b'A Messagefrom the ProvincialDear Friends of the Marianists, \x02 Several years ago, I spent spring break repairing a neighborhood chapel at a poor church on theI grew up in San Antonio on the west side U.S./Mexico border and helping feed those inof town in what wasand remainsa need. It was a tiring week. On the drive home toprimarily Hispanic neighborhood. My three northern Texas, I remember thinking I would besisters and I were raised to celebrate our happy to be in my bed and have a hot shower. culture and language, and to appreciate But one of the students wasnt thinking about rest-family and Church. As young adults, it was ing. Conversely, she asked whether we would bejust our parents and us celebrating holidays, going back next year. but things really changed when my oldest \x02 During this past Christmas break, the Marianist In-sister started her family. vitational basketball tournament featured fiveWhat was this change? It was re-encoun- Marianist high schoolsand one huge coincidence.tering the holidays (secular and religious) Two of the schools had a student from India, notthrough her children, calling us to become only with the same jersey number but the samereacquainted with the holidays and truly name, too. During a game against each other, theyenter the celebrations. Children in our lives competed hard but shared an embrace after thecall us to experience the dream of family game. That was a reminder to all present: We mayand Church, to truly experience and allow be on different teams, but we still have the commonFather Oscar Vasquez, SM ourselves to be people of hope and joy. Im thankful bond of being educated in the Marianist tradition.for this gift in my life.Our world can learn much from these two young men. As a vowed Marianist, my adult life primarily has Whether were in schools, universities or parishes,been spent around teenagers in high schools. These we work diligently to tell the deep Catholic andyoung people present challenges at times, but they Marianist story. We teach people to celebrate theiralso call me to tell our deep story as Catholics and faith and dream of what our faith and God call us toMarianists. They ask questions, they celebrate, they be. In a world that is deeply divided, we bring thebelieve, they wonder, and they dream. face of God and our Blessed Mother to our studentsEvery year, we start anew in our universities and and their families. high schools with a new set of students and a new Thank you for your generosity in helping theopportunity to be the face of God for these young Marianists continue our mission. people. We invite them into a relationship with a Godwho is truly loving, to see His wonders and, yes, some- United in the Marianist Charism,times, to realize our Churchs faults. Its filled withimperfect human individuals. The important thing isteaching them to continue walking toward Jesus.A couple of examples of what Marianist education Rev. Oscar Vasquez, SMcelebrates have stuck with me, one in the past and Provincial the other recent: 2 Call 1.800.348.4732'