Lights, Camera, Action at St. Mary’s University
Amazon Prime Debut August 31
When the Admission and Communications departments at St. Mary’s University heard about The College Tour, an Amazon Prime series that spotlights colleges and universities around the country through the words of students, they spun into action and contacted the show’s producers.
“We were thrilled when the Emmy-nominated and multi-award-winning producers agreed to feature St. Mary’s,” said Gina Farrell, associate executive director for University Communications.
Created and hosted by Alex Boylan, the show is designed to give potential students more insight into different campuses and universities around the country without the costly expenditures of traveling to each campus. “It’s expensive to go look at schools,” said Boylan, whose television career soared after winning season two of The Amazing Race. “The average cost for a family to go outside their general vicinity to look at colleges is about $2,500.”
In February, the production crew arrived at St. Mary’s to begin filming the
episode. But that put St. Mary’s staff in a bind. To meet the production deadlines, the University had to do the casting call between the Fall and Spring semesters when no students were on campus.
“We were thrilled when 37 students submitted outstanding video auditions,” said Gina. “We ended up with nine students in the final project. They were all amazing!”
While the students each highlighted personal experiences, viewers will notice the common threads of community and Marianist charism rooted in every story.
The St. Mary’s episode premieres on August 31 on Amazon Prime. The school is planning a campus watch party. “I’m glad many of our students will be back on campus and able to join us,” said Gina.
In The News
First Spanish-Speaking Marianist Lay Community in the U.S.
Four Spanish-speaking families made their consecration to Mary on July 24, 2022, at the Cape May Marianist Family Retreat Center (MFRC).
Fr. Dave McGuigan, Bro. Stan Zubek and Bro. Esteban Reyes, accompanied these families since the beginning of the year, giving the basic formation of a Marianist lay community. Anthony Fucci, Jessica Sherwen and the entire MFRC team provided support and hospitality to these families and Bro. Edward Longbottom was part of the lay formation team via zoom.
Thanks to brothers in Mexico who sent formation books and to the Provincial Office of Religious Life that supplied medals given to the families at the time of their consecration.
The Hispanic families are from Bridgeton, a small town about an hour northwest of Cape May, New Jersey. There are 13 members in this new Marianist lay community, including the children. Click here to see video of the consecration.
New Award to Recognize Catholic Teachers in Ohio
University of Dayton’s Center for Catholic Education launches a new award, Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith), to recognize an outstanding Ohio Catholic school teacher.
“We well know the vital importance that Catholic teachers serve in our statewide mission and want to thank them for their unwavering devotion to continued access to high-quality Catholic education across our state,” said Ali Carr-Chellman, Dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences.
The first state-level award for Ohio Catholic school teachers, Lumen Fidei, includes a $1,000 award. It recognizes a full-time licensed teacher who has served at least five years in an Ohio Catholic school, with innovative teaching practices, enthusiasm for their subject matter, and evidence they work to create a classroom environment where Catholic Social Teaching is practiced and lived, especially regarding equity and inclusion. Click here for further criteria and the nomination form.
Launch of National Charter for Regional Councils
Marianists pride themselves on the notion of collaboration among all the branches of the Marianist family – men and women, Sisters, Brothers and Priests, religious and lay. All branches of the Marianist Family are dedicated to achieving a common mission through national and regional Marianist Family Councils.
After four years of collaboration between the Marianist Family Council of North America (MFC-NA), and members of the Regional Marianist Family Councils (RMFC) in North America, with the help of Bro. Jack Ventura, elements for a National Charter of RMFC have come together.
Approval was given to the second draft of the Charter and distributed to all RMFCs for implementation in ad experimentum for two years.
Click here to view the Charter that was distributed this month.
We are also excited to announce plans for a gathering of the Marianist Family in North America. One of the agenda items for the Assembly will be a particular focus on the Charter, with the intent to close the ad experimentum phase and finalize the Charter.
Chaminade University Receives $10 Million Grant
The National Science Foundation (NSF) selected Chaminade University of Honolulu to lead a groundbreaking $10 million five-year grant project to create new leadership pathways into data science careers for students and working professionals across Hawaii and the Pacific region.
The grant is part of a comprehensive $39 million effort designed to bolster diversity and inclusion in scientific leadership, innovation and discovery.
The university’s new United Nations sustainability center, CIFAL Honolulu, and Data Science program will spearhead the launch of the university’s new Alliance Supporting Pacific Impact through Computational Excellence (ALL-SPICE). The first Alliance programming will begin this September. Click here to read more.
High-Tech Industry Collaboration With UD
University of Dayton (UD) has teamed up with other leading institutions to support the semiconductor and microelectronics industry’s research, supply chain and workforce needs. It’s a timely collaboration as global semiconductor shortages led manufacturers to dedicate nearly $80 billion in new investments in the U.S., including $20 billion from Intel Corporation to construct two factories in Ohio.
The Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics encourages partnerships to pursue funding to help support industry needs.
“The University brings to this regional network substantial academic program capacity in electrical and computer engineering, advanced materials, electro-optics, engineering management and systems and computer science,” said Paul Benson, UD’s provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. Click here to read more.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Two Leaders Serving One Mission
A year ago, St. Mary’s University made an important leadership decision. “Fr. Oscar Vasquez, provincial for the Province of the United States, and I decided to split the role of Rector and Vice President for Mission into two positions,” said Thomas Mengler, president of St. Mary’s.
“We invited two gifted, experienced and knowledgeable Marianists – Frs. John Thompson and Bill Meyer – to assume these critical leadership positions. We felt it was the best way to draw on their individual strengths and talents to enrich our campus community,” said Mengler.
A year later, the two priests are hopeful and energized by their ministries. “I love serving as VP for Mission because it puts me in contact with so many different people, including the leadership of the university, as well as faculty, staff, students, alumni and benefactors,” said Fr. John. “It offers me the opportunity to tell the Catholic and Marianist story to all and invite them to be part of this unfolding story.”
Fr. John describes his role as VP for Mission as ‘the conscience of the school.’ “In light of our Catholic and Marianist identity, I’m not interested in the question: ‘Can we do this?’ but ‘Should we do this?’ My role is to ensure that we cultivate and promote the Catholic and Marianist identity of the school as we make strategic decisions and address areas that could be stronger.”
Fr. Bill, serving as Rector for the school, describes his position through a pastoral lens. “My ministry can be summed up in one word: ‘formation, formation, formation!’” he said.
“I am here to accompany, facilitate and encourage others as they discover, develop and contribute their charismatic God-given gifts,” he said. This dovetails with the larger goal of St. Mary’s: to form men and women for the betterment of the world.
“I am fascinated and energized by how God is present and active in our world, even amid chaotic and seriously disordered events,” said Fr. Bill. “God’s Holy Spirit is active and generous, giving people gifts for specific purposes to those who are open and receptive. I believe all people are meant to be life-long learners, open to inspiration and new ideas to meet the needs of our present-day world.”
Fr. Bill adds, “The Holy Spirit is very present animating the Marianist charism in our professional staff and lay faculty ensuring the Catholic and Marianist character of St. Mary’s University will remain strong for many years to come.”
By Bro. David Betz
Oh, These Marian Feasts!!!
When we look at the Marian Feasts in August and September, it seems that we are inundated by them. It starts on August 15, the Assumption of Mary and ends on September 24, Our Lady of Ransom.
These months also include August 22, the Queenship of Mary; September 5, Mary, Queen of Apostles; September 8, Birth of Mary; September 12, The Most Holy Name of Mary; September 15, Our Lady of Sorrows; and September 19, Our Lady of La Salette.
If one looks at the website Catholic Tradition, there are Marian Feasts associated with various countries worldwide. It demonstrates the pervasive impact that Mary has had and still has in our world, especially when men and women of faith believe that Mary is very influential in their lives. It seems that Mary is called upon for many reasons, such as intercession for serious concerns, gratitude for favors received, seeking solace, asking for perseverance, assistance in vocation work, etc. Click here to read more.
From the Archives
General Colin Powell Learns From a Marianist
“Egad!” exclaimed General Colin Powell upon learning there was an error in his book, “My American Journey.”
In typical Marianist-teaching fashion, Fr. Raymond Malley (1940-2021) wrote the author first to compliment his work as well as point out a historical misstep noted on page 274 of the book.
Fr. Raymond, having familial knowledge of that which General Powell wrote, explained in his letter the details of the inaccuracy. He said, “I hate to bust an army legend, but it’s somebody else’s ghost!”
If you’d like to see more from the Marianist Archives, visit and “like” this Facebook page.
Pray With Us
Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.
The obituaries for Bro. Frank O’Donnell, Fr. Patrick Philbin and Bro. Robert Juenemann were not completed in time for the July issue of FamilyOnline. They are now available and can be read by clicking on their names highlighted below.
Bro. Frank O’Donnell’s obituary: Bro. Frank died on July 22.
Fr. Patrick Philbin’s obituary: Fr. Patrick died on July 25.
Bro. Robert Juenemann’s obituary: Bro. Robert died on July 28.
Marianists Celebrate Jubilees
Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes brothers and priests who are marking milestones of their first profession of vows or their priestly ordinations. We continue to highlight our 2022 Jubilarians in a special section of FamilyOnline.
BROTHER ROBERT MARUYAMA
60 years of profession
I think I was about 10 when I received my Baptism from a Maryknoll missionary in Manchuria, soon after the end of WWII. For all practical purposes, it was an infant Baptism for me, because I hardly knew what it was all about. I was just following my mother’s lead. But circumstances allowed me to meet the Marianists when I entered a high school in Yokohama, Japan, conducted by an international group of the Society of Mary.
FATHER THOMAS FRENCH
25 years of ordination
Thomas Joseph French was ordained to the priesthood on June 27, 1997, at Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Maryland.
His discernment began as a student at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was taught by the Marianist brothers and priests.
Good to Know
Gathering in the Spirit
You’re invited to a monthly faith-sharing experience that sparks conversation and connection across the Marianist Family.
Reflections take place on the first Wednesday of the month in 2022 via Zoom, and while no RSVP is needed, you are asked to join five minutes prior to the start of 8 pm ET.
• Zoom Link to Join
• Meeting ID: 835 9212 6586
• Passcode: Marianist
Strikes & Spikes
After an absence of more than 40 years, Chaminade baseball will join the Pacific West Conference. In addition, Chaminade will become one of only two schools in the PacWest and one of three Division II institutions in the West Region to field teams in beach volleyball.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome these sports to Chaminade University starting in 2023, the first new additions in 17 years,” said President Dr. Lynn Babington. “Athletics is an important part of the spirit of our campus, and the addition of these new teams will help us to attract even more students interested in excelling in both athletics and academics.”
Stay in Touch
AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
District Update #61 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
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE National Office
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