WORLD MARIST LAITY COORDINATION
SUB MARIE NOMINE
WITH MARY WE ADVANCE
ISSUE NO 2- JULY 2021
By Jorge López
11 MARISTS IN THE
19 WORLD TODAY
34 By Saúl González
Testimonies, Life, MIssion
Prays. intentions, petitions
40 A TREE WITH MANY
Participation of the other SM branches
By Fr. Ben MacKenna SM
A little over a year ago the world began to hear news of a
deadly virus. In the news we could see people confined to their
homes; it seemed far away, as if it were a science fiction
movie; however, reality has hit hard in every corner of the
planet. At the beginning we could observe figures of people
infected, dead and even recovered; and as the months went
by we found that within those 113 million infected people and
more than 2 million dead there are names, faces, stories of
acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, friends and our own
A year after the beginning of the pandemic, it is still difficult to
know when it will end; there is still uncertainty. Today, as Pope
Francis said, we are aware of other pandemics besides the
health pandemic: hunger, war, unemployment, family violence
and many others. The emotional, psychological, social and
spiritual reality of each person has been affectedl.
Faced with this reality, it is easy to fall into speculation, despair,
desolation and sadness. This situation, in a certain sense, reminds me
of the story of Job, that just man, who in the midst of misfortune knew
how to persist in his faith, despite not "seeing" God. Many will be living
a similar situation in their own lives.
We know that the world will not be the same, as it was not the same
after Jesus. Let us live with the certainty that we are loved by God and
in Him there is always hope, it is enough to remember the words of our
Lord in the Gospel according to St. Matthew 28, 20"... And be sure that
I will be with you always, until the end of the world".
Today it is time to ask ourselves the question: How do we Marists face
With this second issue of the magazine Marist Voices we want to give
the answer to that question, but not only that, we want these
testimonies to be like a breath of fresh air for Marists all over the world.
By Jorge López
MARISTS IN THE
Saúl González, Mexico
II begin these few lines by bringing to mind this past year,
especially those people, friends, family and students, who today are
no longer physically with us, but who we know accompany us on
In recent weeks, the return to classes was announced in Mexico. It
seems that we are living in a haven after a long time of uncertainty
and pain. The pandemic has generated, or exacerbated, many fears
in our society and the world.
Health risks, growing violence in families and communities,
economic instability, political polarization, ecological problems, are
just some of the situations that we experience to varying degrees
and in different ways and that seem to overtake life, giving rise to a
collective pessimism that anesthetizes and paralyzes us.
What should the Christian communities say at this moment in
history? Can we find concrete ways to incarnate the Gospel, to love
and express this love, to "make God credible"? Can we, finally, be a
source of hope?
To bring forth life and to care for life becomes the great
paradigm of the Marist communities. To hope against all hope,
knowing that even the most painful situations that loom over
our planet and humanity are not the final word.
Sometimes it seems that we must do great things to give hope
to those around us, however, paraphrasing Mother Teresa of
Calcutta, "many times a word or a look is enough to fill the heart
of a person". Without losing sight of the structural changes that
our communities and societies require, we need to recover the
simplicity and tenderness of life and return to the Gospel " with
Within the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, in the fourth week, we do
the "Contemplation to attain love", in which we ask for "inner
knowledge of so much good received, so that I, fully recognizing
it, may in all things love and serve". I cannot find better words to
close this text. May God grant us the grace to contemplate life in
everything, in everyone, and, contemplating it, may he give us
the strength to spend ourselves in its care.
" , ,T a k e L o r d a n d r e c e i v e
y , ya l l m f r e e d o m m
y , ym e m o r
y , ya n d a l l m w i l l a l l m
ya s s e t s a n d m
;p o s s e s s i o n s Y o u g a v e
; , ,t h e m t o m e t o Y o u L o r d
;I t u r n t h e m a r o u n d a l l i s
,Y o u r s d i s p o s e t h e m t o
;a l l Y o u r W i l l g i v e m e
,Y o u r L o v e a n d G r a c e f o r
y . "t h e s u f f i c e m e 7
Testimonies, Life, MIssion
Martha García, Spain
Throughout these months I have been able to hear and listen to
many testimonies about personal experiences during this
pandemic, many of them from religious healthcare personnel. Most
of them spoke of how they had found the presence of God in
suffering, in human contact, in the smiles of patients and
colleagues. But I can say that this is not my case. It was very
difficult for me to find God in the midst of so much suffering, so
much death, so much anguish and fear. Rare was the patient who
was able to smile at me. In their eyes you could see the fear of
dying, the anguish of not being able to breathe, the sadness of
loneliness. And when talking to their family members you could
perceive the trembling in their voices, anxious to know and often
filled with terror, expecting to hear the worst, that same fear, that
anguish, that pain for not being able to accompany their loved
And you wonder where God is in the midst of all this chaos, all this
dehumanization, all this loneliness, pain and fear. Where is He,
while people, who in other circumstances would have had a chance
to live, are dying alone. Where is God as patients and their families
are suffering something they could never have imagined.
I was not afraid of being infected. I was afraid of not knowing how
to act in the face of a disease unknown to everyone. I was afraid of
going home and thinking how many of my patients would be alive
the next day. And the next morning, on my way to work, I noticed
how little by little I felt a weight on my chest, a lump in my throat,
and I could not help crying. Because every day I had to face the
same suffering, the same agony of patients, relatives and also
As I have always tried to do with my patients, I try to transmit to them
the love of God, the maternal consolation of Mary, to infuse them with
the encouragement and strength of the Spirit. But smiling behind a
mask, stroking them without feeling their skin through the gloves,
looking through glasses that were often fogged up, makes everything
more complicated. But the worst thing is to have stopped
experiencing God. In the midst of all this, I am not able to feel Him.
Many times I have remembered Mother Teresa and her "Dark Night of
the Soul", and Jesus crucified saying "My God, my God, why have you
forsaken me?". You wonder daily how God could allow this.
I have never stopped believing in God, I have just stopped feeling him
close. And it's hard to pray and talk to someone you don't feel. And
although my head may tell me otherwise, I notice an emptiness, an
absence in my heart and soul.
And although it may seem strange, I have not stopped feeling Mary
accompanying me every day. Every day I identify with her, with her
suffering at the foot of the cross without understanding well why
everything was happening, but remaining constant and without
abandoning her son. She is my strength in these times, my example,
my firm rock to anchor my faith. Without her I would be unable to
I know that in the face of difficulties one can either let oneself be
dragged down or struggle to overcome them and come out stronger.
Fortunately I have many people by my side, who even without
knowing it, are helping me a lot by sharing with me their experiences
of God and their example of Christian life. They are for me the living
Gospel, witnesses of God and the manifestation of his greatness. And
of course I count on Mary, I feel her embrace and her motherly
warmth, and I know that in spite of my doubts, my darkness, she will
continue to be by my side unconditionally, giving me strength and
WITH FATHER COLIN
Whether you read for personal meditation or as part of a small
group study you will love going on a spiritual journey with
Father Jean-Claude Colin. We begin our journey with a brief
historical overview of Father Colin’s life that sets the stage. Each
chapter lays the foundation where we connect to God, reflect
on the spiritual attitudes, receive the call to action then go out
into the world to bring to others. Reflection questions at the
end of each chapter offer challenges to go deeper into
reflection and prayer which are perfect for you or your small
group to discuss. The companion workbook for home
discussion groups offers a guided evening beginning in prayer
and scripture reflection based on the theme of each chapter.
There is room to journal during discussion or preparation.
Offering music for meditation and a closing prayer for the
evening. This companion workbook connects the Society of
Mary values to our life in the world today
15 DAYS OF PRAYER WITH JEAN-CLAUDE COLIN
WITH COMPANION WORKBOOK
Formation and reflections
How to use:
Daily Meditation- read a chapter a day over 15 days
Weekly Meditation or Group Reflection- read a chapter each
week answering the questions at the end of each chapter.
Discuss in your small group.
Monthly Small Group Reflection - Each month read one
chapter of the book and prepare reflection in the companion
Use questions as discussion points for small group reflection.
Enjoy your journey guided by Father Colin Lord, catch me off
guard today. Surprise me with some moment of beauty or pain So
that at least for the moment, I may be startled into seeing that
you are here in all your splendor, always and everywhere, barely
hidden, beneath, beyond within the life I breathe.
BEARING A NAME
Let the Marists always bear in mind that they belong by a gracious choice to
the family of the blessed Mary, Mother of God, from whose name they are
called Marists, and whom they have chosen from the beginning as their
model and their first and perpetual superior. If therefore they are and desire
to be true sons of this dear Mother, let them try constantly to breathe her
spirit: a spirit of humility, self-denial, intimate union with God, and the most
ardent love of neighbor. So they must think as Mary, judge as Mary, feel and
act as Mary in all things
CONSTITUTIONS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY, 1988, PARAGRAPH 228
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH 9:5
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us; upon his shoulder
dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-
Forever, Prince of Peace.
REFLECTION ON OUR READING
What is a name? We hear these names that
Isaiah tells us about this child that will be
born. Isaiah helps us to recognize Jesus when
he arrives by knowing his names. Let’s think
about these names, what do they tell us about
the roles of Jesus. Father Colin does not give
the Marists a particular method but gives us a
way of being and living through the name of
REFLECTION ON CHAPTER 2 16
BEARING A NAME
These reflection questions can be found on page 44-
45 of our text. Please take a few minutes before we
gather to reflect on these questions. The space below
provides room for you to journal your thoughts or
take notes while we are together.
Do you know the meaning or etymology of your
names? Why did your parents give them to you?
Do you like your names? Do they give you support
or comfort? Do they have a special meaning for
Many people choose a new name when they receive
the sacrament of Confirmation. Have you ever
chosen names for yourself?
What names describe who you are? If you could
choose your own names, what would they be and
why? People deeply in love often have private names
of endearment and intimacy for each other. That
seems only natural when we love others. Also,
Scripture presents many symbolic and Poetical
Names for God and for Jesus , like Rock, Stronghold,
Shepherd, Bridegroom, Lamb, etc. What would be
your intimate, personal name for /God the Father,
and for Jesus? What do you think is God’s
endearing name for you, his beloved child?
What does the name “Marist” mean to you?
MUSIC FOR MEDITATION
Jesus, Name Above All Names
Luke 1:46-55 (Mary’s Magnificat)
46 “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his
Surely, from now on all generations will call me
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
How do we Marists face this PERU
At the beginning of the pandemic I
focused on taking care of my life and
that of my loved ones, but there came
a moment when I realized that our
Marist community was becoming more
and more fearful, stressed and sad. It
was at that moment that, with the help
of God and the Blessed Virgin, I
decided, together with the laity, to
begin virtual accompaniment on a
weekly basis to pray for those who
needed it most and every two weeks to
receive topics of Marist formation.
This virtual accompaniment quickly began to bear fruit, because we felt more and more as
a family, accompanied and consoled. We would start the meeting with questions about
how the week had gone? Is your family member improving? How is your virtual work going?
There was no lack of jokes and wishes for everyone to have a blessed week.
I must say that although this virtuality is not the same as all of us sitting in a circle; praying,
meditating, planning activities and talking about life. It helped us to be more united;
indeed, we no longer spoke of groups (Sullana and Callao) but now we speak of "Marist
community of Peru". Personally, I must say that besides feeling more united to the Marist
community, I have felt accompanied in professional and family difficulties because we have
all been attentive to each other' s needs of listening, consolation and prayer.
I recognize that this journey in community has not been an easy one, because at the same
time that I have faced personal difficulties, I have also seen my friends, members of the
Marist community, leave. This year I have lost Marist laity victims to Covid 19 and other
illnesses, whom I have not been able to accompany in their illness or at their funerals. As I
look back over the road I have traveled, I am consoled that they rest in peace and I continue
to pray for them with my community.
Maisa Furlong 20
Marist community of Peru
¿How do we Marists face this pandemic?
We Marists face the pandemic with hope. The quarantine period has allowed us to live
in contemplation and at the same time to take action, like Mary. Through social
networks we have created spaces to share our experiences and our anxieties in order to
channel them in the way Mary would have acted.
If we notice, we have lived more intensely the liturgical seasons, setting the
atmosphere in our homes, living the Marian feasts with creativity and ingenuity,
participating in the Virtual Holy Mass, as well as praying the Rosary, more often.
And it has prompted us to look at the needs of others, to show solidarity with those
who are worse off than we are, going out to meet them, taking the initiative, as Mary
Callao- Lima, Peru
Marist Laity Australia has been trying to raise Environmental awareness in the wider
Marist community by updating their web site www.maristlaityaustralia.com and their
Facebook account with receipt updates
https://www.facebook.com/marist.laity.Australia . People can click on the
“Environment” heading and find items such as “David Attenborough A Life on Our
Planet”, “Song - In This Together”, “Seaspiracy documentary” and “Movie – 2040”. Please
send us any items or suggestions we could add to the web site.
As a family we watched the
documentaries by David
Attenborough A Life on Our Planet
over Easter time. We were greatly
concerned about the treatment of
wildlife both in our oceans and
On a local level, my own family have
committed to eating less meat. Such
as alternatives such as cooking using
tofu, red beans, nuts and lots of
greens. This is a hard thing to do. To
change our habits. But, we have
found that creative and yummy ideas
like wraps, using herbs like
Rosemary, helps a lot.
In February Marist Laity Australia met as a team to discuss some of our plans for
2021. We are trying to utilize Zoom technology to engage people separated by
distance and also COVID. Last Saturday we started a new program “The Other Half”,
which brings together students in Australia with Refugees living in Thailand and
Burma/Myanmar.The hope is to build an understanding of how the other half lives
by playing games, sharing culture and through conversation. Marist Laity Australia
is hoping to host an international Zoom Reflection Day and Spiritual Meeting on
the topic “Death and Resurrection and St Peter Chanel”. Other topics will hopefully
Last fall, the Marist Laity of France welcomed the new
delegate of the Marist Fathers of the Province of
Europe for their Animation Committee: Father Paul
Walsh, who is Irish and is now a member of the
community of the Fathers of Toulon, and who
succeeds Bernard Bourtot, who died in March 2020.
(Photo Paul Walsh)
The meetings are slowing down for the small groups
as well as the gatherings.
The formations in Marist spirituality have adapted to
the context: the third session of "At the Sources of the
Future", entitled "In the world and the Church of
today, how to live as a Marist", postponed twice, finally
took place by videoconference. It is necessary to
adapt. As for the initiation course, it will resume at the
beginning of the next school year.
There will be no spiritual retreat at Pentecost again
this year. La Neylière has chosen not to reopen until
The publication Regards Maristes has tried to keep the connection alive. Its last
issue included 4 extra pages for a special issue for the year of Saint Joseph. (
available for download at www.maristeslaics.fr)
The Marist laity in France has various faces: fraternities, lay people in small
teams or on their own. For the past twenty years, the Marist Education
Association has been trying to connect teachers and educators in schools
interested in the Marist charism. A new moderator has been elected since the
beginning of the school year in September: Brigitte Coffin-Chaignon, a retired
In spite of the pandemic and the incessant work to adapt in Marist schools,
colleges and high schools in France, Marists in Education has maintained its
2021 reflection session after having postponed the 2020 session planned at La
Neylière. On a theme of hope, in contrast to the anxiety that tests our societies
- "Mary of the Beginnings" - it took place by Zoom and by sending videos and
work texts for small groups. Interested French speakers can obtain videos, texts
and PowerPoints from Brigitte: [email protected]
photo Regards Maristes 24
Retreat in Gisborne 2020
New Zealand Marist Laity is staffed by Bev McDonald,
Margaret Russell and supported by Fr Chris Skinner SM.
We aim to promote, maintain, and develop a range of ways Laity may respond to Mary’s call to live
the Marist Charism and their Lay vocation in the world, from interest to intentional commitment.
The Impact of Covid 19. New Zealand escaped the worst ravages of the pandemic because of our
isolation and decision to eliminate it within the community. However, the impact is still
significant and ongoing. In 2020, once the pandemic took hold around the world, New Zealand
went into hard lockdown, all Masses were cancelled for weeks, we experienced some deaths here,
and people confined to strict ‘family’ or household bubbles. Groups and individuals learnt online
skills and the church in New Zealand put daily Mass online and Sunday Mass on a Television
channel. Despite Covid, Marist Laity sent monthly reflection material to approximately 800 people
plus social media. Groups could not meet so it was for individuals to help them stay connected.
Promoting Marist Lay commitment stalled, but we held online meetings as we could, managed a
small Advent gathering, celebrated a 17th anniversary for a group between lockdowns and held a
‘Set Free’ retreat day with Fr David Kennerley SM in Auckland in February 2021. We are blessed to
share an office with Logos Marist Youth development and celebrated a wonderful Advent Mass
together. We know this sounds like a dream in some countries. We are a global community, and
many experienced deaths of loved ones overseas and long to see new grandchildren and families
now cut off. We do not take our good fortune for granted. We are praying with you all for an end
to the pandemic, fair distribution of the vaccines and for all our Marist family.
Everyone adapted and changed how we connect but nothing beats face to face sharing, giving
and receiving hugs, practical interaction, praying together and participating fully in the Eucharist.
The vaccination rollout in New Zealand is slow, perhaps due to our success in minimizing the
impact of Covid, so we occasionally cycle into ‘circuit breaker’ lockdowns of a few days or more.
Bars and hotels could gather with 100 people seated in our lockdowns, but churches were not
allowed to open. That says a lot about the secular nature of our country.
Looking Forward. The church here is in a challenging state. Mass numbers have declined with
many not returning since lockdowns and even online Masses are not well subscribed. Offering
retreats is tricky as lockdowns happen without warning and people ask, “is it available online?”
Marist Laity aims to continue promoting diverse Lay connection with Marist spirituality, Lay vocation
in general, specific Marist Lay identity & mission and to develop networks among interested persons
and groups.Rural New Zealand could be likened to the Bugey. Some communities only have a
handful of practicing Catholic’s and are lucky to have Mass once a month. We are trying to be open
to new opportunities to share the love of Christ in Mary’s way in these complex times.
Signs of Hope. There are encouraging signs. Parishes are trying to become communities of care and
hospitality, breaking down isolation so people are not namelessly receiving Eucharist without
meaningful human connection. Efforts are being made to connect with those who are shut-in,
vulnerable or otherwise on the fringe of parish life. There are developing signs of co-responsibility
and shared mission from the wider church with Pope Francis opening greater roles to women and
Laity, and the roles of acolytes, lectors and catechists, the Laudato Si seven-year plan, which the
whole Marist family has committed to, has potential to energize people. People are discovering
Marist Lay options online and connecting. The year of St Joseph and St Ignatius may provide
opportunities for the whole church to grow in its willingness to discern the Spirit. From October
2021 every Diocese in the world is called to begin a Synodal process of listening that invites the
whole people of God into discerning what the Spirit is asking of us as His body.
What is our Marist role in all this? Surely to bring the openness Mary had to the Holy Spirit to all
that is happening in our time, her commitment to draw people to Her Son, her inclusive, decisive,
gentle manner of making and maintaining connections within the church and her constant desire
to reach out with God’s mercy and care, to build bridges beyond any cultural norms and practices,
to give hospitality and meet people at their point of need. As Marists we must read the signs of our
time and continue the work of Mary. AMDG& DGH. Bev McDonald, Marist Laity NZ
Marist Laity NZ
Facebook: Marist Association of Mary,
Sunday Reflections: Living the Word,
Logos/Marist Laity Advent 2020 Mass
Education in difficult times as an art BRAZIL
By Matheus Abreu, Marist Layman from
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Paulo Freire, one of the greatest educators in the world and master of Brazilian education, used to say that "education is an
act of love, therefore, an act of courage". Education is, without a doubt, what moves us towards goodness, beauty and truth. In
fact, we could even say that through education we can meet God. Let us remember here the all-encompassing sphere of love,
and as St. Marcellin Champagnat said: education is the channel for the human being to reach his best level of quality and to
fully develop his virtues.
At the heart of Marist Spirituality, education appears as one of the keys to our mission, including the life experience of Fathers
Colin, Chanel, Champagnat and so many others who came later. The founder himself, Venerable Jean Claude Colin, spoke
constantly of the importance of educating children and young people. However, when we broaden our vision, in some cases,
we realize that education is not a priority in many countries. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the disregard for
education, especially public education, leaps before our eyes, and is no doubt reflected in the experience of thousands of
children and young people, especially the poorest. All this consternation that haunts us stems from a huge range of problems,
among them, social inequality and misery that comes back to haunt us because of the number of unemployed that grows
every day. Perhaps if, first of all, education were at the foundation, a good number of the problems would not occur or could
be solved more easily. Now we face the Covid virus, a disease in the literal sense, and not so many other "viruses" that scar and
damage our societies. "That is what schools exist for: not to teach the answers, but to teach the questions. The answers allow
us to walk on solid ground. But only questions allow us to enter the unknown sea." (Rubem Alves)
In Brazil, the reality is not very different, but the Spirit of Mary has not abandoned us. A large part of the Brazilian Marist laity is
composed of educators who do not work specifically in institutions linked to the Society of Mary, but who live the charism of
the Society in their respective works. Attentive to the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in a simple and spontaneous way, in
various parts of the country they create and develop works that mitigate all the weariness provoked and highlighted by the
In the interior of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil, lay Marist Arlinda Badaró is the director of a public school called Celeste
Laranjeira Malheiros, located in the city of Palmas de Monte Alto, which currently serves almost three hundred students from
the rural area of the municipality. We are talking about a very impoverished region. In addition to the long periods of drought,
considering that most of this population survives on family farming, the pandemic has made opportunities even scarcer. The
headmistress, along with several other educators and members of the laity from that and other schools in the area, are
assiduously engaged in offering distance learning classes, producing videos and audios for social networks. However, realizing
that not all students had access to digital devices and the Internet, they began creating printed study and activity scripts.
These materials, along with school books, are delivered by lay educators to students' homes to avoid overcrowding and bring
education to the children and youth in that region.Given the poverty situation there, the snack that used to be offered at
school, in many cases almost the only daily meal for the students, has become a food kit that is also offered and delivered to
the students' families
Fabiana Souza & Breno Teodoro 27
Leonardo Mota BRAZIL
In Belo Horizonte- MG the couple of lay Marists Fabiana Souza and Breno Teodoro, to help their students, create tools
in addition to the emergency distance education program promoted by the State Government. Fabiana Souza has a
master's degree in applied linguistics from UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and, in addition to creating her
own profile on social networks to interact with her students, she has developed a podcast channel that can be
listened to by anyone, anywhere, so that knowledge can reach more people, in addition to her own students. Her
channel is called "Descomplicando a Língua" (Making language easier to understand) and hastips on writing, literature
"The pandemic is a great challenge for education. Emergency remote education in Minas Gerais is a
challenge, many students are being excluded from the right to education for social, financial and internet
access reasons. As a lay Marist I feel challenged to help my students go through this process, I feel called to
be a presence in their lives, to look for alternatives to help them in the learning process, even if it is in a very
simple way."(Fabiana Souza)
Breno Teodoro has a degree in Geography from PUC-MG (Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais) and, with the
same purpose as his wife, he created a podcast channel called "Fala mestre" (Speak teacher). In this channel, in a very
light and relaxed way, he talks about geography, music and soccer. It is important to note that both work with high
school students, who are preparing in a unique way for the ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio/ National High
School Exam), which can guarantee students a place in one of the country's public universities. The pandemic seems
to slow down this preparation, but lay Marist teachers Breno and Fabiana, extend their hands and knowledge in the
style of Mary
One of our lay Marists, Leonardo Mota, a teacher in a private school in Fortaleza-CE, was recently surprised by his
students with numerous letters and an online tribute from his students, even though it was not a specific
commemorative date. This shows not only the affection of the children, but the dedication that our teachers have put
in during this difficult time.
For me, as for any educator, the feedback given by the students is of utmost importance, as it helps to
understand the importance of the person of the educator in each person's life, and not only what content is
taught. Personally, every gesture of affection and recognition from my students is a great gift from God in my
mission as a teacher and lay Marist." (Leonardo Mota)
Finally, we realize that educating is really an art, and we know that there are many people on the front line facing this
pandemic, but we cannot forget also our teachers, who for centuries face the virus of ignorance, adapting, reinventing
themselves, fighting for a better world. Yes, educating is an art, art reveals beauty, and as Fyodor Dostoevsky said:
"Beauty will save the world".
“"In these complicated times, enjoying the presence of God is a wonderful experience because it gives me faith
and hope to move forward. It is always beautiful to remember that first encounter with God."
With the intention of living a journey of preparation for the Feast of the Sweet Name of Mary in August and
September 2020, the Council of Marist Laity in Mexico prepared materials such as infographics, audios, videos,
taking as a basis some texts from the book 15 days of prayer with Fr. Colin; which were shared in a WhatsApp
group entitled "To be like Mary" with more than 240 members in the group, including the participation of
brothers from Peru, Brazil and Chile.
Every Sunday a space was opened for those participants who wished to share their reflections, prayers and
thoughts. This allowed us to share life and enrich our spirituality.
The activity culminated in a retreat organized by the CPP Laity on September 12, 2020. During the Eucharist of
the retreat many lay people renewed and others made for the first time their promise of membership.
Finally, the WhatsApp group "Be like Mary" concluded this activity with a forum, in which we were able to share
testimonies and experiences.
The materials are available in Spanish at the following link: https://laicosmaristasmexico.blogspot.com/
VII MEETING OF MARIST LAITY 2021
The Marist Laity Meeting was held on the morning of February 20, with the participation of a little more than 70
lay people, in addition to the accompaniment of the Fathers and seminarians of the SM.
It was our desire to return to our origins, deepening themes such as: Mary in the scriptures, Mary as the source
of our hope and Mary at the beginning and at the end of time, in the same way we questioned ourselves about
the challenges to which we are called as laity, especially at this time.
We concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist, happy to have been called by our Blessed Mother, we
assumed the commitment to bear her Name.
The Marana Thá CFI group, a retreat team of the
Luz y Vida movement, of the Colegio Franco
Inglés in Mexico City, is present in the social
networks, publishing daily reflections, prayers,
did you know, recommendations, you can follow
MARIST MISSIONARY NETWORK
This Initiative seeks to respond to the Mission Statement of the Society of Mary today from the 2017
General Chapter, which calls us to: "Seek partners in mission first and foremost within the Marist
Family, especially with the laity". We recognize the life that is generated in each of our works, in
the midst of a complex reality, where many lay Marists or Marist sympathizers, join and commit
themselves daily with children and youth; there the life of the mission that we share is confirmed
Its objective is: "To consolidate, articulate and create synergy in the evangelizing processes of the
works of the Province, allowing us to strengthen our identity as a Marist Community that evangelizes
in formal and informal education, unleashing processes of greater vitality, viability and fruitfulness".
Inspired by the power of the Spirit, we held the First Assembly of REMM, in 5 virtual meetings
beginning on May 27, 2020. The fruit was great and challenging, here are some basic elements of
our proposal for integration and internal dynamism:
Our starting point is that: WE WANT to work in a Network; WE BELIEVE this is the option that gives
an answer based on the Gospel and the beginnings of the Church in community; and that with the
COMMITMENT of Marist laity and religious WE WILL CREATE A REALITY that will be a sensitive
sign in our Marist mission of evangelization in the different settings where we are present. Sharing in
community the SPIRITUALITY and strengthening our MARIST IDENTITY, living as a Family of
brothers and sisters with one heart and one mind. Consolidating more and more our FRATERNITY,
from the hearts of Jesus and Mary, we assume our SOLIDARITY, which is capable of a merciful and
compassionate gaze that touches the fibers of our humanity and moves us to respond to the poor
and most needy in our contexts and realities. 30
We assume 3 areas (nodes) that allow us to move forward: 1. Training; 2. Accompaniment; 3.
Communication. The beginning in this pandemic context has presented us with many challenges
that have made us grow, and continue to confirm that it is worthwhile to work in a NETWORK.
Prays. intentions, petitions
LEARNING TO BE A FAMILY
We are God's beloved sons and daughters,
and, from the hearts of Jesus and Mary
we open ourselves to the Holy Spirit to "Learn to be a Family".
Gracious Father, you have given us the universe
and this beautiful earth; our common home,
privileged place to make all creatures flourish.
As a Family, teach us to take care of it and protect it, promoting
actions that strengthen a dignified and harmonious life for all.
and harmonious life for all.
Like the Family of Nazareth, we want to:
live unity in differences,
to respect each member of the family,
to recognize the richness of each one,
strengthen communion and fraternity.
Good Mother, like you at Cana, teach us to be attentive and sensitive to the
and sensitive to reality, in the face of suffering, violence,
the discouragement that the pandemic has unleashed,
as a Family, we want to welcome those in need
and share from unconditional love.
Jesus, as you did in Emmaus, continue to set our hearts on fire
as you walk beside us. Walking as a Family,
sharing life, dreams and concerns;
listening and sharing, looking from the depths,
opening up the possibility of showing a new face of the Church
for the construction of the Kingdom here and now.
Like Mary, we entrust ourselves into the hands of God,
to care for and protect our nation,
especially children and youth in vulnerable situations.
As a Family, give us the strength and courage to be sensitive signs of your
love as a Family.
All to Jesus for Mary, all to Mary for Jesus. 32
María Saavedra Ana María León Kant
Guerrero (Peru) (Peru)
P. Bernard Bourtot Mary Bennett
P. Thomas Tuohy
of all those who have returned to the Father's house this past year
second and final part
source: www.jeanclaudecolin.org 35
A TREE WITH MANY
Participation of the other SM branches
CHURCH IN OUR
The Society of Mary has been understood, from the very beginning, as a tree of
many Branches. I write these words as a member of the SM - JC Colin Branch,
who is working with the other Professed Branches, and Laity of our own
Branch, as we answer the Call to do Mary’s Work of supporting the Church in
our times – times of the Pandemic, Climate Change, and Loss of Biodiversity in
our Common Home.
The Superiors General and the Councils of four Branches of the Marist Tree are
due to meet in Manziana [a Community of the FMS Brothers, 78km north of
Rome] from 13-15 May. These dates coincide with the Feast of the Ascension,
while preparing for the Feast of Pentecost – days of hope, expectation, and
reception of the Gift of the Holy Spirit.
The Theme of the 3 Days is: The Tree – Grounded, Branching, and Reaching out.
[Rev 22:2]. Three key issues will be addressed:
1. The Pandemic – What has been the impact of the Pandemic on the
leadership, and membership of the SM in these last 16 months? What have
been our learning? How are we leading the SM in these Pandemic times,
and how do we hope to lead in the post-pandemic times? As we prepare
to address these questions, I am struck by an article three days ago in
Aljazeera News : So far, in the world, 1 billion ‘jabs’ have been administered.
It is now some 16 months since the Pandemic hit, and five months since
the vaccine roll-out began. Our world has 17.8 billion people, so about .5 of a
billion, or one in fifteen of the world’s population, have been vaccinated.
What’s more, these 1 billion ‘jabs’ have been given mainly in three countries:
USA, China, and India. The challenge to vaccinate the whole human family
2. Marist Heritage Places – this will be the second Issue to be addressed: given our
history, the grounding of our Marist Tree was in France. As our members in France, and
Europe, grow older then how do best utilize our Marist Heritage places – such as La
Neyliere, The Hermitage, Belley, and Lyon – for the mission of our Society.
3. Laudato Si – Care for our Common Home – this will be the third Issue to be addressed.
We have a working group of 4 members from the 4 Professed Branches who have been
working together on this since January 2019 – just before the Pandemic hit. Br Angel
Diego fms, Sr Anne McCabe sm, Sr Euphrasie Mukumana smsm, and myself. Each of us
is asked to engage the Marist Laity in each of our Branches, and possibly also to link up
the Marist Laity with one another in the countries and regions where they may work
together on the 7-Year Laudato Si Action Plan, in one or more of the 7 Goals. The FMS
Brothers are undertaking a Systematic study of their whole Institute, through the lens of
Ecological Education. Br Angel is emphatic that he is representing the Marist Family, for
which we are truly grateful. Sr Anne, Sr Euphrasie and myself are each working in our
own Branches to animate the Sustainability Covenant, and create awareness for change
from the grass-roots up. One thing we have done together, as Marist Family, was to ask
Fr Joshtrom Kureethadam SDB, of the Vatican Dicastery of Integral Human
Development, to address the Marist Family by a Webinar, many of you would have seen
this, and it can be found here.
May I humbly ask for your prayers as the Leadership Teams meet. For the SM Laity Branch
of the Society of Mary, for further information on what comes out of this meeting, or for
ways to engage with facing the Pandemic, and / or implementing the 7-Yr Roll Out Plan of
Laudato Si then be free to contact me through the members of the Marist Laity Leadership
Fr. Ben MacKenna SM
Bernard McKenna sm
Angel Diego fms
Euphrasie Mukumana smsm
Anne McCabe sm
Ben McKenna sm
Feast of Peter Chanel: 28-04-2021
Thank you for reading us!!!
Marist Laity Wmlc
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