Marianist Community | Marianist Educational Associates

MEETING OF THE MARIANIST EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATES

Oct. 30, 2008: Bro. Ray Fitz attachment

Br. Ray has watched for almost 50 years how the family of Mary (including Society of Mary, Marianist Lay Communities and Daughters of Mary) has evolved as a religious movement.  He asked himself what Fr. Chaminade was trying to do when he founded this movement.  According to Bro. Ray, there is a challenge in modern time, to have lay look to sustaining apostolic ministry as well as sharing faith sharing.

Economy of communion – how can we get sense within American culture to take on aspects of ministry and vitality of life?  We can look to our founders and try to replicate their dreams today.

The AMU (Association of Marianist Universities) will have a transition in Exec. Director.  It will be proposed at January board meeting to evaluate where MEAs are.  Bro. Jerry will lead us in describing what MEAs do well; what is needed to strengthen them.  Initial formation here at CUH will continue this summer; but, what should we be doing about on-going formation?

Bro. Ray discussed the French Revolution; how we know that Fr. Chaminade suffered and he described the atmosphere at that time as a ”militant secularism.”  The Enlightenment sought to reject religion and drive it out of politics, family and society.  As a result, Fr. Chaminade was insistent on formation in faith.  In developing generations who were not participating in church. He sought to reorganize communities to strengthen faith and apostolic communities.

  • Universality – the movement is universal
  • Intensity – living out our baptismal promise
  • Multiplication – recruit others
  • Self Effacement – humility to do great things with flawed and lowly people
  • Spirit of Faith – Word of God and tradition of the Church could not be left out
  • Formation of Faith – Organizations which center their work on formation in faith

The religious illiteracy of young people causes us to ask who is taking us into the future?  Our current culture is secular and does not promote faith development of youth.  How do we shape this movement?

Are we graduating students who will be leaders in the Church?  The culture does not support growth of young people.  How do we develop a relevant spirituality for lay persons?  SMs have a discipline for prayer and spiritual development; how do lay folks get that?  How do we a make system of values work for us to overcome the evil within us and develop the grace of God? 

Provide counsel and direction to others

Apostolic method – community organizing via one on one conversations; being apostles and bringing like-minded folks together to share a common faith and network to further strengthen their faith.

If we keep institutions as strong Catholic and Marianist people who can tell the story; incorporate it in the intellectual and student life and build and strengthen the Institution.  We can be transformative people; develop communities that reinforce each other in task of building a Catholic and Marianist culture; learning more and confront new issues and make changes.  How are 3 campuses working together to do this?  Be a cultural catalyst; gain knowledge – develop own interior life that allows us to have presence on campus; to work with other MEAs to create culture and make a public commitment.

Jerry asked for Resources:

  • NACMS – has a giant library of resources.
  • Mary Lynn Hill – discuss her book
  • European author – Chaminade v. conflict secular society
  • AMU website – needs update check in summer

Venus – RA training 5 characteristics; contrary to what values they come to campus with; UD website contains 3 principles, 7 habits/virtues, 12 questions for students) search for document

Fr. Tim - CUH has a wide pluralism and immense diversity – majority faculty and students are not Catholic! How do we create a community of discourse when everyone is coming from such diverse communities?  How do we grow from this conversation?  Fr. Chaminade brought together people from all dimensions of the society.

Watch out that our “older” biases are not getting in the way of allowing the discussion to take place.

Are we training young people to make a promise and keep a promise?  Students have a broad menu of what is spirituality to each of them.  How do we talk enough to see commonalities and points of understanding?

Dave Coleman asked, “How can MEAs articulate what is a Marianist system of values?  Is there any discipline attached to their spirituality?”  Students can be very indifferent to whether spirituality is important to them.  Can MEAs help each other systematically work together to bring those values forward? 

Br. Ray talked about how the Church in the modern world is a dialog; we need to be both teacher and learner.

Yukio mentioned personal component as faculty and member of small community. How can I get the vibration of this person who is God’s son?  If we push Catholic values into intellectual viewpoint will we be leaving out some of the world renowned theories?  Are faculty willing to sacrifice the top high intellectual quality work for Catholic viewpoint?  Should there be selection of only faculty who adopt these values? 

Br. Jerry mentioned that some other “Principles of good practice for Student Affairs at catholic colleges and universities.”

Larry mentioned that students find values as irrelevant.  What do you do when they won’t engage in the conversation?  What is justice; is it when all laws are enforced? – probably NOT. 

Sharon suggested that we need to find out what is it that students care about.

Dave mentioned how retreats can have a powerful impact on students but how do they take that impact into the classroom and residence hall. Service Learning involves these experiences that can be transformative.

Grissel suggest that we “Hire for mission” with both faculty and staff; but recruit students for mission.

Article Title: Identity Crisis.
Authors: Morey, Melanie and Piderit, John
Source: America; 10/13/2008, Vol. 199 Issue 11, p23-25, 3p, 1 color