Graduates of Resilience – Commencements of Hope

One of the characteristics of a Marianist education is Adaptation and Change. Many 2024 university graduates had to begin their college journeys adapting to an environment of social distancing and virtual learning while developing skills to create positive change.

Commencement speeches everywhere included the challenges students faced. However, at Marianist institutions, the focus was on how fear and adversities did not define them; they only strengthened them with God’s guidance.

Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Chris Wittmann thanked God as he addressed the audience at Chaminade University of Honolulu’s (CUH) invocation. “You blessed and carried them through a world pandemic that took some of their loved ones and changed their education, through devastating fires on Maui, a typhoon in Guam, news of war, devastation, and division.”

The CUH commencement ceremony honored almost 600 graduates. The Commencement Speaker, Executive Counselor for the Asian Pacific Islander Health Forum, Dr. Kamanaʻopono M. Crabbe, told them, “Each one of you represents not just academic success but a journey of determination, resilience, and hope.”

That message echoed through the University of Dayton Arena (UD) as graduates received medals depicting Blessed William Joseph Chaminade. Provost and Executive VP of Academic Affairs Dr. Darlene Weaver asked students to don their medals, saying, “In Chaminade’s ever-inspiring example, we entrust you to go forth living humbly, acting boldly, and working imaginatively and prayerfully to build community.”

UD conferred a record 1,805 undergraduate degrees this spring. Hogan VanSickle was among the 177 UD School of Law graduates almost eight years after a near-fatal car accident left her with quadriplegia. The health care and systemic challenges she faced inspired her. “My accident was a catalyst to pursue a career in law. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg aptly noted, ‘So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be good fortune,’” VanSickle said.

UD President Dr. Eric Spina reiterated that notion, “I hold much hope in my heart for your class. Educated at this Catholic Marianist university, you have internalized a moral compass that will guide you to work for the common good and make a difference in the world. “

St Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, celebrated 565 new graduates in two commencement ceremonies. Its School of Law awarded 281 law degrees where convocation presenters spoke to the challenges students faced and how the Marianist Charism helped them overcome and flourish, selflessly helping those around them.

Dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law Dr. Patricia Roberts told the graduates, “In the face of adversity, you embodied the Marianist pillars of community, mission, and inclusivity. Your class amassed over 17,000 hours of law and pro bono service, positively impacting communities across our region and the nation. Our Catholic Marianist values call us to lead lives of service and to use our gifts to uplift others.”


Chaminade University of Honolulu
University of Dayton
St. Mary's University

Congratulations to all graduates! May you continue to carry, lean on, and use the fundamentals of your Marianist education throughout your lives.

In The News

First Vows Celebration for Chicago Schuller

Bro. Chicago Joe Schuller professed First Vows in the Society of Mary on May 18, 2024, at Queen of Apostles Chapel in Beavercreek, OH. Director of Novices Bro. Dennis Bautista and Assistant Director of Novices Fr. Tim Eden presented Bro. Chicago as a suitable candidate for the profession of vows after a period of formation and discernment. His vows were received by Provincial of the Marianist Province of the U.S. Fr. Oscar Vasquez.

Fr. Jim Tobin was the first Marianist I ever met. His gentle and prayerful presence helped me as I was rediscovering my faith in God and prayer with Mary. Fr. Larry Doersching reminded me that the brothers are normal guys called to do grand things for Mary’s mission. Without his guidance, I would not be here today. And Bro. Mike Sullivan taught me what it means to be a man who builds community. These men of great faith helped cultivate my calling,” said Schuller.

Bro. Chicago will be assigned to the Maryland Ave. Community in St. Louis. He will serve in campus ministry and institutional advancement at St. John Vianney High School.

Click here to read more. Click here to view photos from the ceremony and celebration.

Lay Community Commitment Mass

The Flor de Fe Marianist Lay Community (MLC) celebrated its commitment Mass on Sunday, April 28, 2024, in the Assumption Chapel at St. Mary’s University. Flor de Fe is Spanish for Flower of Faith. A member of the group suggested the name because he saw their MLC as a place where their faith can continue to bloom. One member of the group, not pictured below, is Madeline Emke. She made her commitment on Sunday, May 5.

L to R: Bro. Dan Klco, SM, Irene Urbina Zuniga, Doug Weller, Mary Sommer and José Chaman (a member of the Sub Tuum MLC who assisted in their formation)
Back row, L to R: Bro. Dan Klco, SM, Andrew Villarreal (aspirant), Arty Cantu, Paula Ferradas Hiraoka, Fr. John Thompson, SM Front row, L to R: Suzy Ibarra, Eliana Villarreal, Irene Urbina Zuniga, Doug Weller, Mary Sommer and José Chaman

Chaminade University Awarded $1.5 Million

The U.S. Senate passed the second half of a bipartisan government funding bill that included $31.8 million in new congressionally directed spending, also known as earmarks, secured by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. Chaminade University of Honolulu was awarded $1.5 million,  which will be used to build the capacity of the Higher Education in Prison program to expand it from male prisoners only to include incarcerated women as well as a bachelor’s track. Click here to read more.

Marianist Ministries in Action

“Singing is Praying Twice”

At St. Anthony School, a Marianist-sponsored K-12 Catholic school on Maui, the Marianist Doxology is being sung to a new tune.

Senior Rob Ryane Gonzales, who lends his musical talents to his parish by playing piano for Masses, decided to harness his hymn and harmony skills and provide instrumental accompaniment for a daily school prayer as part of his senior project.

“I looked at the use of sacred music in the Catholic Chuch and evangelizing and sanctifying the faithful. So, part of my senior project is I took one of the pieces we usually sing during lunch prayer. It’s the last part of the Marianist Doxology, but we never had actual sheet music to go off of, so I worked with our parish music director to write out a piece and have it played on the piano so we could have instrumental music to sing with,” explained Gonzales.

The sound is striking a chord with students! Click here or the play button in the red box to hear from the impressive young composer himself as he comically explains why it’s a melody in the works but believes singing is like praying twice.

He created a YouTube channel for his works, including the Marianist Doxology. You can check it out by clicking here.

From the Archives

Did You Know?

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979), among the most well-known churchmen of the 20th century – garnering the cover of Time magazine in 1952 – was taught by the Brothers of Mary. He graduated from Spalding Institute in Peoria, IL, in 1913. The Marianists staffed this school from 1899-1933.

An extraordinary communicator, Fulton began the “Catholic Hour” radio program in 1932 and, from 1951 to 1957, hosted the highly acclaimed television series “Life is Worth Living.” Fr. Lawrence Monheim, S.M. (1905-1985) presented Sheen with the Marian Library Medal in 1953, the same year he won an Emmy Award—the only time an Emmy was given to a religious program in prime-time TV.

On his show, he mentioned the “daily three Hail Marys” he remembered from the Brothers of Mary in high school, who he described as “excellent teachers, given to discipline, yet much beloved.”

If you’d like to see images from the archives, visit and “like” this Facebook page.

Pray With Us

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


Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes brothers and priests who are marking milestones of their first profession of vows or their priestly ordinations. Thank you to our 2024 Jubilarians! We will highlight them over the course of the next few months in FamilyOnline. Click here to see pictures from the Jubilee celebration in San Antonio earlier this month.


80 years of profession

I was born on September 2, 1925, in Brooklyn, NY. I have three brothers and one sister. I professed my first vows on August 20, 1944, at Marianist Prep in Beacon, NY. I was blessed to serve in many schools before I retired in 2008 to the Cupertino Marianist Community in Cupertino, CA. I learned quite early in life that I would not be able to do everything for everybody but would be able to do something for somebody. Click here to read more.



75 years of profession

I was ordained on June 11, 1961. There were four of us: me, Don Cowie, a Japanese Marianist, and a Spanish Marianist, who went to a nearby German diocese to be ordained with their ordination class. I returned to the United States and celebrated my first Mass at my home parish, Holy Redeemer in Detroit, with my family present. In all my ministries, I continue to know that there is no end to God’s mercy and that He never gives up on us. It has been a blessing. Click here to read more.


75 years of profession

I first met the Marianists during my freshman year at Don Bosco High School. The school was just opening, and I was the sixth student to register. I had all Marianist teachers and was impressed by their cheerfulness, happiness, and caring attitude toward the students and each other. This was impressive since they were temporarily living and sleeping in empty classrooms with bedsheet partitions. I was very impressed by what they were doing and how they were doing it. I could see myself doing this. In my junior year, I became a postulant in St. Louis and, a year later, went to the novitiate in Galesville, Wisconsin. Click here to read more.


75 years of profession

As a senior at Purcell High School, I was approached about a vocation to be a Marianist. God gave me the grace to devote my life in service to Mary — doing her work — which has been a challenge ever since. I accomplished this by serving as a teacher in the United States and in the missions. In living out my religious life, I have found the need for a solid prayer life which, with God’s grace and Mary’s help, I have tried to do.  I thank God for all the graces he has given me, and I pray for Mary’s help to continue to cooperate with them. Click here to read more.


75 years of profession

I first met the Marianist brothers at a very young age, they taught at my grade school, Immaculate Conception, in Washington D.C. Of particular influence was Bro. Joe Weber in eighth grade. I probably also developed a special devotion to the Blessed Mother at that time. When I asked my parents if I could go to the Postulate at Mount Saint John in Dayton, OH, they were very supportive. After seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland, I learned to love the Church in a special way because of my years of service at the Vatican writing letters to various bishops regarding Vatican II. Click here to read more.


75 years of profession

Bro. Leo Slay came from a family that had been in the restaurant business since 1911 and has been actively engaged in food service in the Society of Mary since 1949. He’s been a consultant for all types of food service operations, has organized and directed numerous culinary institutes and workshops, and has served as a food service director at Marianist schools. Bro. Leo says, “I believe there is no better way to be happy than to be of service to others.” Click here to read more.

Good to Know

Dedication of Blessed Chaminade Bust on Maui

On April 17, 2024, Fr. Roland Bunda blessed a bronze bust sculpture of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade at St. Anthony of Padua Church and School on Maui. He was accompanied by the ‘Ohana ‘O Malia Marianist Lay Community, Oahu Lay Marianists, Monsignor Terrence Watanabe, Parochial Vicar Fr. Ese Ese “Ace” Tui, and other guests.

When the Marianist priests and brothers left Maui on June 30, 2021, Most Rev. Bishop Larry Silva dedicated a perpetual area in the church courtyard, including a glass enclosure, to commemorate the 138 years of pastoral care to the parish.

Provincial Fr. Oscar Vasquez commissioned a bust sculpture of Blessed Chaminade by Emeterio Valderrabano Garrido in Mexico. The local Marianist Lay Community then researched an appropriate pedestal to enhance the statue and secured the expertise of sculptor Tim Garcia. He created a harmonious balance of shape and form to let the natural beauty of Maui influence his work. The finished product is a wooden pedestal clad in marble, showcasing two commemorative plaques with the Marianist logo and dates. Click here to see more pictures.

MLC-NA Member Meeting

The Marianist Lay Community of North America’s (MLC-NA) annual Member Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14, this year.

This is an opportunity to learn more about upcoming initiatives, ask questions, and hear from other Lay Marianists. This year’s meeting will also feature an opportunity to hear from candidates for the Heads of Office for Temporalities and Spirituality, both of which are up for election this fall.

While MLC-NA’s Member Meeting will focus on the affairs of the lay branch, the meeting is open to all who wish to attend.

Click here for the Zoom link. The times are as follows: 3 pm Eastern | 2 pm Central | 12 pm Pacific | 9 am Hawaii

Join Us!

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

New listings include:

• St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (OH) – President

• Mother Seton Academy (MD) – President

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

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

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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