December 2021
From the National Office
I write this note after a beautiful weekend gathering in-person with the three regional coordinators to plan for summer LIFE 2022 and I am filled with hope and gratitude. After many months of rescheduling out of care and caution for our coordinators and those we serve, we were overwhelmed with thankfulness for the opportunity to hug one another, share meals, pray together, and plan for the future of Marianist LIFE as we look to welcome students back to in-person programs this summer. We look forward to sharing registration information in the spring semester.

Hope and gratitude are also what I plan to bring into my Advent journey this year. After a year that felt in many ways all too short but also all too long, we still may not feel confident about what the future holds for our world, but we can be confident in the promise of Christmas. In the midst of the challenges we face during this time, let us pause to remember that the Savior of the world humbled himself so he could have a genuine encounter with us. May we turn to those we encounter throughout our day and see them as Christ sees them.

Erica Duarte, LIFE Coordinator
We are planning to offer in-person, regional programs in the summer of 2022. Registration information will be available in the spring semester and updates can be found at If you have questions about the summer program, please contact us at

Summer LIFE 2022

LIFE Pacific
Moderators: June 16-24, 2022
Students: June 19-24, 2022

LIFE Central
Moderators: July 8-15, 2022
Students: July 10-15, 2022

LIFE South
Moderators: July 18-25, 2022
Students: July 20-25, 2022
Kim Matzen - Gross Catholic High School
Bellevue, Nebraska

Kim Matzen wears many hats at Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue, Nebraska. She teaches Theology and History, coaches soccer, chairs the Mission Integration Team, and has served as the Marianist LIFE Moderator for the last 15 years. Additionally, Kim has served on the Coordinating Team for LIFE Central for a total of 7 years. Her leadership, service, and love of LIFE has had a significant impact on hundreds of LIFErs and moderators for almost a decade. She completed her tenure as Regional Coordinator in 2021 helping to implement the hybrid, virtual summer program with creativity, joy, and flexibility. Here is what Kim had to say when asked to reflect on her time in service to Marianist LIFE:

"Anything for the Marianists! That is usually my mantra when it comes to saying 'yes.' Maybe that is because living in Nebraska or as many say, Marianist Siberia, I don’t have the opportunity to be around the Marianists that often, so when I get the opportunity I jump at it. When I get to spend time with Marianist friends, I always leave with a full heart and the past four years I spent as Regional Coordinator for LIFE Central was no exception. I was truly blessed to be surrounded by incredible people who brought great ideas, passion, and of course, laughter. The summer program is always a work in progress and with the wonderful team we had, we decided to be open and try many new things. We challenged each other to come up with the why. We wanted to be intentional about what we were doing in order for students to really get the most out of the week. In the process, we developed a loving family who will forever be connected and there for each other.   

I am excited to see what lies ahead for the Central program, and I can’t wait for this summer when the LIFE program is back in person. The Marianists have given me so many gifts over the years, and so many opportunities for growth. My faith, my leadership style, my confidence, and most importantly, my Marianist family have grown and been strengthened through the many opportunities that the Marianists have given me, and for that I will forever be grateful!
REFLECTION - Grace Schaefer
Chaminade Julienne LIFER, Class of 2022
When I heard the song, “This is What We Live For” on the first day of the program, I did not think much of it. I was focused on the pictures appearing on the big screen of students from all over the country. As the song was played more and more throughout the week, I started to listen to the words and the message conveyed. “This is what we live for; To go where You say go; To let the whole world know; You’re the Light in the darkness.” These words started to really stick with me, and by day three, I grasped the full meaning behind them.

Being Christian is not just about believing in God internally. It is about expressing your faith to others and showing what it means to be surrounded by God’s love. This realization is a big takeaway that I have from LIFE week because I was able to witness others doing just that. I saw the passion of the leaders, both at my school and on the Zoom screen, and how much they truly cared about the experience for each person at LIFE. This made me realize how special this program is and I tried to make the most of every moment. Focusing on being present every day during each activity, allowed me to create friendships with people in and outside of my school and helped me to create a stronger connection with God. One of my favorite activities was writing affirmations about each of the people within my school’s LIFE group. I truly feel this activity opened each person up and instilled a sense of confidence, which allowed for more personal sharing and connections. I have walked away from this retreat inspired to create great LIFE experiences at my school this year and am excited for what is to come!
REFLECTION - Sarah Gordon
St. Vincent - St. Mary High School LIFEr, Class of 2022

Attending the Marianist LIFE program over the summer was very beneficial for me. As the week progressed, I became more and more open with my online group, as well as my in-person home group. I gained good friendships with my LIFE group as we all learned more about each other on a personal level. The LIFE retreat has let me express myself more openly and share my faith with others.

Sarah, second student from right
Keep In Touch!
Is this the best email address to send Marianist LIFE updates? Are you a high school senior who will soon lose your school associated email address? Send us an email at and let us know what address is best for you and we will be happy to update our address book! We want to be sure you stay connected to the LIFE community.
Honoring Fr. Ralph Siefert, SM
Jack Olwig and Jack Winter
Chaminade College Preparatory (St. Louis) LIFErs, Class of 2022
A leader is someone who rallies people together toward a common purpose. At Chaminade, Father Ralph was that leader. He was a pillar of our community and the perfect embodiment of Esto Vir. Every student admired him and every teacher followed him. Father Ralph left behind an insurmountable legacy, and we will continue to represent his teachings daily.

These were some of the reasons we wanted to honor his name the best way we could. We came up with a sticker that was free for all students. Seeing the stickers spread throughout the school on laptops, bulletin boards, or even on the sides of random objects, it is one small way his presence will be remembered by our community. During an MLC meeting earlier this year, we decided that the stickers were not enough so we came up with the idea to sell bracelets and all the proceeds could go toward his scholarship. As we predicted, people wanted to buy them and support the scholarship, often donating more than the recommended amount to contribute to Fr. Ralph's lasting commitment to Chaminade.
We knew that Father Ralph's passing would be hard for everyone, but we wanted to do something immediately for him. The stickers and bracelets that we came up with were nothing extravagant, especially compared to what Father Ralph did for this school, but it was something we felt was necessary. One of the characteristics of a Marianist education is to educate in family spirit, and seeing the school come together as a family to honor Father Ralph has been quite moving.
Support Marianist LIFE
LIFE Teams are blessed with the opportunity to participate in the summer program, an experience they bring back to their schools and parishes through community meetings and service. The summer program is the starting point for their leadership in ministry, which we hope will extend far beyond their high school years.
To support Marianist LIFE, please click on the image below.
MLC Snapshots

It is an exciting time for LIFE at Archbishop Moeller in Cincinnati, Ohio as they partner with Mount Notre Dame, an all-girls Catholic school nearby to form a co-ed MLC. The group is growing quickly and is supported by several faculty and staff members at Moeller. The moderators are grateful for the opportunity to allow male and female students to interact in ways that are faith-focused.
The very first LIFE Team at Kellenberg Memorial in Uniondale, New York wasted no time getting to work in their school community! One of their first initiatives was hosting a pilgrimage around campus for incoming freshmen to ensure they feel comfortable and welcome. They also plan to support the sodality groups already in place at the school.
"Small, but mighty!" That's how Lily Koa, LIFE moderator, describes her LIFE Team at St. Anthony School in Maui, Hawaii. This small group of students overcame several challenges to safely host a drive-through Trunk or Treat for their local community. Inspired to offer some joy for the holiday, they followed many health guidelines, created a formal plan, and even submitted required documents to the mayor in order to receive permission for the event.
University of Dayton - Graduate Assistantships
Share your faith ministering to college students while pursuing a Masters in Theology or Pastoral Ministry. Work alongside seasoned campus ministers and engage in holistic ministerial formation as you form your own ministerial identity and approach. Serve undergraduate students by journeying with them to cultivate faith, foster spiritual growth, and form Christian leaders through spiritual mentoring and discipleship, leading small groups, facilitating retreats, planning worship, coordinating service and justice initiatives, and more. Positions for the upcoming year will be comprised of unique portfolios that include a combination of the following: Residence Life Ministry, Retreats, Service and Justice, and Vocational Discernment ministries. Tuition, stipend, and housing are provided. Application and information at
or from Kelly Adamson, 937-229-2574. Applications are due February 1.