Sunday, January 11, 2009

You must blame my busy schedule 
and not my heart for my delay in extending to you my New Year's wishes.... 
May you make great spiritual strides during this year...
Venerable Mother Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon
Foundress of the Marianist Sisters
Letter 634, January 12, 1826

I tell you, I just can't get over the speed with which the days go by! It seems that I just wrote yesterday and yet weeks have gone by. I hope you can forgive my neglect!

I begin tonight's post with a quote from our foundress. It is appropriate as her feast day was yesterday. The words of the quote are also quite appropriate given the situation. Anyway, we did not celebrate her feast day yesterday, per se, though. Yesterday we celebrated the life of a committed Lay Marianist who passed away late last month. Tomorrow, we will celebrate the life of Mother Adele.

Yesterday evening members of various Marianist communities, both lay and vowed, gathered for Mass at Queen of Apostles Parish to remember the life of Joe Cavanaugh, a graduate of the University of Dayton, Lay Marianist, committed husband, and a tireless advocate of peace and justice. There were stories told, laughter, tears and a shared meal following the Mass. We supported his widow and each other in our shared loss.

Tomorrow evening, the Marianist family and students will gather for a vespers service at UD followed by a reception to celebrate the example given in Mother Adele. After that, our community will share supper with one of the communities of Marianist brothers and priests.

As Marianists we celebrate well. We gather in good times and in sad times... to welcome new people to our Marianist family, to recall our founders and their vision... to bid someone farewell... We celebrate by sharing Eucharist and stories, laughter and tears, prayers of thanksgiving and of petition and always support, companionship, love for one another and faith in the God that has called us to be Marianists.

This, I believe, is part of our gift to the Church and the world as Marianists. Not, of course, our only gift... and maybe not our most important one, but a gift nonetheless. And that I sometimes take for granted and forget how thankful I am for this our Marianist family.

Yes, we celebrate well. But, we don't celebrate just for ourselves or just to have an excuse for fun...

We celebrate as a witness and a reminder that God is faithful. We come together and invite others to join us as a reminder that all people are invited and no one is to be left out. And we come together to renew a sense of common mission and family - we do not do this alone. We support, challenge and encourage one another in word and mostly by example. 

In a world that seems so wrong and all messed up, we gather in a spirit of hope and faith - God... life... love are the victors.

Many blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N