September 2021
Dear Friends,

If you are anything like me, the last month has been one I barely remember. I am aware of busyness, of new beginnings, of feelings of stress and anxiety, but I am not aware of time I have devoted to additional spiritual growth. I am reaching for explicit examples of what I have accomplished in all the hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school year. 

In this new phase of pandemic life, we are returning to a “normal” amongst the chaos. School, sports, family and friend obligations are all back in session. The expectations on us as individuals, as family members, as friends, as colleagues, have returned to pre-pandemic levels, all while still juggling our own anxieties and fears within this new phase. All these things take our mental space left for our prayer life and turn it into “but I should be doing”, “but I could be doing”, “I’ll just finish this one thing first”. We must become intentional in finding the space within the busy for the one thing most important to us: our relationship with Mary and Our Heavenly Father. 

For me, I have quite a drive to and from work everyday; often, this time feels wasted. Throughout my time as the Head of Religious Life on the Central LIFE team I have come to find a new love of The Divine Mercy Chaplet. A prayer asking “for mercy on us and on the whole world” is needed now more than ever. I choose to use my daily drive to move my focus toward this prayer for the greater good. Rather than being frustrated by the stop and go or dead stop traffic, I use this time in prayer. Used at the start of each work day to reset and refresh, to be my best self when I walk in the door for my students. Then on the other end, I finish the day with this same prayer, wrapping all of the needs of my students into my prayer alongside a focus on moving forward in peace. 

In this busy time of year, and this stressful transition into what comes next in this Covid world, I challenge you to find that time--be intentional. Where can you incorporate an additional (or the only) time for you and your relationship with Our Father and Mother Mary? Where in your day can you let go and let God even for just a few moments? Find that time and build your routine. I can’t say it will take away all the stress that the fall inevitably brings but I can say it will give you a few moments of peace. 

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

Sincerely,
Kelly Welling
MLC-NA Annual Report & Appeal

MLC-NA recently recently released our inaugural Annual Report which highlights our year in review. It was a year with many successes including the 2020 Virtual Assembly, our first New Formation Program for Lay Marianists, the Year of Shared Discernment in which over 200 Lay Marianists participated, the launch our new website, and more.

But the question remains, how might we, as MLC-NA, accomplish more in this next year?  

Our hopes:
  • Increase our communication and shared life as a community of communities
  • Continue to grow our Lay Marianist Virtual Formation Program and support new MLCs
  • Expand our programming including continued opportunities for formation and connection, Assemblies, retreats, etc.
  • Connect Lay Marianists (both communities and individuals) from all over North America

To reach these goals, we need your financial support! Click the link below to contribute online today or send your contribution via check to our address:
PO Box 19444 Cincinnati, OH 45219

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. Support our end of year Annual Appeal today!
Nominations for Leadership Council
MLC-NA is currently accepting nominations for Head of Spirituality and Head of Temporalities on the national Leadership Council for terms beginning January 2022. Please use the online nomination form to nominate yourself or someone else by September 30th. Role descpritions and responsibilities are included on the form.

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!

Volunteer with the Office of Spirituality will 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. We have not received any outreach for this team and are still looking for a few volunteers. Please email LeeAnn.Meyer@mlc-na.org ASAP if you are able and interested in supporting the spiritual work of MLC-NA!

Volunteers with the Office of Education will work on projects like generating newsletter content and reflections, creating meeting ideas for new Marianist Lay Communities, or helping with our formation program. Three Lay Marianists have expressed interest in this team already! Anyone else interested in helping with continued or initial formation in the Office of Education should reach out to Abbey.saurine@mlc-na.org by Oct. 1. The first meeting of the office of education will be Sunday, October 3 at 7pm ET/6 PM CT/4 PM PT.
Spirituality
Important Marianist Days in September
September 5 - Mary Queen of Apotles
September 8 - Nativity of Mary
September 12 - Holy Name of Mary
September 14 - Vénérable Marie Thérèse de Lamourous
September 18 - Feast Day of Blessed Carlos Eraña, Fidel Fuidio, and Jesús Hita

Marianist World Day of Prayer
The Marianist World Day of Prayer is celebrated on October 10. This year, the prayer focuses on our Lady of Subukia from Nakuru-Kenya. Please reference the linked prayer resources created by the IO-MLC in English, Spanish, and/or French. Share these with Marianists in your circles and see if others in your communities would like to pray together with you on October 10!
Other Important Announcements:
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 and a Zoom link will be sent to you for the gathering!  

MLC-NA Community and Area Rep Directory
The MLC-NA Leadership Council has put together a directory which includes contact and location information for all of our active Marianist Lay Communities (MLCs) and for our MLC-NA Area Representatives. We hope this directory will serve as a tool for outreach and connection in continuing to build relationships across our Lay Marianist "community of communities" in North America. The directory can now always be found below in the contact section of the newsletter. If you see any information that needs updating on the directory or if your MLC wants to add a community note, reach out to sarah.gray@mlc-na.org.
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