On behalf of the Marianist Province of the United States, we wish you a Blessed Thanksgiving. May you feel God’s divine presence as you gather with your loved ones to give thanks to our Lord.
Click here for a Thanksgiving prayer from the Marianist Mission.
Giving Thanks and Aid in Trying Times
The annual hurricane season in the Atlantic officially ends on Nov. 30. Marianists who live in these hurricane-prone areas are relieved. Still, the impact of the fierce storms in September and Hurricane Nicole this November will linger for months, maybe years to come.
On Sept. 18, Hurricane Fiona, a powerful Category 1 hurricane, made landfall on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. “It was just one of many devastating events in the past five years,” said Bro. Francisco Gonzalez, director of Colegio San José in San Juan. “First came Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, followed by a series of incidents including the earthquakes of 2020, the COVID pandemic and now Hurricane Fiona.”
Fiona pummeled parts of Puerto Rico’s southwest and central mountain regions, unleashing 20 to 32 inches of rain and setting off flash floods, mudslides and power outages across the island.
“In San Juan, we were spared the winds but received a lot of rain and were without power for five days,” said Bro. Gonzalez. “As soon as we returned to school, our student organizations started collecting water, food and other items to take to people living in the mountains where some of the worst damage occurred.”
Once the roads were cleared, he inspected the school’s retreat house in the central mountains. “One building needs some repairs,” he said. “Due to landslides, we need to work on the property to remove rocks, soil and debris.”
Eleven days after Fiona, Hurricane Ian threatened much of Florida before making landfall on the state’s western coast. The Marianist community at Chaminade-Madonna in southern Florida “prepared for the storm, but it never traveled in our direction except for some outer bands, “ said Bro. Jack Ventura.
Counting their blessings, Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School launched two initiatives to help those who were impacted. “Our LIFE Student Ministry’s program collected water and other supplies and the National Honor Society and Chaminade Scholars collected toiletries, children’s supplies and cleaning supplies and delivered them to devastated areas on the west coast,” reported Bro. Ventura.
He added, “I am very proud of how our student community responded with generosity and a willingness to help the most vulnerable. We continue to pray for everyone whose lives were upended by this catastrophic event.”
Bro. Gonzalez joins in those prayers. “Thanks to God, we have been able to maintain our academic calendar year except for the two days we were closed. Adaptation and change have been a part of everything we have experienced these past five years. We pray for stability and normality for the rest of the school year.”
In The News
Business Leaders of the Year
Chaminade University of Honolulu President Dr. Lynn Babington was honored at Hawaii’s Business Leaders of the Year awards dinner. It’s an annual event, now in its 21st year, that honors Hawaii leaders who have made important contributions to their companies, industries and communities.
Babington will also be part of a discussion regarding transformational leadership on Dec. 8 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
5K for the Neighborhood
Holy Rosary Catholic Church, run by our Marianist priests and brothers in San Antonio, TX, gives thanks to all who participated in the annual 5K to benefit the parish and its members. The church’s mission is to enhance services in its surrounding neighborhoods.
The race typically raises about $10,000 to enhance services and outreach programs. It’s part of ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of life through revitalization, health and wellness. Each step taken by two-legged and four-legged companions makes strides toward the success of its mission.
Groundbreaking Nursing Program
St. Mary’s University and its School of Science, Engineering and Technology broke ground on a three-story Innovation Center building and a planned Bachelor of Science in Nursing program to be housed there.
The state-of-the-art, 30,000-square-foot center will be named the Blank Sheppard Innovation Center in honor of a $2 million gift from Leland T. Blank (B.S. ’67), Ph.D., P.E., and Sallie V. Sheppard, Ph.D.
“Alumni and friends, such as Leland Blank and Sallie Sheppard, share St. Mary’s vision for the future,” said Thomas M. Mengler, J.D., president of St. Mary’s University. “I have no doubt that this new collaborative space will enable our students to transform trailblazing ideas into next-generation realities.”
Click here to read more and see renderings of the new center.
Marianist Ministries in Action
Where Have All The Young People Gone?
“Empty Churches: Where have all the young people gone?” was the topic of a well-attended lecture held at Chaminade University of Honolulu. It’s a question Fr. James Heft has more than just pondered; for years, he has researched and analyzed data pertaining to this subject. In the lecture, he likens the last 50 years of disaffiliation to “nothing less than a tsunami, one that doesn’t come in one huge wave, but in successive waves.”
A Pew study conducted in 2021 reports that 29% of Americans are unaffiliated with any religion compared to 16% in a 2007 survey. But the majority of those unaffiliated adults who may no longer go to church say they believe in God and still pray.
Co-edited with University of Dayton grad and well-known social psychologist, Dr. Jan Stets, Empty Churches Non-Affiliation in America takes a deep dive into the “why.” Obviously, media and social media play a role, but they discovered that some feel the Church is too political, too wedded to rules of behavior, especially in sexual matters, and too concerned with control and power.
How can we help fill the pews? “Religious parents raise religious children – if done so in an authoritative but not authoritarian style,” says Fr. Heft, adding, “we should share our faith with confidence, but avoid cramming it down their throats.”
At the end of the event, Fr. Heft was presented with the Mackey Award for Catholic Thought. The award is in honor of the first president of Chaminade, Fr. Robert Mackey.
Fr. Heft’s lecture grabbed front-page headlines in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.
By Bro. David Betz
What’s in a Name?
Blessed Marie de la Conception de Batz de Trenquelléon
The process of naming a child involves various factors. Couples may look at family traditions, their families’ cultural situation and religious affiliation. Some will choose names that are common among their ancestors. In Catholic families, couples may look at the communion of saints to find a name. Today some couples will find unique names they feel will stand out as different or creative that may say something about the child. Whatever name is chosen, there is a hope that it is meaningful for the child as they grow up.
Blessed Adèle was born Adelaide Marie Charlotte Jeanne Josephine. Click here to learn why then we are asked to refer to her as Blessed Marie de la Conception de Batz de Trenquelléon.
From the Archives
Hey There, Pilgrim
Is there a word more synonymous with a movie star than “pilgrim” and John Wayne? Surprisingly, he only used the word in two of the almost 200 movies he made – the first time in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and finally in McClintock.
It is anyone’s guess if he uttered the word while attending an event at Colegio San José, a Marianist high school in Puerto Rico. Regardless, he garnered the admiration and awe of students and adults who lined up to meet the silver screen star, including Bro. Frank McCulken (1904-1987) seen on the far right of the picture.
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 obituary for Bro. James Maus was not completed in time for the October issue of FamilyOnline. It is now available and can be read by clicking here.
Good to Know
Pilgrimage from India to Rome and Beyond
By Bro. Showraiah Ravulapalli SM, a Marianist Seminarian from India
The Chaminade International Seminary community in Rome made a pilgrimage to historical Marianist sites in France and Spain.
There were six of us, including Fr. Manuel Cortés, the previous Superior General of the Society of Mary, who directed the reflections of our pilgrimage. A long-awaited and dreamt-about day to visit the birthplaces of Blessed Chaminade and the Society of Mary came true for me.
This spiritual journey, filled with joy, encounters and emotions, gave me a feeling of a child learning to walk – a feeling of grounding oneself in the spirit of our Founder. What a joy!
You are officially invited to attend two important and inspirational events at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center in Eureka, MO, in December: an Advent Retreat and Blue Christmas.
The Advent Retreat, entitled “Cultivating a Listening Heart,” will be held the weekend of Dec. 9-11, 2022. Blue Christmas is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a child. It is a candlelight vigil to honor their memory and will be held on Dec. 4, 2022.
A Reflection of Mission and Thanksgiving
By Bro. Larry McBride
In 1988 when I left the U.S. to go to Mexico, there was a “missioning” ceremony for those of us who were going. In the homily, we were referred to as “missionaries.” There was something I didn’t like then about being called a missionary, and that dislike has only deepened over the years. The reason is that I receive much more than I give and have been “missioned to” by those very people I set out to help. The real missionaries are the people I meet.
Recently, I have been fortunate to be “missioned to” by those I have met in India. One of those people, in particular, is someone for whom I would like to say a few things. It is because his story is inspiring and puts more clarity on the world situation than any statistic. His story speaks to what is important in life. It speaks to missioning.
Click here to read more.
Graduate Assistantships Available
Share your faith through relational ministry to college students while pursuing a Masters in Theology or Pastoral Ministry. Serve undergraduate students by journeying with them to cultivate faith, foster spiritual growth, and form Christian leaders.
Positions for the upcoming year will be comprised of unique portfolios that include a combination of the following: Residence Life Ministry, Retreats, Liturgy, Service and Justice, and Vocational Discernment ministries. Tuition, stipend, and housing are provided.
Click here for more information and to apply.
Applications are due February 1.
Stay in Touch
The Fulcrum from Marianist LIFE – Living In Faith Experience
MLC-NA from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
Justice Jottings from the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative
AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
District Update #63 from the Marianist District of India
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary
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