The Fulcrum
June 05, 2018 Edition
From the National Office
Greetings!

Go forth from Marianist LIFE, joining Blessed Chaminade in continuing Mary’s mission of bringing Christ to the world.
 
Thirteen years ago Christopher and Lianne Casupang asked me to be godmother to their son. This spring, Bubba asked me to be his Confirmation sponsor. Both times, there were tears. How humbling it is to be given this honor & responsibility. On May 20 th , I was able to be a part of a truly blessed celebration, where Bubba and his sister Anna were Confirmed at Mystical Rose Oratory. Standing with my hand on Bubba’s shoulder as he was anointed filled me with great joy, knowing that he is a faith-filled young man, who stands for God & his family. Seeing his sister Anna do the same just made the morning even more powerful. And yes, there were tears.

What does this have to do with LIFE? Only EVERYTHING! 2001 was my first year on the LIFE Pacific coordinating team. Christopher & Lianne (Happy Birthday today!) were on the team also. The rest, they say, is history. While we already had a great relationship prior to LIFE, it is because of our years working on the summer program that we were able to become family. Anna’s godfather, Jamieson Fong, and her sponsor, Cristin Fong, are LIFE alumni. Christopher was Cristin's Confirmation sponsor. Talk about the circle of LIFE!
 
If anything, my relationship with the Casupangs reaffirms to me how Marianist LIFE #Thrives in the “after-LIFE.” I am not sure if Blessed Chaminade envisioned communities like this forming. I don’t know if the forefathers of LIFE saw relationships like this as a possibility. Either way, my life is blessed 100x because of it - I see Christ in those who come through the program. So many have been Christ to me.
 
Prayers for all our LIFErs, Moderators, & staff as they head out to the summer programs in the next two months.
Lianne, Christopher, Anna, & Bubba Casupang
Anna with Cristin & Jameson Fong
Bubba, Anna, Fr. Allen DeLong, Toni, Cristin Fong, & Fr. Pat McDaid
Peace,
#Thrive
Alumni Spotlight
Each summer, regional programs are blessed by the presence of Marianist Young Adult Assistants. They are an extension of the coordinating team, where they assist with many behind the scenes tasks, as well as giving talks and lead ice breakers. In 2016 & 2017, Danielle Caskey served as MYA for LIFE Pacific in California. This year she is on the coordinating team in the office of Program for Pacific. Her sister, Katie (also an alum of Daniel J. Gross), is MYA for the Central Program in Ohio. Danielle and Katie participated in LIFE 2014 as students. We are overjoyed that they have returned to the summer program, and we are blessed by their passion for LIFE and the Marianists!
Danielle Caskey

The LIFE Program has had a huge impact on both my spiritual and personal development through the years. I first learned about the LIFE Program when my brother, David, went on LIFE Central in 2008. He told us stories about all of the new people he met from across the nation, and even though I was only twelve at the time, I could tell he came back from the trip a more complete person. From then on, I knew I wanted to experience LIFE myself and get involved in the program while I was in high school. So that’s what I did. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Central Program in 2014, not only with some of my closest friends but also with my sister Katie. It was a really special experience to be able to go through with her because I was able to witness first hand the change it made in her. We then had the opportunity to work on our school’s Core Team the following year.
The program itself has really helped reaffirm my faith, help me make connections with people within my own community and across the nation, as well as help me to find a love in community service and helping others. That love for service and helping others is why I decided to come back: to help other students feel that connection with God and a community that I’ve been lucky enough to be apart of all these years. The past two years I’ve been blessed to work as a MYA at Pacific LIFE and this year I’ve been asked back as the Assistant to Program. Not only am I excited to help with the program once again this year, but my sister has been invited to work at the Central Program as a MYA this summer which I am really happy about. This program has meant a lot to our family, and I’m excited to share and compare this experience with her as she is about to continue her journey with the LIFE Program!
Danielle & Katie with their 2014 Gross Catholic LIFE Team
Danielle & Katie, fall 2017
Katie Caskey
 
My initial encounter with LIFE through my brother David, when he was on the core team at Gross Catholic when I was still in grade school. I thought it was so cool that he got to go to Ohio for a retreat, have a huge pot luck every meeting, and make funny skits with his friends. I then learned about LIFE through my sister Danielle when she was a freshman and I was an eighth grader, and through her I figured out what LIFE is really about. I would not have been able to explain it at the time, but I was intrigued by the focus the Marianists had on incorporating faith with community, and I knew I wanted to be involved in it too once I was in high school.
Throughout my freshman and sophomore years I attended most meetings, and then applied to be on the core team for my junior year. I was chosen to be a core member, and my sister Danielle was also chosen, so we both attended LIFE in 2014. This was a unique and special experience for us both, because not only were we able to make great friendships with others on the trip, but we also got to see each other grow in faith as well.
Being only a year and a half a part in age, Danielle and I have always done a various of activities together like sports, work, and sharing a car, but being a part of LIFE together has definitely had the most impact. Beyond the retreat, we spent the next school year being on the same core team planning the meetings and helping each other whenever we needed it to make the meets as great as possible. We share the same memories, but remember them in our own way, so it’s always fun to see how the same experience has impacted us in different ways. Overall, the LIFE program helped me share my faith with my peers, grow in my personal prayer relationship with the Lord, and understand how powerful community is in my religion, and I think my sister would agree LIFE has affected her in a similar way.
Therefore, after high school, Danielle and I both decided to stay involved with the Marianists. This summer, we are both volunteering at different LIFE weeks to help LIFEs experience the Marianists the way we were. The reason I chose to stay involved is partially due to how great of an effect the Marianists had on building my faith to what it is today, but another large reason is hearing about how much Danielle was able to grow in her faith by volunteering at LIFE week in previous summers. She gave me the outside perspective of volunteering at LIFE week, rather than attending it, and just like how she influenced me to join LIFE in the first place, her stories and passion for LIFE has led me to follow in her footsteps and volunteer myself. 
Year in Review
LIFE Teams are busy all throughout the academic year. From planning MLCs and liturgies, to coordinating social justice awareness campaigns. News of their activities stay local, so as we embark on a new summer program, this is the perfect time to share with the rest of the LIFE world what teams have been up if we have not featured them yet in a previous Fulcrum .
LIFE Teams are busy all throughout the academic year. From planning MLCs and liturgies, to coordinating social justice awareness campaigns. News of their activities stay local, so as we embark on a new summer program, this is the perfect time to share with the rest of the LIFE world what teams have been up if we have not featured them yet in a previous Fulcrum .
Chaminade College Preparatory - St. Louis, MO
photos courtesy of Chris Shaver
A Middle School MLC meeting on humility
A trivia night, raising over $250 for the Marianist missions in Africa and India
Our annual Cornhole Tournament which raised over $1400 for Colegio San José
Our dress down collection for the Blue Heart Campaign
St. Anthony School - Wailuku, HI
photos courtesy of Lilyana Koa
Easter liturgy at St. Anthony Parish
Sacred Hearts Academy - Honolulu, HI
photos courtesy of Celine Arnobit
SHA
SHA
LIFErs also help to lead Campus Ministry and the Liturgical Corps. We plan and participate in masses and liturgies for our school communities. Here are some pictures of our LIFErs lecturing and cantoring.
SHA
Dancing to "Do Something" during LIFE Mass, helping to spread the message to our school community
LIFErs leading retreats for underclassmen
SHA
Our LIFE Team created a banner in solidarity with the Blue Heart Campaign that says "We Stand Against Human Trafficking" that was signed by the entire SHA student body.
SHA
Our LIFE Team led individual retreats for 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 12th graders this year. We took what we learned from LIFE Pacific and were able to take it back to Sacred Hearts. This is a trust walk we did with the 9th graders on their retreat.
SHA
Another photo of LIFE week full of fundraising and educating our school community about human trafficking
Saint Louis School - Honolulu, HI
photos courtesy of Alika Fonseca
SLS
March MLC
2018 LIFE Moderator, Alike Fonseca, with Ordain Lulu, who received the Blessed Chaminade award in January
Assisted the Sacred Hearts Academy LIFE Team with their human trafficking awareness fair
Passing the Torch
At the end of the academic year. Many of our current LIFE Teams host a ceremony welcoming their institution’s new LIFE Team to the family, while saying “farewell” & “thank you” to the seniors. Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez addressed the incoming Nolan Catholic High School LIFE Team at their Passing the Torch ceremony recently.
 
Before I was on LIFE Team, I always heard other LIFErs saying LIFE at Tecaboca was the best experience of their lives. I thought that was a longshot, because how could one week with people you’ve never met, and people you hardly talk to have such a big effect on your life? Then I got to the summer program, and it quickly became one of the best weeks of my life. The other LIFErs and staff at LIFE South became some of my closest friends, but more importantly, the Nolan LIFE Team became my family. Our LIFE team has made me see God in so many different ways. Through their smiling faces, support, and constant love, I have seen the perfection in God’s timing.
I want you realize how important this team is. You will begin to spend more time with them than you probably ever expected. Whether it’s an after school event, picking up chairs after liturgy, or just grabbing dinner as a LIFE team, they will become your best friends and your greatest supports, helping you in making vital life decisions and always leading you to Christ. They will be your prayer partners and the people you turn to in times of despair. The members of the LIFE team have been there for me during the hardest parts of this year, and whenever I felt alone or scared, one of them was always there with open arms.
Our classroom is always radiating with energy, and although it may have driven Mrs. Lester and Mr. Calvin crazy sometimes, when we were in that classroom, a visitor could truly tell how much we all loved and cared for each other through our constant giggling and chit-chat. This team also comes with a lot of responsibility. From chalking to working on the Angel Wings project to just wearing proper uniform, people are always paying attention to how you’re acting. So know when to be serious and keep your maturity intact, but do not forget to have fun with all these wonderful people, because it will be over before you know it.
I hope LIFE opens up many doors in your faith experience. Although this experience will be one of the greatest blessings in your life, I do not hope it is the climax, I hope it is a stepping stone into building your faith up continuously throughout your life. This experience is all what you make of it, so I hope you come into it with an open mind and positive attitude.
All present LIFErs, I want to thank you for being one of the greatest blessings in my life, and giving me somewhere I felt like I truly belonged. I can never explain how greatly this team has impacted not only my faith journey but my life as a whole. And for all future LIFErs, I hope you allow Christ to work within you through this experience and see all the great things He has in store for you.
Nolan Catholic High School Ceremony
Support Marianist LIFE
These are just a few of thousands of students enlivened by the Spirit at Marianist LIFE over the last 48 years. LIFE Alumni return as Marianist Young Adult Assistants, Staff, Coordinating Team members and school/parish Moderators year after year. As our current LIFErs describe, their week at the Summer Program had an impact on their lives, which is echoed by numerous LIFE Alumni throughout the years.