go to help a friend?
- Would it make a difference if it were a stranger?
Sometimes the little annoyances of community life (someone talks too much or is not reliable, differing political beliefs, a grating personality) pale when we remember our mission - to stand by others in good times and in bad and to sacrifice our comfort for the common good in order to bring Christ more fully into the world - as Mary did.
United across the miles and kilometers,Susan Vogt, Regional Rep: N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
| DISCIPLESHIP |
So... Jesus is risen, again. He has appeared to the disciples and will soon be sending them out on Pentecost. If the Cost of Community is being there at inconvenient times, then the Cost of Discipleship may mean moving out of our cozy, welcoming communities to places that may stretch us and our faith. Consider the video at right, "This is discipling" because "discipling" is a verb.
Mary Harvan Gorgette is a Marianist lay woman living in Paris, France. She works as a lay minister for social justice and intercultural issues in a 5-parish area of the Diocese of Créteil. Click here to read about her work to support the Roma families in the area.
AROUND THE REGION
Jim and I recently spent a week in the Ranchi area of India and it was indeed a "Holy Week." We were overwhelmed by the gracious hospitality of the Marianist Family that we met. The SM Novitiate community at Nirmal Deep housed and fed us. The FMIs introduced us to their ministries and their novices and postulants. The three MLCs greeted us with flowers, ritual hand washing, the traditional red bindi mark of honor on the forehead, and of course prayer, conversation, and food.
To a great extent, the MLCs surrounding Ranchi area are in the formation stage. They are hungry for knowledge of what it means to be an MLC and a lay Marianist. Yet they are overflowing with good will and a family welcome.
|Representatives from the Ranchi, Kolambi, and Singhpur MLCs. (My husband, Jim, is the white guy.) |
Since it was Holy Week, on Good Friday, a local parish in which some of the lay Marianists and novices are involved dramatized the Way of the Cross followed by Mass. (see station at left.)
A special thanks goes out to National Responsible, Jinius Bara, who not only arranged our meetings, translated for us, and drove us around, but also spent way too many hours helping us work out travel arrangements.
LET US PRAY
- For the Bergeron family as they care for Val's aging father, Roger.
- For Louis Joseph Fleurital (Haiti Lay Marianist who recently died) that he may be welcomed into God's eternal glory
- For all those in need of physical and emotional healing
- For women religious
AROUND THE WORLD
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker - May 1
On May 1 we celebrate Saint Joseph as the patron saint of work and workers. Since we all are workers in one way or another, we can ask ourselves, How can we see the sacred dignity and meaning of our work? We can do this in the same way we make anything holy - by doing it with an awareness of the presence of God. St. Joseph the carpenter reminds us of the dignity of labor and how we must bring Christ into the workplace. Click here to see other May feasts.
Friday Magnificat -April
Another Marianist Work of Justice: The Foundation for Development Action is an NGO of the Marianist Family of Spain dedicated to development and education. One of the projects it funds is a comprehensive care program for children in Bogota, Colombia (photo below) which supports access to education, libraries, cultural activities, soup kitchens, economic initiatives, and a program of humanitarian aid.
Read more at
Archived Friday Magnificats
Via Latina - Online The following articles are found in the March #213 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
- General Chapter 2012 preparation continues
- Swiss Region Assembly
- Anniversary of Verdelais
Past issues of Gifts and Tasks are archived online at GIFTS AND TASKS ARCHIVE
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