Volume 20, Number 1 | January 29, 2021

New Year Blessings

As we begin this new year, we pray that the Lord will give us strength and wisdom. May we feel His luminous presence in our hearts each day as we begin our journey anew.

In the peace and joy of Christ,

Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Provincial
Marianist Province of the United States

Marianists Announce Departure from St. Anthony’s Parish

On Jan. 16, the Marianists announced that the Society of Mary is withdrawing from St. Anthony’s Parish on the Hawaiian island of Maui, effective July 1, 2021. The departure results from multiple factors, including a declining and aging population of priests and brothers in the congregation. As part of the withdrawal, the Diocese of Honolulu will assume day-to-day operations of the parish and its spiritual community, with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This was a difficult decision that we didn’t take lightly, especially given the Marianist’s historic presence in Hawaii and our special relationship with the St. Anthony’s community,” said Fr. Oscar Vasquez, Marianist Provincial. “However, after reviewing all of our available resources, it was ultimately decided that the spiritual, physical and social needs of St. Anthony’s parishioners would be best served by the diocese moving forward, and we’re grateful for its support.”

Current Marianists assigned to the parish community include Pastor Fr. Roland Bunda, Associate Pastor Fr. Sylverius Kerketta, Pastoral Assistant Bro. Fred Silbereis, and in-residence Bro. Dave Quigley. In addition, Bro. Fank Gomes, who is a graduate of St. Anthony’s, resides on the island of Maui. All will be assigned to other Marianist communities. Although the withdrawal will result in no active Marianists serving the island of Maui, the society will still maintain a significant presence in the region, including Chaminade University of Honolulu and Saint Louis School. The Marianists will continue to provide ongoing support and resources to the existing Lay Marianist groups both on Oahu and Maui. Similarly, we are pleased to continue our sponsorship of St. Anthony’s School.

St. Anthony’s is a special community, with its roots on the island dating back more than 150 years. Founded by the Fathers of the Order of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1848, the parish has grown over the decades to include a diverse parish of more than 900 families, many ministries, a preschool, cemetery and the only Catholic high school on the island of Maui. Although the Marianists formally assumed leadership of St. Anthony’s Parish in 1976, the Society of Mary was already well known to the community, having founded the Wailuku School for Boys in 1883 at the invitation of the Sacred Hearts Fathers.

The Marianists are planning a parish farewell event on May 23, 2021, to honor the many brothers and priests who have served the parish there and to thank the St. Anthony Community for their collaboration and support.

Read the Press Release

Read the Announcement in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

Congratulations Fr. Renny Markose

The Province of the United States joins with the District of India in giving thanks for our newest Marianist priest. Most Rev. Dr. Peter Machado, Archbishop of Bangalore, ordained Deacon Renny Markose to the priesthood in Deepahalli, Bangalore, on January 23. The ordination ceremony took place outdoors with appropriate safety measures and with the assistance of all the communities on the Deepahalli campus.

About 200 family members, religious sisters, priests and the Marianist Brothers participated in the celebration. The ordination celebration ended with lunch and the participants congratulated and prayed for the newly ordained Fr. Renny. On Feb. 8, Fr. Renny will celebrate his first Mass in his home parish along with his family members.

See more photos.

Virtual Prayer Services at Villa Angela-St. Joseph Sustain Community During Pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic has kept students, faculty, staff and alumni at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School in Cleveland from in-person gatherings since last March, it has not dampened their enthusiasm for community.

As a Marianist-sponsored school, “We wondered: How can we bring our whole community together in prayer?” said Cheryl Stashinko, associate director of alumni relations.“

Cheryl, along with Brianna Wilson, campus ministry director, decided one way to support people was through a monthly Zoom prayer service. “We launched our first service, called “Forever Faith and Family,” in November,” said Brianna.

“The services enable us to open our Zoom doors to our community at large, even those who no longer live in Cleveland, and be in prayerful support of one another,” added Cheryl.

“It’s a difficult time for many, but in these prayer gatherings we can talk to God and share our concerns,” said Brianna.

The 30-minute gatherings average about 15 people and have attracted a diverse group including students, faculty, board members, alumni and Marianist friends.

Upcoming Forever Faith and Family prayer services are scheduled on Feb. 9, Mar, 9, April 13 and May 11, at 11 a.m. E.T.

To participate in a Forever Faith and Family prayer service, visit: https://vasj.com/alumniprayerseries.

A Marianist Moment

By Bro. David Betz

Blessed Chaminade and Blessed Adèle – Models of Faith and Perseverance

When I reflect on our two Blesseds, Chaminade and Adèle, faithfulness and perseverance are dominant themes that arise. They lived in the tumultuous time of the French Revolution and to survive they undoubtedly had to have much faith and perseverance. And so, I wonder where they got these attributes since they modeled them throughout their entire lives. Of course, family comes to mind. It was their families that instilled these characteristics. Since many of the institutions during the French Revolution were nonexistent, they had to depend on the people who were essential in their lives.

Read more.

In The News

On the left: Fr. Ralph Siefert, SM and on the right: Dr. Todd Guidry

Chaminade Names New Leadership

Congratulations to Fr. Ralph Siefert, (president, Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis) on the announcement of his retirement effective June 2022. And congratulations to Dr. Todd Guidry (Chaminade middle school principal) on his appointment as the school’s next president.

“The 2021-2022 school year will serve as a transition year with Fr. Ralph in the role of president and Dr. Guidry serving as executive vice president,” stated John F. Eilermann, chair of the Chaminade Board of Trustees. “This will allow for a seamless transition upon Fr. Ralph’s retirement in June 2022.”

Fr. Ralph Siefert has dedicated much of his life to Chaminade having first taught there in 1968 and then returning as president in 1987. In his announcement letter he wrote, “One of the greatest blessings of my life has been the opportunity to work and minister at Chaminade. More than half of my adult life has been spent as an active member of our school family, and I believe that I have been incredibly gifted to learn from students, faculty, staff and fellow administrators over the years about the importance and value of Catholic, Marianist education.”

Click here for full details on this announcement.

Brenden Piontek

Chaminade Student Receives MLK Model of Justice Award

On Sunday, Jan. 17, Chaminade College Preparatory sophomore Brenden Pionteck was one of 29 St. Louis Catholic teens honored with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Model of Justice Award. Also honored were, Elian Dominguez from St. John Vianney and Chris Garcia from St. Mary’s High School. Congratulations, to all!

Read the feature article on Brendon in the St. Louis Review.  (Download pdf.)

Marianist Ministries in Action

Filius Mariae Podcast Series Invites Listeners to Develop Their Interior Lives

When he was ordained last August, Fr. Brandon Paluch, priest in residence at Holy Rosary Parish in San Antonio, began experimenting with an idea. “At the advice of my friend, Dr. Chris Albanese, I started posting my homilies each Sunday as a podcast,” he said.

A few months later, Bro. Mark Motz recommended he take it a step further and record short meditations on the Scriptures for each day. The podcast series, called Filius Mariae — which means “the Son of Mary” — now features daily segments that run about five-to-eight minutes each, as well as the longer Sunday homilies.

“Part of my job as a priest is to preach the Gospel on a regular basis,” he said. But with COVID-19 limiting his contact with people, reaching out through an audio medium seemed like a good plan.

He credits Marianist Sr. Gabby Bibeau for providing him technical advice on how to produce a podcast based on her work at the North American Center for Marianist Studies.

And it was Crystal Sullivan, director of campus ministry at University of Dayton, who inspired him when she suggested that the pandemic offered an opportunity to help people develop their interior lives.

“My daily podcasts are a modest attempt to help people reflect on God’s word every day,” he said.

Visit Filius Mariae. Also available on Alexa, Apple, Google, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify and Stitcher.

Pray With Us

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

Bro. Don Geiger – Undated

Bro. Don Geiger – 2015

Bro. Don Geiger, 87, died Dec. 29, 2020. Bro. Don was a noted scientist, an environmentalist and a teacher for more than five decades. He founded the Marianist Environmental Education Center and was instrumental in the creation of other conservation organizations and programs.

Read his obituary.

See more photos.

Fr. Raymond Malley

Fr. Raymond Malley – 2015

Fr. Raymond Malley, 80, died Jan. 7, 2021. Fr. Ray was a teacher, school administrator and pastor who served in California, Washington and Hawaii. He will be remembered as a dedicated Marianist and a quiet, gentle priest whose humble leadership brought out the best among those he shepherded.

Read his obituary.

Read his obituary from the Hawaii Catholic Herald.

See more photos.

Good to Know

Marianists Grow in Formation

On the left: Jesus (Chucho) Alvarez, Peter Evans and Steve Kim make their commitment to the novitiate. On the right: Chicago Schuller formalized his commitment as an aspirant.

At an evening Eucharist on Sunday, Jan. 17, Jesus (Chucho) Alvarez, Peter Evans and Steve Kim made their commitment to the Marianist novitiate. Also this month, Chicago Schuller formalized his commitment as a Marianist aspirant in a ceremony at the Stonemill-Kiefarber Marianist Community in Dayton, Ohio. In addition, two Marianist aspirants Joseph Choi (Korea) and Guillermo (Memo) Peña Contreras (Mexico) arrived for the pre-aspirancy program at Casa Maria Community in San Antonio, Texas this month.

Are you called to become a Marianist? This is a great question to be asking yourself. The Marianists – members of the Society of Mary – are a joyful, prayerful community of men. We represent a wide range of ages and cultural backgrounds. We share a devotion to the Blessed Mother and a commitment to service. Learn more about Marianist Formation.

Our Lady of Pillar Parishioner Helps Name the St. Louis Review

In 1957, Our Lady of Pillar Parishioner Mary Gotwals was just 26 when she was one of four St. Louisans to name St. Louis’s Catholic Newspaper.

Read the story in the St. Louis Review. (Download pdf.)

Graduate Assistantships at University of Dayton

Share your faith ministering to college students while pursuing a Masters in Theology or Pastoral Ministry. Work alongside seasoned campus ministers and engage in holistic ministerial formation as you form your own ministerial identity and approach. Serve undergraduate students by journeying with them to cultivate faith, foster spiritual growth and form Christian leaders through spiritual mentoring and discipleship, leading small groups, facilitating retreats, planning worship, coordinating service and justice initiatives and more.

Positions for the upcoming year will be comprised of unique portfolios that include a combination of the following: Residence Life ministry, retreats, service and justice, and vocational discernment ministries. Tuition, stipend and housing are provided.

Click here for application and more information or contact Kelly Adamson, 937.229.2574.

Applications due Feb. 1.

Marianist Retreat & Conference Center – Executive Director

The Marianist Marianist Retreat & Conference Center, located in Eureka, Missouri, is searching for an executive director. This position will focus on the overall strategic direction, sustainability, and promotion of the Marianist Retreat & Conference Center (MRCC). In the spirit of the Three Offices of the Marianist Tradition, the executive director (Office of Temporalities) will serve in collaboration with the director of hospitality (Office of Hospitality), and the director of programs (Office of Education & Spiritual/Religious Life). Learn more.

Marianist Vocations – Vocation Ministry Coordinator

The Marianist Province of the U.S. is searching for a Vocation Ministry coordinator. The Vocation Ministry coordinator will work with the National Vocation director to promote and foster a culture of vocations through a multifaceted approach which includes development and implementation of strategic marketing, advertising and communication. Learn more.

President of School – Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School

Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska, is searching for a new president beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. Gross Catholic is “a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through educational excellence in the Marianist tradition.” To learn more about this position and the application process, please click here.

Stay in Touch

Newsletters

AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 42 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
Magnificat from the World Council of the Marianist Family
MLC-NA e-News from the Marianist Lay Community of North America
NACMS Newsletter from the North American Center for Marianist Studies
Via Latina 22 from the General Administration of the Society of Mary

Other Resources

Marianist Archives     

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