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  

An Unusual Gift
Let Us Pray
World Council
Friday Magnificat
Via Latina

Greetings!   Vogt, Susan w mug   


Remember last month's Gifts & Tasks? I asked you to try a day without talking. Anybody do it? I thought not. I'm still planning to do this spiritual exercise but I need a buddy. Who will it be?


But not talking for a day is not just about Silence of Words as a personal improvement project, it's about being mindful of my words and letting the quiet give me space to increase my attention to life, faith, and - now that we are on the eve of Advent - the coming of Jesus again into our world.


So, Advent lovers, recover Advent by keeping some quiet time. in the dark, to ponder with Mary what is about to happen.


Advent is full of so many deep symbols it's my favorite liturgical season - IF we can free it of the hectic rush toward Christmas and rabid buying. Which is your favorite Advent symbol? 

  • Darkness punctured by 1 candle, then 2, 3, 4
  • The circular wreath that signifies eternity
  • The color blue to remind us of Mary
  • The Jesse Tree
  • A manger scene
  • Soulful music like O Come, O Come Emanuel
  • An Advent calendar
  • Las Posadas
  • Caroling
It's a perfect time to take some quiet time and wait.

Yes, it's a time to be thoughtful...but not completely serious. 
Click this video for a little frivolous joy.






Susan Vogt  
Representative for N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
WDP 2013 Madonna As you remember, last month the Marianist World Day of Prayer was held in Nagasaki, Japan (FRANÇAIS   ESPAÑOL) on October 15. It was a day of sorrowful remembering of the natural and human caused disasters that have struck Japan. The statue of Mary, distorted by the atomic bomb that the USA dropped on Japan
,was a focus of the prayer. This, of course is not the only tragedy that Japan has faced as a nation. They are still dealing with the aftermath of the 2011Tōhoku earthquake which resulted in the tsunami and damage to the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.
But the Japanese spirit is strong. They have a word for it - Yamatogokoro. Regretfully no Japanese delegates will be able to attend the international Meeting of Marianist Laity in Lima, Peru this coming January. They have, however, graciously contributed a beautiful prayer to our collection of National Prayers. All of these prayers will eventually be on the website, but click here (JAPANESE) to get a sneak peak at a Japanese Prayer about facing natural disasters. It can give us all hope.


Ever since Typhoon Haiyan (known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) hit the Philippines in early November, we have seen the immense destruction that it caused. The Society of Mary recently pulled out of the Philippines in order to focus their energy in other locations, but two Marianist Lay Communities remain - one in Manila and one in Davao. 
As human beings, we care about the safety of all Filipinos. As Marianists, we are especially concerned about the people we know in Davao and Manila - even if it is a virtual and spiritual connection. 
Our Philippine friends tell us that Typhoon Haiyan did not directly impact either of their cities. Manila is in the north and Davao is in the south. Haiyan struck the middle of the Philippines, especially the area around Tacloban (See star on map.) In addition to our prayers, the best aid is monetary and can be sent through Catholic Relief Services.

"Faith of the Heart" Marianist Lay Community in Honolulu, in response to MSJC's Workshop on Social Justice, is in the process of discerning a communal ministry with the children of incarcerated women. So far, they have hosted a group of women prisoners to tell their personal stories for a gathering of the Honolulu Marianist Family. Four members recently attended a "Kids' Day" at the Women's Correctional Facility where they worked with a local church group to host an afternoon of food and fun for women prisoners and their families. The MLC group will likely focus on working with prison mothers as they transition out of prison life. 
Toni Bissen from the Pu'a Foundation (4th from left) met with the community to network with volunteer groups in the area.
The Marianist Movement Team of Greater Cincinnati (Marianist Family Council) recently met to strategize about providing collaborative service for the Marianist Family of Greater Cincinnati.  


This Thanksgiving, they encourage local Marianists to dedicate their prayer, time, and resources to provide meals to patients at the Center for Respite Care. The Center is a healthcare facility that provides 24/7 medical care to homeless people who need a safe place to heal while also assisting them to break the cycle of homelessness. Bob Donovan, SM is on staff as their physician.


The Marianist Movement Team invites you to check out their website to see what else is happening with the Marianist Family in the Greater Cincinnati region. Some of the initiatives we are working on include building a more just community by working with:
  • Project AMOS
  • The Marianist HELP Program for returning citizens
  • Awakening the Dreamer
  • Teens Acting for Peace (TAP)
Back: Sally Sherman RSM, Gary Motz, Eric Eble, Jim Vogt, Gail Motz, Bob Donovan SM, 
Front: Ann Saluke, Jodi Mott,  (not pictured: Tom Strotman, Jeff Davis, Mike Murphy SM)
Do you know someone "who already has everything" yet you still want to give them something for Christmas? Here is a solution from the shameless promotion department of Gifts & Tasks. Loyola Press has just published my newest book, Blessed By Less: Clearing Your Life of Clutter By Living Lightly. It's a book for anybody, but especially those who already have what they need and would appreciate guidance on how to let go of some of it. Deepen your spirituality while doing good. Available at book stores or click here.

prayinghands 2 LET US PRAY
  • For the people of the Philippines as they work to aid the region that was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.
  • In thanksgiving for what we have, and for the courage to recognize and act for those who have not. "Thanksgiving Guilt" might give you some ideas.
  • For those who can't celebrate with family over the holidays and for those who may be with family but have strained relationships.



iomlc logoYour International team met October 27 - November 3 in Rome to do the annual business of of the IO-CLM/MLC. Most of our time was spent planning for the upcoming International Meeting of Delegates from the 30 countries with Marianist laity. This international meeting is held every four years and will be hosted by lay Marianists in Lima, Peru on January 26 - February 2, 2014. Although only 50 delegates will vote on priorities for the next four years, they represent all of you and will bring back ideas and challenges for all Marianist laity. Some ways that you can participate from afar are:

  1. Send samples of your local prayers to Susan Vogt. Some prayers will be used at the Peru meeting but all will be collected on the IO-MLC website. This serves at least two purposes: It helps other Marianists around the world get a sample of how your national culture influences your MLC's prayer, plus it saves you some work. Have a meeting coming up and you're in charge of prayer? Just pick one from the website and pray in solidarity with your brothers and sisters in faith in another country.
  2. Give your delegates your ideas - especially ideas for how IO-MLC can best serve you during the next four years. For example, should we emphasize formation, youth, social justice...? How? Delegates from N. America and Asia:

Representatives from the Philippines and Japan will not be able to be present. Photos of delegates and National Prayers will soon be on the IO-MLC website. 



Members of the general leadership of all four branches of the Marianist Family (SM, FMI, MLCs, and Alliance Mariale) meet annually in Rome. This year's meeting was held from October 30 - November 1. The group shares the news of each branch, as well as plans for collaborative ministries such as the World Day of Prayer and the Friday Magnificat. This was the final meeting for the current international team of the MLC, which will conclude its term of office at their International Assembly in Lima, Peru next January.







The Marianist Sisters continue their mission in Tchébébé,Togo. Their goal has been to improve the quality of life for its people - especially through providing clean water.  




The following articles are found in the November #226 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary. 

- Bro. O'Neil to complete 10 years at UN; Brian Reavy will represent Marianist NGO 
- Fr. Andrès Tocalini Appointed Superior in Argentina  
- Marianist Day of Prayer in Japan 
- News from Mexico
- FMI/SM Joint Commission for the celebration of 200th Anniversary of Foundation
-St. Mary's University hosts Prayer Event with Sant'Egidio

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


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