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

World Day of Prayer
Friday Magnificat


I need your thoughts -

In November your International Team will meet in Rome to frame a clearer description of what it means to be a Lay Marianist. (See MLNNA under Region below.)


Immediately following the International Team meeting Felix Arqueros (our President) and I will be your delegates to the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

For simplicity I have reduced the 15 topics of this Vatican meeting to the following 4 questions:

  1. Our world is constantly changing. What are the signs of the times that Lay Movements must pay attention to today?
  2. How might Catholics, indeed all people, best come together in community considering diversity of age, race, culture, and income?
  3. How can our Lay Ecclesial Movements best inculcate their respective charisms while respecting the other person's sacred ground.
  4. How can our communities go to the peripheries of society and include the poor and marginalized?

Bottom line: What points do you think are most important to share with representatives of other Lay Movements around the world? I want to carry your voice with me. Email me at


Vogt, Susan w mug
Susan Vogt  
Representative for N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
Korea - Lee Jin Bong Sebastian
Sebastian Lee

Pope Francis bring healing to Korea

Pope Francis visited South Korea on Aug. 14-18, the first visit by
a pontiff to Seoul in 25 years, carrying a message of peace and reconciliation for the divided Korean Peninsula.


The five-day visit, his first to Asia since taking over the papacy from Pope Benedict XVI in March 2013, was also seen as a reflection of the Vatican's emphasis on the small but growing Catholic flocks in South Korea and other Asian countries.


The principle event of Pope Francis' Korea visit was the beatification of Paul Yun Ji Chung, Korea's first martyr executed in 1791, and his 123 companions. It took place at a packed Gwanghwamun square with more than 800,000 in attendance.


For many people, Pope Francis' visit offered precious opportunities for healing. The biggest beneficiaries may have been the families of the victims of April's Sewol ferry tragedy.


We Koreans, including Marianists, were happy to have him with us for about 100 hours. Real authority comes from respect, and I saw true leadership from the Pope. The Pope's leadership transcends religious differences. People love him, not because he sits at the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, but because he is a man of benevolence who interacts with people in a very humble manner. He showed deep affection for underprivileged people during his time in Korea -children, people with disabilities, people who are suffering.


For Koreans in particular, the Pope urged us to have a sense of brotherhood, not to engage in childish games and seek to win at all costs. Both South and North Korea should bear in mind the Pope's advice and move toward reconciliation.


I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Pope for showing such deep affection for the people of Korea, as well as his precious messages of peace and justice for the global village and the Korean Peninsula. It is my earnest wish for the Pope to remain healthy for many more years so that he can continue to serve humankind as a true spiritual leader. God bless Pope Francis!


Blessing of Marianist Center and Regional House

A Blessing Ceremony was held on September 13 for the recently constructed Marianist Center and Regional House near Seoul. It has been built since September in 2011. About 300 Marianists, the SM regional superiors of Japan and India, Br. Stephen Glodek from USA, a papal nuncio, and a bishop were present to celebrate it. Fr. Francis Chang, the superior of Korea SM, said, "I am really grateful for your help, prayers, and donations to build it. I hope this will be the place of God's presence and the garden of Holy Maria. I'm sure it will be a great opportunity for letting many Koreans know Blessed Chaminade's charism and the growth of the Korean Marianist family. We are trying to get closer and closer to our poor and underprivileged people." 


Atsuyuki Yanagawa
Natl. Responsible

Tsunami Relief Mission Project

It has been 3½ years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. A lot of people were killed by the tsunami and many people's homes were swept away. Many now live in temporary houses. The small town of Ofunato was heavily damaged during the 2011 tsunami since it is just north of Fukushima. The MLCs in Tokyo have decided to help by providing presents for the children of Ofunato for this upcoming Christmas.


Formation Progress

We have recently revised "Guide for Japan MLC's" to more fully express the commitment to Mary that our consecrated Lay Marianists make. Recently, three people have joined the MLC. Our MLC population has been "attacked by a wave of aging" similar to the general population of Japan. Still, we seek more young Marianist leaders.

We are praying for the international MLC Leadership Team who will soon be meeting in Rome.

MLNNA logo  


Question mark Who is a Lay Marianist?

In the July Gifts & Tasks I asked for your opinions about how to know when one is a Lay Marianist. Some representative responses were:

For Individual Lay Marianists

  • There should be a deliberateness about one's identity as a Lay Marianist. The brothers and sisters follow a certain protocol to become a vowed SM or FMI. Shouldn't the laity have a process?
  • Take advantage of the online VLC courses
  • Meet with a Marianist spiritual guide (lay or vowed religious)
  • Participate in the Marianist Lay Formation Initiative (MLFI)
  • When a person commits to living the Marianist charism, they are Marianists. These can be teachers in our schools, people in our MLCs, or individuals we know who want the kind of Church that Marianists create.
  • There should be an official Welcome or Renewal prayer service for folks who express an interest in exploring a Marianist commitment. Since formation is an ongoing process, we are all Marianists-in-Formation

For Marianist Lay Communities

  • When groups decide to take the step to contact Marie Wyman at the National MLNNA Office and enroll as a Marianist Lay Community, they are an MLC. Yes, an MLC-in-Formation, but still an MLC.
  • MLNNA should officially recognize new MLCs by letter and the MLC should declare its affiliation with the Marianist Family through a public Prayer Service. Ideally, other branches could attend for support.
Obviously, not all of the above ideas are consistent with each other. I welcome additional input. Email 


Question mark When Communities Suffer - A Response

In the August Gifts & Tasks, I asked for solutions to typical MLC struggles. A common struggle is attrition through people leaving, moving, or dying. One reader offered the solution of continuing recruitment. Not only is MLC membership open, but members pro-actively seek out others who might be interested. But, it doesn't stop with inviting people to attend a gathering. 
There must be active follow-up and orientation to the history, values, and customs of the MLC. The community must be sensitive to jargon and inside jokes that can make new members feel like outsiders. Although, praying together, studying Marianist writings, and socializing are all valuable, an MLC is more than that. It should be about a mission and that mission is influenced by each new member who joins. It must keep growing or die. 

Voting for MLNNA Leadership Team ends October 1.
Click here for bios. See your Sept. 24 MLNNA email for voting link.
Our Lady of Fatima - Argentina

The World Day of Marianist Prayer this year will be held on October 12, 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.


Sr. Trinity Yoshimura, FMI, (from the province of Japan) and volunteers from

WCMF_logoCaritas, have made it a mission to assist and work with victims of the 2011 tsunami in Ofunato. The area was devastated and restoration efforts continue until this day.  

Read more: 

ENGLISH   FRANÇAIS   ESPAÑOL                

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.