Volume 22, Number 8 | August 31, 2023

Students Start School With Marianist Spirit

Continuing the Heritage
Burgers with the Brothers
Continuing the Heritage
Burgers with the Brothers

Marianist schools and universities across the country opened their doors in August to new and returning students with welcome arms and heartfelt rituals.

One example was the Marianist Leadership Program (MLP) at St. Mary’s University, which showcased the gift of hospitality with two weeks of activities aimed at helping first-year MLP students acclimate to school and engage their leadership skills.

MLP started 25 years ago as a way for Marianists to develop and nurture the talents and gifts of young adult faith leaders. Throughout their undergraduate years, MLP students are encouraged to exercise their servant leadership skills at service sites, such as the Marianist Residence, San Antonio Food Bank, and Holy Rosary Parish, and to participate in monthly activities and immersion trips. Many students graduate and become leaders in Marianist institutions, as well as respected leaders in the communities where they live. The MLP at St. Mary’s University has 58 students participating this year.

“We started in mid-August with several events, such as our First-year Pinning Ceremony on Aug. 17, where Marianist priests and brothers helped initiate our new students into the program,” said  Program Director Amy Arismendez.

Other activities included “Burgers with the Brothers,” an outdoor picnic with vowed Marianists and members of the Student Government Association and the biannual service event “Continuing the Heritage.” It engaged MLP students as site leaders at more than 20 nonprofit organizations across the city. The MLP festivities concluded with a retreat at Tecaboca Aug. 25-27.

“The goal of the activities is to help students become familiar with various communities on and off campus and realize they can make a huge impact as faith leaders among their peers, in the classroom, and in the broader community,” said Arismendez.

“One of our goals for 2023-24 is to reestablish our relationships with service sites,” said Arismendez. During COVID-19, many of these relationships had been put on hold.

Arismendez, who has served as MLP director for nearly two years, said the MLP students inspire her. “I see the love they have for one another and how much fun they have while growing in their leadership roles,” she said. “They encourage me to grow more as a person, too. They share their gifts and talents so willingly and, at the same time, are vulnerable and receptive to one another. They truly live the Marianist Family spirit mindset.”

Click here to see more photos.

In The News

Prayer and Guidance

The new school year at Chaminade University of Honolulu began amidst the cleanup from the fatal fires on the neighboring island of Maui.  Students, staff, and faculty prayed for those affected by the devastation in Lahaina at the school’s annual Mass to kick off the new school year.

The Fall Spiritual Convocation: Mass of the Holy Spirit is a longstanding celebration dating back centuries and is held to pray for God’s guidance, protection, and encouragement in the days ahead.

Marianist educational associates, faculty, and staff, who have been formed by the Characteristics of Marianist Education, recommitted themselves at the celebration as well.

Marianists Unite

What better way to live out one of the characteristics of Marianist education than serving a fellow Marianist school? The students, faculty, and staff at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, OH, donned their best Hawaiian shirts to raise money for St. Anthony School of Maui.

Moeller’s Principal, Carl Kremer, called the Head of St. Anthony School, David Kenney, to see how the wildfires affected them. While their building did not sustain damage, Kenney said many students, faculty, and staff suffered loss from the devastation.

The fundraiser collected around $5,000 total, with Moeller matching the funds faculty gathered. “We are glad we could do something to help our friends in Maui. The strength in being part of the Marianist community is always present, but seems more powerful during a time of need,” said Jennifer Boggess, teacher, house dean, and organizer of the fundraiser.

The Marianist Province of the U.S. is also assisting St. Anthony Parish with tuition assistance. The pastor, Monsignor Terry Watanabe, said it will help as they take in students displaced from Sacred Hearts School in Lahaina. Funds will also be sent to assist families affected by the fires at St. Louis School and Chaminade University of Honolulu,  and a donation is being made to Catholic Charities Hawaii.

Building Walls – Enriching Lives

About 500 incoming University of Dayton (UD) business students built walls for two Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton houses as part of move-in weekend.

“Students choose UD in part for our commitment to the common good, and this service day gives them a chance to take action as a servant leader from day one,” said School of Business Administration Dean Trevor Collier. “These connections help our students see their careers as a calling, with a commitment to their communities that enriches their lives.”

The wall panels were transported to the Edgemont neighborhood to be completed. “This panel build is an important first step in the process to help a local family purchase a Habitat home, made possible for them with a 0% interest rate,” said David Mauch, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton’s development director.

Dayton Habitat has built 340 homes in its 40-year history. As part of their purchase, homeowners also complete 40 hours of homeownership classes and 275 hours of sweat equity per adult in the household. Click here to see more photos.

Pilgrimage to Italy: Home of Our Catholic Faith

Would you like to encounter God in special places? Opportunities await you! The current  ALIVE magazine cover story highlights our Marianist Mission pilgrimages.

Up next is an adventure in Italy this coming spring, including trips to Milan, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, and, of course, Rome. There is a special savings discount for those who book their pilgrimage by September 8, 2023.

Click here for a full itinerary.

Have questions about this pilgrimage? Call 937-910-6099 or email [email protected] 

To book online, click here.

Marianist Ministries in Action

A Champion for the Planet

Sr. Leanne Jablonski

Sr. Leanne Jablonski, FMI, remembers teaching a class at Chaminade University of Honolulu in 2002 and describing how the Pacific region would be impacted by climate change, telling students, “We can do something about it, but we’ll all have to work at this together.” She notes, “I felt deeply passionate and compelled to do something.”

She is dedicated in her career as a climate change ecologist, educator, and advocate, working with others for the good of the planet. The Catholic Climate Covenant recognized her passion, leadership skills, and knowledge – awarding Sr. Leanne an honorable mention as a U.S. Laudato Sí Champion at its national meeting.

Bro. Jesse O’Neill isn’t surprised. “Sr. Leanne truly walks the walk,” he said. Adding that, “As the director of the Marianist Environmental Education Center and University of Dayton’s Laudato Sí Action Platform working group, she has raised awareness among countless people.”

Bro. Jesse works with Sr. Leanne as co-chair of the Marianist Family Encounters Project, an initiative that addresses Pope Francis’ call for action regarding the Global Compact on Education and the goals of the Laudato Sí Action Platform. “Her deep concern for our common home and her knowledge — both from her head and heart — have truly inspired me. I have learned so much from her.”

Watching the fires in the northern forests of her native Canada this summer and the deadly wildfires causing such devastation on Maui recently, she feels the growing urgency of the cries of the earth and people. “I draw strength from our Marianist Family network, which renews me daily, and the words of Pope Francis, who said: “Dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and…discover what each of us can do about it.”

A Marianist Moment

Praying with our Marianist Saints Revisited

By Bro. David Betz

I recently attended a Micah 6:8 Marianist Lay Community gathering in Dayton, OH. Its annual summer picnic begins the new year for the community. The gathering started with a scavenger hunt as a community-building exercise, followed by dinner and then prayer. The topic for prayer was the Angels Among Us. Ann Hirt used a song by Alabama called Angels Among Us. When this song was playing, I teared up because I was thinking about family members who have died and how they impacted my life – my dad (Paul), mom (Mildred), and sister (Virginia). My mind then went to our Marianist Saints.

Our Marianist Saints: the Blesseds, the Venerables, and Servants of God and other individuals whose causes are being considered can be seen as angels among us. Their holy lives were examples of faith and determination in witnessing the reign of God in their times. They strove to live out the Marianist mission of bringing Jesus into our world. And because of their recognition as holy men and women, we are being called to invite them into our own lives and to ask them to assist us in experiencing the grace of God.

This is what praying with our Marianist Saints is about – to call upon them when we and other people we know need assistance from God. Click here to read more.

From the Archives

Marianist Missionaries in Lahaina

As our prayers continue for all those affected by the wildfires in the Lahaina District of Maui, we look back to our first Marianist missionaries in Hawaii in 1883. Among those pioneers was Bro. Gabriel Bertram Bellinghausen, SM.

Bro. Bertram studied photography and traveled throughout the islands taking photographs of landscapes, churches, people, and more. The National Archives of the Marianist Province of the United States houses his glass plate negatives; the collection includes 22 specifically of Lahaina from the 1880s.

The following photographs are of the old courthouse and the famous banyan tree from the 1880s and after the recent fire damage. The courthouse was still being used as a visitors’ center and history museum. Though it is gutted, the outer walls are still standing because they were constructed from heat-resistant coral.

Next to the courthouse is the banyan tree planted in 1873 that grew to cover an entire city block. While it is still standing after the fire, its future is uncertain.

Click here to view all 22 images from Bro. Bertram.

Thanks to Lisa Finnie, Reference and Research Archivist for the Marianist Province of the United States, for providing images and information.

1880s Lahaina, Courthouse - Bro. Theodore Rush, SM, 4th from the right. Photo Credit: Bro. Gabriel Bertram Bellinghausen
Courthouse August 2023 Photo Credit: Sébastien Vuagnat - AFP via Getty Images
1880s Lahaina, Banyan Tree - Bro. Theodore Rush, SM, Bro. Matthias Newell, SM, and an unidentified man. Photo Credit: Bro. Gabriel Bertram Bellinghausen
Banyan tree August 2023 Photo Credit: Robert Gauthier - Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

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

Pray With Us

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

Jubilee Celebrations

Each year, the Society of Mary recognizes brothers and priests who are marking milestones of their first profession of vows or their priestly ordinations. Thank you to our 2023 Jubilarians! We will highlight these celebrants over the course of the next few months in FamilyOnline.


60 years of profession

It has been a wonderful, grace-filled 60 years since my first profession. Many of my high school teachers and professors at St. Mary’s University were outstanding Marianist educators who inspired me to do my best. My years in St. Louis brought challenges and growth, both professionally and spiritually, and there are parents and students I am still in contact with today. The assignment to San Antonio was another grace and growth opportunity. I have lived with many wonderful Marianists, including some former teachers.

Click here to read more.


60 years of profession

I’m the fourth of eight children of Lawrence and Rosalia Longbottom, descendants of Irish, German, English, Protestants, and Catholics who became Cincinnati neighbors near Madisonville, OH, and began a shared legacy. Family habits and values were frugality, appreciating the simple things, going to church, helping others, and sharing family meals and celebrations. With 15 aunts and uncles, being around family was the norm. Childhood included seven years of small-town farming life near Owensville, OH, and church life at St. Louis Church.

Click here to read more.


60 years of profession

Reflecting on this jubilee celebration and the beautiful journey since taking my vows 60 years ago this August, I am washed over with peacefulness and gratefulness. I am peaceful because God’s presence brings peace, and I have had the joy of dwelling in His presence. I am grateful for the opportunity and relationships I’ve been gifted along the way.

My faith journey began from the outset for me. My Mom, Dad, and sister Sharon started me on a disciplined yet loving road.

Click here to read more.


60 years of profession

The counsel from Mary, “Do whatever He tells you,” has been a constant source of direction in my vocational life. From my earliest years to the present day, Mary has been a guiding star.

In grade school, a Sister of Notre Dame encouraged my mother to send me to art lessons. In high school, a Brother of Mary encouraged me on a path to my vocation as a Marianist. It was not until I was 28 that I finally had the courage to do what He was telling me to do over the years. By that time, as the tradition in the SM says, I was speckled fruit.

Click here to read more.

Good to Know

God’s Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion 

Chaminade University of Honolulu and co-sponsors St. Louis School and the Marianist Center of Hawaiʻi will host a free lecture by Bro. Guy Consolmagno, S.J., titled “God’s Mechanics: How Scientists and Engineers Make Sense of Religion.” The presentation will cover the connection between science, faith, and religion.

Bro. Consolmagno is the Director of the Vatican Observatory and President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. He earned his undergraduate and masters’ degrees from MIT and a Ph. D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona; he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard and MIT, served in the U.S. Peace Corps (Kenya), and taught university physics at Lafayette College before entering the Jesuits in 1989. He is the author of several popular books, including Turn Left at Orion and Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?, along with more than 200 scientific publications.

WHEN: Sunday, October 8, 2023, 4- 5:30 p.m. HST

WHERE: Mystical Rose Oratory, Chaminade University

Can’t make it in person? The lecture can also be viewed online. Click here for more information.

Family Vacation Strengthens Family Values

Families are once again flocking to the Marianist property on Governor’s Island in Ohio after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19.  Marianist Brothers, along with core team members and volunteers, welcome families for a retreat to assist them in renewing and deepening their commitment as a family.

This summer, five families totaling 24 family members enjoyed the Marianist Family Vacation Retreat with the sharing of prayer, small group discussions, boating, biking, fishing, and learning about forgiveness, commitment, cooperation and other values that strengthen family life.

Follow them on Facebook to get the scoop on when registration opens for the 2024 retreat!

Celebrating Our Sisters

Congratulations to Sr. Rose Rucoba, FMI and Sr. Emily Sandoval, FMI! Sr. Rose professed first vows, and Sr. Emily renewed her vows this month at the University of Dayton’s  Immaculate Conception Chapel. The sisters celebrated the event with 90 members of the Marianist Family, as well as their own families.

Sr. Rose has begun a full-time ministry teaching and acting as a Spanish language aide at our Lady of the Holy Rosary School. Sr. Emily is the new Communications Coordinator for the Northeast 7 Family of parishes in Dayton.

Sr. Rose Rucoba
S. Emily Sandoval (far right)
(L-R) Bro. Dennis Bautista, Fr. Tim Kenney, Bro. Mark Motz

Nazareth Formation Program

The Society of Mary’s  General Council recently held a formation preparation program in Nairobi, south-central Africa, called Nazareth. About 50 Marianist formators joined together from all over the world: the USA, East Africa, Ivory Coast, Togo, Korea, Europe, Latin America, Cuba, and India. Several of our U.S. brothers participated in the program, including Fr. Marty Solma, Fr. Tim Kenney, Bro. Dennis Bautista, Bro. Mark MotzBro. Tom GiardinoBro. Tim Phillips, Bro. Tom Redmond and Bro. Tim Driscoll (Meribah). Their time included visiting Our Lady of Nazareth School in one of Nairobi’s largest slums. Click here to see more pictures.

Join Us!

Click here to discover job opportunities within our Marianist communities and ministries across the United States. 

New listings include:

• St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (OH) – President
• Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning (OH)– Front Desk Receptionist
• North American Center for Marianist Studies (OH) – Program Administrator
• St. Vincent-St. Mary High School (OH) – Director of Advancement

Check Out More Marianist News

Via Latina  from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities

District Update #72 from the Marianist District of India

FatherSide Chats is a web video series featuring Fr. Gene Contadino. Discover new episodes every Tuesday about a variety of topics. Click the graphic to view episodes. Click here to read more.

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