Marianist Lay Leader Dons Role as “Vaccine Fairy” to Help Vulnerable People Get Vaccinated

Once upon a time … actually, at the start of Lent, Ashley Overeem, a member of the Heart of Mary Marianist Lay Community in Philadelphia, made a promise. “I decided to help as many people get vaccinated as I could,” she said.

She especially wanted to help the elderly navigate the technically cumbersome process of signing up for vaccinations in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

After receiving the vaccine herself, Ashley turned to her grandmothers. “Both have dementia and I couldn’t stand the thought of them succumbing to COVID,” she said.

From there, she advertised on Facebook, offering to assist anyone who was 65+ and needed a vaccine. Word traveled quickly. Soon Ashley, now known as the “Vaccine Fairy,” was helping people across the tri-state region.

As of this month, she has assisted 650 people in getting vaccine appointments. “I keep a running list of those I’ve helped and put their first names into a Lenten prayer cross I created. ( See cross.)

“We see her as a modern-day Marie Thérèse, one of the Marianist Founders,” said Diane Browne, a member of Ashley’s lay community.

Ashley agrees: “I believe this is what Marie Thérèse would have done if she were alive today.”

For more information: Contact Ashley Overeem at: [email protected]

A Marianist Moment

By Bro. David Betz

Resurrection:

On the third day, he rose again from the dead (The Apostle Creed).

And rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (The Nicene Creed).

When one engages in the study of Marianist history, you can see the many roles that Blessed Chaminade had during his lifetime. He was an educator, a spiritual mentor, an apostolic missionary, a founder and a pastor. In all these roles, Blessed Chaminade was a strong believer in the Providence of God, and it was his primary motivation in all the different endeavors that grew out of these roles. He believed that being a faithful person was essential to his goal of revitalizing the Christian faith in France after the French Revolution. He strove to witness this faithfulness to his disciples, lay and religious, as well as calling his disciples to do the same when they gathered in community and went out to share the Good News. And for Blessed Chaminade, a tool that he used to stress this faithfulness was the Creed.

Read more.

In The News

Saint Louis School Launches 175th Anniversary Celebration

Did you know that Saint Louis School (SLS) is one of the oldest institutions in the Marianist network of sponsored schools?

Founded in 1846, the school was built on property granted to the Fathers of the Sacred Heart by King Kamehameha III. In 1883, when the Marianists assumed sponsorship of SLS, it had already been relocated from Ahuimanu – the opposite side of Oahu – to Honolulu.

Looking back on its history, “SLS has much to be grateful for,” said Glenn Medeiros, school president. “We are especially proud to be the only boys school left in Hawaii that provides instruction for students in K-12.”

To share its appreciation of the school’s history with students, faculty and alumni, it recently launched a year-long 175th anniversary campaign called “Ho’i i ka piko” – or “Return to the Source.” The multi-media campaign includes a one-hour television special to air in May, along with TV and radio spots and in-person assemblies.

“We would not be celebrating 175 years of Catholic education if not for our Marianist Fathers and Brothers,” said Glenn. “Their faithfulness and the ongoing support of our dedicated Saint Louis Alumni Association are the reasons we are still going strong today.”

See more photos.

Saint Louis College Band (date unknown)
The first SLS campus called College of Ahuimanu, 1877

Marianist Ministries in Action

Pillars of Marianist Community

New Marianist Lay Community: On Saturday, April 24, seven students at the University of Dayton made their commitment as a lay Marianist community. The members of the Pillars Community were involved in a semester-long formation process directed by  LeeAnn Meyer, Bro. Mitch Schweickart and Sr. Emily Sandoval. We welcome Andrew Buchanan, Diego A. Buxeda, Morgan Cox, Jack Dalton, Tyler Horton, Ashley Kush and Nicole Vanvoorhis to the Marianist family.

Pray With Us

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

Bro. Ed Shiras – Undated

Bro. Ed Shiras – 2015

Bro. Edwin Shiras, 86, died April 2, 2021, in Cupertino, California. Bro. Ed was a working brother who dedicated his life to serving in maintenance, construction, and technology roles in Marianist schools and ministries. He found great joy in working with his hands and dedicating his life to God and Mary through service to others.

Read his obituary.

See more photos.

Bro. Paulus Lakra – 2012

Bro. Paulus Lakra, 57, died April 26, 2021, in Rachi, India. His obituary will appear in the next issue of FamilyOnline. Read the tribute published in District of India Update 45.

See more photos.

Bro. Ray Gohring – Undated

Bro. Ray Gohring – 2015

Bro. Raymond Bernard Gohring, 88, died April 21, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas. Bro. Ray was a math and science teacher who ministered in New York, Puerto Rico, and most notably at Matero Boys Secondary School in Lusaka, Zambia, where he taught for 40 years. A quiet, reserved man, he was nonetheless an excellent teacher who was beloved and respected by his students. His obituary will be available in the next edition of FamilyOnline.

See more photos.

Former Marianist NACMS Director Passes

Carol Ramey, former director for the North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS), died April 11, 2021. Carol retired from NACMS in 2016. She was a Marianist Lay Affiliate and a life-long member of the Visitation Marianist State Community. Carol lived a life of service inspired by her faith and modeled upon the virtues of Mary the Mother of Jesus. As the director of NACMS, her writings, editing and publications enjoyed national and international influence.

The staff of NACMS said, “we were deeply saddened to learn of Carol’s death. NACMS and Marianist scholarship wouldn’t be what it is today without the faithful and tireless leadership of Carol. The Marianist Family has lost another giant; we miss her already.”

Read Carol’s obituary.

Jubilarians

Marianists Celebrate Jubilees

Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes brothers and priests who are marking milestones of their first professions of vows or of their priestly ordinations. This is the first group of 2021 Jubilarians we honor as a special section of FamilyOnline.

FATHER ROBERT HACKEL

70 years of profession

Fr. Robert was born and raised in St. Louis. He professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1951, in Galesville, Wisconsin, and was ordained on April 3, 1965, at the Marianist Seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland.

Read more.

BROTHER NORBERT KARPFINGER

70 years of profession

It is difficult to imagine that I am celebrating 70 years of Marianist religious life. I believe that I have been greatly blessed the entire time — the first blessing being my family that nurtured me in faith. The next blessing was meeting the brothers at Thomas More High School in Milwaukee. I found my calling there.

Read more.

BROTHER JOHN LEMKER

70 years of profession

In my many nature photography adventures, I often have found myself “standing in awe” at the beauty of God’s creation. This jubilee time of 70 years is truly another time of awe and wonder at God’s presence in my Marianist life. Ministries developed surprisingly — actually the work of the Holy Spirit — and with them came profound influence on my spiritual life.

Read more.

FATHER GERALD HAMMEL

60 years of profession

I thank the brothers at Coyle for the example they gave of happy and prayerful men. Especially, I would like to thank Bro. Al Kuntemeier for asking me to join the Marianists. It has been great — not always easy — but it was in the hard times that I met the Lord and Mary. I know they were with me because I could not have done the things I have done without graces from them.

BROTHER JAMES JAECKLE

60 years of profession

My call to be a Marianist religious started before I even started. I was attracted in high school by the work and service of a number of religious who worked at Central Catholic and the boys camp, Tecaboca.

Read more.

Good to Know

San Antonio Area Jubilarians and the Birthday of Fr. Chaminade

President – North Catholic High School

North Catholic High School, located in Cranberry Township, PA, just north of Pennsylvania, is moving to a President-Principal model for the 2021-2022 school year. North Catholic seeks a highly qualified candidate for President of the school, to further our Marianist mission of forming Christ-centered young adults who are leaders in their communities, known for their intellectual, practical, ethical, and human skills.   Learn more

National Director – Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA)

The Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA), a private association of the faithful in the Marianist tradition, comprised of lay Catholics formed in, committed to, and living the Marianist charism, is seeking a National Director. The ideal candidate in our search will share the passion for the mission and work of the Marianist Family formed by the vision of our Founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and Blessed Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon.  Learn more.

Stay in Touch

Newsletters

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 44 from the Marianist District of India
District Update 45 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
MLC-NA e-News from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Other Resources

Marianist Archives     

FamilyOnline Submissions

We welcome and encourage submissions of interest to our nearly 3,400 subscribers. Please send them to Bernadette McCaffrey Groner.

GET CONNECTED!

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.

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

Fr. Chaminade ministered in a time of fear, violence and division after the French Revolution and was influenced by the call for Fraternity, Liberty and Equality. We too, in this time of fear, violence, and division, must come together as a people of faith in need of healing and reconciliation. As we encounter Christ in the shadows of hate and violence may we pray and act for a more fraternal, free and equal society. We would like to encourage you to spend time reflecting on the hymn “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” during your prayers as we prepare for Easter. How you will act for peace, healing and reconciliation?

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

Fr. Chaminade ministered in a time of fear, violence and division after the French Revolution and was influenced by the call for Fraternity, Liberty and Equality. We too, in this time of fear, violence, and division, must come together as a people of faith in need of healing and reconciliation. As we encounter Christ in the shadows of hate and violence may we pray and act for a more fraternal, free and equal society. We would like to encourage you to spend time reflecting on the hymn “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” during your prayers as we prepare for Easter. How you will act for peace, healing and reconciliation?

Activities Director Delights in Making Protective Gear for Staff

When Sarah Makena Hamilton (who goes by “Makena”) noticed that the staff at the Marianist Residence, a health care and retirement center in San Antonio, were buying their own scrub caps to protect themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to jump into action.

While stuck at home during the ice storm that devastated Texas in February, Makena, who serves as the activities coordinator at the Residence, said it was the perfect time to dig out fabric from her stockpile of old scrubs, sheets and discarded scraps, and begin sewing new caps.

“Sewing offers me a creative outlet from my day job,” she said. “The scrub caps are quirky, mix-matched and colorful. I feel like they bring joy to everyone who sees them.”

Last year, Makena, a 2016 St. Mary’s University alum and Lay Marianist, also worked with a crew of women to assemble about 300 masks for the Residence and others.

Makena doesn’t see herself as the hero of this story. “The real MVPs are our medical, housekeeping and kitchen staff who have been working crazy hours this past year, adapting their routines to meet the needs of the pandemic,” she said. “I’m just happy I could do something to brighten their days.”

See more photos.

Faustino Pérez-Manglano

A Marianist Moment

By Bro. David Betz

Venerable Faustino Pérez-Manglano (Feast Day: March 3) – A Youth Who Prayed the Rosary

During a recent online reading group sponsored by the North American Center for Marianist Studies, the discussion dealt with the Spirit leading Jesus into the desert. The facilitator then asked the following question: Where is the Spirit leading you at this moment? I answered by saying that I have been drawn to praying the rosary during my walks. This answer may surprise several people because I have said that the rosary has not been one of my prayer practices over the years. It was not a prayer form that my family did while I was growing up. The repetitiveness of the rosary did not attract me. Therefore the rosary has not been a component of my Marianist life up to this point. But God is a God of surprises, and I am surprised as much as other people who may know me!

Read more.

In The News

St. Mary’s Appoints Two Marianists for Leadership Roles

On March 2, St. Mary’s University named Fr. John Thompson as Vice President for Mission; and Fr. William J. Meyer as Rector.

Both appointments begin June 1, but Fr. Thompson will delay transitioning to campus until July 1 as he finishes fulfilling his commitment as pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, which is adjacent to the University.

As called for in the St. Mary’s Bylaws, the appointments of the Vice President for Mission and the Rector are made in consultation with the Marianist Province of the United States and confirmed by the Board of Trustees.

“Because we have two outstanding professed Marianists with significant leadership experience, including in Marianist higher education, I and my colleagues are delighted that the Marianist Provincial Council and the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees have approved these appointments,” said President Thomas Mengler, J.D. “Father Thompson and Father Meyer will enable the University to continue its strong commitment to educating for formation in faith in significant new ways.” Read the announcement from St. Mary’s University.

Fr. Chris Wittmann Participates in an Anti-Death Penalty Legislation Press Conference

Last month, Fr. Chris Wittmann participated in the virtual press conference to launch a bipartisan death penalty abolition for the state of Ohio. “The press conference participants presented many of the injustices of the death penalty in Ohio- beyond the basic objection that execution is a violation of human dignity,” said Fr. Wittmann. Other participants in the group who are asking Ohio state legislators to pass a bill to eliminate the death penalty in Ohio included a death row exoneree, victim family members, and legislators.

Click here to view the entire video.

New Book Features Work by ALIVE Magazine Editor

Jan D. Dixon, editor of ALIVE Magazine, had seven poems included in a new book called WET: An Anthology of Water Poems and Prose, published by Sharehouse Press.

Thirty writers, all who live in the Southwestern part of the United States, were selected for this special edition. Each submitted their stories, poems, and prose about the subject of water, a scarce and sacred element in this high desert region of the country. This collection is the first in a series on the four elements: Water, Earth, Air and Fire.

All of the writers took off their journalism caps, set aside their writing day jobs, blogs and marketing and wrote from their hearts about “water as life.”

Half of the writers in this collection are Native American, and five languages are published in the book: Diné (Navajo), Haak’u/Acoma, Spanish, Mvskoke and English.

To order a copy or get more information about the book, email: [email protected]. Please put “Anthology Sharehouse Press” in the subject line.

Marianist Alumnus Completes Half Marathon Bear Crawl

The pandemic has led some people to do some extraordinary things. Some people took up new crafts or hobbies during quarantine. Some spent their time working on theirs gardens or reading. Tommie Le, a 2020 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis, was inspired to help people stay physically and mentally healthy during a challenging time. During last spring’s COVID quarantine, he developed a fitness program for himself to push others to stay in shape. He recently decided to ramp up his fitness efforts to help raise funds for the Thirst Project, which is focused on ending the global water crisis. He organized a fitness fundraiser on Saturday, February 27th, and challenged himself to complete a 13.1-mile “bear crawl” through St. Louis’ historic Forest Park. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the term bear crawl, it is an exercise that takes considerable core body strength and endurance. Most people struggle to bear crawl across a gym floor, much less the distance of a half marathon. Congratulations, Tommie, on an incredible feat for an important concern!

See more photos.

Click here for Tommie’s Instagram.

Marianist Ministries in Action

Scriptural Way of the Cross

As the season of Lent draws to a close, the JPIC ministry has put together a “Ways of the Cross” that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Click here to read and meditate on the readings.

St. Anthony School in Maui to Remain a Marianist-Sponsored School

Most Reverend Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu, confirmed that St. Anthony School, Wailuku, will continue to be a Marianist Sponsored school, even though the school and parish have been transferred to the Diocese of Honolulu. In a letter sent earlier this month, Bishop Silva wrote, “It is a consensus that the school has greatly benefitted from its Marianist Sponsorship. We are most grateful to you for offering us this possibility and we look forward to our continuing partnership at St. Anthony School.”

Pray With Us

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

Fr. Jim Mueller – Early Days

Fr. Jim Mueller – 2015

Fr. Jim Mueller, 86, died Mar. 15, 2021. Father Jim was a beloved teacher, chaplain, administrator and community director known for his warm, welcoming ways. He ministered for more than 20 years at schools in Japan and also taught and served as chaplain at schools across the United States. He particularly enjoyed ministering during summer camp sessions at Tecaboca, a Marianist camp and retreat center in Texas. He taught countless young boys how to fish, and he shared with them his love of the outdoors and the Blessed Mother.

Read his obituary.

See more photos.

Good to Know

The Spring 2021 Edition of ALIVE is Here!

Check out the latest issue of ALIVE magazine which includes stories about Bro. John Lemker and his photographic skills, Mary and those caught in the border crisis, and a 13-year girl in Illinois who raised funds for children at a Marianist school in Kenya. Read it now!

To receive your free subscription to the print edition of ALIVE, please send your name and mailing address to [email protected].

Art Among Us

The extraordinary artwork on the campus of the University of Dayton was highlighted in UD Magazine Spring 2021. The extensive collection includes many works by Marianists artists. Read the article.

Marianist Narrates Mozart’s “Bastien & Bastienne”

Bro. Gary Morris is currently playing the Narrator in the Hawaii Opera Theatre’s online production of Mozart’s “Bastien and Bastienne,” the one-act opera that Mozart wrote when he was only 12 years old. Not only does Bro. Gary speak the role of the narrator, but he does it with a sheepdog puppet, thus displaying his skill at puppetry as well.

For tickets to view the opera which is now streaming online, click here, or contact the HOT box office at [email protected].

National Director – Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA)

The Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA), a private association of the faithful in the Marianist tradition, comprised of lay Catholics formed in, committed to, and living the Marianist Charism, is seeking a national director. The ideal candidate in our search for this newly created position will share the passion for the mission and work of the Marianist Family formed by the vision of our Founders Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Blessed Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous.

This is an exciting time for the Marianist Family. We invite your discernment to join us in this collaborative and engaging work.  Learn more.

Stay in Touch

Newsletters

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 43 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
MLC-NA e-News from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Other Resources

Marianist Archives     

FamilyOnline Submissions

We welcome and encourage submissions of interest to our nearly 3,400 subscribers. Please send them to Bernadette McCaffrey Groner.

GET CONNECTED!

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.

Bro. John Lemker Uses His Gifts for Photography to Celebrate God’s Creation

Bro. John Lemker didn’t start his ministry with the Marianists as a photographer. In fact, it wasn’t until developing a geology course at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati in the early 1970s that he first picked up a camera and discovered the possibilities.

“I spent three consecutive summers in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah where I documented geological formations for the course,” he said. But while exploring these rugged landscapes, he also began noticing God’s grand design, both in the intricate details of a tranquil woodland marsh or the stunning turbulence of a frenetic mountain stream.

His photography took on new acclaim when two of his images were published in Sierra Club calendars in the 1980s.

Clearly, knowing when to hit the shutter button is part of his photographic gift. But he also has an eye for beauty and design.

“There’s an art to seeing,” he said. “When you look at nature, there comes a point when you see with your whole self, and your soul says, ‘that’s it.’”

Bro. John and his photography are featured in the Spring 2021 edition of ALIVE magazine which will be published in mid-March.

See more photos.

A Marianist Moment

By Bro. David Betz

Remembering Venerable Fr. Domingo Lázaro Castro, SM – Educator, Priest, Mentor, Formator

A part of my responsibilities as the Pacific Area Spiritual Advisor for the Marianist Affiliates, I am involved with the initial formation of candidates for Marianist Affiliation. Reading Marianist documents from our Marianist history is part of this process, and one of these documents is Blessed Chaminade’s “Letter to the Retreat Masters” of 1839. He wrote this letter on Aug. 24, 1839, to Georges Caillet, Jean Baptist Fontaine and Jules Cesar Perrodin who were charged to lead the annual retreats for the members of the Society of Mary and the Institute of Mary. Blessed Chaminade wrote it after he received a decree of praise for the Society and the Institute from Pope Gregory XVI in July 1839. Chaminade’s primary purpose for this letter was to let the retreat directors know how important it was to acknowledge the great work we do under the auspices of Mary and that our vow of stability calls us to persevere in this work, especially when we are called to “ do whatever He tells you.” Near the end of the letter, he stresses this great call in light of the special vow of teaching. (Note: The vow of teaching was dropped by the time the SM Constitutions were approved in July of 1891.)

Read more.

In The News

2021 Marianist Heritage Awards Recipients
2021 Marianist Heritage Awards Recipients

Marianist Heritage Awards

Last month, St. Mary’s University honored four individuals with the Marianist Heritage Award. The award, which has been given each year since 1981,  recognizes faithfulness to the University’s Marianist heritage. It is expressed by an interest in the 200-year development of the Marianist Charism through efforts at increasing knowledge and working for its implementation in the university community.  The award recognizes recipients for their support and promotion of the Catholic and Marianist educational mission and tradition at St. Mary’s.

Fr. Bill Meyer, associate vice president for Mission and Rector, and  Dr. Jessica González Uhlig, director of Marianist Educational Associates and President’s Ambassador Program, coordinated this year’s awards. St. Mary’s University President Tom Mengler presented the awards and recognized the recipients.

 

Congratulations to the 2021 Marianist Heritage Awards Recipients

David Sommer, Ph.D.
Professor, Greehey School of Business

Fred “Steve” Hemphill
Director of Development, University Advancement

Jeff Schomburg
Executive Director, Academic Technology Services

Alyssa Sarmiento
Student, Biochemistry Senior

Watch the 2021 Marianist Heritage Awards.

Watch Marianist Heritage Recipients Through the Years.

Marianist Ministries in Action

Margy Lisjak, Chair of MLC-NA

MLC-NA Introduces New Virtual Lay Formation Program

When the Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA) convened a group of Marianist laity and vowed religious in 2018 to envision a new model for Marianist Lay formation, they couldn’t have anticipated that a global pandemic would assist their efforts.

But one positive outcome of COVID-19 is that “people are now familiar with video conferencing, such as Zoom, and aren’t afraid to use it,” says Margy Lisjak, the new chair of MLC-NA.

MLC-NA is launching its new Virtual Lay Formation (VLF) program in March. “We didn’t want people to wait any longer to get started,” said Margy. “And the beauty of an online program is that it’s a cost-effective way to connect people in parts of the country who don’t have a local Marianist community nearby.”

MLC-NA leaders Abbey Saurine-Seitz, head of education, and LeeAnn Meyer, head of spirituality, with support from Bro. Stephen Glodek spearheaded the development of the VLF program which is taught by Marianist Brothers, Sisters, and Laity.

VLF runs from Mar. 23–June 29, with participants meeting every other Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. E.T.
MLC-NA envisions the VLF program as the first step in a larger Lay formation initiative.

For more information, please click here.

Bro. Bob Politi prepares the “Things Marianist” packets.

Celebrating Marianist Founders

This January, Marianist ministries throughout the United States celebrated Marianist Founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous.

One example: St. Francis de Sales Parish in Cincinnati celebrated the Marianist Founders and Marianist vocation in January at both the Sunday and Wednesday evening parish Masses.

The celebrations highlighted the works and inspiration of each founder on a particular day and included brief summaries in the parish bulletins. Also. a packet of NACMS publications was distributed at each Mass.

To access the January parish bulletins and the features about the founders and vocations, go to the St. Francis de Sales January parish bulletins on the website.  You can also find a link to attend a Sunday Mass on their site.

Thanks for sharing Bro. Ed Longbottom.

New Marianists Write Now!

NACMS is offering another Marianists Write Now! program on Mar. 12-13, 2021.

Marianists Write Now! is a structured opportunity for members of the Marianist Family to share written reflections about their experiences of the Marianist Charism. The topic for the March reflection is: “What does it mean for me to live a committed Marianist life?”

Write Now begins on Friday evening, Mar. 12, and continues through Saturday, Mar. 13. Although the program uses Zoom to gather for prayer, writing exercises and peer consultations, most of the time will be spent on personal reflection and writing.

Click here to register by Mar. 2, 2021.

FAQs

Click here to read the contributions from our first gathering.

Pray With Us

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

Bro. Jose Degorio – Undated

Bro. Jose Degorio – 2015

Bro. Jose Degorio, 82, died Feb. 15, 2021. Brother José served many years in administrative support positions in California and Hawaii, and also taught high school business courses, a role he greatly enjoyed. He will be remembered as a gentle, humble man with a cheerful heart.

Read his obituary.

See more photos.

Good to Know

Chaminade College Preparatory in St. Louis Launches Dual Credit Program

Premised on Blessed William Joseph Chaminade’s vision “new times, new methods,” Chaminade-St. Louis implemented the Pathway to Access College Early (PACE) program to provide students an opportunity to earn college credit while in high school. The PACE program has elevated Chaminade as a leader among dual credit programs in participating high schools locally, nationally and internationally while maintaining the integrity of the Five Characteristics of Marianist Education.

PACE enables students to complete and transfer up to two years of college coursework to universities upon graduation. Chaminade has recently reached an agreement with University of Dayton, which ensures the transfer and acceptance of 60 specific Chaminade dual college credits toward a degree. Historically, UD is one of the top three universities Chaminade students choose to attend.

The expansion of the PACE program is possible because of Chaminade’s partnership with three area universities: Missouri Baptist University, Saint Louis University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. These four-year institutions are accredited by the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Program and enable Chaminade to offer:

  • More than 100 dual credit courses through PACE
  • An opportunity for students to earn at least 60 college credits by graduation
  • Enrollment in college-level courses on the Chaminade campus
  • University adjunct instructor status for 50 Chaminade faculty to teach for the universities
  • Opportunities for Chaminade international resident students to enroll in American universities

National Director – Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA)

The Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA), a private association of the faithful in the Marianist tradition, comprised of lay Catholics formed in, committed to, and living the Marianist Charism, is seeking a national director. The ideal candidate in our search for this newly created position will share the passion for the mission and work of the Marianist Family formed by the vision of our Founders Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Blessed Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous.

This is an exciting time for the Marianist Family. We invite your discernment to join us in this collaborative and engaging work.  Learn more.

Marianist Vocations – Vocation Ministry Coordinator

The Marianist Province of the U.S. is searching for a Vocation Ministry coordinator. The Vocation Ministry coordinator will work with the National Vocation director to promote and foster a culture of vocations through a multifaceted approach which includes development and implementation of strategic marketing, advertising and communication. Learn more.

Stay in Touch

Newsletters

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 43 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
MLC-NA e-News from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Other Resources

Marianist Archives     

FamilyOnline Submissions

We welcome and encourage submissions of interest to our nearly 3,400 subscribers. Please send them to Bernadette McCaffrey Groner.

GET CONNECTED!

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.

New Year Blessings

As we begin this new year, we pray that the Lord will give us strength and wisdom. May we feel His luminous presence in our hearts each day as we begin our journey anew.

In the peace and joy of Christ,

Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial
Marianist Province of the United States

Marianists Announce Departure from St. Anthony’s Parish

On Jan. 16, the Marianists announced that the Society of Mary is withdrawing from St. Anthony’s Parish on the Hawaiian island of Maui, effective July 1, 2021. The departure results from multiple factors, including a declining and aging population of priests and brothers in the congregation. As part of the withdrawal, the Diocese of Honolulu will assume day-to-day operations of the parish and its spiritual community, with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This was a difficult decision that we didn’t take lightly, especially given the Marianist’s historic presence in Hawaii and our special relationship with the St. Anthony’s community,” said Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Marianist Provincial. “However, after reviewing all of our available resources, it was ultimately decided that the spiritual, physical and social needs of St. Anthony’s parishioners would be best served by the diocese moving forward, and we’re grateful for its support.”

Current Marianists assigned to the parish community include Pastor Fr. Roland Bunda, Associate Pastor Fr. Sylverius Kerketta, Pastoral Assistant Bro. Fred Silbereis, and in-residence Bro. Dave Quigley. In addition, Bro. Fank Gomes, who is a graduate of St. Anthony’s, resides on the island of Maui. All will be assigned to other Marianist communities. Although the withdrawal will result in no active Marianists serving the island of Maui, the society will still maintain a significant presence in the region, including Chaminade University of Honolulu and Saint Louis School. The Marianists will continue to provide ongoing support and resources to the existing Lay Marianist groups both on Oahu and Maui. Similarly, we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of St. Anthony’s School.

St. Anthony’s is a special community, with its roots on the island dating back more than 150 years. Founded by the Fathers of the Order of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1848, the parish has grown over the decades to include a diverse parish of more than 900 families, many ministries, a preschool, cemetery and the only Catholic high school on the island of Maui. Although the Marianists formally assumed leadership of St. Anthony’s Parish in 1976, the Society of Mary was already well known to the community, having founded the Wailuku School for Boys in 1883 at the invitation of the Sacred Hearts Fathers.

The Marianists are planning a parish farewell event on May 23, 2021, to honor the many brothers and priests who have served the parish there and to thank the St. Anthony Community for their collaboration and support.

Read the Press Release

Read the Announcement in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

Congratulations Fr. Renny Markose

The Province of the United States joins with the District of India in giving thanks for our newest Marianist priest. Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, ordained Deacon Renny Markose to the priesthood in Deepahalli, Bangalore, on January 23. The ordination ceremony took place outdoors with appropriate safety measures and with the assistance of all the communities on the Deepahalli campus.

About 200 family members, religious sisters, priests and the Marianist Brothers participated in the celebration. The ordination celebration ended with lunch and the participants congratulated and prayed for the newly ordained Fr. Renny. On Feb. 8, Fr. Renny will celebrate his first Mass in his home parish along with his family members.

See more photos.

Virtual Prayer Services at Villa Angela-St. Joseph Sustain Community During Pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic has kept students, faculty, staff and alumni at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland from in-person gatherings since last March, it has not dampened their enthusiasm for community.

As a Marianist-sponsored school, “We wondered: How can we bring our whole community together in prayer?” said Cheryl Stashinko, associate director of alumni relations.“

Cheryl, along with Brianna Wilson, campus ministry director, decided one way to support people was through a monthly Zoom prayer service. “We launched our first service, called “Forever Faith and Family,” in November,” said Brianna.

“The services enable us to open our Zoom doors to our community at large, even those who no longer live in Cleveland, and be in prayerful support of one another,” added Cheryl.

“It’s a difficult time for many, but in these prayer gatherings we can talk to God and share our concerns,” said Brianna.

The 30-minute gatherings average about 15 people and have attracted a diverse group including students, faculty, board members, alumni and Marianist friends.

Upcoming Forever Faith and Family prayer services are scheduled on Feb. 9, Mar, 9, April 13 and May 11, at 11 a.m. E.T.

To participate in a Forever Faith and Family prayer service, visit: https://vasj.com/alumniprayerseries.

A Marianist Moment

By Bro. David Betz

Blessed Chaminade and Blessed Adèle – Models of Faith and Perseverance

When I reflect on our two Blesseds, Chaminade and Adèle, faithfulness and perseverance are dominant themes that arise. They lived in the tumultuous time of the French Revolution and to survive they undoubtedly had to have much faith and perseverance. And so, I wonder where they got these attributes since they modeled them throughout their entire lives. Of course, family comes to mind. It was their families that instilled these characteristics. Since many of the institutions during the French Revolution were nonexistent, they had to depend on the people who were essential in their lives.

Read more.

In The News

On the left: Fr. Ralph Siefert, SM and on the right: Dr. Todd Guidry

Chaminade Names New Leadership

Congratulations to Fr. Ralph Siefert, (president, Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis) on the announcement of his retirement effective June 2022. And congratulations to Dr. Todd Guidry (Chaminade middle school principal) on his appointment as the school’s next president.

“The 2021-2022 school year will serve as a transition year with Fr. Ralph in the role of president and Dr. Guidry serving as executive vice president,” stated John F. Eilermann, chair of the Chaminade Board of Trustees. “This will allow for a seamless transition upon Fr. Ralph’s retirement in June 2022.”

Fr. Ralph Siefert has dedicated much of his life to Chaminade having first taught there in 1968 and then returning as president in 1987. In his announcement letter he wrote, “One of the greatest blessings of my life has been the opportunity to work and minister at Chaminade. More than half of my adult life has been spent as an active member of our school family, and I believe that I have been incredibly gifted to learn from students, faculty, staff and fellow administrators over the years about the importance and value of Catholic, Marianist education.”

Click here for full details on this announcement.

Brenden Piontek

Chaminade Student Receives MLK Model of Justice Award

On Sunday, Jan. 17, Chaminade College Preparatory sophomore Brenden Pionteck was one of 29 St. Louis Catholic teens honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Model of Justice Award. Also honored were, Elian Dominguez from St. John Vianney and Chris Garcia from St. Mary’s High School. Congratulations, to all!

Read the feature article on Brendon in the St. Louis Review.  (Download pdf.)

Marianist Ministries in Action

Filius Mariae Podcast Series Invites Listeners to Develop Their Interior Lives

When he was ordained last August, Fr. Brandon Paluch, priest in residence at Holy Rosary Parish in San Antonio, began experimenting with an idea. “At the advice of my friend, Dr. Chris Albanese, I started posting my homilies each Sunday as a podcast,” he said.

A few months later, Bro. Mark Motz recommended he take it a step further and record short meditations on the Scriptures for each day. The podcast series, called Filius Mariae — which means “the Son of Mary” — now features daily segments that run about five-to-eight minutes each, as well as the longer Sunday homilies.

“Part of my job as a priest is to preach the Gospel on a regular basis,” he said. But with COVID-19 limiting his contact with people, reaching out through an audio medium seemed like a good plan.

He credits Marianist Sr. Gabby Bibeau for providing him technical advice on how to produce a podcast based on her work at the North American Center for Marianist Studies.

And it was Crystal Sullivan, director of campus ministry at University of Dayton, who inspired him when she suggested that the pandemic offered an opportunity to help people develop their interior lives.

“My daily podcasts are a modest attempt to help people reflect on God’s word every day,” he said.

Visit Filius Mariae. Also available on Alexa, Apple, Google, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify and Stitcher.

Pray With Us

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

Bro. Don Geiger – Undated

Bro. Don Geiger – 2015

Bro. Don Geiger, 87, died Dec. 29, 2020. Bro. Don was a noted scientist, an environmentalist and a teacher for more than five decades. He founded the Marianist Environmental Education Center and was instrumental in the creation of other conservation organizations and programs.

Read his obituary.

See more photos.

Fr. Raymond Malley

Fr. Raymond Malley – 2015

Fr. Raymond Malley, 80, died Jan. 7, 2021. Fr. Ray was a teacher, school administrator and pastor who served in California, Washington and Hawaii. He will be remembered as a dedicated Marianist and a quiet, gentle priest whose humble leadership brought out the best among those he shepherded.

Read his obituary.

Read his obituary from the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

See more photos.

Good to Know

Marianists Grow in Formation

On the left: Jesus (Chucho) Alvarez, Peter Evans and Steve Kim make their commitment to the novitiate. On the right: Chicago Schuller formalized his commitment as an aspirant.

At an evening Eucharist on Sunday, Jan. 17, Jesus (Chucho) Alvarez, Peter Evans and Steve Kim made their commitment to the Marianist novitiate. Also this month, Chicago Schuller formalized his commitment as a Marianist aspirant in a ceremony at the Stonemill-Kiefarber Marianist Community in Dayton, Ohio. In addition, two Marianist aspirants Joseph Choi (Korea) and Guillermo (Memo) Peña Contreras (Mexico) arrived for the pre-aspirancy program at Casa Maria Community in San Antonio, Texas this month.

Are you called to become a Marianist? This is a great question to be asking yourself. The Marianists – members of the Society of Mary – are a joyful, prayerful community of men. We represent a wide range of ages and cultural backgrounds. We share a devotion to the Blessed Mother and a commitment to service. Learn more about Marianist Formation.

Our Lady of Pillar Parishioner Helps Name the St. Louis Review

In 1957, Our Lady of Pillar Parishioner Mary Gotwals was just 26 when she was one of four St. Louisans to name St. Louis’s Catholic Newspaper.

Read the story in the St. Louis Review. (Download pdf.)

Graduate Assistantships at University of Dayton

Share your faith ministering to college students while pursuing a Masters in Theology or Pastoral Ministry. Work alongside seasoned campus ministers and engage in holistic ministerial formation as you form your own ministerial identity and approach. Serve undergraduate students by journeying with them to cultivate faith, foster spiritual growth and form Christian leaders through spiritual mentoring and discipleship, leading small groups, facilitating retreats, planning worship, coordinating service and justice initiatives and more.

Positions for the upcoming year will be comprised of unique portfolios that include a combination of the following: Residence Life ministry, retreats, service and justice, and vocational discernment ministries. Tuition, stipend and housing are provided.

Click here for application and more information or contact Kelly Adamson, 937.229.2574.

Applications due Feb. 1.

Marianist Retreat & Conference Center – Executive Director

The Marianist Marianist Retreat & Conference Center, located in Eureka, Missouri, is searching for an executive director. This position will focus on the overall strategic direction, sustainability, and promotion of the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center (MRCC). In the spirit of the Three Offices of the Marianist Tradition, the executive director (Office of Temporalities) will serve in collaboration with the director of hospitality (Office of Hospitality), and the director of programs (Office of Education & Spiritual/Religious Life). Learn more.

Marianist Vocations – Vocation Ministry Coordinator

The Marianist Province of the U.S. is searching for a Vocation Ministry coordinator. The Vocation Ministry coordinator will work with the National Vocation director to promote and foster a culture of vocations through a multifaceted approach which includes development and implementation of strategic marketing, advertising and communication. Learn more.

President of School – Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School

Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska, is searching for a new president beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. Gross Catholic is “a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through educational excellence in the Marianist tradition.” To learn more about this position and the application process, please click here.

Stay in Touch

Newsletters

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 42 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
MLC-NA e-News from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

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The Society of Mary (Marianists,) an international congregation of Catholic priests and brothers, announced today that it is withdrawing from St. Anthony’s Parish on the Hawaiian island of Maui, effective July 1, 2021. The departure results from multiple factors, including a declining and aging population of priests and brothers in the congregation. As part of the withdrawal, the Diocese of Honolulu will assume day-to-day operations of the parish and its spiritual community, with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This was a difficult decision that we didn’t take lightly, especially given the Marianist’s historic presence in Hawaii and special relationship with the St. Anthony’s community,” said Father Oscar Vasquez, SM, Marianist provincial. “However, after reviewing all of our available resources, it was ultimately decided that the spiritual, physical and social needs of St. Anthony’s parishioners would be best served by the diocese moving forward, and we’re grateful for its support.”

Current Marianists assigned to the parish community include Pastor Rev. Roland Bunda, SM, Associate Pastor Rev. Sylverius Kerketta, SM, Pastoral Assistant Bro. Fred Silbereis, SM, and in residence Bro. Dave Quigley, SM. All will be assigned to other duties. Although the withdrawal will result in no active Marianists serving the island of Maui, the society will still maintain a significant presence in the region, including Chaminade University of Honolulu and Saint Louis School. The Marianists will continue to provide ongoing support and resources to the existing Lay Marianist groups both on Oahu and Maui. Similarly, we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of St. Anthony’s school.

St. Anthony’s is a special community, with its roots on the island dating back more than 150 years. Founded by the Fathers of the Order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1848, the parish has grown over the decades to include a diverse parish of more than 900 families, many focused ministries, a preschool, cemetery and the only Catholic High School on the island of Maui. Although the Marianists formally assumed leadership of St. Anthony’s Parish in 1976, the order was already well known to the community, having founded the Wailuku School for Boys in 1883 at the invitation of the Sacred Heart’s Fathers.

The Marianists are planning a parish farewell event on May 23, 2021 to honor the many brothers and priests who have served the parish there and to thank the St. Anthony Community for their collaboration and support.

Bro. Allen Pacquing Professes Perpetual Vows

Bro. Allen Agpaoa Pacquing professed perpetual vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) on Oct. 3, 2020, at Guadalupe Chapel on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Fr. Oscar Vasquez, provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States, presided at the Eucharist and received the vows. Fr. Tim Kenney, assistant for religious life, concelebrated and presented Bro. Allen for the Rite of Religious Profession.

Due to precautions taken in light of the coronavirus pandemic, physical attendance of the celebration was limited to 45 friends and members of the Marianist community donning masks and socially distanced. However, the vow ceremony was livestreamed so that Marianist family members and friends from throughout the world were able to virtually witness the celebration.

Bro. Allen Pacquing, 50, was born to a religious, Filipino-American family and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He earned an MA in Pastoral Ministry from Santa Clara University in California, in 2003. In 2013, Allen asked himself, “Who would have guessed that I would enter the novitiate at this stage in my life? Certainly not me, but God had other plans. I just needed to listen and to be open to His call.”

After professing his first vows in Dayton, Ohio on May 23, 2015, Bro. Allen was assigned to Chaminade University of Honolulu as the Minister for Liturgy and Worship. He then transitioned to be the Coordinator of the Tutoring Center and Testing Services. In 2017, Bro Allen was promoted to Director of Campus Ministry.

With Bro. Allen’s expertise in student life and pastoral care, he was asked to be the Chaplain for Student Development at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas in 2019.  Living at the Holy Rosary Marianist Community, Bro. Allen continues to learn the culture and history of San Antonio and how our Marianist influence shaped the local community. With his knowledge and willingness to serve in the Division of Student Development, he accepted the position as the associate director of Community Engagement, Marianist Student Initiatives at St. Mary’s University.

Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Bro. Allen Pacquing and Fr. Tim Kenney | Photo Credit: Robin Jerstad
Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Bro. Allen Pacquing and Fr. Tim Kenney | Photo Credit: Robin Jerstad

Please click here to view/download the Liturgy/Profession of Perpetual Vows Order of Worship.

Please click here to view more photos for Bro. Allen Pacquing’s perpetual vows.

Please click here to view the beautiful reception videos for Bro. Allen Pacquing’s perpetual vows.

Thank you for remembering Brother Allen A. Pacquing, S.M. in your prayers.

SOCIETY OF MARY CELEBRATES TWO ORDINATIONS

On Aug. 22, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, the Marianist Province of the United States celebrated the ordinations of Fr. Michael Chiuri, S.M., and Fr. Brandon Paluch, S.M., during a Mass at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish in St. Louis.

Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, bishop of the Diocese of Orange, California, presided at the Mass and gave the homily. Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States, and Fr. Timothy Kenney, served as the principal concelebrants.

Due to precautions taken in light of the coronavirus pandemic, physical attendance of the celebration was limited to 75 family members, friends and members of the Marianist community donning masks and socially distanced. However, the Ordination was livestreamed so that more than a thousand Marianist family members and friends from throughout the world were able to virtually witness the celebration.


Fr. Mike Chiuri, 42, was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in commerce and business administration at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in 1997 and worked as a consultant for the African Economic Research Consortium.  Read more.


Fr. Brandon Paluch, 37, was born in Green Bay, Wis., and raised in suburban Chicago. After earning his bachelor’s degree in religious studies and history at the University of Dayton in 2006, he served in Loyola Marymount University’s PLACE Corps through which he earned a master’s degree in education. Read more.

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Marianist Province Condemns Racism

In the wake of the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd and the protests it has sparked in communities throughout the United States, the Marianist Province of the United States is calling for prayers and commitment to actions that eliminate the sin of systemic racism.

The Marianist Province of the United States stands with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) in publicly condemning racism and the use of excessive force in law enforcement, and we call for reforms to policies and practices that have oppressed Black Americans. We also pray for an end to violence and for a path forward that leads to true change. Read the statement released by CMSM.