The Society of Mary are men who are truly my brothers and I try to treat them that way. I intentionally make efforts to help in some of their projects, serve on SM/FMI committees, ask their help in aspects of my ministry, seek their wisdom on occasion, pray with them, eat with them, visit them in hospitals or nursing homes, etc.
This has also meant belonging to an existing Marianist lay group or, in some cases, starting one of these groups. I have done that when I worked in a parish and at the University of Dayton. I try to respond when the lay groups ask me to do something for them, be it bring a dish, give a talk, collate papers, or whatever. I have been asked to attend the meetings of the State community as a vowed Marianist representative and have recently completed my term of office with the International Lay Marianist Family.
Two of the above experiences have led to a deeper understanding that I am a member of a vast world-wide family. I have worked on activities that have put me in contact with SM/FMI in Africa, Japan, India, Korea, Spain etc. General chapters gave me time to be with our Sisters from all our provinces where we met and prayed, and got better acquainted. I also attended a conference in Bordeaux in 2005 where I met members of the lay family from all over the globe. We have tried to maintain contact as best we can. My lay group is twinning with a group from Zambia.
Some of the above experiences have urged me to be more and more concerned about justice issues. In speaking with some of these people I learn the terrible situations many are in. Often there is not a great deal I am able to do but that fact pushes me to do what is possible here in Dayton, Ohio.