Table of Life & Faith
The hope is you retain the grace of gratitude long after the Thanksgiving leftovers are gobbled and gone. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. The hustle and bustle of the upcoming Christmas season with elves on shelves can challenge the patience of many parents; in contrast, the silent nights of those missing loved ones can leave them struggling in perceived solitude.
To compound matters, today’s society seems wrought with division fueled by social media – political persuasion, religious affiliation, thoughts on immigration, and the list goes on. Gratitude can become so forgotten that simply serving canned, not fresh, cranberries can lead to an argument.
But what if you set the table with the intention to feed your soul as well as your body? Setting the Marianist Table is a process that, through symbolism, helps transform an ordinary task into a spiritual opportunity.
“It gives us a chance to step out of our busy lives and enter into a gentle, reflective mindset. Each symbol has meaning, and it’s nice to see the everyday items of our lives given a symbolic purpose. After experiencing the Table Setting, I hope parents and children gather around to discuss what is on the table that reminds them of the Marianist Family. I think the ceremony represents the Marianist Family quite well, and the concept easily transfers into other cultures, too,” said Bro. Michael Sullivan, who helped create a video of the experience.
What exactly is this special table setting? It is the mindfulness of what a centerpiece, silverware, plates, even napkins and condiments bring to the table. Each item can hold different meanings for individuals; the key is slowing down to reflect on their significance. “I find the ceremony to be a calming event that helps relieve some anxiety while inspiring hope and instilling a sense of peacefulness,” explained Bro. Michael.
“I have seen people be very touched by the experience in the moment and have come away with a deeper understanding of the Marianist way,” added George Lisjak, Director of the North American Center for Marianist Studies (NACMS).
The Marianist Mission created a booklet to walk you through the steps. NACMS also offers resources and talking points on this topic, which Lisjak reports are some of their most requested, distributing about 100 copies a year.
The aim is to make family spirit the distinctive mark of Marianist communities, growing in the characteristics of Mary, particularly her faith, humility, simplicity, and hospitality. “Family spirit is reflected in hospitality, but it goes beyond polite social norms to say, ‘You are welcome. You are appreciated. You belong here.’ Everyone can benefit from feeling valued and from genuinely recognizing the value of others. Setting a Marianist Table conveys these deeper meanings,” stated Lisak.
In The News
Congratulations, Fr. José Luis!
Fr. José Luis González Molina was ordained during Mass at Parroquia San Francisco Galileo in El Pueblito, Querétaro, Mexico, on Nov. 18, 2023.
Family, friends, and members of the Marianist community attended the ordination Mass, including the following from the Marianist Province of the U.S., Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial, Assistant Provincial of the Office of Religious Life Fr. Tim Kenney, and Chaplain of Comunidad Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Fr. Quentin Hakenewerth, along with Bros. Larry McBride, Francisco Gonzalez, Paco Gomes, Ed Longbottom and Fr. James Schimelpfening.
At the end of the Holy Mass, Fr. Jose Luis told the congregation, “I am thankful to God for the gift of life, my parents for the gift of faith, the vowed Marianists for welcoming me and helping me grow and to the Marianist Family for the love and support these many years.” He also said he’s looking forward to learning and living what it means to be a Marianist priest.
Queen of Apostles Parish Last Mass
From a Marianist community of student brothers that was always open to visitors for Sunday Eucharist, the Queen of Apostles Community in Dayton, OH, emerged as a non-territorial parish on Aug. 28, 1973. After 50 years of celebrating Sunday Mass, the parish will close due to a lack of personnel.
As a Province, we are proud of the Lay Community that has emerged. Throughout these 50 years, Marianist priests and brothers, along with enthusiastic lay persons, have touched thousands of lives not only through the Sunday Masses but through many baptisms, first communions, and weddings which has fostered a vibrant community. A Mass of Completion will take place on December 17 with the vowed Marianists, and a closing Mass will take place on Dec. 31, 2023.
Fr. Chaminade taught that “new methods for new times” are needed, and some of the people of the Queen of Apostles parish will create a new Marianist Lay Community to be formally established and operational in Jan. 2024.
Honoring Our Veterans
St. Mary’s University and University of Dayton saluted veterans in special ways for Veterans Day. It’s a day to honor the patriotism, service, and sacrifice of the men and women who are serving or have served in the U.S. military. The holiday is rooted in history. It was on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918 — that the cease-fire agreement took effect ending World War I.
At University of Dayton (UD), Fr. John Klobuka presided at a Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception to honor all U.S. military veterans, especially those who are UD alumni and Marianist Brothers. Of the 24 known veterans buried on the UD campus or at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, some served as chaplains, while others served before becoming Marianists or were drafted. They were not just faithful to God; they were faithful to the nation and served in defense of the Constitution and for a free world. Click here for a video recording of the Mass.
ROTC cadets at St. Mary’s University, as seen in the pictures, held an outside wreath-laying ceremony honoring those dedicated to serving our nation, with Fr. James Tobin giving his thanks to a special veteran. The Rattler Battalion Color Guard participated in five Veteran’s Day ceremonies.
Pep Band Awarded Stan Musial Award on CBS
The University of Dayton Flyer Pep Band was honored as a 2023 Stan Musial Award recipient in a ceremony Nov. 18 at Stifel Theatre in St. Louis, MO. It will be nationally broadcast Sunday, Dec. 24, on CBS.
Named for Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial, the Musial Awards recognize the year’s greatest moments of sportsmanship and those in sports who embody class and character. The Flyer Pep Band was selected for their actions during the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, when they stepped in to play for Fairleigh Dickinson University.
“You can be recognized for being an outstanding musical ensemble or player, but there are very few acknowledgements of a person or organization’s character,” said Willie Morris, director of the Flyer Pep Band.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Radiate Joy – Inspire Youth
William Joseph Chaminade, Founder of the Marianist Family, was beatified by St. John Paul II on Sept. 3, 2000.
In his beatification homily, the Pope cited Chaminade’s “innovative” ways of attracting those especially far from the Church.
It is worth quoting the following paragraph from the Pope’s beatification homily.
“Father Chaminade’s love for Christ, in keeping with the French School of Spirituality, spurred him to pursue his tireless work by founding spiritual families in a troubled period of France’s religious history. His filial attachment to Mary maintained his inner peace on all occasions, helping him to do Christ’s will. His concern for human, moral, and religious education calls the entire Church to renew her attention to young people, who need both teachers and witnesses in order to turn to the Lord and take their part in the Church’s mission.”
The hope is to reach young adults through Campus Ministry, Marianist educators, vocations, conversations, and role models in the Lay Marianist community. It is a privileged priority for the Marianist Family.
Fr. James Heft, author of Empty Churches: Non-Affiliation in America, encourages Catholic communities to foster spiritual experiences that go beyond abstract ideas. In a speech on this topic last year, he noted, “Some of you worry yourselves to death about your grandchildren, whether they’ve been baptized. I would say don’t be so worried, but radiate some joy and some beauty. That’s going to draw them more than anything else.”
Want to invite someone into the Marianist Family?
Marianist Spirit is an online introduction to the Marianist Family, the experience of Marianist Lay communities, spirituality, and mission in the Church and world. No experience is necessary. Sessions are every other Tuesday from 6-7:15 p.m. CT beginning Jan. 9 until April 30, 2024. Visit mlcna.org/spirit to learn more and sign up.
From the Archives
Marianist Artist Rediscovered
Bro. Aloysius Kreipl was born Aug. 25, 1883, in Schindlau, Bohemia (Czech Republic), and died Dec 2, 1960, in Marcy, NY, at 78. He taught drawing at Marianist schools and wrote nature and devotional poems, creating many works of art now at the National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States.
The religious life of Bro. Aloysius took him to Ohio, Texas, California, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, with his work reflecting his travels.
Pray With Us
Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.
Good to Know
The University of Dayton’s annual Christmas exhibit explores the plants and animals that artists use in Nativity scenes when telling the story of Jesus’ birth.
“We invite the community to see how Christmas connects to the natural world in which Christ was born with highlights in our collection that show Nativity sets made with gourds, mother-of-pearl, beeswax and more,” said Kayla Harris, Marian Library director.
The free exhibit is open in Roesch Library until Jan. 12, 2024. More information is available online at go.udayton.edu/christmas-exhibit.
New this year, audio tours are available for each gallery. Family-friendly interactive stations also allow visitors to create a poinsettia ornament and decorate a Nativity scene Christmas card with animals of their choice.
Applications Being Accepted
The Marian Library and the International Marian Research Institute at University of Dayton are accepting applications for short-term fellowships to support research and artistic creation using collection and expertise from the organizations. Applications for a visiting scholar fellowship and graduate student fellowship are open through Jan. 15, 2024. More information is available online. The program is supported in part by a gift from the Marianist Province of the United States.
ALIVE Magazine – Fall Edition
The new fall edition of ALIVE magazine is now available.
Inside, you will find stories like how faithful donor Mary Kay Fitzpatrick has stitched together a lifetime of service to the Marianist Charism and how a school, closed for more than 50 years, continues to benefit a Marianist high school.
Click here to read those stories and more in the digital version.
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 #74 from the Marianist District of India
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