Marianist Community | Marianist Educational Associates


February 24, 2010, 6:50 pm – 8:15 pm, Marianist Hall

Members Present: Bro. Jerry Bommer, David Anderson, Barb Belle, Grissel Benitez-Hodge, Dave Coleman, Val Coleman, Bro. Frank Damm, Patti Lee-Robinson, Sharon LePage, Larry Osborne, Pete Steiger, Kay Stone, Curtis Washburn

Guest: Joe Allen, Fr. Jack McGrath

Barb led us in a prayer by Sr. Laura Leming, FMI.

Adjunct Orientation
Barb passed out an information sheet to the speakers for the Adjunct Orientation on Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 9 am. Mike F. and Barb will shop for food. Invitations will be mailed by March 1, 2010. Help is needed to set up and clean up.

Update on Scheduling Dinners with Faculty and Staff at Marianist Hall and Hale Malia
No report

Status on the Presentations of the Characteristics and Subsequent Dialogue
Sharon will send the link to the MEAs for comments. Bro. Jerry will then send it to faculty, staff and students. Barb reported that there are five testimonies for the blog which will be posted one at a time. MEAs are asked to lead the reflections. Sharon asked the MEAs speaking at the upcoming Adjunct Orientation to also submit their reflections. David A. will send Sharon his reflection in electronic format.

Visit with the new AMU Executive Director, Fr. Jack McGrath
Bro. Jerry has given Fr. Jack the minutes for our MEA meetings this past year.
Fr. Jack said that he was happy to be here and to do MEA work, continuing Bro. Ray Fitz’s work.
There will be the MEA formation this year on June 1-4, 2010 in Dayton, with about 8-10 from University of Dayton, 6-8 from St. Mary’s and 3-4 from Chaminade.
There will be no MUM meeting this year; next year it will be at St. Mary’s on Civic Engagement.
On June 7, 2010 there will be a presentation by Fr. Jack bringing together all the MEAs by videoconference (technology still to be worked out), followed by an exchange among all the MEAs. It will be around midday Hawaii time.

Fr. Jack’s expectations of the CUH MEAs are confirming the expectations of all MEAS (Revised Core Commitment made at MUM 2009):

All MEAs strive to be a professional presence on the campus that promotes the Catholic and Marianist mission and identity of our Marianist sponsored University.

Fr. Jack commented that you “grow where you are planted.”

All MEAs are committed to ongoing learning about the Catholic and Marianist traditions as they apply to higher education.

We should plan, look at where we are and where do we need to go.

The MEAs are committed to forming a community of challenge and support with other MEAs which strives to embody and give witness to the Catholic and Marianist tradition of education.

We are a community that gathers and acts as a community of challenge and support.

All MEAs are committed to being part of a community of positive influence on campus that is engaged in reading the signs of the times and learning to utilize the Catholic and Marianist traditions in forging responses to these signs.

What do we do, understand and think about?

All MEAs make a public affirmation to live their commitment as MEAs.

Fr .Jack added from “Core Commitments but Different Journeys”:
6. Some MEAs may decide to explore the Marianist charism, with its spirituality and apostolic methods, and chose to integrate the Marianist charism in their life commitment as a lay person and make a commitment to be lay Marianist.

What do the MEAs want?
The first level of MEA formation will be continued and improved. Fr. Jack will join Bro. Ray Fitz and Bro. Tom Giardino in the formation.
MEAs want a further level of formation.
Examples of content:

  1. MEAs as cultural catalyst (Fr. Joe Lackner’s presentation)
  2. Mary
  3. Value and how to of Humanities and Liberal Arts at Catholic universities
  4. Being a Catholic (Thomas Groome)
  5. Catholic Social Teaching – Fr. Jack passed out “Catholic Higher Education and Catholic Social Teaching: A Vision Statement” from ACCU
  6. Catholic Intellectual Tradition


  1. Bring people together, read, present and discuss in small or large groups
  2. Online classes
  3. Live video presentation and discussion across campuses

MEAs can contact Fr. Jack about preferences in content and form.

Fr. Jack’s priorities:

  1. First level of formation
  2. Next level of formation
  3. Civic Engagement Project – all three universities are working on finalizing a survey that will be given in the fall. The survey is being organized by George Lisjak and a report will be given at MUM 2011.
  4. Description of MEAs – folder or pamphlet
  5. Website – as a resource, news center, what else?
  6. Relationship with Marianist high schools – (Bro. Ed Brink) Principals met with the three university Presidents on formation and developing courses to fulfill both high school and university requirements.


  • David A. questioned who are the MEAs? He sees MEAs on the existential level (grow where you are planted and do what you do), as a consultative voice (should we limit the number of MEAs or serve a limited number of years?) and do the MEAs have decision making powers? Fr. Jack replied that the MEAs are appropriate whatever the number of Marianists, “even important and necessary.”
  • Larry commented that being an MEA is a way to do something in the right way following the Marianist charism and lead by example.
  • Pete said that the first training session was extraordinary and suggested adding experienced MEAs as resources (“camp counselor”) or have them do some of the formation.
  • Grissel was excited to hear about the specific goals and asked about an immersion experience.
  • Kay agreed about ongoing formation and asked about having a discussion area on the website.
  • Val suggested the VLCFF Marianist courses and a pilgrimage similar to the one in 2006 with Fr. Bernie Lee. Fr. Jack will ask Bro. Ray about funding for pilgrimages.
  • Fr. Jack said that there is a second miracle for Fr. Chaminade and that the St. Louis Archbishop Carlson will set up a board. Next year is also the 250th anniversary of Fr. Chaminade’s birth.
  • Larry liked the content area of Mary, specifically with the Marianist view of Mary historically.
  • Pete asked about the challenge of the MEAs having different backgrounds in Marianist spirituality and the level of formation needed.
  • Barb asked about the different topics available and Fr. Jack said that the topics are meant for all 3 universities; the second level of formation will be for the universities to organize and facilitate.
    Barb talked about different roles for the MEAs (formation for 6 months to 1 year; limit or rotate roles in decision making, service, etc.).
  • Dave C. asked if MEAs are allowed to renew their commitment or not. He believes there is a dimension of responding or being called to that is not limited to a term, but is a lifelong commitment.
  • Br. Jerry said that all MEAs contribute in their areas of the university. His job includes bringing in speakers and finding readings to make the MEAs stronger in their circle of influence.
  • Grissel talked about the role of the MEAs in the university, specifically about the MEAs role in the selection of CUH’s president. Do the MEAs have decision making powers?
  • Pete asked about the issue of lay spirituality vs. vowed spirituality. Bro. Jerry replied that lay spirituality would fit into the faith communities. Barb suggested the MLFI (Marianist Lay Formation Initiative).
  • Joe asked if the MEA document could be written by the MEAs.
  • Fr. Jack talked about being a cultural catalyst, being like Fr. Chaminade reading the signs of the times and examining it through different lenses (CST, gender, etc.).
  • Dave C. reported that a group of MEAs will meet to design an assessment tool.
  • Joe asked for feedback from the MEAs on the Mission and Identity survey.
  • Bro. Jerry reminded the MEAs that they are all good people who have a positive influence on the university.