July 2021
Dear Friends,

I write this letter because I have just terminated two terms as Spiritual Advisor to the MLC-NA Leadership Council. The advisor’s role is to guild the leadership as they develop in our Marianist spirit.

Marianist Lay Communities began to develop during the 1990’s in many ways, but especially with the help of Marianist leaders from five world continents who began to meet to define who we are. They named the pillars of MLC’s.  There was a strong desire to form the communities in the spirit of our founders. The international meetings agreed on the characteristics of Marianist Lay communities as Faith, Mary, Mission, Family Spirit, and Inclusive Community. 

The overall feeling I have after being on the Leadership Council for six years is one of admiration for the authenticity of the members to keep growing the identity of what it means to be a Lay Marianist in the spirit of the founders and at the same time adapt to our circumstances. I wish each of you can experienced the unity, energy and creativity of the council as I experienced it.

After numerous discernment discussions, the team made many decisions in the Marianist spirit that I firmly believe were with Mary’s guidance. The team adopted a system for keeping track of membership.  A decision was made three years ago that allowed the branch to hire an administrative assistant. Now, we are in the process of hiring a full-time director.  Much discussion and hard work went into forming a formation process for new members and communities that now has just finished its first successful program. A system of area representatives has been very effective in uniting communities in various parts of North America. These coordinators meet together and with local leaders. The team spent time developing the system of governing that both keeps the spirit of Chaminade and adapts to our wide-ranging geographical circumstances.  We have had very successful Lay Assemblies.

The five modules for our Year of Discernment that we developed this year helped communities grow in living the charism and in sharing with others. We will pool what we have learned from this sharing and will determine the main directions we go in the future. 

Friends, I see what the council and all of us have done is create, in our moment of history, what Chaminade, Adele, and Marie Therese did in their time.

We are a community characterized by Faith, Mary, Mission, Inclusive Community and Family Spirit. I am very thankful for the way the Holy Spirit as graced us to grow in our Marianist identity. I admire every member of the team with whom I have served. I feel an authenticity and a profound joy at how MLC-NA is growing. My prayer is that the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit be gloried as Mary continues to lead us.

Blessings and Love to you all.
Ted Cassidy, SM
Year of Shared Discernment
Get Involved

1. Share your insights with MLC-NA!
2. Fill in a YSD survey--our Assessment Task Force will review Module 5 responses in August.
Offices of Education & Spirituality--Volunteers Needed!
The MLC-NA Offices of Education and Spirituality are both seeking volunteers! We would like to create a small team for the Office of Spirituality and another small team for the Office of Education. There are so many creative ways MLC-NA can journey with Lay Marianists by providing resources and opportunities to strengthen our spiritual practices and deepen our understanding of the charism, but we need more help. Please consider joining a team or even just volunteering for specific projects, depending on your interests and availability.

To volunteer with the Office of Spirituality, and work on projects like generating newsletter content or spiritual prompts/reflections for social media, creating templates for commitment ceremonies, meetings, and retreats, and collecting or creating reflections for Marianist Feast Days,
please email LeeAnn.Meyer@mlc-na.org.

To volunteer with the Office of Education, to work on projects like generating newsletter content and reflections, creating meeting ideas for new Marianist Lay Communities, or helping with our formation program, please email Abbey.Saurine@mlc-na.org.
Important Marianist Days in July
July 9 - Mary, Queen of Peace
July 11 - St. Benedict
July 26 - Memorial of Sts. Joachim & Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer for the Summer
O God of light, 
We are thankful for these longer days, 
For new ways of being present 
After long isolation and difficult distances. 

Bless our summer sabbatical time, 
Renew our hearts, revive our energy 
So we may be restored, made whole again, 
Ready again for the work of justice and peace. 

O God of Light, 
Let us absorb your shining grace 
As growing things absorb the sun’s energy, 
So we too may know 
A season of slow and steady growth. 
Bless these weeks ahead: 
May they be a time of ripening 
So we can take in your gifts 
And move towards the harvest time, 
To share with compassion and courage.
 
Amen. 
By Jane Deren, Ph.D. Education for Justice
Other Important Announcements:
Welcome to Bro. Tom Redmond!
Bro. Tom Redmond has accepted the invitation from the MLC-NA Leadership Council to serve as the council's Spiritual Advisor for the next term. This term is for three years. He joined the team on one of our last Zoom meetings and we feel honored to welcome him to the Leadership Council!
MSP 2.0 Invitation
The North American Center of North America (NACMS) is offering the members of the Marianist Family an opportunity to explore and create a project on the topic of Marianist Prayer: Listening, Pondering, and Responding in our one-year Marianist Studies Program (MSP) 2.0.

The topic for MSP 2.0 2021/22 Marianist Prayer: Listening, Pondering, and Responding feels especially relevant at this moment. As we emerge from this pandemic, we may be asking ourselves how can Marianist Prayer help us be stronger people of faith?  How is God calling us to offer the gift of Marianist Prayer to the Church as the world is changed and changing? Join us as we explore how Marianist Prayer transforms us, our community, the Church and the world.

Commitments: 
1. Monthly meetings September 2021-August 2022 for one hour via Zoom (time and day to be determined).
2. Attend an MSP 2.0 writing workshop on Friday, January 28 (5-8 PM ET) and all-day Saturday, January 29 (9 AM – 5 PM ET) via Zoom. 3. Attend an in-person workshop at NACMS in Dayton, OH from June 6-10 (Mon. and Fri. are travel days).
Cost: $260.00 for entire program, including the in-person workshop.

We are accepting applications from now until July 15, 2021. You will be notified if you are accepted by August 1.

For more information and to apply to this program, click here or contact Patti Gehred, NACMS Program Coordinator, at gehredp1@udayton.edu.
Seed Grant Announcement
Do you have a project that needs additional funds? The Marianist Visitation State Community (MVSC) is a virtual community of vowed lay Marianist that has a long history of serving the Marianist Family. As an expression of their commitment to "do whatever he tells you" in support of Mary's mission to respond to the needs of the world, the MVSC has put some of the resources with which they have been blessed at the service of others.  

In previous years, they have provided financial assistance for the an intergenerational retreat, MSJC's Changemakers program speakers, and issued a challenge grant for the Marianist Lay Community of North America (MLC-NA).  Last year, three Seed Grants were awarded. The application process is now open for 2021. The Marianist Visitation State Community wants to enable small communities and fledgling service projects to thrive, to grow, to respond to the needs of the young and the poor, and to engage in the struggle for peace and justice.

Applications are due by Tuesday August 31, 2021 and will be evaluated by a subcommittee from the Visitation State.  Grant winners will be notified by the end of October 2021.  Grants of $1000 - $5000 will be awarded by year end.  See the attached application form for more information.
Temporalities

Your donations directly support the work of the Leadership Team, formation programming, administrative and staff costs, and our financial commitments to other Marianist organizations, like MSJC and the IO-MLC.

Please consider how your time, talent, and treasure can further the mission of the Marianist Family. Contribute today and THANK YOU!
MLC-NA Leadership Council and Area Representatives
Click on the Leadership Council member's title and Area Rep's name to email.
MLC-NA Leadership Council

Margy Lisjak
 
Abbey Saurine

Paul Combest

LeeAnn Meyer

Rob Brodrick

Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch

Fr. Ted Cassidy, SM

Marceta Reilly

Luke Horner

Kelly Welling

Sarah Gray
Area Representatives

Southeast (FL, NC)

Northeast (PA, NY, NJ, MD, VA)

Midwest (OH, KY, IN)
To be determined
 
Central States (CO, IL, KS, NE, MO, WI) 

Texas

West Coast (CA, OR, WA)

Hawaii

Canada (French-Speaking)

Virtual Communities