International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC) 

Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

May-- 2020

Faith and Courage
by Sanjay Saraiya
Mk: 5:36--Jesus says, “Do not be afraid. Only have faith.”

Today, we have the pandemic of Covid-19.  This pandemic affects most everyone directly –personally, socially, and spiritually. It is a sad moment for all of us that the Churches are closed at this time. But God does not leave us out of his redemptive plans.

We do not have to give up our faith!  The moment has come to be patient and have courage. We must imagine how Jesus Christ accepted the cross—with trust and great courage. The truth is that He was resurrected by his heavenly Father. Therefore, He shows us that we must never lose our faith but be always courageous. 

Being on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Luke: 22:42).

We encounter Jesus as a healer and giver of our daily life, in the Eucharist. Faith plays a significant role to bring that miracle into our lives. The Scripture invites us to cement our faith with the risen Christ.

Dear Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and all MLC members,
Today, we need to stand against such this pandemic and show our solidarity with people who are excluded —the hopeless, the powerless and the voiceless.  It requires an individual faith in God. At present, Jesus is calling us to establish a strong faith and telling us not to panic because of our trials. He says, “Why are you afraid?” He is calling us to increase our faith and expecting us to submit all our fear to him.  Have faith and trust!
With Regards,
Sanjay Saraiya in India

MLC Featured Country: India
The MLC Seed in India was germinated in 1994. Now, we have six groups. They are – Singhpur, Nirmal Deep, Gyan Deep, Binda, Odisha, and Andra Pradesh in the South.

Presently, each group is active and meets twice a month . In our meetings, we do faith sharing about our daily lives. We do a form of lectio: we take passages from the Bible, read them slowly, contemplate them, and then share our thoughts with the group. In these ways we are able to share the ups and downs of our lives.

During the time of Lent, Binda MLC and Br. Augustus Surin SM, the Mentor of Binda, organized a day of recollection for all the Marianist Lay Communities. The following pictures show some of the activities and the group.
On Saturday evening, March 7, 2020, the MLC members of Binda started their recollection at 7 PM, at Asha Deep Community Chapel. On Sunday, all the MLC groups from the North zone went to Bongaburu for the day of recollection. We all started our journey at 9 AM, and arrived around 10:30 AM. 
As soon as we arrived we started walking towards Maria Buru which is located on the mountain ( the shrine of Mary ). The participants were from Binda, Singhpur, Nirmal Deep (Kolambi), Ranchi, and included the SM Novices and their formators. Altogether, there were 60 Marianists attending. 
Our journey towards the shrine of Mary was completely silent and we remembered the passion of Jesus in prayer as we climbed the mountain. It took close to one hour to reach the top. The mountain is about 3,400 feet above sea level. When we all got to the top, Br. Augustus gave us information about the importance of Marian Shrine.
Soon after, we offered our prayers and intentions.   Then we walked towards the village chapel. In the village, we were welcomed, given water to drink and had some time to relax. 

Then the holy celebration started. The main celebrant was Fr. Cyprian Dang, SJ. After the mass, we went for lunch at the bank of the river. The place was very beautiful.  The trees were green and attractive.
After lunch, we had adoration in the village chapel, along with the villagers. It was a good occasion for the villagers to participate in the prayer service. It is true that our day of recollection was very fruitful.
Gift – It is a joyful moment for us that last year we had 40 new MLC members promised.
 
Challenges - We have the big challenge that we are still are depending upon SM Brothers and Sisters for our guidance and support for every occasion. But overall, our biggest challenge is that we are not strong enough in money matters. However, we are so grateful to you, our brother and sister Marianists around the world, for your love and prayers.
 
With regards,
Sanjay Saraiya,
National Responsible for India
Responses From Readers:
Ways to Connect during
“Social Distancing”...
  • From Matt Dunn, Chair of MLC-NA: Just about 6 weeks ago, the MLC-NA Leadership Council offered MLCs all over the US and Canada to meet using our Zoom platform. Over 10 communities reached out to schedule their meetings via Zoom. Most have met multiple times and had positive experiences. The communities have ranged from recently graduated students to members who have been active in the family since the 1970s! Interested? Contact Matt Dunn, chair@mlc-na.org

  • From Julie La Belle Sprouse, Director of Student Activities at Chaminade College Preparatory:


  • Second – we made lawn signs for our entire senior class and enlisted over 50 faculty, staff and a few parent volunteers to deliver a sign to every senior so every one received a “distant” visit and a sign to celebrate being a senior. https://vimeo.com/409419848


  • Marie Joelle BEC shared that she usually “accompanies an MLC with older persons” but during this pandemic they have “decided to propose a virtual meeting once a month.” Marie says it is “important to look for maintaining the relation in another manner when one way is blocked." 


  • The Embers MLC has designed an initiative designed to build community through shared reflection and prayer within the Marianist Family. It is called Gathering in the Spirit and is held as a Zoom meeting every First Wednesday of the month at 8 pm Eastern Time. No RSVP is necessary. You can join Here.

Let Us Pray...
Excerpts from Common Prayer for the 5th Anniversary of
Laudato Si'
Loving God,

Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them...You created us in your own image and made us stewards of all your creation.

You blessed us with the sun, water, and bountiful land so that all might be nourished...Open our minds and touch our hearts, so that we may be attuned to your gift of creation.

Help us to be conscious that our common home belongs not only to us, but to all creatures and to all future generations...May we help each person secure the food and resources they need...

Lord, be present to those in need in these trying times...
Transform our fear and feelings of isolation into hope and fraternity.

Help us to show creative solidarity in addressing the consequences of this global pandemic...Make us courageous to embrace the changes that are needed to serve the common good.

Enable us to listen and respond to the cry of the earth and of the poor...May our present sufferings be the birth pangs of a more fraternal and sustainable world.

Under the loving gaze of Mary, Help of Christians, we make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Taken from Laudato Si' Week.

Upcoming Marianist Feast Days

  • June 9 Pentecost

  • June 10 Memorial of Bles'd Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

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