| 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
When Communities Suffer -
The July Gifts & Tasks
focused on challenges facing young communities, while the June Gifts & Tasks
focused on aging communities. Community is an integral part of the Marianist charism but communities go through growing pains whether new or aging. Today, I'd like to focus on when MLCs suffer:
- From Attrition:
Attrition may be from the normal comings and goings of people moving to different cities or it could be an alarm bell. Has the MLC become too set in its ways? Does leadership need to be rotated? Perhaps the MLC needs to take on a social justice or outreach mission.
- From Divorce:
Typically one or both partners leave the community. Don't take sides. If both want to stay, depending on any lingering animosity, can the MLC find different spheres of involvement within the community?
- From Dominating Personalities or Talkers:
Such members can drive new people away. A preventive approach is to set up ground rules for discussion such as:
a. Have people write their thoughts down before opening up the discussion, OR
b. No one speaks more than once until everyone has had a chance to speak.
If such group dynamics steps are not enough, the most tactful person (or person closest to the offender) could approach the domineering person or conversation monopolizer, and gently help them recognize their behavior. If unsuccessful, the community must regularly (humorously if possible) challenge the behavior immediately when it happens. "M. dominator, please wait till others have had time to speak."
These examples do not exhaust the times when communities suffer, but it's a start. What challenges has your MLC faced? Do you have any solutions to share? Email me and I'll share your ideas in future Gifts & Tasks.
Representative for N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
FEATURED COUNTRY - HAITI
Four years after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, many wonder how the Marianist presence in Haiti is doing. The SM have left but some Marianist Lay Communities continue to survive. Saul Damestoir, National Responsible for Haiti, called a meeting to plan for the future of MLCs in Haiti. Fifteen of the MLC's leaders met on
July 4 in St-Marc to work on the following issues:
- the role and mission of the lay Marianists in Haiti
- the functioning of the existing MLCs
- the importance of having regular meetings and a bank savings
They prayed and sang together and reflected on 2 additional questions:
- Why should you join a MLC?
- What should you expect from the MLC?
Onix Clermont appealed to the conscience of the members urging even greater participation and reliability. All expressed their pride in the friendly atmosphere of the meeting that allowed everyone to share and to learn.
At the end of the meeting they talked about starting a newsletter and planning an MLC Congress for January 2015.
Methelus Teveno: vice-coord de Saint-Marc
Alcidonis: delegue de Barbe
Paul Delano secretaire de Goyavier
Noel Chiler: coordonateur de Saint-Marc
A future goal of Saul Damestoir is to
reconnect with the MLCs in the Port-au-
Prince and Croix des Bouquets area.
Read more about the meeting in FRANÇAIS.
AROUND THE REGION
You've heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge. Now there's the
Rice Bucket Challenge and it started in India - not by Marianists, but still it's an enlightening proposal.
When word of the Ice Bucket Challenge reached India, where many lack access to clean drinking water, locals weren't exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply. And so, a spinoff was born. Click here to read about it and what you can do. It doesn't hurt anybody and can be free - or not.
AROUND THE WORLD
TOP 10 TIPS FOR HAPPINESS from Pope Francis
(as condensed by Ron Rolheiser, OMI)
1. Live & let live
2. Be giving of yourself to others
3. Proceed calmly
4. Healthy sense of leisure
5. Sundays should be holidays
MARIANIST MARTYRS -
Witness, Conviction, and Stability
Do the names Jakob Gapp, Carlos Erana, Fidel Fuidio, Jesus Hita, Miguel Leibar, Florencio Arnaiz, Joaquin Ochoa, or Sabino Ayastuy mean anything to you?
They are 8 Marianist Martyrs. Their names aren't as important as the courage and inspiration they can give to modern day Marianists. You could read a book or two but it would be easier to watch this video. It's almost a half hour but it's an easy way to learn our heritage. Perhaps it could serve as a prayer service at an upcoming MLC meeting.
The Marianist charism is spreading. Cyrille Ebabe Mukie, from Yaounde Cameroun, shares some photos from a retreat that the emerging MLC communities in Cameroun had from July 24-27, 2014 as they met, prayed, celebrated, and worked together.
FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - AUGUST
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER coming up
The World Day of Marianist Prayer this year will be held on October 12th, 2014 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Villa Soldati, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
You don't have to go to Argentina, however, to celebrate. Join in prayer and solidarity wherever you are. For ideas read more about it in:ENGLISH FRANÇAIS ESPAÑOL Note to National Responsibles:
Please pass this information on to the lay Marianists in your country.
A visitor to Cuba today cannot but note two tragic realities:
1. The clock seems to have stopped before the 1960's.
2. Behind the decay and neglect of the past six decades lie the ruins of a once beautiful land.
In their antiquated autos or by horse or bicycle, the people of Cuba go about their lives with great hardship, making due as best they can, navigating a society that offers them little hope or consolation.
Read more: ENGLISH FRANÇAIS ESPAÑOL
VIA LATINA - ONLINE
The following articles are in the August, #235 issue, of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
Past issues of Gifts and Tasks are archived online at GIFTS AND TASKS ARCHIVE
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