Earth Day Is Everyday for Marianists

Earth Day was celebrated this spring on April 22 with environmental activities across the globe. For the Marianist Family Encounters Project, protecting the planet is a year-round pursuit. The Marianist Family wants to thank all those who devote time and energy to making an ecological difference around campuses and neighborhoods. Highlighted this year are three Marianist-sponsored schools for fostering environmental clean-up, recycling, spreading the charism, and sustainability initiatives.

  • Mother Seton Academy in Baltimore, MD, the smallest school in the Marianist sponsorship collaborative with just 80 students, had almost half the school commit to a neighborhood clean-up project. It began last spring with a community neighborhood clean-up and plantings at the pocket park across from the school. This year, they started “green teams” comprised of about six members who pick up trash at the park and surrounding area. “I was overwhelmed with the response from the students,” said Linda Clarke-Tucker, ministry lead and science educator/STEAM coordinator at Mother Seton. “The students hope that their efforts will foster a spirit of hope in the community and encourage adults to maintain the area along with them,” said Clarke-Tucker.
  • Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, TX, under the leadership of Ministry Lead and Guardian Angel Moderator James Bendele, continued its dedication to two different projects. “Our Guardian Angels and Environment Club teamed up for our annual Basura Bash,’ said Bendele. “We spent a morning and afternoon cleaning up plastics at OP Schnabel Park and the Leon Creek Greenway. The following week, the Guardian Angels cleaned out the stables at the Saddle Light Center. This organization uses horses as therapy for children with various disabilities ranging from Down’s Syndrome to Muscular Dystrophy and other concerns. “It was awesome being able to do this work and spend time with the horses, too,” said Bendele.
  • Colegio San José students in San Juan, PR, who participate in the Environmental Committee and EcoSchool, organized a virtual workshop on composting under the leadership of Ministry Lead and School Counselor Edilmari Longo Vega. The tutorial was offered by agronomist Dalma Cartagena, who gave an overview of the fundamentals of composting. The workshop included moderators and students from the Ecology and Recycling Clubs “and strengthened our sense of family and reinforced our commitment to sustainability,” said Longo Vera.

 Online Opportunity

“We are encouraged by the environmental work undertaken by our Marianist schools,” said Bro. Steve O’Neil, who also invites Marianist Family members to sign up for an online opportunity called  Reversing Global Warming. “Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start,” said Bro. Steve. “This five-week series from Apr. 25-May 23 will help you recognize ways you can make a difference.”

There will also be a Marianist Encounters Conference this fall that advances the Marianist Family’s efforts in implementing the goals of Laudato Si’ and the Global Compact on Education. Click here for the Save-the-Date.

Mother Seton Academy
Central Catholic High School
Colegio San José

In The News

Annunciation, Birthday, and Solar Celebration

This year, the Feast of the Annunciation fell on Monday, April 8, 2024, which was also Blessed William Joseph Chaminade’s 263rd birth anniversary. If that wasn’t enough to celebrate, a total solar eclipse coincided with these events.

To mark this historic alignment, friends,  donors, volunteers, and Marianist Family members in the Dayton, OH, area gathered at Mount Saint John for refreshments, socializing, and prayer. Fr. Johann Roten briefly talked about Astronomical Events in Scripture and Marian Images. Fr. Roten is a Marianist priest and internationally recognized scholar on Mary, the mother of Christ, and transhumanism. He is a scholar in residence with the University of Dayton International Marian Research Institute.

Congratulations Bro. Thierry

Bro. Thierry Kadja (from Togo) participated in the “Flyer Pitch” competition at University of Dayton and was awarded $50,000.  He was seeking funding to advance his PhD research project, which is a portable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to detect diseases in farm animals. A PCR test, used during COVID-19, identifies genetic material in a sample to diagnose infectious diseases and genetic changes. Click here to read more.

Dispute Resolution Team Wins National Championship

From left, Delaney Montez, Max Massey, and Jacklyn Dhaemers

While many students took time off during Spring Break, the St. Mary’s University’s School of Law’s National Dispute Resolution Team was hard at work. The team was crowned national champions in an American Bar Association competition and will represent the United States internationally in Poland in May.

“We continue to be impressed with the dedication, hard work and talent of our students and coaches,” said Dean of the School of Law Patricia Roberts, J.D.

The national championship builds upon a record-breaking season for the Advocacy Program. St. Mary’s School of Law is the first and only law school in the history of American Bar Association competitions to have teams advance to national finals in all five advocacy categories in the same academic year. Those categories are appellate competition, arbitration, client counseling, mediation, and negotiations.

Marianist Schools Partnership

Our Lady of Nazareth
St. John Vianney High School
St. John Vianney High School
Our Lady of Nazareth

St. John Vianney High School began every day of its Mission Week in March with a lesson on Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School (OLN), located in the largest and worst slum in Nairobi, Kenya. For the 1,900 children enrolled at OLN, education offers an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty in which they were born.

Students at Vianney partnered with OLN, raising enough money during its 2024 Mission Week to sponsor a classroom for a year. The relationship developed when Fr. Gabriel Kirangah, the director of OLN, had his students write letters to the students of Vianney. For two years now, students from the two Marianist schools have been corresponding.

In 2023, students donated enough money to build a water point at the school. This year, Ministry Lead and Marketing/Communication Director Sapna Jos reports more than $6,000 was raised. “Mission Week this year included competitions and a coffee bar that helped raise the funds,” said Jos. Additionally, every theology course at Vianney dedicated one class to teaching about Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School. Vianney looks forward to continuing its partnership with OLN in the months and years ahead.

International Extravaganza Gets Rave Reviews

Chaminade University of Honolulu hosted its annual International Extravaganza with much fanfare. Student-led performances of cultural dance and song delighted the crowd of students, teachers, families, and the Marianist community, including Fr. Chris Wittmann and Bro. Ed Brink, as seen above. In typical Marianist tradition, there were plenty of Hawaiian delectables for everyone to sample.

It’s an opportunity to learn more about all the different cultures represented at the university. Jessica Laird is a second-year student from Chicago. Laird is a study abroad student from the University of Dayton, and this was her first time experiencing International Extravaganza.

“My favorite parts were when each culture would drag the crowd in to come dance with them,” said Laird. “My friends and I wished we would have joined one of the clubs at the beginning of the semester to learn all the dances, so when we got asked to go and join them it was so much fun. International Extravaganza was my favorite event on campus so far.”

Marianist Ministries in Action

Farewell, and Thank You!

Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., known for his tremendous energy and administrative talent, is about to embark on a new chapter in his life. On May 31, 2024, he will retire as president of  St. Mary’s University, a position he has held for the past 12 years.

Looking back at his time at St. Mary’s, he credits the Marianists for instilling in him the importance of  “walking humbly with the Lord,” an attitude that he saw reinforced by many members of the St. Mary’s community who exude humility, gratitude, and charity.

“I saw this not only in the leadership team and my direct reports but also Ida, my favorite housekeeper on campus, and Luis, the best landscaper in Texas, who beautified our campus grounds,” he said. “It was also evident in Fr. Jim Tobin, my holy Father, and Fr. John Thompson, the singing, guitar-playing Marianist who inspires faith and servant leadership among our students.”

He is hesitant to claim his many achievements at St. Mary’s because “there were so many good colleagues who shouldered responsibility for them,” he said. But three initiatives stand above the rest.

Dr. Mengler and his wife Mona

First is the deepening of St. Mary’s Catholic Marianist identity. “I underscore ‘Catholic’ here,” said Mengler. “The Marianist Charism begins and ends with Mary as Mother of Jesus – and of Jesus as our Savior, who became man, suffered on the Cross, and rose from the dead. Our Catholic Marianist identity is stronger today in a number of ways, including through the Center for Catholic Studies.”

The second is the success of The Defining Moment Campaign, which raised more than $165 million, ten times larger than any previous campaign. “As important as the funding we received from our generous benefactors were the numbers – more than 11,000 individual donors,” said Mengler. “These numbers alone show the gratitude of our alumni for their St. Mary’s education, and they certainly suggest that St. Mary’s future will be bright.”

The third is the culture of excellence and continuous improvement, now deeply embedded in the fabric of the university. “It was not so 12 years ago. I am so proud of and confident in St. Mary’s leadership team, especially Winston Erevelles, who will soon be the 14th president of St. Mary’s University. I am pretty sure Mother Mary could not be happier.”

Mengler’s retirement is one of those bitter-sweet moments in life. “I’m not yet sure what’s next for me other than to continue to use my gifts and talents for the greater good.” He is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren. “Nothing could top that, other than the continuing joy of family and friends. My wife, Mona, and I have so many good friendships at St. Mary’s,” said Mengler.

A Marianist Moment

Marianist Women’s Summit and FMI (USA) 75th Anniversary

Save the date! The Marianist Sisters invite you to a “Marianist Women’s Summit” and the celebration of the 75th anniversary of its USA Foundation from Oct. 25-26 in San Antonio. The summit will provide an opportunity for lay and vowed women in the Marianist Family to visit, pray, and converse about Mary’s Magnificat call in our lives.

The event will take place at the Marianist Sisters’ Our Lady of the Pillar Community on Friday, Oct. 25, and at St. Mary’s University School of Law on Saturday. On Saturday, Oct. 26 at 4:00 p.m., the Marianist Women’s Summit participants will join the wider Marianist Family and guests to celebrate the 75th Anniversary Mass, which will be held in The Blessed Adele Chapel at Central Catholic High School. Following Mass, there will be a social, meal, and presentation.

From the Archives

Click play below to watch the history of Bro. Stephen’s Faith Journey

A parishioner of St. Augustine in Old City Philadelphia, Marianist brother, and child psychologist, Bro. Stephen Glodek shares his faith journey delving into the Marianist founding in France in 1817 and reflecting on how Mary helps guide him in his interactions with youth today.


Pray With Us

Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.

◆ Recent deaths and those in need of prayers for healing in the Marianist Family

◆ Obituaries of U.S. Province Marianist brothers and priests since 2018

The University of Dayton (UD) is saddened to announce that former Flyer men’s basketball captain and head coach Don Donoher passed away on April 12, 2024, at the age of 92. The all-time winningest coach in UD basketball history, Donoher is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. One of the top coaches of his generation, Donoher was an assistant coach on the United States’ gold medal-winning team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living coach to have taken a team to the Final Four. Click here to read more.

Good to Know

Exploring the Lives of the Marianist Founders

The Marianist Retreat and Conference Center, located in Eureka, MO, is offering a free, enlightening, three-part series on the profound legacy of the Marianist founders. The sessions will celebrate the lives, teachings, and enduring impact of these remarkable figures, with a special focus on what they have to say to us today.

The sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings from May 1 to May 15, and special speakers will include Fr. George Cerniglia, Bro. Jesse O’Neill, and Fr. Sean Downing.

Click the image to see more details.

Book Your Family Summer Retreat

Explore the opportunities offered at the Marianist Family Retreat Center in Cape May Point, NJ.

Retreat weeks start each Monday, beginning June 24 through Aug. 17. While single-parent families are always welcome, the week of July 15-20 is specifically designated for single parents.

Join together with other families for the week. Mass and other family liturgies are complemented by skits, presentations, family sharing, peer group discussions, sunset beach walks, and other fun activities.

Scheduled recreation and free time (4-5 hours daily), with ocean swimming (the beach is a 1/2 block away), are part of all family retreats. The cost includes meals, room, program, beach access, and more!

Click here for more information or email: [email protected] or call 609-884-3829 – financial aid is available.

Join Us!

Click here to discover job opportunities within our Marianist Ministries across the United States. 

New listings include:

• Chaminade College Prep (CA) – Assistant Director of Student Activities

• Marianist Province of the U.S. (MO) – Coordinator, Office of Sponsorship

•  Marianist Province of the U.S. (MO) – Digital Communications Marketing Coordinator

• Director Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning (OH) – Executive Director

• Marianist Retreat & Conference Center (MO) – Director of Hospitality

• Purcell Marian High School (OH) – Principal

• St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (OH) – Asst. Principal and Director of Advancement

• North American Center for Marianist Studies (OH) – Program Administrator

Check Out More Marianist News

Via Latina  from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Sharing Our Marianist Stories podcast from North American Center for Marianist Studies

Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities

District Update #79 from the Marianist District of India

FatherSide Chats is a web video series featuring Fr. Gene Contadino. Discover new episodes every Tuesday about a variety of topics. Click the graphic to view episodes. Click here to read more.

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