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

Let us Pray
World Council
World Congress
Friday Magnificat
Via Latina
I just got back from 2 weeks in Rome. Sounds fascinating, romantic, and delicious. Yes, the company was congenial, the food good, but romance? Not so much. Hubby didn't come with me.
Most of my time was spent serving YOU, although most of you probably didn't know it.

I attended 3 international meetings so most of my time was spent inside with earphones listening to translations and trying hard to think of ways to make our Marianist lives fuller and more meaningful. The meetings were:
  1. Leadership team of the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities
  2. World Council of the Marianist Family (SM, FMI, Alliance Mariale, and MLCs)
  3. World Congress of Lay Ecclesial Movements
What does this all mean for you? I'll summarize 1 here. Scroll down to Around the World for 2 and 3.

In addition to learning about the successes and challenges of each of our four regions, we:
  • Evaluated the Peru international meeting and how we would follow up on the challenges (priorities) accepted there.
  • Met with the SM seminarians in Rome
  • Discussed what it means to be a Lay Marianist and how we can bring unity across the regions without being unduly regimented. 
  • Discussed how to support struggling Lay Marianist communities
  • Accepted Korea's proposal to host the next International Assembly in 2018.
  • Met with the Pontifical Council for the Laity
It should be no surprise that Lay Marianists around the world have a lot in common as we all share the same basic charism, yet there is much diversity in how local communities and individual Lay Marianists live out their commitment. Most are connected with an MLC but some have a very organized formation process in which they learn about the founders and the elements of the Marianist charism. Others learn more by osmosis as they participate in community life.
One of the issues that we will be considering is how those in MLCs, Affiliates, and Collaborators in Marianist ministries fit together. We Marianists are part of a complex family. We expect it to take several years to sort this all out and not all countries will look the same. I expect that part of the process will be to come back to you all and ask what is most inportant to YOU in living your Marianist vocation on a daily basis.
The Intl. Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO:MLC) leadership team meets once a year in Rome and consists of:
Felix Arqueros
Francisca Jere
Beatrice Leblanc
Duarte, Isabel
Isabel Duarte
Latin America
Pablo Rambaud SM  Asesor
Plus me, your humble servant, Vogt, Susan w mug
Susan Vogt,
Representing Marianist Lay Communities in N. America, Asia,
Australia, Ireland

Judy Wagner

Judy Wagner, National Responsible for English speaking Canada reports that there are 4 MLCs in Winnipeg for a total of about 36 lay Marianists. The communities are Faith & Family, Magnificat, Our Lady of Peace, and Circulo de Boa Nova. The good news is that Circulo de Boa Nova has come through a difficult time and is still working hard at staying together no matter how many are able to come to meetings. The other groups have maintained a strong presence and support the others in their group.

A challenge that many of the communities are facing is the aging factor. One member of the Magnificat Group died this past year and they made a decision to meet in the afternoon instead of the evening as folks are increasingly unable to drive when it gets dark. This seems to be working.

How do we know when someone is a lay Marianist? In three of the four groups there are some who have never "officially" become lay Marianists but others who have made a public commitment. It varies.


Cardinal Toppo next to the "white woman" at lunch
While attending the World Congress of Lay Ecclesial Movements I had the happy coincidence of having Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo sit next to me at lunch one day. When I realized that he was the Cardinal from Ranchi, India, I asked him about the Marianist presence there. He said that indeed he was the one who initially invited the Marianists to the Ranchi area and he is very pleased with the various ministries they have started, like the REDS project and other works that help poor people to better themselves. He was very proud of the Marianists in India.

prayinghands 2

May this short Advent Conspiracy video guide our Advent Season.

Click on triangle at left.


Your World Council met for 2 days in Rome representing the 4 branches of the Marianist Family (Marianist Laity, FMI, SM, and Alliance Mariale. In addition to praying together and hearing updates on the activity of each of the branches, we 
  • Evaluated the recent World Day of Marianist Prayer and World Day of Marianist Vocations
  • Explored the synergy of how the branches collaborate on various common projects (See the report below for details)
  • Continued the discussion (started at the meeting of the lay branch the day before) about how to clarify and unify Lay Marianist identity. We agreed that IO:CLM/MLC would present the results of our own exploration of this topic at the next World Council meeting.
  • Updated the World Council on the Friday Magnificat. In order to extend the reach of this email ministry we will seek to have translations beyond the 3 official languages. The SM and FMI agreed to send it to all their members worldwide.
  • The FMI and SM Bicentennial theme will be "To Know, Love, and Serve." The jubilee will extend for over a year with many local celebrations
    • May 25, 2016 - Opening (FMI foundational date)
    • October 2, 2017 - (SM foundational date)
    • January 22, 2018 - Closing
Read the full report in:   ENGLISH     ESPAŅOL
Francisca Jere, Franca Zonta FMI, Susan Vogt, Sonia Galarza AM, Manuel Cortez SM, Christiane Barbeau AM, Felix Arqueros, Susanna Kim FMI, Chales Moulin SM, Ana Lucia Goes FMI, Max Magnan SM, Beatrice Leblanc, Pablo Rambaud SM, Isa Duarte, Gretchen Trautman FMI, Andre Fetis SM

The International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO:MLC) is approved by the Pontifical Council for the Laity as an "International Association of the Faithful." As such, 2 delegates were invited to attend this 3 day World Congress that occurs every 8 years. The theme of the Congress was "The Joy of the Gospel: a Missionary Joy."  Presentations, followed by discussion, were given on:
  • Reading the signs of the times
  • Evangelizing by attraction 
  • Renewing ourselves in order to renew the Church
  • Having the courage to go to the peripheries 
  • Sharing our charisms
  • Companionship in formation 
  • The Marian Style - the feminine genius in evangelization
  • Social repercussions of including the poor 
Felix Argueros, President of our International Organization, and I represented you. Although the talks were informative, the greatest value I got from attending this Congress was the informal sharing over meals with other English speakers. I learned that many of the challenges our lay communities face are common to other international movements. 

As I listened to others, I started to better appreciate the part of the Marianist charism that emphasizes Discipleship of Equals. Many of the movements have priests as their primary leaders/teachers. The growing maturity of our lay branch and the lack of hierarchy within the the Marianist Family is a gift that allows us to read the signs of the times more readily than many others.

A highlight of the meeting was an audience with Pope Francis. Click here to read his address to the Congress and see some photos.


Ministry for the Imprisoned 

Ranchi India

Marianist Sisters are collaborating on an intercommunity-mission initiative with a group composed of various Religious Congregations to reach out and care for those imprisoned in Ranchi.                 Read more: 



Via Latina


The following articles are in the November, #237 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.

-Death of Elena Otero

-Council for the new sector of Mexico 

ENGLISH        FRANĮAIS         ESPAŅOL      日本語  

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.