Pursuing Change – Attaining a Dream
Facing a 20-year prison sentence for drug-related offenses, Kimmy Takata never dared believe that one day she would earn a college degree.
“I never thought I’d go to college because I never thought I was smart enough,” said Kimmy, who, at age 29, entered prison not knowing how to read or write. “My life in the past was filled with abuse, and my thoughts kept me from reaching my goals. The fire in my heart faded away along with my dreams.”
But with the help of an amazing support system, including Faith of the Heart Marianist Lay Community, Kimmy’s dreams were reignited. She graduated May 7, at the age of 52, from Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) with a major in Environmental Studies, a minor in Psychology and an associate’s degree in Hawaiian studies. Kimmy is a native Hawaiian.
Bro. Dennis Schmitz first met Kimmy several years ago when she and another formerly incarcerated woman shared their stories at a liturgical conference at CUH.
“It’s a privilege to know Kimmy and others like her and witness their fierce determination to build a healthy and integrated life,” he said. “She inspires me to be strong in my own spiritual and religious growth.”
Kimmy is grateful for the many people who “pushed me, taught me, guided me and kept me accountable. And I am especially grateful for God, who has carried me through the fire. I am redeemed.”
She plans to continue her education as scholarships allow – working on a master’s degree in criminal justice in the spring.
We first began covering Kimmy’s story in 2016. Click the “Read More” button if you’d like to read the original piece featured in Alive magazine.
If you’d like to join or learn more about the Marianist Lay Community like the one that helped Kimmy, click here.
In The News
Class of 2020 Celebrates Commencement In-Person
Two years after the COVID pandemic began, University of Dayton (UD) students finally got their in-person graduation ceremony. Public health concerns required the university to host a virtual graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, but it promised to hold a formal, on-campus commencement once restrictions were lifted. Last year UD could only hold separate undergraduate ceremonies with limited seating. “I’ve been waiting to say ‘welcome home’ to the class of 2020 for two years,” said UD President Eric F. Spina.
He went on to say, “It’s a day we’ve all dreamed of, worried whether it would ever happen, and now will never forget.” UD reports 421 graduates from 2020 and 805 family members and friends came back for the ceremony held at the Marycrest Amphitheater. Read More.
Marianist Novitiate Curriculum
Four novices recently gave their final presentations in their North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS) history class. They are pictured here with George Lisjak, Director of NACMS, and Gabby Bibeau, who taught and organized most of the classes.
May 15-20, the novices and their directors made a monastic retreat at St. Meinrad to facilitate end-of-the-year reflections.
Parish Health Program
A new Parish Health program at Chaminade University of Honolulu focuses on education and screening. The program, unique on Oahu, allows nursing and health profession students to work one-on-one with parishioners after Mass or via telehealth appointments. It’s a win-win as students acquire hands-on experience, and participants, age 55 and older, receive tools and tips to improve their health. Read More.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Art Connects With Spirituality
A month ago, if you had asked students on St. Mary’s University campus where the University Ministry building was located, you likely would have been told it was the nondescript building just down the way. You might have unknowingly passed it. But not today. Today, the building acts as a bright beacon, leaving an illuminating impression.
“I thought the building needed something to get students’ attention – something spiritual and uplifting that would bring people together,” said Fr. John Thompson, vice president for Mission, Office of Mission at the university.
On April 26, the “Catholic Artway,” containing 17 inspirational paintings, was unveiled, gracing the front of the ministry building located in Alkek Plaza. The project is a collaboration of students, some without formal art training and only one art major. As creativity flowed and spirituality soared, new connections were made, and a sense of pride emerged.
“I wanted the artwork to attract students, a display that would draw them in and create community engagement,” said Fr. John. “These students far exceeded my expectations!”
The artwork was not painted on the building but rather is a wrap that won’t fade in the minds of the artists – for it is their legacy.
A Marianist Moment
By Bro. David Betz
206th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate: A Venture Blessed by God’s Love That Mirrors Mary’s Fidelity
On May 25, 1816, the Feast of Mary, Help of Christians, Blessed Adèle and several companions embarked on a journey to Agen to begin an adventure that would change their lives. But preparations for this day started a couple of years earlier when Blessed Adèle and some members of the Association met in June of 1814 to discuss the cher (dear) project. The cher project was a plan for these women to live some form of religious life and to take religious names among themselves as a sign of the serious intention of moving toward living fully as religious.
From the Archives
Presidents and Politicians
- What prompted then-Senator John F. Kennedy to write to Bro. Leo Willett?
- Why did President Jimmy Carter invite Fr. William Behringer to the South Lawn of the White House?
- Who is the Marianist Brother named as a special adviser by then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy?
- What were Richard Nixon‘s thoughts on private schools in 1960?
Click here to find the answers within some of the well-preserved documents and photos in the Marianist Connections collection.
If you’d like to see more from the Marianist Archives, visit and “like” this Facebook page.
Pray With Us
Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.
Congratulations to our San Antonio Jubilarians!
Marianists Celebrate Jubilees
Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes brothers and priests who are marking milestones of their first profession of vows or their priestly ordinations. This is the first group of 2022 Jubilarians we honor in a special section of FamilyOnline. (Fr. Roland Bunda, while honored in San Antonio, will be highlighted in the Hawaii celebration in next month’s edition.)
FATHER GEORGE MONTAGUE
75 years of profession
My 75 years in the Marianists have taught me the truth of the Gospel: that life has meaning and joy in giving oneself in service. And doing so in a common mission with my Marianist brothers under the banner of Mary has been the most fulfilling joy of my life. Community life keeps me grounded in reality and is a safeguard against independent hubris. I am deeply grateful to the particular Marianist brothers who have inspired me by their wisdom, encouragement, counsel and example.
BROTHER JEROME BOMMER
70 years of profession
I’ve enjoyed my life as a Marianist. Over the years, it was pleasant. I became aware of the goodness of the brothers, enhanced by our family spirit. Living in a Marianist community is a blessing. As we were assigned ministries, we learned them while we were doing them. Often you received help from someone who had a wealth of experience in the area in which you were working.
FATHER FRANZ SCHORP
70 years of profession
The following is an abbreviation of my concern for the Society of Mary and the Church:
The late Bro. L. Meinhardt, director at Maryhurst, told us (scholastics) that upon moving into community, conversation would not center on content of course material. While true, this was/is a tragedy for the Society of Mary, as well as for the Church, as shown by reasons for exodus from the Church.
FATHER GERALD CHINCHAR
60 years of profession
From my baptism at Holy Cross Church in Euclid, Ohio, on Nov. 7, 1943, to my religious profession on Aug. 22, 1962, to my ordination on May 29, 1982, to the present day, all have provided a grace-filled journey of challenges and blessings. I give thanks for the many people who were instruments of grace.
BROTHER JAMES MAUS
60 years of profession
SIXTY years as a Marianist! The time has gone so quickly! When I began this journey, little did I realize the places it would take me, the blessings and joys, as well as the challenges and opportunities for my spiritual and emotional growth. One of the great blessings of my life as a brother, in my roles as both counselor and teacher, has been to guide young people in their own journeys towards maturity.
BROTHER DAVID QUIGLEY
60 years of profession
To reflect on 60 years of service and growth as a Marianist can be summed up as “adaptation and change.” At the time I entered the Marianists, the picture was very traditional. Shortly, the Second Vatican Council called for an updating and changes in the Church; the changes were many, and there were many meetings and proposals for change in dress, in styles of prayer, in approaches to personal education and in personal accountability.
Good to Know
Lay Marianists Ready for Madrid
The International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC) is preparing for its quadrennial assembly in Madrid, Spain. Forty-five voting delegates representing each country in the lay branch, spiritual advisors, observers and invited guests, including 15 young Marianists from five regions, will convene in July to construct a strategic plan of global proportions. They will use Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti as a guide as they work to identify a unifying purpose and determine what to do and be as a global organization. Many of the sessions will be live-streamed; click here for assembly announcements.
Other items happening at the meeting include:
- The nomination of Matt Dunn for president of IO-MLC for the 2022-2026 term.
- Asia will celebrate becoming the fifth independent region of our lay branch at the meeting.
- Participants will have a day-long pilgrimage to Saragossa, Spain, our Lady of the Pillar Shrine site and the place of Chaminade’s inspiration for instituting the Sodalities.
The Marianist Province of the United States takes significant measures to ensure a safe environment for those with whom we minister. Our policies and procedures are designed to provide necessary safeguards for those entrusted to our care as well as the ongoing education of our Brothers. The Province received reaccreditation from Praesidium. The reaccreditation is for a five-year period which concludes May 10, 2027. Praesidium is an independent organization, selected by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), that audits religious institutes (and other youth-serving organizations) to determine if they comply with 25 specific standards.
REDS Spotlight on Art
The children of REDS at Arogora Centre, in the District of India, were given creative art tasks to perform in April. All the children participated, receiving chart paper, colors, paints and whatever tools were needed for their work. They crafted very detailed beautiful pictures. None of the children had any training in drawing, but their work was nearly professional, and they proudly displayed talents. To discover more about the Marianist REDS programs, click here and check out the latest updates in the Newsletters section below.
Stay in Touch
AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
District Update #57 from the Marianist District of India
Gifts and Tasks from the Int. Organization of Marianist Lay Communities
Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
Magnificat from the World Council of the Marianist Family
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE National Office
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