| 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
|Greetings! Dear (Contact First Name), |
In the last two issues of Gifts & Tasks we've been looking at differences between long standing and newly emerging communities. Bernie Lee, SM has long studied how communities work and shared some research on group dynamics. These aren't meant to be definitive answers since every group is unique, but MLCs (and potential MLCs) would benefit from at least being aware of this sociological research. As we know, Chaminade said, "Read the signs of the times." Perhaps that means read the research of the experts.
How do you start a community?
One can start a small group that may become a community, but you can't just start a "community." It takes time.
How long between meetings?
Three weeks is about the longest community groups can go without feeling they start over each time. When meeting every week or two, the group more easily remembers where it left off last meeting and feels like a community.
How many members?
It takes about 5 members to get a strong group interaction, but if a group is larger than 12 it is hard to hear everyone every time. (Larger groups must sometimes, then, break into smaller groups for processing so that no voice can hide behind size!)
What about when someone misses a meeting?
When a member can't make a gathering - and lets everyone know ahead of time and why - "community" is starting to happen.
So, which of the above ring true to you and your community? Which don't fit?
United across the miles & kilometers,
Regional Rep: N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
|FEATURED COUNTRY - CANADA |
The Marianist Lay Communities in Winnipeg, Canada trace their roots to the late 1970's. They were founded by the Marianist brothers in St. Boniface. Today there are four MLC's:
Faith and Family members were part of a student community in those early days. Today, they are all parents of young adults. Some are even grand-parents. Magnificat was also formed at this time. It began with parents of those same students, and other friends of the Society of Mary community.
Our Lady of Peace began as an off-shoot of an Archdiocesan renewal program in the 1980's.
Circulo de Boa Nova, our newest community, is a Portuguese MLC.
Winnipeg is also represented in the international online MLC, Our Lady of the Round Table, by Isabella Moyer.
Each of these communities was represented at a gathering on October 20th to celebrate the Marianist World Day of Prayer. We united spiritually with our Marianist sisters and brothers in Togo by praying with the resource they provided. It helped us to learn more about the reality of Marianist life in Togo.
and at Left are some
Lay Marianists who attended the World Day of Prayer cele-bration.
Each community then shared their current reality: the format of their meetings, practical issues faced in meeting on a regular basis, the resources they used, and social justice projects they were involved in.
The highlight of our sharing was a presentation by Urania Carvalho. Urania and Marta Almeida (currently in Portugual) are participating in the Marianist Lay Formation Initiative (MaLFI). Urania gave an enthusiastic description of the program which is helping her to deepen her understanding of the Marianist charism, especially as it is lived in our lay reality. She shared many resources with us. She concluded her presentation by inviting us all into a movement meditation focused on the circle of God's love.
We then joined the parish of St. Gerard's to celebrate the Sunday liturgy. Fr. John Kratcher, SM, concelebrated Mass with the
pastor, Fr. Greg Mulligan.
|Art & Ardelle Martin|
The parishioners were treated to the musical talents of Art and Ardelle Martin (Faith and Family). Isabella gave a presentation to the parish describing the history and present reality of Marianist Lay Communities in the world. After Mass, we gathered with some parish members to enjoy a feast of appetizers and dainties provided by all our MLC members.
Our next Winnipeg Marianist Family Council meeting will take place on November 3rd. As usual, we will be treated to the generous and bountiful hospitality of Ina Jablonski.
(Submitted by Isabella Moyer)
AROUND THE REGION
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER - Cincinnati
On Sunday's Oct. 14 the Marianist Family of Cincinnati celebrated the World Day of Prayer. We started with prayer followed by a talk by Bert Buby, SM on Mary's presence at Zaragoza, Spain and the history of Our Lady of the Pillar, followed by a reception. members of the DeSales Crossings Marianist Community, Moeller Marianist Community, Anawim MLC, Sisters of Mercy who work at DeSales Crossings Mercy Neighborhood Ministries, and parishioners from St. Francis DeSales parish were present.
Colbert, Stewart, and Carell - On Religion
POLITICS, PRAYER, & HUMOR
Is it possible?
For those in the USA, we are at the height of the electoral season. Tired of the debating, arguing, and twisted truths? Well, it's been around for a long time. We not only fight about who would be the best president but about whose God is best. If the upcoming election is distressing you and challenging your faith, perhaps you'd like to take a break and laugh about how foolish fighting over faith must appear to God. Elections are serious business, but sometimes it helps to take a step back and look at it as God might. It's about working for the common good, not finding a common enemy. Enjoy!
LET US PRAY
- For Val and Glenn Bergeron as they grieve the death yesterday of Val's father who had been living with them. May Mary, who stood by Jesus at his death, give their family comfort.
- For the upcoming elections in the USA that people vote prayerfully and thoughtfully, taking into consideration the common good of society.
AROUND THE WORLD
NEWS FROM SPAIN
Rep. for Europe
Félix Arqueros Pérez passes on the
annual report for the Spanish NGO, Acción Marianista para el Desarrollo (Marianist Action for Development) written by Henar Fátima Gutiérrez Mayo's. For those who know Spanish this will be inspiring. For those who don't, you can still get a sense for the kind of development work that Acción Mariansta does by looking at the many photos.
FEAST OF ALL SAINTS
Today the Church celebrates all the saints: canonized or beatified, and all those who are in heaven known only to God (and we their friends and relatives on earth). During the early centuries, saints venerated by the Church were all martyrs. Later on the Popes set November 1 as the day for commemorating All Saints as we all have this "universal call to holiness." To join those who have gone before us, we "must follow in Jesus' footsteps seeking the will of the Father in all things. [We] must devote [our]selves to the glory of God and the service of [our] neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow...as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history" (Lumen Gentium, 40).
Sr. Grace Walle, FMI
FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - October
In the United States the Marianist sisters work to educate youth and young adults in the areas of faith and social justice. Whether it is in a formal classroom, a workshop, retreat, or gathering at the Sisters' homes, the Sisters educate in order to bring about a more just society.
Read more in ENGLISH FRANÇAIS ESPAÑOL
VIA LATINA - Online
The following articles are found in the October #216 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
- Marianist World Day of Prayer
- Living the fruit of the 34th General Chapter
- NGO Survey - Decision Making Processes
ENGLISH FRANÇAIS ESPAÑOL
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