Education for Liberation
There was pomp and circumstance, caps and gowns, guest speakers and proud family members. What set this Chaminade University of Honolulu (CUH) graduation apart was where the seven students studied – the Halawa Correctional Facility.
In her opening remarks, Chaminade President Dr. Lynn Babington invoked a fundamental question about the role of prison: Is it designed for punishment or rehabilitation?
“At Chaminade, one of our primary Marianist values is to advocate for social justice for transformative change. We support a rehabilitation-through-education narrative,” said Babington.
The commencement means more to the graduates than simply receiving their Associate’s degree in Business Administration. It is a second chance. “This is just the beginning to a new life,” Raphael Holley said with a wide smile. The 23-year-old plans to continue his education and pursue a doctorate in business.
His father, Robert Holley, couldn’t contain the emotions of the moment. Unable to hug his son for six years, tears trickled down his cheek, “All I want to do is hold him tight and kiss him,” the senior Holley sobbed. “This has so much meaning, and he now has a second chance to change the trajectory of his life.”
Among the estimated 1.8 million people in state and federal prisons in the United States, these men were given an opportunity for life beyond bars. Congress just recently lifted the 1994 crime bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton that banned inmates from using Pell grants for college. It was reinstated as the Second Chance Pell Experiment by President Obama in 2015 and then expanded upon by President Trump.
The bipartisan effort is fueled in part by research that shows education is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep people from returning to prison. One study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that inmates who participate in correctional education programs had a 43 percent lower chance of recidivism. Every year, about half a million people are released from state and federal prisons in the United States, and within three years, more than half will end up back inside.
CUH provided these seven men with much more than just an education; it was a Catholic, Marianist education. “You have received an excellent, integrative education — holistic by design with a strong focus on the importance of serving others for the common good,” stated Babington.
Bro. Ed Brink, who attended the ceremony, said, “It was so inspirational and made me proud to be a Marianist.” Fr. Marty Solma agreed it was very moving and “such a life-changing event for the men.”
The next class starts in the fall, and there is talk about expanding the program to other facilities. Click here to read more.
In The News
Solar Power Generates News
Mount Saint John flipped the switch on hundreds of solar panels that will power the entire campus, where Bergamo Retreat Center, North American Center for Marianist Studies, Marianist Novitiate and Marianist Environmental Education Center are just some of the residents. Adding solar panels removes Mount Saint John’s reliance on fossil fuels. Experts say this will make the property net zero, meaning this system will produce just as much or more than what they consume from an energy perspective. Going green grabbed the attention of the NBC affiliate in Dayton, OH. Click here to watch the story.
A blessing of the solar array was held on June 21. Click here for photos from this special occasion. If you’d like more information, including facts, figures, and videos on this solar array, click here.
First Vows Celebration
Join us in congratulating Bro. Juan De La Cruz, who professed first vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) on June 10, 2023, at Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe) in Querétaro, Mexico.
“I believe the Marianist life is an option for a happy life with freedom, where everything is shared – accentuating equality and inclusion. It’s also an opportunity for growth, not only spiritually but intellectually. Marianist life has a great pillar that is Mary, whom I consider the path and association with Jesus, through her and with her, we expand and express the love of God to others,” said Bro. Juan.
Bro. Juan currently lives in the Querétaro community, where he volunteers at a local school and is pursuing a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on mathematics.
Click here to see more pictures.
Brothers on the Journey
The Marianist Province Assembly 2023 kicked off on June 29 and runs through July 3. Some 200 brothers, lay collaborators, and guests from across the United States convened in St. Louis at the Sheraton Westport Chalet to participate in workshops on various things like vocations, conflict resolution, and wellness training, as well as hear from guest speakers, and join in community prayer. Daniel P. Horan, OFM, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker. He is a Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theology Professor and the Center for Spirituality Director at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN.
Click here to see pictures from the event.
Special thanks to the 2023 Assembly Committee: *Fr. Bob Bouffier * Bro. Mike Chiuri * Fr. Sean Downing * Bro. Ron Luksic * Bro. Tom Oldenski *Bro. Allen Pacquing * Bro. Jack Ventura * Donna Tucker
Marianist Hall Groundbreaking
Chaminade College Preparatory School, the oldest boarding school in St. Louis, MO, is getting a much-needed facelift. After nearly a decade of planning and fundraising, ground was finally broken on a new resident hall.
“This is an exciting time for all of us, particularly the alums of our resident program,” said school President Dr. Todd Guidry. “They understand first-hand how important the program is and its role in the culture and history of Chaminade.”
The school opened in 1910, and the current dormitory, Canning Hall, has been in use since 1957. “It’s important to get a new building with modern amenities to ensure our resident program remains viable for years to come,” said Guidry.
The new building, which will be named Marianist Hall, is being built on the space currently occupied by one of the school’s baseball fields on the southern side of the campus. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2024-25 school year.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Community, Creation, and Charism
A Marianist education offers invaluable lessons in and out of the classroom, as witnessed when 28 St. John Vianney High School students volunteered their time at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center (MRCC).
“I had some high hopes for this project to have fun and be around God’s creation,” said Senior Owen Dalpoas.
Vianney’s Senior Service Project requires students to complete 50 hours of charity work. It helps acquaint students with their local communities and creates the sensitivity and skills needed for future leadership.
“Taking care of something bigger than myself helps me grow closer to God,” explained Dalpoas as he talked about tasks he accomplished, including mulching trails, cutting felled trees for firewood, and improving a sand volleyball court.
“I have always believed in the saying ‘more hands make less work,’ but seeing that in action was truly inspiring,” said Tristen Somers, who oversees the grounds and conservation at MRCC. “The more than 2,000 labor hours students donated helped me accomplish months-worth of projects in mere days. It’s amazing and humbling to experience the potential of people coming together for community.”
Vianney’s Cybersecurity Instructor and Coach, Dan Didier, has assisted with the senior project for the past five years leading by example, working side-by-side with students. He hopes the spirit of service spreads. “They continue to talk to their friends about it, encouraging others to participate next year and get their families out to MRCC to see all they have done and inspire others to do selfless service to God and our community.”
MRCC Program Director Paul Masek said, “They have left indelible marks on our hearts and our property. The next time you visit, don’t hesitate to ask us to show you what they’ve done with our labyrinth.”
It’s a tale of two Marianist-sponsored ministries living the charism as they care for creation and community.
“It showed how much beauty there is in God’s creation when we all just do our part and take care of it,” declared Dalpoas.
A Marianist Moment
by Bro. David Betz
Update on the two youngest Marianists on the road to Sainthood: Faustino Pérez-Manglano and Miguel Ángel Quiroga
In the Marianist world, there are 17 Marianists who I identify as on the road toward canonization. Of these 17, two are under the age of 30; Faustino Perez-Manglano, who died at 17, and Miguel Quiroga, who died at 26.
Faustino Pérez-Manglano became a Venerable on January 14, 2011, after a group of nine theologians unanimously declared that he practiced Christian virtues in a heroic manner after studying the testimonies about him and his writings. He was recognized for a life of holiness even though his life was cut short by Hodgkin lymphoma disease.
Miguel Quiroga died at the hands of paramilitaries while attempting to protect a group of catechists in a local parish in Lloró, Columbia, in 1998. His cause is waiting to be opened at this time in the Diocese of Quibdó.
I invite you now to take time to read the latest documents that have been received concerning updates on the causes of Faustino and Miguel by clicking on the link names below.
From the Archives
The National Archives Marianist Province of the United States uncovered this photo of what is believed to be the first loudspeaker system in the St. Louis Province at South Side Catholic High School. It was renamed St. Mary’s High School in 1947 and, starting in July, will be renamed again, combining both former names to become St. Mary’s South Side Catholic High School. The loudspeaker center was a gift from the school’s Mothers’ Club. The Marianists have been an influential part of this St. Louis school since 1933.
If you’d like to see more images and the history of this building, visit and “like” this Facebook page.
Pray With Us
Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.
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.
FATHER QUENTIN HAKENEWERTH
75 years of profession
I was born in Old Monroe, MO, in 1930. I entered the Society of Mary at the age of 15 as a postulate at Maryhurst in Kirkwood, MO. My first vows were in 1948 in Galesville, WI. I received my bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1951 and my Master’s in clinical psychology from De Paul University. I attended the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1956-1961 and was ordained there in 1960.
Click here to read more.
BROTHER HOWARD HUGHES
75 years of profession
While growing up in Baltimore attending St. James Grammar School, where the brothers taught boys grades 4 to 8, I first encountered the Marianists. Our family owned a neighborhood bar, and we lived on the floor above it. When my mother would see the brothers out on a walk, she would send me downstairs to get a pitcher of beer and send me out to invite the brothers upstairs. It was there that I encountered the brothers up close and felt the attraction to join the Marianists.
Click here to read more.
BROTHER AL KUNTEMEIER
75 years of profession
I was born in 1930 in Pine Lawn, MO, a suburb of St. Louis, to Arthur and Regina (Peterman) Kuntemeier. I had one older brother and two older sisters. As a freshman at Northside Catholic High School, Bro. James Powers talked to me about being a brother and going to Maryhurst. I was impressed by the brothers there and said, “Yes.” I have never regretted that decision. I was at Novitiate in 1947 and took my first vows in 1948 in Galesville, WI. I spent my first year of college at Maryhurst and completed my degree with a BS in Education from the University of Dayton in 1951. I got an MBA from Marquette University in 1962 and my MA in counseling in 1971 from Notre Dame.
Click here to read more.
Good to Know
Recruiting In-Person in Perú
St. Mary’s University has a long history of recruiting students from Perú, but this was the first time an in-person visit took place since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Ryan Konkright and Associate Provost for Academic Administration and Mission Integration Jessica González Uhlig, EdD, spent a week visiting the four Marianist high schools in Lima and Trujillo, Perú. They conducted admission interviews with students and parents who were interested in applying to St. Mary’s. Click here for pictures.
New Altar Blessing
The Marianist Community at St. Leonard in Centerville, OH, had a blessing of its new altar during its Eucharistic Liturgy. The altar was designed and executed by Steve Zemanek, a resident of the St. Leonard property. Mary Houston, a member of St. Leonard’s pastoral care team, spearheaded the project after Bro. David Betz mentioned the community was looking to replace the table being used for its Masses.
Pictured are Steve Zemanek, Fr. Tom Schroer, and Jo Ann Zemanek. Click here for more pictures.
Reflective Study on the Book of Psalms
Fr. Bertrand Buby consulted on the creation of a Chinese translation of his book titled, With a Listening Heart: Biblical and Spiritual Reflections on the Psalms. The Cardinal Yü Pin Academic Research Foundation approved funding the publication.
The Chinese version, containing the entire Book of Psalms, is around 500 pages with the English title “With A Listening Heart,” as well as the Hebrew phrase lev shome’a on the cover page.
The collaborators on the translation commended Fr. Bert’s efforts saying, “As his Hebrew name ‘Menahem’ indicates, it is a warm and consoling book as being with a dear friend going through all 150 psalms. Readers will love this book.”
If you would like a free copy of Fr. Bert’s 20-page reflection on just Psalm 119, you can email him your request at: [email protected]
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 #71 from the Marianist District of India
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