Miracle on UD Street
Ellie Borkowski, a junior at University of Dayton (UD), wasn’t sure what to expect when she met her special buddy, Remington, a first grader, at the Christmas on Campus (COC) event held at UD on Dec. 8.
They shared hot chocolate and pizza and played games where the 6-year-old won all sorts of prizes and candy. “The highlight of the evening was watching Remington’s face light up when he found out he got to take it all home with him, including a new hat and gloves and a Lego truck,” said Borkowski.
Christmas on Campus is a longstanding tradition at UD. “It was started in 1963,” said co-chair Sophia Locker, who, along with co-chair Julia Mills, worked especially hard to host an in-person event after COVID short-circuited the gathering for the last two years. “About 3,000 people attended this year’s celebration,” said Locker.
The idea behind Christmas on Campus, this year called “Miracle on UD Street,” is to bring UD and the greater Dayton school community together for a night of celebration and fun, starting with a tree-lighting ceremony. More than 1,000 grade-school children were paired with UD students to witness a live nativity scene, enjoy crafts and activities and even a visit from Santa.
“Our outreach to children at such an impressionable age is important because it brings the wonder and spirit of Christmas alive,” said Mills.
That wonder spills over to the UD community. “Our hope is that students see how their kindness impacts their buddies and that these children have a lasting memory of the magic of Christmas,” she added.
That’s exactly how Maru Jiménez, a senior at UD, felt after spending time with Leslye, his second-grade buddy. “We made slime, wrote a letter to Santa, pet some sheep and puppies and looked at all of the Christmas décors,” he said. “It was amazing to see Christmas through her eyes. She was so happy and grateful to be here, and I’m so appreciative that COC gave kids and UD students such a great memory.”
In The News
Pilot Program Boosts Entrepreneurial Innovation
Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) was among seven minority educational institutions that received $1.75 million in grants from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
The $600,000 grant awarded to CUH will help develop the “‘Inana Sustainability Entrepreneurship Program,” which aims to spark minority entrepreneurial innovation among undergraduates from Hawaii, Gaum, Samoa and other Pacific islands.
The Minority Colleges and Universities pilot program will help fund the development of curricula, pilot courses, seminars, and replicable products and tools that address inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship and general economic development. The award will be granted over a two-year span.
Festive Marianist Happenings
Click here to watch students from Saint Louis School doing a hula at the Gallery of Distinguished Achievers (GODA) celebration in Honolulu earlier this month.
Click here to view brothers in our Cupertino Marianist Community in California gathered around the fireplace in front of their shrine of Our Mother of Guadalupe to extend Christmas greetings and blessings.
Click here to watch a Christmas video from the Cape May Point Marianist Community in New Jersey.
Click here to see some of the Wreaths across America that a generous alum of University of Dayton (UD) helped the Military and Veteran Programs and Services office place on the graves of our Marianist Brothers who served in the military and whose graves are located at the campus cemetery and Mount Saint John.
Click here to see the beautifully decorated tree at Meyer Hall community at Mount Saint John.
Advent in Our Messy World
The Marianist Center for Lay Formation in Philadelphia, PA, gathered virtually to celebrate Advent. Marceta Reilly, a former member of the International Council of Marianist Lay Communities, reflected on “Advent in Our Messy World.” Affiliates and friends discussed Marceta’s challenge to be responsible for the Marian face of our Church in response to our messy world. Bro. Jack Ventura, national director of affiliates and Rob Broderick, national director of Marianist Lay Communities of North America, also spoke to attendees on this prayerful day.
District of India Updates
Eleven members of the District of India met in Deepahalli for a renewal workshop. These Brothers form the second oldest cohort of professed in the District, having taken their first vows between 1994-1998. Fr. Marty Solma directed this renewal workshop which was received with enthusiasm and joy. Daily presentations allowed the participants to reflect deeply on important themes in Marianist life: holiness, prayer, aging with grace, purity and the joy of living God’s call in the Marianist community, ministry and the Marianist Family.
Last month, the 22nd District of India Chapter was held in Deepahalli. The Chapter has five members by right and eight by election. Bro. Ed Violett was invited to offer guidance to the Chapter as it dealt with the evaluation of the Council’s reports and propositions that were submitted. Fr. Jinu Muthukattil and Bro. Balaswamy did an excellent job taking care of the documentation work for the Chapter. Their service to the Chapter was immensely appreciated. The District Chapter members are also grateful to the Scholasticate Community members for their assistance.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Eagle Scout Inspires with Service
Almost everything on Mount Saint John, a 147-acre, Marianist-owned property in Dayton, OH, offers a teachable moment, including the Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC).
That’s what Gavin Boyd, a senior at Beavercreek High School in Ohio, was aiming for when he volunteered to build an arbor for MEEC to support native vines as part of his Eagle Scout requirements.
The new arbor, located at the entrance to the living labyrinth, will feature three vines – wild yam, leather flower and American groundnut. It provides an opportunity for “people to learn about native vines while opening themselves up to nature,” said Boyd.
“A native arbor has been on our wish list for some time,” said Marianist Sr. Leanne Jablonski, director of MEEC. “When Gavin approached us about doing something for his Eagle Scout project, we were thrilled to put him to work on this. It will serve as an educational point along the trail, emphasizing these plants’ roles in supporting pollinators, hosting insects, providing nutritious fruit and enhancing natural beauty.”
While Gavin built the arbor, knowing that MEEC could use it to teach about the environment and Marianist values, he also discovered a lot about himself in the process. “I learned about patience, perseverance and hard work,” he said. “Most amazing was watching it all come together. It turned out even better than I imagined. It’s incredible to take simple pieces of wood and plants to make something new, inspiring and important.”
A large portion of the supplies needed was donated by Lowe’s. Gavin’s mother, Lauren Boyd, who works for the North American Center for Marianist Studies at Mount Saint John, also rallied friends and family to contribute and support the completion of the project.
Click here to see more pictures from the construction project.
MEEC invites visitors to come and enjoy the new arbor, experience a labyrinth walk or just the peacefulness of Mount Saint John trails. Click here to learn more.
By Bro. David Betz
To Birth Jesus as Mary Did
I recently read the July 30, 2022, concluding message from the International Lay Marianist Assembly in Madrid, Spain. The posting presents three directions for Lay Marianists throughout the world:
1) To make our charism more visible within the Church
2) To allow communities to be a place of welcome, without judgments, and be bridges of closeness to the faith for those who feel abandoned and excluded
3) To welcome young people with a sensitive attitude to their concerns, to make them participants in our decisions and be available to accompany them with the richness of our experience
Reflecting upon them brings me to our Marianist Mission: “To birth Jesus as Mary did.” I find these directions to be wonderful actions to fulfill our mission in our world today. They can be ways to engage in the mission and spread the Good News about Jesus Christ. And, of course, this time of Advent and Christmas allows us to reflect on our mission and how these directions may become part of Marianist lives. Looking to our Marianist Saints during this season of the Incarnation can assist us in our reflections.
Click here to read more. Click here to view the video Like Mary.
From the Archives
Lunar Landing Ignites Awakening
Astronaut James Irwin (1930-1991) signed a picture of himself saluting the United States flag on the moon (Apollo 15 – 1971) to Bro. John Rohe (1931-2018). The inscription reads, “His love from the moon.”
Irwin wrote several books about how being on the moon had a profound spiritual impact on his life. In an excerpt, he wrote, “The entire space achievement is put in proper perspective when one realizes that God walking on the earth is more important than man walking on the moon.”
One year after his mission to the moon and feeling God’s presence, Irwin resigned from NASA. “I have totally yielded my life to the Lord’s service to tell people everywhere about the life-changing message of Christ,” wrote Irwin, More Than Earthlings: An Astronaut’s Thoughts for Christ-Centered Living (1983).
If you’d like to see more from the Marianist Archives, visit and “like” this Facebook page.
Pray With Us
Good to Know
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati, celebrated its annual Caregiver Recognition Mass late last month. This special recognition is held each year in November, which is National Caregiver’s Month.
More than 60 caregivers, including Bro. Ed Longbottom were recognized for their volunteer work. Bro. Ed works with the chaplaincy service at Good Samaritan Hospital.
The Cathedral sends out nomination forms each year to more than 300 health-care facilities and retirement communities, as well as every parish in the Archdiocese.
It All Started With Just One Book
One book in 1943, written and donated by Fr. John Elbert, started it all. Today the Marian Library not only holds books but musical scores and artifacts spanning seven centuries and 100 languages around the world.
Almost 80 years since its inception, the Marian Library today is recognized both nationally and internationally as a center for scholarship on the Blessed Virgin Mary. Fr. Johann Roten and Fr. Tom Thompson from the The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute are often sought after by the press as experts.
Click here for more on their contributions to the collection.
Among scholars and researchers using the library is Liz Hutter, assistant professor of English, who engaged in a fellowship funded by the Marianist Province of the United States. Her students are working on an exhibit called, Rituals of Healing: Body, Mindy, Spirit. It will be on display at the Marian Library from Feb. 8 – April 20, 2023.
Marian Library Fellowships
Applications Open Through Jan. 2
In recognition of the International Marian Research Institute and its new position in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Marian Library and the College of Arts and Sciences are accepting applications for two short-term fellowships.
These fellowships are made possible by a generous gift from the Marianist Province of the United States. Click here to learn more.
Stay in Touch
The Fulcrum from Marianist LIFE – Living In Faith Experience
MLC-NA from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
District Update #63 from the Marianist District of India
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary
We welcome and encourage submissions of interest to our nearly 3,600 subscribers. Please send them to Theresa Petry.
Stay in touch with the Marianist Province by downloading our new mobile app!
Download your free copy today for easy access to information that supports the work of Marianist-sponsored ministries. Compatible with Apple iOS and Android devices.