2 • Call 1.800.348.4732 Dear Friends, This letter is my last as provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States. My term of office ends on July 31, 2018, just after the conclusion of our General Chapter meeting in Rome. These past eight years have flown by. When I first received a call from Marianist Father Manuel Cortés, our Superior General, asking me to assume this responsibility, I was totally surprised. That was July 2009. I had been living and working in West and East Africa for 27 years. Returning to major leadership was the very last thing on my radar. But, as with other experiences in my life, this time has been a blessing for me. I especially have enjoyed my relation- ships with the lay leaders at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, University of Dayton in Ohio and Chaminade University of Honolulu. Such dedication and commit- ment in these Marianist educational collab- orators! I have equally enjoyed the times I’ve visited our Marianist-sponsored schools and retreat centers. I’ve celebrated all-school Masses at most of these 19 schools. The Eucharistic celebrations at Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Chaminade College Prep in Los Angeles, St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis, Purcell Marian in Cincinnati and Colegio San José in San Juan, Puerto Rico, come readily to mind. So much good energy and youthful enthusiasm! I shall miss all of this very much. I’ve been privileged to visit Marianists in India at least twice yearly, as well as the brothers and priests in Eastern Africa several times since 2009. The Society of Mary is growing in these areas, just as the Catholic population continues to explode in these parts of the world. The Marianists in India and Africa are doing what Marianists have done here in the United States since 1850: Catholic education, lifting up the poor — working especially with poor mothers and children. What a gift to the Church and to these growing areas of our world! I want to say a big, loving and heartfelt thank-you to all who read ALIVE magazine. Through your support and generosity, we can continue the mission entrusted to us by our Founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade: in alliance with Mary, to bring Christ to our world and to witness a community of faith-filled and mission- minded religious men, dedicated to the Mother of the Lord. We could not do what we do without you. Before I begin the next chapter of my Marianist life, I have requested to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, an ancient, 500-mile pilgrimage route across northern Spain to the shrine of St. James in Compostela. As I make this pilgrimage, I will remember each of you and your families, asking the Lord and our Blessed Mother to fill you with peace and joy. In gratitude, Father Martin Solma, SM Provincial A Message from the Provincial A trail sign along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the pilgrimage Father Marty Solma, SM, will hike this fall Father Martin Solma, SM