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Catholic Digest Sample - Dec 2011

Catholic Digest Sample - Dec 2011

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Catholic Digest Sample - Dec 2011
Catholic Digest Sample - Dec 2011

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c.1uoii c ui cvs1 To subs cri be: 800-678-2836
PRAYING
praying.indd 24 10/31/11 1:20 PM
Praying with
the Marianists
Tap into a spiritual tradition that can enrich
your prayer life p BY BROTHER STEPHEN GLODEK, SM
D
uring the chaos of the
French Revolution, when
Catholicism was under
attack, a resourceful priest named
Father William Joseph Chaminade
found a clever way to bring Mass
to the people. Disguised as a tin-
ker, he would go with his wares,
search out Catholic families, and
secretly ofer the Eucharist for
them. Stories abound of his nar-
row escapes from the gendarmes,
through means such as hiding at
the end of Mass in water barrels
and narrow closets. Eventually,
Chaminade was forced from his
homeland into exile in Spain. But
even then, he refused to give up
hope for his Church.
During Blessed Chaminade’s
exile, while he was praying be-
fore the statue of Our Lady of the
Pillar in Saragossa, Mary inspired
him with a plan to rebuild the
Church of France. Just as Mary
birthed Jesus in faith and deep
hope in God’s promise, Blessed
Chaminade was assured that new
life would be born for the Church
of France, and also, eventually, for
the entire Church. Upon his re-
turn from exile, Chaminade set
about establishing a network of
lay and Religious communities
that would sizzle with all the fre
of the revolutionary movement
from whose ashes it was born.
In the collapse of the nation and
the Church in France, Chaminade
witnessed misdirected passion and
senseless violence. He must have
wondered if France’s passion for
new forms of governance and so-
cial interaction could be redirected P
H
O
T
O

B
Y

M
I
C
H
A
E
L

C
O
N
N
O
R
S

uvcvxnvv :oI I cathol i cdi gest . com
PRAYING
praying.indd 25 10/31/11 1:21 PM
toward goodness, faith, and char-
ity. In partnership with two wom-
en, Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
and Marie Térèse de Lamourous,
Chaminade began to fashion the
communities based in faith and
on the power of community to en-
gender, bear, and transform faith.
Adèle would become the found-
ress of the Marianist Sisters, the
Daughters of Mary Immaculate;
Marie Térèse, a laywoman, would
spend her life ministering to the
poor in Bordeaux. Community by
community, a decimated Church
in France was rebuilt — and con-
tinues to be rebuilt worldwide
by Marianist communities today.
Tese communities, known collec-
tively as the Marianist Family, in-
clude Marianist Lay Communities,
a Vatican-approved lay movement;
the Daughters of Mary Immaculate,
a Religious Congregation of wom-
en; and the Society of Mary, a
Religious Congregation of Brothers
and priests.
O
ne source of Chaminade’s
inspiration came from
prayerful refection on the Church
community presented in the Acts
of the Apostles. How did the fear-
ful little community of the Upper
Room, through the Holy Spirit,
become the vibrant missionary
Church of the later chapters of
Acts? Blessed Chaminade noted
three key elements in the Church
of Acts: the centrality of Mary, the
need for inclusiveness, and the
urgency to foster faith and a deep
sense of missionary activity.
Long enamored in his prayer
with the power of the Incarnation,
Blessed Chaminade saw this as a
central mystery of the Catholic
faith. As Jesus had been born of
the Spirit and Mary to proclaim
THE MARIANIST
FAMILY
FOUNDED: 1800 in France by
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
LEADERSHIP: Father Martin Solma,
SM, provincial of the Marianist
Province of the United States;
Manuel Cortés, SM, Superior
General
MEMBERSHIP: The Society of Mary
(approximately 1,234 Brothers
and priests worldwide, 348 in the
U.S.); the Marianist Sisters (357
worldwide, 16 in the U.S.), and lay
Marianists (approximately 7,000
worldwide; 1,300 in the U.S.)
WEBSITE: marianist.com

c.1uoii c ui cvs1 To subs cri be: 800-678-2836


P R AY I N G
praying.indd 26 10/31/11 1:21 PM
the mission of the
Father, now again
through Mary, the
power of the risen
Christ could be
born in communi-
ties dedicated to
her and her mis-
sion of bearing
Christ to the world.
In post-revolutionary France,
Chaminade witnessed the collapse
of a society of hierarchy and privi-
lege. His new communities need-
ed to include all ages and strata of
society. He and the other founders
would adapt the faith life and the
mission of their communities to
the circumstances of age, experi-
ence, and state of life of the people
who gathered.
In Marianist communities,
faith was to be taught, nurtured,
and sustained. But that was only
half the new plan. If these com-
munities were to
be the birthing
places for the new
life of Christ in the
Church and the
world, their mem-
bers must form
other communities
with the same pas-
sion, energy, and
new language that characterized
the community of Jerusalem in
Acts. To use an expression from a
later age, the community gathered
in order to be sent.
T
his grand project would only
work, Chaminade understood, if
his followers were holy. Ten, peo-
ple would be drawn to Marianist
community as they witnessed the
“spectacle of a people of saints.”
Chaminade understood holiness
to be the continual and gradual
transformation from the old per-
In Marianist
communities,
faith was to be
taught, nurtured,
and sustained.
LEFT TO RIGHT,
Blessed Father
William Joseph
Chaminade,
Marie Thérèse de
Lamourous, and
Adèle de Batz de
Trenquelléon
P
H
O
T
O
S

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

O
F

T
H
E

M
A
R
I
A
N
I
S
T
S

uvcvxnvv :oI I cathol i cdi gest . com
praying.indd 27 10/31/11 1:21 PM
son who sins into the new person
who embodies the virtues and very
life of Christ. Tis efort to be
holy is the touchstone of Marianist
s p i r i t u a l -
ity and prayer.
Cha mi na de
felt that the
communi -
ty’s support,
prayer, and
nurturing of
faith would
be especially
effective and
sustaining in
this spiritual
transformation.
Because our communities are
dedicated to Mary, the spirituality
of Marianist communities is most
fundamentally about Mary form-
ing us to be Christ for our world
today.
Being formed by Mary to be
Christ is, for one, about the qual-
ity of our presence: While Gospel
work is the mission of our com-
munities, the quality of our pres-
ence to that work is more im-
portant than the work itself. For
example, teaching is instruction.
But the loving and caring pres-
ence of the teacher to her stu-
dents is education.
Being formed by Mary to be
Christ is about acting toward
people the way Jesus would. It also
means that our eforts at personal
transformation become virtues
only when they are expressed in
service. For example, students at
Marianist schools are taught that
the faith they learn in the class-
room must shape how they relate
to the least of their sisters and
brothers, and become the faith
that changes systems of injustice
and marginalization.
T
he prayer of Marianist commu-
nities fows from this under-
standing of being formed by Mary
to be Christ. Marianist prayer
attempts to make God’s word the
energy and conviction that guides
our feelings and choices. We pon-
der the mysteries of Jesus’ life as
presented in the Scriptures; we are
moved by an insight or feeling; we
express that insight or feeling in a
personal prayer of gratitude, con-
viction, or petition; we examine in
our conversation with God how
our day-to-day behavior refects
(or does not refect) the attitude
of Jesus about which we are pray-
ing. And fnally, we ofer thanks
to God for this treasured time of
prayer and commend our lives
To learn
more about the
Marianists,
explore A
Manual of
Marianist
Spirituality
by Quentin
Hakenewerth, SM
(available from
nacms.org).

c.1uoii c ui cvs1 To subs cri be: 800-678-2836


P R AY I N G
praying.indd 28 10/31/11 1:21 PM
to God and Mary. Sounds simple,
but it takes a lifetime!
Tis is the Marianist way:
holy women and men, lay and
Religious, living and praying in
communities, convinced that
through Mary, Christ can be born
into each age through our holi-
ness and our Gospel service. To
embrace Marianist community,
as a lay or Religious member, is
to open oneself or one’s family to
the adventure of real Gospel liv-
ing. We allow Mary to change how
we pray and how we relate to each
other. Perhaps most importantly,
through our prayer and com-
munity, we allow Mary to help
us see with new eyes the critical,
unmet human needs around us
and to give us the courage to re-
spond. Consequently, just like our
wonderful Marianist ancestors, in
small and incremental ways, we
will transform the world for Christ
in our families, on our blocks, and
in our neighborhoods. CD
Brother Glodek, the former provincial
of the Marianist Province of the United
States, is the founding director of the
Marianist Ofce for Formation in Mission
in Philadelphia.
qNE XT MONTH P RAYI NG WI TH THE AUGUS TI NI ANS
t Three
O’Cloc
Paer
Lord Jesus,
we gather in spirit at the
foot of the Cross
with your mother
and the disciple whom
you loved.
We ask your pardon
for our sins,
which are the cause
of your death.
We thank you for
remembering us
in that hour of salvation
and for giving us Mary
as our mother.
Holy Virgin, take us under
your protection
and open us to the action
of the Holy Spirit.
St. John, obtain for us the grace
of taking Mary into our
lives, as you did
and of assisting her in her
mission. Amen.

uvcvxnvv :oI I cathol i cdi gest . com
praying.indd 29 10/31/11 1:22 PM

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