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Volume 15, Number 5

May 5, 2016


Adèle de Trenquelléon

Adèle de Trenquelléon

On May 25, 1816, in the town of Agen, France, a young woman of aristocratic birth consecrated her life to the Blessed Virgin in a new and powerful way.

On that day 200 years ago, Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon established the Filles de Marie Immaculée, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, whom we know as the Marianist Sisters.

Adèle felt called to religious life at an early age. Through a fortuitous series of circumstances, Adèle came into contact with a priest named William Joseph Chaminade.

Adèle and Chaminade were kindred spirits. Both had dedicated their lives to God and their talents to rebuilding the Church in France in the wake of the revolution.

With the support of Fr. Chaminade and in the company of Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous and a small group of women, Adèle initiated this new community to carry out the “mission of Mary.”

Today, Marianist Sisters minister in 14 countries across the globe. They serve in education, pastoral ministry, retreat leadership and social justice, touching the lives of thousands of God’s children every day.

The Marianist Sisters first came to the United States in 1948. Marie Abmayr was the first U.S.-born sister. She is shown taking vows as a postulant in 1949. Fr. William Lamm, SM, received her vows. Today, Sr. Marie lives in Dayton.

The Marianist Sisters first came to the United States in 1948. Marie Abmayr was the first U.S.-born sister; she is shown entering the postulate in 1949. Sr. Marie now lives in Dayton, where she is active with the Nazareth Marianist Lay Community.

Among the Marianist Sisters in the U.S. today are Caitlin Cipollah-McCulloch (novice), Laura Leming, Grace Walle, Gabrielle Bibeau (novice) and Nicole Trahan. These sisters minister in San Antonio and Dayton.

On May 15, the Marianist Family begins an official, worldwide celebration of the bicentennials of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary.
The celebration runs through Jan. 22, 2018, and encompasses a variety of events. Read a letter from U.S. Provincials Sr. Evangeline Escobar and Fr. Martin Solma announcing the commemoration.


India first profession 5-16

The newly professed brothers (in blue shirts) include Bros. George Soreng, Issac Minj, Kuldeep Kujur, Livens Peter Xalxo, Mathew Mullangi, Naiman Kerketta and Victor Xalxo.

“Even before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”
Seven members of the novitiate class in India chose this passage from Jeremiah as the theme for their profession of first vows. The ceremony took place May 1 at the Marianist Novitiate in Ranchi. Bro. Augustus Surin received the vows, Fr. Sudhir Kujur presided at the Eucharist and Fr. James Dungdung gave the homily. Congratulations and blessings to these young men! Please keep them in your prayers.
Sr. Evangeline Escobar
Sr. Evangeline Escobar is the provincial of the Marianist Sisters in the United States.
How will the sisters be celebrating the bicentennial? Evangeline Escobar fol
In San Antonio, we will celebrate our 200th anniversary on Sunday, May 15, the same day as the congregational celebration in Agen (France).
We’ll gather with family and friends at Assumption Chapel at St. Mary’s University for a triune celebration of Pentecost Sunday, the bicentennial, and Sr. Stephanie Morales’ 60th anniversary as a Marianist religious.
We will give thanks for all the blessings God has bestowed on us.
Do you miss wearing a habit?
I do not miss wearing a habit. Living in San Antonio for most of my religious life, I welcomed not having to wear the layers of material. There were some advantages though: I didn’t have to worry about what to wear and having to fix my hair every day. It’s interesting that people often still recognize me as a religious anyway.
If you could tell young women today one thing about religious life, what would it be?
It is such a wonderful life! God gives us so much more than we can ever return.  If you feel inclined to answer his call, do not be afraid. He will give you the graces you need to follow him.

Members of the Hearts on Fire Marianist Lay Community joined Fr. Rich to celebrate his 88th birthday.Community members include, from left, Phil Forte, Jack Bonney, June Bonney, Bill Bauman, Fr. Richard Kuhn, Tina Bauman, Paul Schirmer, Carol Wellman, Elaine Hughes and Lisa Hackett.

Members of the Hearts on Fire Marianist Lay Community joined Fr. Rich to celebrate his 88th birthday.Community members include, from left, Phil Forte, Jack Bonney, June Bonney, Bill Bauman, Fr. Richard Kuhn, Tina Bauman, Paul Schirmer, Carol Wellman, Elaine Hughes and Lisa Hackett. Photo courtesy of Bob Bauman

Nearly 30 years ago people began calling Fr. Rich Kuhn “Papa Smurf.”
“I took it as a compliment,” he said with a chuckle, still sporting a white beard that helped him earn the affectionate designation.
Papa Smurf, the cartoon character, is known as the wise village elder. “That’s how my children – and most people – see him,” said Tina Bauman, who first met Fr. Rich at the Marianist Family Retreat Center in New Jersey. “He is the most nonjudgmental person our family has ever known.”
On April 3, 115 friends and members of the Society of Mary gathered in Baltimore to celebrate Fr. Rich’s 70th year of religious profession and his 88th birthday. Members of the Hearts on Fire Marianist Lay Community, which Tina and Fr. Rich launched in 2008, were there to mark the occasion.
Still full of energy, Fr. Rich drives himself once a week to join the Lay Community, a central feature of his faith life. “This community challenges me to grow, and I try to do the same for them,” he said.
“Our Hearts community is like family,” added Tina. “We have gone through a lot together. It’s wonderful to have Fr. Rich as part of our group and a companion on our spiritual journey.”
Jub head
Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes the brothers and priests who are celebrating milestones of their first profession of vows or of their priestly ordination. This is the first group of 2016 jubilarians we honor as a special section of FamilyOnline.
Cada Larry fol BRO. LAWRENCE CADA – 60 years of profession
“My hometown is Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from Cathedral Latin School in 1955, I went to the novitiate in Marcy, New York, where I made my first vows on Sept. 8, 1956. As a scholastic in Dayton, I majored in mathematics, and completed graduate studies in mathematics and philosophy at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and Fordham University in New York City. Read more.
Damm Frank fol BRO. FRANK DAMM – 60 years of profession
Being a Marianist has given my life direction and purpose. It has also given me opportunities that I could not have imagined. Each assignment has involved challenges and support that increased the sense of purpose. Almost by accident, it has introduced me to a variety of approaches to God. Besides the French School, I have met the mystics, the integrity of creation and the Eastern religions. Read more.
Leies John fol FR. JOHN LEIES – 60 years of ordination
As a Marianist, I have been able to work with many dedicated people (priests, religious, lay), young and old. I have been called to engage in teaching, counseling, administration and various forms of sacramental ministries. While not totally aware of what my work has accomplished, I have felt that it has contributed, through the grace of God, to the growth of the Church. Read more.
Marianist Portraits 11-4-15 FR. PAUL REICH – 70 years of profession
I came into the world on Dec. 15, 1928, the second of three children, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When my Catholic grade school education was complete, I enrolled at a brand-new high school — North Catholic High School — staffed by members of the Marianist order. I already had become familiar with the names Marianists and Fr. Chaminade, since two of my uncles were members. Read more.
Marianists have celebrated jubilees in Honolulu, St. Louis and San Antonio in recent weeks. See photos!
To celebrate the bicentennials of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist sisters) and the Society of Mary (Marianist brothers and priests), FamilyOnline is featuring occasional peeks into the past.
Sr Marcia Buchard SATX 1966
At the Marianist Sisters’ convent in San Antonio, Sr. Marcia Buchard keeps a gaggle of preschoolers entertained in this 1966 photo. Sr. Marcia currently is director of Annunciation House in Dayton.


Chuiri Michael fol Paluch Brandon fol Bros. Michael Chiuri (left) and Brandon Paluch have been approved to profess perpetual vows in the Society of Mary. Their vow ceremony will be Sept. 24 at Our Lady of the Pillar Church in St. Louis. Next year, both brothers will be pursuing studies in preparation for eventual entrance into the Marianist seminary in Rome.
Jablonski Leanne fol Sr. Leanne Jablonski was among a coalition of church leaders and environmentalists who rallied outside the Ohio Statehouse on April 20 to call on lawmakers to end a freeze on clean-energy standards. The freeze has discouraged investment in clean energy and allowed ongoing air pollution at unacceptable levels, according to the coalition. Sr. Leanne is director of the Marianist Environmental Education Center. Read more.
Tim Kenney fol Fr. Tim Kenney recently returned from leading an 11-day pilgrimage to Scotland and Ireland. The trip, sponsored by the Marianist Mission, included stops in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Limerick, Dublin and more. Including Fr. Tim, the tour group numbered 20. See photos.
Joseph Nugent fol Joseph Nugent will enter the Marianist novitiate. Joseph, 28, completed aspirancy in San Antonio in 2014. He recently earned a master’s degree in theological studies at the Oblate School of Theology. He is a Canadian from Winnipeg, and first met the Marianists there. He will enter the novitiate in Dayton this summer.
Quiroz Justin fol Justine Quiroz has completed the novitiate and will profess first vows in the Society of Mary on May 21 at Queen of Apostles Community in Dayton. Justin, 25, is a Houston native and a 2013 graduate of St. Mary’s University, where he was part of the Marianist Leadership Program. He has bachelor’s degrees in theology and English.

Members of the Visitation State Community met for a retreat in April at Holy Spirit Retreat Center in Encino, California. Thanks to Tony Garascia for sharing the group photo.



Students from St.Mary's University discuss business skills with students of Marianist vocational programs in Bangalore.

Students from St.Mary’s University discuss business skills with students of Marianist vocational programs in Bangalore, India. All photos by Jennifer Lloyd.

It began, as all important endeavors should, with a prayer. This one especially for travelers.
What followed for a cohort from St. Mary’s University was an atypical spring break trip to connect personally with some of those served by Marianist ministries in India.
The group’s special mission was to meet in person with young people — most of them high school dropouts — with whom they have been corresponding and meeting online.
While on location in Bangalore, the St. Mary’s students offered instruction in business model development, networking and even how to use a business card. The goal of the program is to encourage the at-risk Indian youth to gain skills that will lead to long-term, self-sustaining employment.
In addition to meeting those they have been mentoring, the St. Mary’s students toured other Marianist ministries, including several REDS Centers.
The group included two professors, 10 students and Fr. Jim Tobin. Most of the group’s student members are part of the St. Mary’s chapter of Enactus, a national organization for business students dedicated to  using entrepreneurial skills to improve the world. Learn more about the trip by reading this blog by attendee Jennifer Lloyd.

St. Mary’s University student Priya Bhakta makes new friends at a Marianist REDS play school.

St. Mary’s University student Priya Bhakta makes new friends at a Marianist REDS play school.

In the slums of Bangalore, St. Mary’s University student Gisell Orozco reads a book to children sitting on the streets .

In the slums of Bangalore, St. Mary’s University student Gisell Orozco reads a book to children.


Kate Beskid, Bro. Adam Bacerra, fsp, and Annette Damien with 7th grade SHINE students Skylar Tackac and Brendan Teehan.

Kate Beskid, Bro. Adam Becerra, fsp, and Annette Damien with 7th grade SHINE students Skylar Tackac and Brendan Teehan. Bro. Adam is director of mission and ministry at Chaminade. Jan Dixon photo

During lunch one day near Chaminade College Preparatory middle school in Chatsworth, California, Kate Beskid and Annette Damien hatched a plan.

Both women, who are on the faculty at the school, had participated in the Marianist LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) program during high school and Kate later served as a LIFE moderator. They knew the positive impact of LIFE on the budding faith lives of adolescents, but there was nothing comparable for middle schoolers.

“That’s when we came up with ‘SHINE’ – Students Help Inspire New Experiences,” said Kate, who is now campus minister and co-moderator of SHINE with Annette. That was nine years ago.

Every year since, SHINE has selected around 25 seventh and eighth graders to serve as leaders in campus ministry. The students do everything: write, plan and conduct worship services, lead daily prayer and oversee Marianist faith-sharing communities. “These kids are empowered,” said Kate. “They own SHINE.”

“The program has transformed the way liturgy is embraced by our students,” said Annette. “They come up with the creative ideas. We serve as sounding boards.”

“The best part,” said Kate, “is watching them blossom into servant leaders.”

Twenty high-achieving students from Our Lady of Nazareth School in Nairobi, Kenya, earned a special privilege last month. As part of an anniversary promotion, Jambojet Airlines gave the group a free round-trip flight to the coastal city of Mombasa for a one-day tour of historical and educational sites.
Our Lady of Nazareth is a Marianist school located in the Mukuru slum. The school offers students an opportunity to rise above the dire poverty of their birth. And for this hard-working group, the opportunity to fly — literally.

"I have never traveled by airplane, so I am very excited," said this OLN student interviewed before her first flight.

“I have never traveled by airplane, so I am very excited,” said this OLN student, who was interviewed before her first flight.

Watch this video produced by Jambojet chronicling the OLN students’ flight.




Backherms bw


Marianist Portraits 11-4-15


Fr. Robert Backherms, 88, died April 18, 2016, with 69 years of Marianist life. Fr. Bob was a high school teacher, retreat leader and administrator. He is remembered for his playfulness and his joyful, generous spirit. Read a remembrance of Fr. Bob. Read his obituary. See more photos.
Recent deaths of Marianist Family members and friends.
Those in need of prayers for healing.
Obituaries of Marianist brothers and priests (U.S. Province) since 2007.
“You no longer belong to yourself but to God, to the Blessed Virgin, to religion. Follow without fear, follow with joy what such masters ask of you!”
From a letter to Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, 1824




Dayton-area friends are invited to take part in a morning of service at the Mission of Mary Cooperative. The event begins at 9 a.m. at the urban farm, 619 Silver Lane. Work will wrap up around noon with a potluck and prayer service in the afternoon. Learn more.

The Marianist Social Justice Collaborative is hosting a retreat Aug. 5-7 at the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center outside St. Louis. 
The event is open to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, as well as their families, friends, allies and those who — as Pope Francis has asked — are committed to ensuring all feel welcomed. Fr. Paul Morrisey, OSA, will lead the retreat. Read more.


Feast days May 12: Mary, Mother of All Graces and Mediatrix
May 25: Mary, Help of Christians
May 31: Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Bro. Phil Aaron
Srs. Gabrielle Bibeau and Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch
Fr. Mike Nartker
Fr. John Thompson
Susan Vogt

Bro. Brian Zampier


Gifts & Tasks from the International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities
InFormation from the International Center for Marianist Formation

Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
MLNNA eNews from the Marianist Lay Network of North America
Via Latina from the Marianist General Administration



MarDoxology fol1

FamilyOnline production schedule

Editor: Carol Dexter; assistant: Ann Mueller. This monthly email newsletter produced by the Society of Mary features news about the Marianist Family: Marianist brothers and priests (Society of Mary), Marianist Sisters; and Lay Marianists. Fr. Martin Solma, SM, provincial; Bro. Joe Kamis, SM, assistant provincial. Send news, digital photos and comments and suggestions to editor Carol Dexter using FamilyOnline as your subject line.


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