June 05, 2020 Edition
From the National Office
The world is certainly different since our last newsletter – understatement. We’ve all felt times of despair, anger, frustration, and fear, but there have also been many reasons to rejoice.
  • Spending more time with family, whether in-person or more phone/video calls
  • Teachers once again proving how amazing they are in their creative teaching
  • Students being resilient in adjusting to a new way of learning
  • Parents juggling even more while being at home
  • Corporations and individuals contributing to feed the needy, and provide computers for students in urban schools
  • LIFE Teams and MLCs finding new ways to stay connected to be of service to their institutions
  • Celebrating graduations, birthdays, retirements, anniversaries … with motorcades outside of homes and singing from the sidewalks

The 2020 National Coordinating Team has been AMAZING in switching gears from a national gathering to a different program for students, that moderators will facilitate at their institutions. I am so grateful to Chris, Kim, Joey, Kevin, Errol, Antonio, Christopher, Emmy & Sr. Nicole.

Although this is not how I envisioned my tenure as National Coordinator would end, I am happy to know that the future of Marianist LIFE is in great hands with Erica Duarte. This is indeed a big blessing! I will be around until August 1, so you will still be hearing from me for a bit. I am just really thankful knowing that I still have much to look forward to in the next two months with LIFE.

The journey continues, and while air travel will be seriously curbed, I know there are many new places we’ll go this year, without even leaving the ground. Prayers for you all this summer!

June 04 Reflection
In the last week alone, our country has been changing before our very eyes. I left town for a few days last week to clear my head and to gain some sense of balance. I returned home on Saturday to the first of the now six days of curfew in the city of Philadelphia. This is our reality - one which, to be honest, fills me with great fear on a daily basis.
We must not, however, let all of that overshadow the reason for the protests: raising our voices against injustice experienced our by neighbors. While participating in a peaceful protest may not be feasible for many because of the pandemic we are still facing, there are many ways that we can still raise our own voices in protest of injustice and in support of our neighbors who do march:

Marianist Social Justice Collaborative

Church Statements

I encourage all of us to search local resources available through our archdioceses, our parishes, our schools, and our neighborhoods, to find out how we can best lend our voices. 
Please check on neighbors, especially if their food sources have become inaccessible because of the pandemic and business closures due to looting.

And as a faith community, we pray with each other, for each other, and especially for those who need assistance in this very difficult time.
I pray, through the intercession of Mary, our mother, that we lift each other up in unity for justice, peace, and the integrity of all creation.

I'm praying for an end to all of this.
I'm praying for progress towards a future where no one hears "Your voice is invalid."
I'm praying for peace in our streets, in our workplaces, and our homes.
I'm praying for justice.
I'm praying for those who do have the strength to stand up and speak out against the injustice they see.
I'm praying that more of us with a voice find courage to stand up for those whose voices are met with silence or violence.
I'm praying for you, even if your ideals are different than mine.

Take care of your neighbors - that's been happening abundantly here in Philly.
Take care of you. Be safe.
From Our LIFErs
LIFE Teams have been creative in meeting with each other, hosting MLCs for their peers, and leading prayer services for their school communities. These 2019 LIFErs have lived through some very profound experiences before graduating from high school, and we should take note of what they have to share:
The most important thing that I will take is the love that I experienced during LIFE week. I wish to take this simple thing because frankly, our society needs it. And we as the future of the planet should focus on bringing this wonderful gift to every place we visit, work and live. We can study different professions to acquire a comfortable salary but without love, change cannot be made!  
Jose Fuentes De Soto – Colegio San José

When I was chosen to go to LIFE something in me sparked, and my faith has been growing ever since. Colegio San José gave me the opportunity to grow in so many ways, especially in my faith and leadership skills. I once heard it said, “If you are able to reach the heart of one student, you did your job”. If I had never joined our LIFE group, I know I wouldn't be the person I am today.
Carlos Ayarza – Colegio San José
I feel extremely privileged and honored to have been part of the Riordan LIFE Team, which has helped me to overcome some obstacles. By surpassing those obstacles, I have built stronger relationships with the members of my LIFE Team, and I hope to continue in this mission in the future.
Brandon Vargas – Archbishop Riordan High School

Being part of Marianist LIFE let me connect with other seniors who share similar values as me, as well as allowed us all to work to bring the Marianist charism to the rest of our campus. LIFE and my education at Chaminade led me to apply to the University of Dayton and the Marianist Leadership Scholarship (MLS), which is very similar to LIFE in its mission, connectivity, and love for spreading the Word to its student body.
 Alyssa Barnes – Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills
LIFE Teams Meet Virtually
These last few months have forced all of us to change the way we went about our business. Our LIFE Teams were no different. Teams met regularly on video conference platforms, where they prayed together, checked-in, and basically just hung out. They’ve led Holy Week prayer services, and continue to lead the Three O’Clock Prayer. #SoulOnFire indeed! Bringing Christ to the world in the ways that we can.
Chaminade Madonna College Preparatory
Colegio San Jose
Chaminade College Preparatory, West Hills
Saint Louis School
From Archbishop Riordan High School - San Francisco:
A special shout out to all the hard work that the 2019-2020 Marianist LIFE Team completed this year! Pictured is the virtual Passing of the Torch Ceremony that inducts the new team through a prayer service to inspire, bless, and celebrate the new 2020-2021 LIFE Team! Thank you Mrs. Vanessa Martinez who will be the co-moderator for next school year alongside Mr. Leo Magnaye.
Lifting our Spirits with Songspiration
In mid-April, Christopher Casupang, Director of Campus Ministry at Saint Louis School (Honolulu, Hawai’i) inquired about a praise and worship idea he had for Marianist LIFE. After some back and forth for a few days, trying to figure out Facebook Live for the first time, April 24’s Songspiration was easily the highlight for most of us. From Ireland to Hawai’i, and everywhere in between, members of the Marianist Family sang together, cried together, and laughed together.
Many thanks to Christopher for the inspiration, and for themusicians of Kalaepohaku: Tasha Castro, Leo Delgado, Wayne Fujita Glenn Medeiros, , and Soane Uiagalelei. Watch both sessions on the Marianist LIFE – Official Facebook page by clicking the links below:
Meet the New Marianist LIFE National Coordinator
It is with great joy that I introduce to you the new Marianist LIFE National Coordinator, Erica Duarte. Erica is an educator, who has taught at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, where she also served as LIFE moderator. In 2019 she served as Head of Program for LIFE South.

Beginning July 1 Erica, the coordinating team, and I will be working with you to implement the 2020 LIFE Training Program. We will be working together through the month of July until my last day on August 1. Erica will be based in San Antonio, TX.

I am very excited that you and Erica will continue this LIFE journey together. Please keep us both in your prayers during this transition, as we pray for you and your communities.

Attention School/Parish Moderators
Summer Program 2020 Notice
As the national summer program has been canceled for 2020, we have created a student formation program, which will be facilitated by institution moderators in July.
Information regarding this program will be sent to institution moderators and campus/youth ministers on June 15, with moderator training sessions in early July.
If moderators have questions they can call or email their contact on the National Coordinating Team, or Toni Mesina | 808.282.0801
Support Marianist LIFE
LIFE Teams are blessed with the opportunity to participate in the summer program, and experience they bring back to their schools and parishes through community meetings and service. The summer program is the starting point for their ministry, which sometimes goes far beyond their high school years. The lasting effect of LIFE is amazing to see.

To support Marianist LIFE, please click on the image below. In the dropdown menu, choose “Marianist LIFE.”
When the National Coordinator Gets Bored