Volume 17, Number 2 | Feb. 8, 2018

Celebration in India closes out Marianist Bicentennial

The Marianist Bicentennial came to a colorful, joyous conclusion in Singhpur, India, on Chaminade Day, Jan. 22.

The event was the culmination of a global, 18-month-long observation of the 200th birthdays of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (Marianist Sisters) and the Society of Mary.

The location of the final festivities was no cavalier decision. “With the selection of this place, we wish to express a projection toward the frontiers and toward the future of our Marianist religious life,” wrote Sr. Franca Zonta and Fr. Manuel Cortés, superiors of the Marianist Sisters and the Society of Mary, in a joint circular. Both branches of Marianist religious are present in India, with multiple communities and vital ministries, and there are growing numbers of Lay Marianists as well.

The closing ceremonies were full of music, dance and prayer, incorporating vibrant Indian cultural traditions. See more photos!

Benefactor’s big heart beats for Marianist PULSE ministry

Joan Means in front of the PULSE house in Dayton. Joan donated the house to the PULSE ministry in honor of her late husband, Michael.

Joan Means has a big heart. And when she learned that the Marianist PULSE ministry was struggling to find housing for its participants, her big heart hatched a big idea.

“Why don’t I help the PULSE program buy and refurbish a house in the Five Oaks Neighborhood?” she thought. Five Oaks is where she and her husband, Michael Means, who died in 2015, had lived for many years.

Michael was an English teacher at the University of Dayton, and he and Joan had shared a passion for community activism. They had served on many nonprofit boards and committees alongside Marianist brothers and priests.

“I thought it was the perfect way to memorialize Michael — to meld all of his work at UD and in the community — with this Marianist volunteer program,” she said.

The home is one of two PULSE community houses in Dayton. “PULSErs” live at the home while they work at local nonprofit organizations and participate in Marianist leadership development programs.

“Joan views this incredible gift as legacy for her husband, but it’s also a legacy for this neighborhood. She’s ensured that PULSE can be lasting presence here,” said Maureen O’Rourke, PULSE coordinator. See more photos.

Three questions with …

Fr. Joe Uvietta

Over the course of 65 years of ministry, Fr. Joe, 86, has served as a high school teacher, novice master and chaplain. He was president of his alma mater, Central Catholic High School and director of the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center. He also was head of religious life and provincial of the former St. Louis Province.

What’s keeping you busy these days?

I’m chaplain for a community of retired Mercy Sisters, and I say Mass there every day but Saturday. There are about 50 of the Mercy Sisters, plus about seven Visitation Sisters who live there as well. I also help out at three local parishes, and I celebrate Mass at St. John Vianney twice a month, plus some faculty masses now and then. I’m also chaplain for the board of trustees at Vianney. I have something going every single day.

You’ve served in so many ways. What has been your favorite ministry?

I loved teaching high school. It’s been 34 years since I was in the classroom and I still miss teenagers. I always loved school and I wanted to share that; it’s what attracted me to the Marianists in the first place.

What gives you joy?

Being with people. I am grateful for all the interactions, whether it’s with the faculty at Vianney or the housekeepers at the sisters’ community. The family spirit of the Marianists has always been so important to me.

Contacts explore Marianist calling

Am I called? That was among the questions seven young adults explored at the annual Marianist contact retreat last month. The weekend provided time to pray and reflect with one another about what a religious calling feels like — and whether a Marianist vocation is right for them.

“Contact” is the first stage of Marianist formation.

Each of the contacts attending already had a relationship with the Marianists: Six are Marianist university students or alumni. Four are Lay Marianists. Three have lived in student Marianist Lay communities. Two are graduates of Marianist high schools. One currently is serving with Marianist PULSE.

“They already had a heartfelt connection to the Marianists,” said Bro. Mark Motz, national vocation director. “The most satisfying part of the weekend was spending time with people who are deeply interested in doing whatever God is calling them to do and exploring those possibilities with us.”

Read more about formation in the Society of Mary or Marianist Sisters.

Retreatants visited the historic Mission Concepción in San Antonio. In front: Sr. Nicole Trahan, Peter Evans and Tori Schoen. In back: Sam Brickweg, Kevin Prada, Chicago Schuller and Bro. Mark Motz. Not pictured: Elizabeth Adams and Sam Mullins.

Marianist Family members in the news

Marianists announce new Provincial Council members

The Marianist Province of the United States has announced the new members of its Provincial Council.

Last fall, the Marianist General Administration in Rome announced Fr. Oscar Vasquez and Bro. Bernard Ploeger as the new provincial and assistant provincial for the Marianists in the United States. Fr. Oscar and Bro. Bernie now announce those who will assume additional key leadership roles in the province, beginning Aug. 1, 2018.

Asst. for Religious Life
Fr. Tim Kenney

Asst. for Education
Bro. Jesse O’Neill

Asst. for Temporalities
Bro. Joe Markel

Bro. Charlie Johnson

Fr. Kip Stander

These new council members were chosen following a formal consultation process involving all member of the Province of the United States. Fr. Tim and Bros. Jesse and Joe will serve at the province offices in St. Louis. Bro. Charlie and Fr. Kip will remain in San Antonio and Dayton respectively, providing a broader perspective on the province.

Read more about the new members of the Provincial Council.

Two Marianists ordained in India

The Society of Mary welcomed two new priests on Jan. 28, as Bishop Telesphore Bilung, of the Archdiocese of Ranchi, India, presided at the ordination of Sebestian Bara and Raj Mohan.

The ordination ceremony took place at the Marianist novitiate in Ranchi.

The District of India is a growing unit sponsored by the Marianist Province of the United States.

Following the ordination ceremony, Bishop Bilung helps Fr. Sebestian Bara light the many candles on the cake. Fr. Raj Mohan is at left.

New Marianist Affiliate welcomed

Among the members of the Marianist Affiliate group in Illinois are its coordinator Shirley Vachon, Jay O’Neill, new Affiliate Monica O’Neill and Fr. Al McMenamy.

A small but growing group of Marianist Affiliates welcomed a new member last month. Monica O’Neill made her commitment in the company of friends based at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Streamwood, Illinois. Fr. Al McMenamy is the group’s mentor and spiritual adviser.

Read more about Marianist Affiliates.

Sr. Gabrielle Bibeau was interviewed on Relevant Radio (a Catholic station) for Chaminade Day. The topic? Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, of course.

Listen to the interview; Sr. Gabrielle begins at 6 minutes, 17 seconds. Sr. Gabrielle works at the North American Center for Marianist Studies.

Bro. Harry Cornell was honored at Central Catholic High School during Marianist Heritage Week last month. In addition to being an alumnus (class of ’58), Bro. Harry has taught at CCHS for 55 years!

Bro. Darwin Joseph was awarded a doctorate degree in philosophy last month from Assumption College in Bangkok, Thailand. Bro. Darwin is the first Indian Marianist to earn a doctoral degree. He also serves as assistant district superior for the Marianists in India.

Bro. Prakash Kujur earned a master’s degree in school administration from Assumption University of Bangkok, joining Bro. Darwin (above) at graduation ceremonies last month. These achievements will enable Marianists in the District of India to continue to strengthen their educational ministries.

Fr. Ted Ley received a Founders Award from Chaminade College Preparatory in West Hills, California, as part of the school’s Founder’s Day celebration last month. A 1958 CCP graduate, Fr. Ted was recognized for his many years of service to the school. Read more.

Fr. Francis Nakagawa was recognized in a recent article in the Hawaii Catholic Herald. The article described a recent visit to Honolulu of the Japanese Peace Committee, which includes religious leaders from a variety of faith traditions.

For many decades, Fr. Francis, now age 90, welcomed this group to Honolulu as head of the Japanese Catholic Community of Hawaii. Read the article.

Marianist ministries in action

New president formally installed at Chaminade University

At her inauguration ceremony Jan. 20, Lynn Babington received a print of Our Lady of the Pillar, a cherished Marianist icon. Fellow Marianist University presidents Eric Spina (in red) from the University of Dayon and Thomas Mengler from St. Mary’s University assisted in presenting the print, which was a gift from the Society of Mary. Marianist Provincial Fr. Martin Solma, (back to the camera) made the presentation on behalf of the Marianist Province of the United States. At his left is Steve Neiheisel, executive director of the Association of Marianist Universities.

Chaminade University of Honolulu inaugurated its 10th president on Jan. 20. Before a crowd of community dignitaries, university regents, family, friends and colleagues, Dr. Lynn Babington pledged to usher in a new era of innovation while remaining true to the school’s Marianist heritage.

“Higher education with a higher purpose is the life led here at Chaminade,” she said in her inaugural address.

Lynn began the leadership role this summer, taking the reins from Bro. Bernie Ploeger, who had been Chaminade’s president since 2009.

Among the highlights of the event was the presentation of a historic Hawaiian artifact, a walking stick, that had been in the collection of the Marianist Archives. The walking stick was inscribed with the name of Hawaii’s last king, King Kalakaua, and was among the belongings of Bro. Bertram Bellinghausen, one of the first Marianists on the island. In honor of Lynn’s inauguration, the Marianists made a permanent gift of this artifact to the ‘Iolani Palace, the former home of King Kalakaua and a National Historic Landmark.

Read more about the inauguration.

Marianist schools mark Chaminade Day, Heritage Week

There’s always a blizzard of family spirit in late January as Marianist high schools and universities celebrate their heritage with Masses, special awards and celebrations honoring Blessed William Joseph Chaminade and all those who carry on his traditions. See more photos!

At Central Catholic High School in San Antonio, senior Christian Carranza poses with the Fr. Chami mascot as part of Marianist Heritage festivities. Insiders report that Eddie Ybarra, interim principal, is inside the costume.

At Chaminade University of Honolulu, Fr. George Cerniglia helps oversee the bedecking of the statue of Blessed Chaminade with traditional Hawaiian lei. Each year, students and campus ministry staff honor Fr. Chaminade as part of Marianist Heritage celebrations.

St. Laurence College celebrates 50th anniversary

St. Laurence College, a Marianist-sponsored secondary school in Dublin, Ireland, marked its 50th anniversary on Jan. 28 with a Mass and afternoon tea for the school family, including alumni, faculty, parents and students. “It was a wonderful event that captured the warm spirit of St. Laurence,” said Bro. Joe Kamis. Bro. Joe, assistant provincial, attended as a representative of the Provincial Council. He served as principal of St. Laurence from 1980-1985.

The Marianists of the St. Laurence College Community include Bros. Fred Rech, and Gerry McCauley, Bro. Joe Kamis (representing the Province of the U.S.), Fr. Mike Reaume and Bro. Jim Contadino.

Bro. Joe Kamis, assistant provincial, addresses those gathered to celebrate St. Laurence College’s 50th anniversary.

Gross Catholic family explains the Catholic school advantage

The Sweetmon family (photo by omaha.com)

A Catholic Schools Week article on omaha.com highlighted the choices of the Sweetmon family in choosing Catholic schools — both for their careers and as educational paths. The parents both serve at Daniel J. Gross Catholic, a Marianist-sponsored school in Omaha, where their oldest daughter will attend next year.

Read the article.

Pray with us

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

Fr. Richard – undated

Fr. Richard – 2015

Fr. Richard Loehrlein, 87, died on Jan. 21. He had been a Marianist for 68 years. Fr. Richard was a missionary, teacher and chaplain who served in Eastern Africa for nearly 30 years. He is credited with establishing vibrant Lay Marianist communities. Read his obituary. See more photos.

Good to know

Marianist moment: Fr. Domingo Lázaro

Among the Marianists on the path to sainthood is Fr. Domingo Lázaro, a Spanish priest who has been named a Servant of God.

Fr. Lázaro was the first native-born provincial for his country. He was recognized for his skill as an educator, and he believed strongly in a family model of teaching. He wrote:  “Educators who are truly faithful to and successful in their trade owe all of their art to mothers.”

Thanks to Bro. David Betz for sharing this article about Fr. Domingo Lázaro.

Cathedral Latin Alumni Association to honor Fr. Paul Marshall

The Cathedral Latin Alumni Association will honor the late Fr. Paul Marshall with its Merit Award at a Mass and ceremony on April 29 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Cathedral in Cleveland.

Fr. Paul, who died in 2014, was a member of the Cathedral Latin class of 1965, and he taught there in the early years of his ministry.

For more information on the Mass the breakfast that will follow, please contact Joe Spagnuolo.

Upcoming feast days

Feb. 11 – Our Lady of Lourdes
Feb. 14 – Ash Wednesday

Stay in touch


Gifts & 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
Via Latina 22 from the Marianist General Administration

Single 2018