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
JULY - 2016
WHEN POLITICS DIVIDE
In the USA, we're in the middle of the high political season of Republican and Democratic conventions. Great Britain has recently had its share of political combativeness with Brexit. Emotions run strong and bleed over into families and even religious communities. So what's the role of Christians, especially the Marianist Family, in such contentious times?
Of course we start with prayer - but prayer must lead us into conversation not only with God but also with each other. My own Marianist Lay Community recently asked ourselves how we can facilitate political dialogue. We wanted to be true to our own political beliefs since they usually flow from our faith, BUT we wanted to dial down the inflammatory rhetoric and find ways to talk respectfully with those who hold different political positions from one's own. Perhaps our process might be helpful to other communities.
We spent several sessions on this topic:
- We started with learning how to be effective advocates for political change. Each member shared their own practices such as signing petitions, protesting, contacting elected officials.
- At another meeting we reviewed Marshall Rosenberg's principles of Nonviolent Communication.
- Then at a third meeting we used these skills to role play defusing the provocative statements of an opponent. See When Politics Divides for a more detailed strategy.
The main take away is that the goal is not to persuade the other party to agree with you but rather to persuade the other that you genuinely understand their position. The goal is simply civil dialogue - not conversion.
How do you resolve differences - political, faith styles, meeting agendas, how often to meet, whether to serve coffee or soda - in your community?
Susan Vogt, Regional Rep for N. America, Asia, Austrailia
FEATURED COUNTRY - KOREA
via East Timor
Kristina Kim is a Lay Marianist from South Korea who has a love for music and has been on mission in East Timor for the better part of the past 4 years. While it is always challenging to leave your home country, she felt that since her husband is no longer alive and their child is now an adult, that she is free to offer her talents in a foreign country. Following is a summary of her work.
East Timor is an island between Bali and Australia. It is one of the newest independent nations. From 2012 to 2014, I have been here in East Timor three times to teach music for children in Church. After finishing my 2 years of volunteer service, I decided to come here again to teach children because they do not have an opportunity to learn music systematically. Last year, I applied to KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), which is a government overseas volunteer organization.
Currently, I am teaching music at 30th Augost Middle school in Dili, East Timor. I published a music textbook and musical notes. I am working on a Core Project, which is funded by the government in Korea. The purpose of Core Project is to create a music room at school and supply musical instruments for children who will benefit from various musical activities.
Over 90 percent of the population of East Timor is Catholic. I feel that God has long been preparing me for this ministry.
Striving to be a Marianist Servant Leader has taken me to a new stage of life, a new place, and a new calling. Now, I am adding musical activity as a new way to go as a Marianist Servant Leader in East Timor.
We get paid with money for our professional work, but the greater gift is the satisfaction of responding to the call of serving the children of East Timor both in music and faith.
From Dili, East Timor
The North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS) has developed a resource for individuals and communities to accompany the international lay documents. These "Talking Points" can be used
- as a handy meeting outline for MLCs to review the Marianist charism
- as background for new Lay Marianists
CHANGEMAKERS: Creating New Responses for New Times
The San Antonio CHANGEMAKERS has just been completed.
It was invigorating and holds promise for the future. The final CHANGEMAKERS will be held October 28-30, 2016 at Mount St. John, Dayton OH. After the completion of this 2nd event the Marianist Family should be empowered to make more effective social justice change both as individuals and collectively. Be part of it.
Click here for information and to register for the Dayton event.
Natl. Rep. - India
FAITH FORMATION IN INDIA
Sanjay Saraiya reports that on July 17, about 20 Lay Marianists from the Ranchi area of India (north east India) gathered at Nirmal Deep for a one day faith formation program. Fr Varghese Manooparampil gave a talk on the Role of Laity in the Church and Fr. Chinnaiah Polisetty talked on the Marian perspective. In addition they celebrated Mass, had a meeting, and tea. In September they are planning a "Come and See" program for two days. They expect more than 50 people will come to this.
LET US PRAY
For all the people of our world - confused and angry, and depressed who turn to violence.
- For their victims and their families who didn't have a choice.
- For couples, families, and friends divided by politics, that they seek to understand each other.
- With Pope Francis this month for indigenous peoples. Click on the video at right.
A Prayer for the Times We Live In
-Oh Merciful God, we come to you heavy hearted, for we have heard the cries of the slain calling to us from the ground.
-In the wake of violence, we pray as a human family to share more deeply the peace and unity you seek for us.
-Help us all to embrace the sacred gift of life you give us.
-Lead us to concrete and active steps of reconciliation and peace.
-We remember the lives lost to the weapons of violence that have flooded our communities.
-We remember first responders and all men and women who serve to protect us and promote peace.
-We are a broken world, a broken people - a world in which hurting people hurt other people.
-In You we move and have our being, for you are God, capable of healing our world through love and mercy.
-We cry out to You, heal our souls from this scourge of violence.
-Give us with the courage to step out into our community and world, regardless of faith and political beliefs, to seek peace, for we are the body of Christ.
-Like the Good Samaritan, may we always stretch out our hands to those in need and pray for those who harm us.
-In the coming days and weeks, as our leaders seek solutions, we ask that you grant us the voice to speak a radical truth and demonstrate compassion to the hurting.
FRIDAY MAGNIFICAT - JULY
Chaminade Health Care Center
Since 2013, the Marianist Sisters have worked at the Chaminade Health Care Center located in a rural area of Singhpur, near Ranchi (India).
During emergencies, many people die for lack of adequate or prompt attention. Therefore, the Marianist sisters go to the villages to treat the sick. They provide primary health care and education in health and hygiene in villages.
VIA LATINA - ONLINE
The following articles are in the July #253 issue of Via Latina 22, the newsletter for the General Administration of the Society of Mary.
-First professions in Ivory Coast and Togo
-Visitation of the Region of Canada
-Appointment of Regional Superior of Argentina
-Appointment of President of the CEM (Europe)
-SM book:The Marianists and the Meiji Restoration in Japan
-Members of the GC attend AMU Symposium (USA)
-G. J. Chaminade and M.T. de Lamourous, Witnesses of Mercy
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