International Organization of Marianist Lay Communities (IO-MLC) 

Region of North America, Asia, Australia, and Ireland

April-- 2020

Connected Communities

There are many feelings and emotions surrounding the current coronavirus pandemic. People are scared, anxious, uncertain about their financial security, sad, grieving lost loved ones, longing for the sacraments and connections to others, and for life to return to normal.

I suspect normal is relative.  I suspect there will be a new normal. The isolation experienced during this time is a reminder that we are relational beings. We are interdependent. Whether it is an intimate partner, a community, co-worker, or even a stranger, our lives are connected. Hopefully this time reminds us how important relationships are to us.

As we seek connectivity, let us recall the life and times of Blessed Chaminade, Blessed Adele, and Honorable Marie Therese. Let us ponder exile, and letter writing, and ways of being connected during difficult times and across the miles.

Just as we remember that we are part of something larger than ourselves , let us not forget that our communities are part of something larger. We often refer to being a community of communities, much in the way Chaminade had subgroups within his sodality.

While our communities are autonomous, they are also connected to one another and to the broader Marianist Family. Is your community connected? Do members participate in activities of local Marianist Family Councils? Do you gather with other communities – locally, nationally, internationally? Have you or community members served in volunteer roles or supported broader lay efforts in other ways?

As we look forward to reconnecting with our loved ones, let us also consider ways to be in meaningful relationship with others in the Marianist Family, whether across town or across the miles.

May the peace of the Risen Lord be with you.

Matt Dunn
Chair, MLC-NA

Online Connections

The Visitation Marianist State Community’s members live all over the country. The community gathers twice annually for weekend retreats and individuals stay connected through personnel correspondence and virtual connections between retreats.

The spring 2020 retreat was canceled because members were planning to attend the 2020 Lay Assembly this summer. With a heightened desire to be connected to others during the coronavirus pandemic, the community scheduled an online community meeting.

The three-hour session included members catching up , prayer, listening to a podcast together, responding to reflection questions about the podcast and even making time for everyone to eat!

Many graces were experienced during the exchange . Community members were so pleased with the experience that future online meetings are being scheduled.

For more information
contact Matt Dunn,

Ideas in Action
Marianist Digital Retreat for a Pandemic

An all-new, all-online retreat made for the entire Marianist Family! The retreat is suitable for all ages and was created by Marianist educators and ministers who primarily work with youth and young adults.

This retreat can be completed on your own and at your own pace, but we encourage communities (e.g. Marianist Lay Communities, schools, student and parish groups) to make the retreat together and gather in small groups (virtually) to share in discussion, reflection, and prayer.
The retreat is split into four modules, each of which would only take about 20 minutes to go through on its own. To get the most out of the retreat, you might want to break up the different sections of each module to reflect on throughout the day, and experience one module per day or over a few days.
The retreat will be accessible beginning Monday, April 27 at this link:  A Marianist Digital Retreat for a Pandemic | Adobe Spark  Feel free to share this with others!

For more information contact:
LeeAnn Meyer, Office of Spirituality

Let Us Pray...
Brook Prayer (George Lisjak)
--found in 2nd Ed. of the Marianist Family Prayer Book
Jesus, we in the Marianist Family rely upon our Founders for wisdom. Blessed Chaminade wisely worked in this way:

  • "...I am like a brook that makes no effort to overcome obstacles in its way. All the obstacles can do is hold me up for a while, as a brook is held up; but during that time it grows broader and deeper and after a while it overflows the obstruction and flows along again. That is how I am going to work."


I am like a brook
  • Let me be truly like a brook, alive with passion and energy for the journey.

That makes no effort to overcome obstacles in its way.
  • Help me always to focus my efforts on the mission of your mother, to bring you to life in the world.

All the obstacles can do is hold me up for awhile, as a brook is held up;
  • Do not let me become so obsessed with the obstacles that I lose sight of my purpose.

During that time it grows broader and deeper.
  • Help me to seek and find resources, internal and external, temporal and spiritual, to strengthen me and my colleagues in mission.

After a while it overflows the obstruction and flows along again.
  • Help me to trust in you, as Mary did, even when the end is unclear. That is how I am going to work. Amen.

Upcoming Marianist Feast Days

  • May 12 Mary, Mother of Graces and Mediatrix

  • May 13 Our Lady of Fatima

  • May 25 Mary, Help of Christians

  • May 30, Feast of the Ascension

  • May 31 Visitation

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