LIFE IN PERSPECTIVE For nearly 50 years, a Marianist formation program has equipped adolescents to step boldly into a world that needs their faith and idealism. By Jan D. Dixon Grant Hawkins, from Archbishop Moeller High School, and Mario Perez, from Colegio San José, share their thoughts during a discussion session at LIFE Central 2017. • 11 he world is spinning fast — “faster than we can keep up with,” says Marianist Brother Mark Motz, national vocation director for the Marianists, who keeps tabs on matters of concern to adolescents and young adults. There are plenty of issues that seem out of control: violence, mass shootings, the opioid crisis, to name a few. But just when it all feels — well, hopeless — spend a few days around some energetic Marianist high school students, and you’ll find your inner battery being recharged. One reason is the Marianist LIFE program. Started nearly 50 years ago to provide faith-building experiences for teens, Marianist LIFE (Living in Faith Experience) is as relevant today as it was back then. “The world was crazy in 1968,” recalls Marianist Father Ken Templin, who serves as chaplain at Junipero Serra High School, a former Marianist school in Los Angeles where students participate in LIFE. “One reason LIFE was created was to provide a safe space for kids to address social issues that were significantly impact- ing them. The world is crazy today, too, and the program is just as important.” Important in several ways: LIFE offers community, a place where teens can find support and affirmation as they grow into adulthood. It provides meaningful guardrails — ethical guidance on matters of faith and life. And it inspires them to take action on social justice issues, teaching them that they have a voice and can make a difference on behalf of others. Most important, it meets their deepest spiritual and emotional longings. T PHOTO: ANDY SNOW