20 • Call 1.800.348.4732 here’s one surprising bit of history that Marianist Father Oscar Vasquez and Brother Bernard (Bernie) Ploeger share: Both were born in Texas. But while Father Oscar was raised in a close-knit Hispanic family steeped in the South Texas culture of San Antonio, Brother Bernie’s family left Dallas shortly after his birth to re-establish its Midwestern roots in Cincinnati with its strong Germanic influences. Although both men graduated from Marianist high schools — another shared experience — their paths as Marianists are almost as different as their families of origin. Father Oscar has worked primarily in high school and parish ministry, with a focus on faith formation. Hismostrecentassignments involved dual roles in St. Louis as a teacher and chaplain at Chaminade College Preparatory School and associate pastor at Our Lady of the Pillar parish. Brother Bernie has excelled in provincial and university administration, with a focus on finances. Last June, he completed his term as president of Chaminade University of Honolulu, a position he held for eight years. On Aug. 1, the lives of these two Marianists will converge as they assume new leadership roles. Last fall, after consultation with the brothers and the General Council, both men received notifications from General Superior Manuel Cortés asking Father Oscar to becomethenewprovincialoftheMarianistProvinceofthe United States and Brother Bernie to become assistant provincial. Bound by their devotion to the charism and the vision of the Marianist founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, both men graciously replied, “yes.” They believe their callings are not accidental. “It’s a wonderful match, but it certainly wasn’t something we planned,” says Father Oscar. “I see this as the move- ment of the Spirit. Brother Bernie and I have different strengths. Together, we have a good sense of the Province’s needs and can support each other. We may THROUGH THE A new Marianist leadership team, inspired by Chaminade’s vision and love of the Marianist Family, takes the helm. By Jan D. Dixon LENS of CHAMINADE Father Oscar Vasquez, SM “At this juncture, it is important to recall our founder, Father Chaminade, who started with just a few members and, just as he partnered with the people of his time, we intend to expand our partnership with the Marianist Family.” — Father Oscar Vasquez, SM T ALL PHOTOS: CURT DENNISON