| 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
In the August Gifts & Tasks I invited young adults in "emerging communities" to tell what challenges people in their 20's and 30's face as they try to build a new community. Some questions to consider are:
- How important is physical presence? Are emails, conference calls, Skype, etc. sufficient to sustain community life?
- Are "cyber communities" real communities? How important are periodic retreats or seeing people face-to-face?
- What amount of structure is helpful to sustain the community and when does it start to be a turn-off to potential members?
- How often is it practical to meet considering busy schedules? Is weekly too often, monthly not often enough?
- How do you know when someone is a member? Is it important to have some kind of unity of belief? Or does the Marianist charism of Inclusivity cover a broad spectrum of belief?
- How do we handle conflict? What happens if some start to feel that the group leans one way politically and it's not their way?
- How big do we want to become? (As big as possible or small enough to fit in a living room?)
- Do we want to welcome people of different ages or states of life? (married couples, parents...)
- How much do we want to formally connect with the Marianist heritage and other MLCs (locally or nationally), SMs or FMIs. This may be a strength to some but seem foreign to newcomers.
- How do we handle different prayer styles, balance meaty meetings with fun? Is commitment to social justice/service essential or a nice extra?
Ashley Kessler of the Embers Community responded. See below. I'm still interested in hearing more experiences.
United across the miles & kilometers,
Regional Rep: N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
|FEATURED COUNTRY - USA
REFLECTIONS FROM AN EMBER:
When the 17 people who would become my Marianist Lay Community (named the Embers) first gathered, it was clear that we were all there because we wanted to better understand how to bring our love for the Marianist Charism with us since we would soon be graduating from the comforts of the University of Dayton (UD). I wasn't seeking to join the Embers because I was best friends with everyone or because I wanted to stay more connected specifically to UD. It was much more than that. The Embers Community was inspired by the lay communities that had formed in the years before us. We gathered to learn, and share love, faith, and support in community.
The five years that have passed since our public commitment have brought many changes. The adjustments of new jobs, marriages and life relocations being the most common. Though most of us now live far away from each other, the continuing desire to keep our commitment is there. The question that drives us is how to more fully live out this mission with the same passions we had on December 8, 2007.
As a community, the biggest questions we discuss are:
- How to maintain our connection and passion for the mission with so much distance between us?
- How do we welcome spouses, and eventually children, and allow them to be involved?
The issues we face as a young community are different from ones facing more seasoned communities, but our unified passion and focus on the Marianist Charism we share is part of what ties us together as the Marianist family. Through these challenges, I believe our foundation remains the same. I feel connected to the Embers because of our dedication to the larger community around us. The reason we formed is to support one another, and to live out the Marianist Charism through our lives as we strive to be examples of what it means to bring Christ more fully into the world.
Ashley Kessler is a 2007 graduate of UD and a member of the Embers Marianist Lay Community. She lives in Dayton, OH. The Embers members live all over the USA.
AROUND THE REGION
NEW U.S.A. FMI PROVINCIAL COUNCIL INSTALLED
|Ibarra, Escobar, Leming, & Trautman|
The Marianist Sisters of the US Province installed their new Provincial and Council at morning prayer in San Antonio on September 15, 2012.
- Sr. Evangeline Escobar - Provincial
- Sr. Laura Leming - Assistant for Religious Life
- Sr. Estella Ibarra - Assistant for Temporalities
- The Office of Education will be shared among the Council members.
- Sr. Gretchen Trautman is the newly appointed General Assistant for Temporalities in Rome.
JAPANESE FMI TELLS WHY SHE COMMITS TO PHILIPPINES
Sr. Fumiko and Fr. Pablo Rambaud
1986 was the year of revolution in the Philippines. Before the revolution there was much poverty as funds and resources were held by only a few people. In 1986 I attended a program called "Exposure" in Asia and was shocked to learn how the people of the Philippines suffered during World War II.
One incident which I will never forget was when our group was going to a slum area and a man approached us asking, "Are you Japanese?" "Yes" we said. He replied, "My father was killed by Japanese soldiers."
Since then I have felt guilty about what Japan did during the war and wanted to do something for repentance. At first my dream was to start an FMI community there but my provincial said that was impossible. Then I remembered that Fr. Chaminade's first plan was to start lay communities. That's when I started the Maria Gracia MLC group in Manila. These photos show some of the members of the Maria Gracia MLC making their commitment and one member receiving a symbolic necklace of dedication.
May God's blessings be with you,
Sr. M. Passion Fumiko Yamada, FMI
LET US PRAY
- For the Marianist Family of Haiti who are grieving the tragic murder of Brother Yxnold Chevalier, SM by a gang who invaded the SM home.
- For Isabel Duarte Quapper, Regional Responsable for Latin America, as she and her family grieve the recent death of her mother
- October is Respect Life Month in the USA. We grieve for the loss of human life through abortion, war, crime, hunger, and hatred.
AROUND THE WORLD
PAN-AFRICAN CONGRESS FRANÇAIS
The Pan-African Congress of Catholic Laity was held September 4-9, 2012 in Yaoundé in Cameroon. Ernest Kasongo represented the Marianist Lay Communities of Africa. Read Ernest's preliminary report in French (click FRANÇAIS above) or the following loosely translated English summary.
The African Church is growing in relation to other faiths. The number of Catholic Christians, priests, religious, and seminarians increases. Africa is a land of hope.
Following the Synod of Bishops for Africa in 1994, Pope John Paul II signed the exhortation "Ecclesia in Africa" which introduced the expression "Church-Family of God" for the Church in Africa. This gave importance to the family as the basic unit of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI built on this concept by inviting African Christians to reflect on "Africae Munus" (The Role of Africa). The Pope invited associations and ecclesial movements to engage in a new evangelization and educate the laity in faith as a way for the Church to respond to the current chaos of globalization.
Our founder, Fr. Chaminade, also was concerned about how to re-evangelize the people of France during his time. As representative of the Marianist Lay Communities in Africa, I shared how MLCs/CLMs are also a response to build the Church in Africa. I encourage all MLCs in the world to join the efforts of the universal Church to assist Mary in her mission.
MLC Rep for Africa
FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS
Saturday, September 29
Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are three of the seven archangels who stand before God and are venerated in both Jewish and Christian traditions. These biblical messengers signify God's transcendence and loving care:
- Michael (meaning who is like God)
- Gabriel (meaning God's strength)
- Raphael (meaning God's remedy)
FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - September
The Marianist Family of Austria has taken on care for 25 children from the slums of the city of Lezhë, Albania. From their entry into primary school, they will be eligible for care at the center of Works of Social Advancement for the Roma People (a Romani subgroup living in Europe). This initiative of the Italian Marianists for children in the poorest country of Europe assures children of the Roma entry into primary school.
Read more in ENGLISH, FRANÇAIS, ESPAÑOL and DEUTSCH
Marianist World Day of Prayer - 2012
Save the Date: October 14, 2012
Our Lady of Lake Togo, Mother of Mercy
More information next month
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