Bro. John Lemker Uses His Gifts for Photography to Celebrate God’s Creation
Bro. John Lemker didn’t start his ministry with the Marianists as a photographer. In fact, it wasn’t until developing a geology course at Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati in the early 1970s that he first picked up a camera and discovered the possibilities.
“I spent three consecutive summers in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah where I documented geological formations for the course,” he said. But while exploring these rugged landscapes, he also began noticing God’s grand design, both in the intricate details of a tranquil woodland marsh or the stunning turbulence of a frenetic mountain stream.
His photography took on new acclaim when two of his images were published in Sierra Club calendars in the 1980s.
Clearly, knowing when to hit the shutter button is part of his photographic gift. But he also has an eye for beauty and design.
“There’s an art to seeing,” he said. “When you look at nature, there comes a point when you see with your whole self, and your soul says, ‘that’s it.’”
Bro. John and his photography are featured in the Spring 2021 edition of ALIVE magazine which will be published in mid-March.
A Marianist Moment
By Bro. David Betz
Remembering Venerable Fr. Domingo Lázaro Castro, SM – Educator, Priest, Mentor, Formator
A part of my responsibilities as the Pacific Area Spiritual Advisor for the Marianist Affiliates, I am involved with the initial formation of candidates for Marianist Affiliation. Reading Marianist documents from our Marianist history is part of this process, and one of these documents is Blessed Chaminade’s “Letter to the Retreat Masters” of 1839. He wrote this letter on Aug. 24, 1839, to Georges Caillet, Jean Baptist Fontaine and Jules Cesar Perrodin who were charged to lead the annual retreats for the members of the Society of Mary and the Institute of Mary. Blessed Chaminade wrote it after he received a decree of praise for the Society and the Institute from Pope Gregory XVI in July 1839. Chaminade’s primary purpose for this letter was to let the retreat directors know how important it was to acknowledge the great work we do under the auspices of Mary and that our vow of stability calls us to persevere in this work, especially when we are called to “ do whatever He tells you.” Near the end of the letter, he stresses this great call in light of the special vow of teaching. (Note: The vow of teaching was dropped by the time the SM Constitutions were approved in July of 1891.)
In The News
Marianist Heritage Awards
Last month, St. Mary’s University honored four individuals with the Marianist Heritage Award. The award, which has been given each year since 1981, recognizes faithfulness to the University’s Marianist heritage. It is expressed by an interest in the 200-year development of the Marianist Charism through efforts at increasing knowledge and working for its implementation in the university community. The award recognizes recipients for their support and promotion of the Catholic and Marianist educational mission and tradition at St. Mary’s.
Fr. Bill Meyer, associate vice president for Mission and Rector, and Dr. Jessica González Uhlig, director of Marianist Educational Associates and President’s Ambassador Program, coordinated this year’s awards. St. Mary’s University President Tom Mengler presented the awards and recognized the recipients.
Congratulations to the 2021 Marianist Heritage Awards Recipients
David Sommer, Ph.D.
Professor, Greehey School of Business
Fred “Steve” Hemphill
Director of Development, University Advancement
Executive Director, Academic Technology Services
Student, Biochemistry Senior
Marianist Ministries in Action
MLC-NA Introduces New Virtual Lay Formation Program
When the Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA) convened a group of Marianist laity and vowed religious in 2018 to envision a new model for Marianist Lay formation, they couldn’t have anticipated that a global pandemic would assist their efforts.
But one positive outcome of COVID-19 is that “people are now familiar with video conferencing, such as Zoom, and aren’t afraid to use it,” says Margy Lisjak, the new chair of MLC-NA.
MLC-NA is launching its new Virtual Lay Formation (VLF) program in March. “We didn’t want people to wait any longer to get started,” said Margy. “And the beauty of an online program is that it’s a cost-effective way to connect people in parts of the country who don’t have a local Marianist community nearby.”
MLC-NA leaders Abbey Saurine-Seitz, head of education, and LeeAnn Meyer, head of spirituality, with support from Bro. Stephen Glodek spearheaded the development of the VLF program which is taught by Marianist Brothers, Sisters, and Laity.
VLF runs from Mar. 23–June 29, with participants meeting every other Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. E.T.
MLC-NA envisions the VLF program as the first step in a larger Lay formation initiative.
For more information, please click here.
Celebrating Marianist Founders
This January, Marianist ministries throughout the United States celebrated Marianist Founders, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon, and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous.
One example: St. Francis de Sales Parish in Cincinnati celebrated the Marianist Founders and Marianist vocation in January at both the Sunday and Wednesday evening parish Masses.
The celebrations highlighted the works and inspiration of each founder on a particular day and included brief summaries in the parish bulletins. Also. a packet of NACMS publications was distributed at each Mass.
To access the January parish bulletins and the features about the founders and vocations, go to the St. Francis de Sales January parish bulletins on the website. You can also find a link to attend a Sunday Mass on their site.
Thanks for sharing Bro. Ed Longbottom.
New Marianists Write Now!
NACMS is offering another Marianists Write Now! program on Mar. 12-13, 2021.
Marianists Write Now! is a structured opportunity for members of the Marianist Family to share written reflections about their experiences of the Marianist Charism. The topic for the March reflection is: “What does it mean for me to live a committed Marianist life?”
Write Now begins on Friday evening, Mar. 12, and continues through Saturday, Mar. 13. Although the program uses Zoom to gather for prayer, writing exercises and peer consultations, most of the time will be spent on personal reflection and writing.
Click here to register by Mar. 2, 2021.
Click here to read the contributions from our first gathering.
Pray With Us
Please join us in prayer for these members of the Marianist Family.
Bro. Jose Degorio, 82, died Feb. 15, 2021. Brother José served many years in administrative support positions in California and Hawaii, and also taught high school business courses, a role he greatly enjoyed. He will be remembered as a gentle, humble man with a cheerful heart.
Good to Know
‘Journeys of Faith’ Exhibit Extended; Also Available Online
The popular and free Marian Library exhibit Journeys of Faith: Shrines, Souvenirs and Catholic Tourism is extended until March 24 and is also now available as a virtual exhibit.
About the exhibit: Catholic shrines and festivals attract millions of visitors each year, ranging from pilgrims on spiritual journeys to casual tourists. This exhibit features items from the Marian Library and the U.S. Catholic Special Collection. It explores the motivations for Catholic travel and delves into what visitors do at these sites and the souvenirs they collect — from handcrafted devotional objects to quirky mementos.
Plan a Summer Family Retreat by the Seashore
The Marianist Family Retreat Center in Cape May, NJ, is now accepting applications for week-long family retreats to enhance your spiritual life.
The peer group activities, community prayer services, and beach activities provide the perfect spirit-filled family vacation. Check out available dates for the 2022 calendar, then fill out an application online.
Visit Cape May Marianists to learn more about the Center and its ministry.
National Director – Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA)
The Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA), a private association of the faithful in the Marianist tradition, comprised of lay Catholics formed in, committed to, and living the Marianist Charism, is seeking a national director. The ideal candidate in our search for this newly created position will share the passion for the mission and work of the Marianist Family formed by the vision of our Founders Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Blessed Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Venerable Marie Thérèse Charlotte de Lamourous.
Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC) – Assistant Director
The Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC) is seeking an Assistant Director who reports to and works collaboratively with the MSJC Director. MSJC’s focus is to unite and multiply the efforts of Marianists to act for social justice. The Assistant Director will advance MSJC’s mission by providing leadership, facilitation, and support to the volunteers in MSJC in ways that assure effective education and action for social justice within and beyond the Marianist Family. Learn more.
Stay in Touch
AMU Newsletter from the Association of Marianist Universities
The Fulcrum from the Marianist LIFE
District Update 43 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
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