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  
OCTOBER - 2013

A New Take on the Silence of Words
Pope Francis
All Saints
Let Us Pray
Friday Magnificat


This month's Gifts & Tasks will be short because I don't have much to say. (Actually, it's not words that I'm short on but time.) Still, today I'd like to focus on what's right below your nose - your mouth.


Recently I read a blog post by Joshua Becker who wrote about an experiment he did that involved not speaking for 24 hours. It was an effort to be more conscious of the words he did say and to choose them carefully. 


The ultimate goal is personal spiritual growth by becoming more aware of how my words:

  1. Impact others for good or not 
  2. How many of my words are just empty time fillers,
  3. How too many of them are for self aggrandizement more than anything necessary or meaningful.

It reminded me of Silence of Words from the Marianist System of Virtues. Spiritual insights seem to be universal, just packaged in different ways and language. 


I'm still working on the Silence of Words and I think this might be a way to help so I'm going to try it soon. Here are some of Becker's guidelines to start: 

  • Choose a "normal" day - not a day you already planned to be alone but also not a day you need to do a public talk. (I guess this would be hard for some professions like teachers.)
  • Inform your closest relationships
  • Don't be rude - Just decide not to speak unless you are spoken to.
  • When you do speak, choose words that are "few and full" - and then return to your discipline.
  • After you speak, journey inward. Why did you choose the words you did?
  • Choose a friend to do the experiment with you if possible.

Read Joshua's blog on words for more detail. He says, "It's likely that you will have to speak at some point during the day." That's not a failure, it's an opportunity. Just return to your discipline of silence after you speak.

Let me know if you're in. We can be silent together. 

Vogt, Susan w mug 


Susan Vogt  
Representative for N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland





The Marianist Lay Network of North America (MLNNA - sometimes fondly referred to as "lemonade") is embarking on a multifaceted growth plan. We've had more conference calls than a telemarketer and people are reaching out to talk to each other across miles and time zones. Here are some of the ventures that are keeping your leadership on the phone, the internet, and in the car over the last five months.

  1. A comprehensive Strategic Plan. A committee from the Leadership Team plus others are diligently developing a strategic plan for the future. Team members are: Jama Badinghaus, Matt Dunn, Linda Zappacosta, Matt Meyer, Carol Weiss, Lisa Hutson, and facilitator, Tony Fitzgerald.
  2. Discovery. In preparation for the Strategic Plan, an energetic team of interviewers are calling 180 representative Lay Marianists across the country to listen to their needs and ideas for strengthening the Lay Network. We're calling this "The Discovery Process."
  3. An additional Leadership task force is designing next summer's MLNNA Assembly. It will be held July 24-27 at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, TX. Watch for more details to come. Chairs include Ken Pfohl, Marceta Reilly and Mikaela VanMoorleghem. 
  4. In order to fund all of this growth, MLNNA is embarking on a dynamic and personal Fundraising Appeal. However, you don't have to wait for a call/email/letter on this, you can make your membership donation online now, and avoid the Christmas rush.
  5. Peru International Assembly. Delegates from the USA, Canada, and Haiti have been selected to attend this important meeting Jan. 26 - Feb. 2, 2014 in Lima, Peru. Since MLNNA operates on a shoe string, some generous donors are partially subsidizing the expenses for delegates who cannot afford the full cost. Thanks to all who donated Frequent Flyer miles. 
  6. Can't go to Peru? Never fear, you still can participate virtually in 3 ways

Do you know the MLNNA Leadership Team? Many hardworking and creative people make MLNNA work, some of them are your elected leaders. They are:


Reyes, Rudy
Rudy Reyes -President
  Kay Stone
Community Dev.
Matt Dunn Communication
Caitlin Jacob  ecretary
Carol Weiss Treasurer


The following 2 prayers were sent by José Alarcón Ciudad & Elizabeth Oyarzn Santibañez of Chile.    ESPAÑOL

Pope Francis said:

Think of a single mother who goes to her church or parish, and tells the priest, "I would like my child to be Baptized." But the priest says, "No, you cannot because you are not married. Consider that this mother had the courage to continue with a pregnancy, and now finds a closed door!

And so, if we continue this attitude, what are we are doing to the good People of God. Jesus created the seven sacraments. Perhaps we can consider the attitude of pastoral care an eighth sacrament.


As we approach November 1, All Saints Day, Pope Francis also said:

  • We need saints unveiled - without cassocks. We need saints with jeans and sneakers.
  • We need saints who go to the movies, listen to music, and wander with friends.
  • We need saints who put God first and excel in college.
  • We need saints who seek time to pray every day and know how to love with purity and chastity.
  • We need 21st century saints with a spirituality for our time.
  • We need saints committed to the poor and the necessary social changes.
  • We need saints who live in the world, sanctify themselves in the world, and who are not afraid of the world.
  • We need saints who drink Coca Cola and eat hot dogs; who are Internet users and listen to iPods.
  • We need saints who love the Eucharist and who are not ashamed to have a beer or eat pizza on the weekend with friends.
  • We need saints who like cinema, theater, music, dance, and sports.
  • We need saints who are sociable and open; who are good friends and joyful companions.
  • We need saints who are in the world, who can taste the pure and good of the world; but without being worldly.

These saints have to be us!                            Contributed by Sergio Espinoza

  • For the people of Kenya who were killed or injured in the terrorist attack on Westgate Mall.
  • For all those who work politically for gun control, a more peaceful and equitable world, diplomats, and leaders.
  • For volunteers who give their time to serve those in need.
  • For people who serve by donating money to causes that serve the common good.




Each year, Nolan Catholic H.S. in Ft. Worth, TX sponsors a Universal Reading day.

"This year's focus was the Holocaust. Books, speakers, and projects were a sobering reminder of the social justice atrocities that devastated the world," said NCHS Principal Cathy Buckingham. "It is our duty to ensure that future generations learn from this horrific event in history and work toward justice and peace in our world."  


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


Gifts and Tasks is published on the 4th 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. Click here to subscribe to Gifts & Tasks.