International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC) 

Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

July -- 2020

The Marianist Family in Japan

by Kiyoshi Hirata,
National Responsible of Japan

In 1888, a small school was founded by the SM members in Tokyo . At that time Japan was still under the influence of the secular policy and the country was closed to the outer world. The activity was limited within a very small area (they called it “kyoryuuchi,” foreign settlement). 

In 1924 Chaminade House (a monastery) was built and missionary works started. 

In 1949, two members of the FMI started missionary works and monastic life, in the suburbs of Tokyo. They managed a kindergarten, and followed with an elementary school, a middle school, and finally a high school. It was the starting point of their missionary. 

After World War II, the idea for founding a branch of Alliance Mariale (AM) in Japan began forming among those who dedicated themselves to the movement. This movement has now spread worldwide, and they communicate with many languages. By the way, there are few countries in the world that AM plays its role in the four branches of the Marianist Family. Japan is one of these few countries.

The organizing of MLCs in Japan began in the middle of the 1980s , and it has a history of about 40 years. They have now eight communities that work and have open meetings regularly in the Tokyo area and other parts of Japan. 

The “Tree of the Marianists” below show the roles and unity of four branches—SM, FMI, AM, and MLC. Each branch acts on their own initiative of Marianist mission. They try to find the needs people want and answer them with their best efforts.  

For more information contact
Kiyoshi Hirata,
Responsible of Japan,

MLC Featured Country: Japan

Helping Students:
Face Masks and “Marianist Karuta

We were hopeful but worried about children who are fearful during this time of Covid-19. What could we do as MLC for them? It became our mission during the first half of 2020.
One activity was highlighted. It was the activity of making face masks by individuals or groups. These masks were used by themselves, or delivered to some groups that had great need of them.
We hoped that Covid-19 would disappear someday soon and we could go back to ordinary life. Unfortunately, that did not happen! And Koka Gakuen Elementary School was temporarily closed by Covid-19 infection.

So, I would like to introduce one of the regular activities we have done with the children in past years.

We have had these activities for five years so far. Some members of our MLC visited members of Chaminade Society at Koka Gakuen Elementary School in Tokyo each November. We give the pupils chances to make things, like a rosary, a book, and so on. 
Among them, making “Marianist karuta was the most impressive activity we had. It went like this.

Our members prepared 30 blank small cards.    Pupils used them to drew pictures of the episodes about Father Chaminade and Adele de Tranquelleon.

At the same time, teachers and MLC members prepared the stories about the pictures. Pupils try to match the pictures and stories after listening to the readings of the cards.

Pupils learned more about these two important persons for us. After finishing drawing, we played with them and had a happy time.
These are the blank Story Cards that our members made.
These are the Drawing Cards that the children made.
Kiyoshi Hirata,
Responsible of Japan,

Statement and
Support Resources on the Release of Names
by the Society of Mary

On June 24, 2020, the Society of Mary released the names of brothers and priests, living and deceased, within the Marianist Family who were found to have sexually abused a minor since 1950 in the United States. Click here for the official announcement.

The Marianist Lay Community of North America followed immediately with an MLC-NA statement commending the Society of Mary for this brave action of transparency and humility, while condemning the societal systems and structures that have allowed such travesties to take place.

While the Society of Mary has released some resources with the list, members of the Leadership Council of MLC-NA wanted to make sure that our Marianist Family, and especially our laity, had an intentional reflection resource to use to process this release. The Leadership Council partnered with the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC) Women & Justice Issue Team, who has been working for justice in terms of clericalism and abuse, to create this reflection experience. Click here to access the Reflection Experience.

There are Ground Rules to follow if you choose to use this experience within your community.  We encourage you to individually reflect first and ask that you be aware of the different reactions and emotions in the room or virtual space. Consider how you can allow space for a variety of places on this journey of healing. For example, be sure everyone has the chance to speak, respect everyone’s contributions and maintain confidentiality. You do not have to speak until you are ready. You can only speak from your own experiences. Please keep information shared by others confidential. This is challenging, triggering and impacting members of our Family differently. Be wary of offering advice to those who have experienced abuse or harassment. Be aware, kind and humble.

It is our hope that our Marianist Family will find this Reflection Experience helpful as they share and process this painful news. As a charismatic family and Marian face of the Church, may we be models of prayer, forgiveness, and support as well as advocates for justice and accountability.

 Let Us Pray...
Creator, Healer, Redeemer, 

We come to you this day with a familiar heaviness made personal. 

We come to you this day with wounds opened, yet again, by power corrupted.

We come to you this day feeling dejected, angry and betrayed.

We come to you this day, pleading for a resolution to questions unanswered and feelings unresolved.

We come to You, Lord God, asking for grace.

We come to you asking for guidance.

We come to you asking for healing in our Church, in our leaders, in our survivors and in our hearts.

We come to you, O God, hear us , see us, heal us.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts , heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness.

Grant us the courage and wisdom , humility and grace, to act with justice.

Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors.

Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice.

We ask this through Christ, our Lord.

Mary French

Upcoming Marianist Feast Days

  • August 4 St. John Vianney

  • August 13 Blessed Jakob Gapp, SM

  • August 15 Assumption of Mary

  • August 22 Queenship of Mary

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