August 2021
Dear Friends,

This month for our Leadership Council meeting a poem titled The Path by Lynn Ungar was read. It is one of my favorites. The poem speaks to the journey of life, and how we need to look behind us, on the path we have already walked, to keep pushing forward and creating our own personal path forward. I am so grateful for the journey I have been on in the Marianist Family and for the companions I have gained along the way that help to guide me forward.

For this month’s opening reflection, I just want to leave you all with a few questions to ponder after you read the poem below: 

  • If “There is no road ahead. There is only walking.” is true, what keeps you motivated in your Marianist journey to keep walking the path you set out for yourself? 
  • How can you find and hold close to the the roads that smooth out and slope towards home in faith and in life?
  • What songs are you singing to your Marianist companions to help them along in the journey? 

The Path

Life, the saying goes, is a journey,
and who could argue with that?
We’ve all experienced the surprising turns,
the nearly-impassible swamp, the meadow
of flowers that turned out not to be quite
so blissful and benign as we first thought,
the crest of the hill where the road
smoothed out and sloped toward home.

Our job, we say, is to remain faithful
to the path before us. Which is an assumption
as common as it is absurd.
Really? Look ahead. What do you see?
If there is a path marked out in front of you
it was almost certainly laid down for someone else.
The path only unfolds behind us,
our steps themselves laying down the road.
You can look back and see the sign posts—
the ones you followed and the ones you missed—
but there are no markers for what lies ahead.

You can tell the story of how
you forded the stream or got lost
on the short cut that wasn’t,
how you trekked your way to courage or a heart,
but all of that comes after the fact.

There is no road ahead.
There is only the walking,
the tales we weave of our adventures,
and the songs we sing
to call our companions on. 

Peace,
Sarah Gray
Called to Serve--Leadership Council Nominations Being Accepted
MLC-NA is accepting nominations for Head of Spirituality and Head of Temporalities on the national Leadership Council for terms beginning January 2022.

Responsibilities can be found in the MLC-NA Leadership Model document.

Please use the online nomination form to nominate yourself or someone else by September 30th. You may re-reuse the link to submit multiple nominations.

Nominees will be contacted to confirm their interest and to complete a questionnaire that will be shared on the ballot.  Nominations are welcome from within the Marianist Family. Voting is limited to members of MLC-NA.

Questions about the process or the positions can be emailed to nominations@mlc-na.org. Thank you for your support!
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.
Spirituality
Mary Wanda
Important Marianist Days in July
August 1 - Feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori
August 4 - Feast of St. John Vianney
August 13 - Feast of Blessed Jakob Gapp
August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 22 - Queenship of Mary

Mary in Fratelli Tutti Reflection by Neomi De Anda

Neomi De Anda, Ph.D., who is a member of the Micah Theotokos Marianist Lay Community and a professor and Marianist Educational Associate at the University of Dayton, wrote a reflection on Mary in connection to Pope Francis' encyclical letter titled Fratelli Tutti. Please read the Neomi's reflection below:

As a Lay Marianist, I see the inspiration (notice “spire” to breathe in there) of the Holy Spirit in partnership with Mary’s “yes” to be a grand part of the incarnation of an overly abundant ever loving trinitarian God in a perpetual overflowing community. The charismatic understanding here is that Mary is so closely tied to God that she actually breathes together with God. Therefore, God in human form - Jesus - the Incarnate Word, breathes on earth because of Mary. It is central to my faith life and to much of my theological thinking that this breathing together - one might say conspiring - is a Christian call. I think Francis and I are on similar pages here.

Fratelli Tutti names Mary twice in only two paragraphs distance from each other. Read more...
Other Important Announcements:
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.
Marie Therese Celebration
The Women & Justice Issue Team of Marianist Social Justice Collaborative will be celebrating the life of Marie Theres with prayer and storytelling. Join us in celebrating Marie Therese's life, legacy, and lessons on Tuesday, September 14 from 8-9:30 PM ET/7-8:30 PM CT/5-6:30 PM PT.

Please RSVP to msjc.women@gmail.com if you can participate.  A zoom link will be sent closer to the date. Also, Please share this invitation with the Lay and religious members of your area.
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