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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
SEPTEMBER  - 2015

IN THIS ISSUE
FEATURED COUNTRY
USA
AROUND THE REGION
India
Let us Pray
AROUND THE WORLD
Marianist Prayer Day
Friday Magnificat
Via Latina
ARCHIVES/SIGN UP
QUICK LINKS
"The Rich Are To Blame for Climate Change"
I read this disturbing headline recently and had many mixed feelings. Having recently read Laudato Si, I so wanted to be on the right side of the environmental movement. Instead I found myself going through the 5 classical stages of grief.
  1. Denial - "I'm not rich!" Well...it depends on whom I compare myself to. Compared to Bill Gates, I'm not rich, but compared to several of my neighbors, I am rich. 
  2. Anger - I then consoled myself by reading the whole article and realized that it was talking about "rich nations." Yes, I do live in the USA, one of the richest nations in the world, but my anger came from being presumed to be an energy hog because I live in a rich industrialized country. "Hey, I recycle. We drive a hybrid. I don't drink bottled water. Don't blame me!" But having visited India and several African countries, I know that we in the USA are looked upon as a rich nation while they scramble for necessities.
  3. Bargaining - OK God. I'll do some more. I'll get involved in the environmental movement. I'll sign petitions, contact my elected officials. I'll work for systemic change. Just don't blame me.
  4. Depression - But what difference can my little piece make? It may be too late. Our government has been so dysfunctional lately that I can't do anything significant to fix it.
  5. Acceptance - Another way of phrasing this is "Take Ownership." I may not personally be responsible for the wildfires in California or the the recent earthquake off of Chile, BUT I can take responsibility for contributing to the solution. Acceptance implies ACTION. I can:
    • Simplify my life more so that I don't consume as much of the earth's resources 
    • Become more energy efficient
    • Work for political change
    • Pray
Fondly,
Susan Vogt
Regional Representative for
N. America, Asia, Australia, Ireland
PS: What's one action you plan to take?
FEATURED COUNTRY - USA

Pope-a-Mania
Of course the USA is currently consumed with Pope-a-mania. With Pope Francis' first visit to the USA, in connection with the World Meeting of Families, the media is filled with stories about changes he's already brought and what might be in store for the future. This issue will come out while I am in Philadelphia and right before the mammoth papal events. Will he say anything new? We want to be inspired by our leader. Will the visit live up to our expectations and hopes?

While I can't comment on something that hasn't happened yet, I can say that Pope Francis has already given us a humongous challenge through his encyclical. Although Laudato Si - On Care for Our Common Home is well worth reading in its entirety, for those who want to share highlights of it with your communities, Fr. David Fleming SM and I have excerpted 135 short passages from Laudato Si that could be used in bulletins, at community meetings, as part of prayer, or in newsletters. See Laudato Si - Pope Francis Quotes Worth Noting

Marianists In Action
Of course Marianist Communities do "Mission" by being involved in ongoing service throughout the year, but the Marianist Lay Network of North America (MLNNA) asks Marianists to especially focus on serving others starting on the Feast of St. Francis (Oct. 4) and ending on the Marianist World Day of Prayer (Oct. 11). The USA has started this challenge, but anyone can do it. Click here for more details.

AROUND THE REGION

INDIA
Karma Festival
Fr. James Dungdung SM is studying theology (Pastoral Management) near Mumbai, India. 
On Sunday September 20, 2015 he was the main celebrant for the Holy Eucharist which kicked off the Karma Festival which celebrates the rice being ready for planting. 


More than 500 Tribal Christians gathered for the service. The liturgy itself integrates this feast into the tree of life and the exultation of the cross. 

After the Holy Eucharist, the Karma Festival began. About 1500 people gathered for this annual festival near Mumbai. The festival is organized by our Christian community and all tribal communities are invited. It is a 2 day train ride from Ranchi where I used to live but still some made the trip.
Click here for more background.
prayinghands 2



LET US PRAY:
  • For the people and nature suffering from the forest fires in western USA, especially California.
  • For all refugees and immigrants - especially those fleeing war torn Syria - that those countries that enjoy the privilege of peace, prosperity, and stability may offer them homes.
  • For those affected by the recent earthquake in Chile that their losses be balanced by aid from those in a position to help. (Gratefully we have learned that the Lay Marianists in Chile are all safe.)
  • If national and natural tragedies are not enough to ponder, we remember that each of us have our own personal tragedies (sickness, loss of a job, marital and family discord) that need healing. May you, God of Compassion, help us cope with the messiness and troubles of our lives.
AROUND THE WORLD 

REMINDER:  WORLD DAY OF MARIANIST PRAYER
October 11, 2015
Host: Switzerland,
Theme: The first Marianist mission outside France
Celebrate with your local community and then send Gifts & Tasks a photo and a sentence about how it went. We're listening and watching. Click the links below to read prayers to share and background.
 ENGLISH                   FRAN«AIS                 ESPA—OL


FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - SEPTEMBER
Unified for Uganda
It all started with a need that touched the hearts of students at Moeller High School, a Marianist school in Cincinnati, Ohio. A student club at Moeller became aware of the struggles that students had in Uganda through a movie called "Invisible Children." It was about the children in northern Uganda who had been commuting to school at night to avoid abduction by rebel groups. Read more:
ENGLISH      FRAN«AIS     ESPA—OL


Via Latina VIA LATINA - ONLINE
The following articles are in the September, #245 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
  -General Leadership Assembly 2015
  -Four Marianist Religious attend the Intl.Ecumenical Meeting on        the Consecrated Life organized by Taizť.
  -Letter from Ecuador
        ENGLISH                       FRAN«AIS                ESPA—OL

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 SusanVogt1@gmail.com by the previous Sunday.

 

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