The current New Zealand news is available here in a simple form for printing.
For the May Newsletter
Click HERE to download the document.
For the April Newsletter
Click HERE to download the document.
Kia Ora Marist Friends
We are Easter people; Alleluia is our song!
Lent challenged us deeply. Last month we were shocked by the atrocity in Christchurch. That tragedy has focused us to prayer and compassion and we have witnessed both this Lent. We ask God for mercy and hold all those impacted in prayer.
Even as we celebrate Easter, Mothers Day and Maryâs month for you, other tragic events are unfolding.
The May newsletter was printed before the Easter terrorist atrocity in Sri Lanka. At the time the world was coming to terms with the destruction of Notre Dame in Paris so I shared my thoughts on that below. How much deeper then do we identify with and grieve for the hundreds who died or were maimed and injured in coordinated bombings across Columbo, many during Easter Masses and services. Our hearts go out to the people of Sri Lanka and also to those in New Zealand with Sri Lankan family and friends, both here and in that country. We will try to keep you up to date with fundraising for the victims as information becomes available. We certainly will continue to join with them in prayer and solidarity.
Notre Dame de Paris goes up in flames. Mary stood at the cross of Jesus and embraced his broken body and we stand with her as that place of beauty, sacrament and grace, which bears her name, held the relic of the crown of thorns and is built in a cruciform shape, falls in flames. It has survived kings, queens, revolutions, wars and tragedies for nearly 800 years, its bells have consoled and called to prayer but itâs now a broken shell. We pray in solidarity with the people of France. We appreciate anew that âmountains may fall ...but the love of the Lord will standâ. (Is.54:10)
This month's reflection
comes from Antonia Swann, who is a part of the Logos Marist Youth Project. She went to Guatemala in January and shares the deep significance of that event for her Marist identity and calling by Mary. Thank you Antonia.
May Marist Days
The whole of May this year is Easter season and is also known as Mary's month. As Marist's we remember these days in particular:
1st May: St Joseph the Worker
3rd May: Sts Philip and James, Apostles
13th May: Our Lady of Fatima
14th May: St Matthew, Apostle
24th May: Our Lady Help of Christians
31st May: The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
It was with great shock and sadness to hear Fr John Pearce CP, Parish Priest of Star of the Sea, Marlborough died suddenly on May 5th. He was so gracious to Fr Chris and I in Blenheim and we offer our prayerful condolences to his Passionist confreres, his family in Australia, and his parish community and friends, including Lasike and the Tongan Third Order group.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
From left: Fr John, Kirsten, Ellen, Fr Barry
Fr John Larsen, Superior General told us âMissionâ is an attitude of the heart when he was in NZ in April. Like Mary going to Elizabeth, those on mission leave their comfort zone and, as it were, âcross the roadâ to help give life and encouragement. He sees the changing world and declining demographics as an âopportunityâ & not cause for panic. He said the Work of Mary means working with Lay collaborators. âWe need to work out the issues, new structures, but ultimately...get on with it in a way that Lay people can participate. He spoke about the importance of the Dublin Laity meeting in August. Three NZ Marist Laity will be attending; Bev, Penelope and Tutangata. More news on that meeting to come later. Please pray for us.
Together in Prayer and Solidarity
As we see the rise of attacks against faith communities around the world - we gather in support and prayer.
Mary mother of mercy, You watched in agony as your son Jesus suffered and died on the cross. Standing with you now, we cry out to God in Jesus; have mercy on the people of Sri Lanka, as they live with this grief, tragedy, shock, loss and suffering,- we particularly pray for those who lost loved ones, the wounded and their families and communities. May those who died rest in peace.
We also remember the Jewish community in USA who have been attacked and people of all faiths and religions around the world including Christians in the Middle East who are under constant fear of violence.
We pray too for the volunteers, faith leaders, health and security responders who are exposed to such horror and trauma.
May all people of goodwill join together with Mary and find safety under her mantle of protection as we pray for peace and an end to extremist violence and fundamentalism. Lord have Mercy. Amen, Alleluia
Ma te Atua koe e manaaki
The retreats in Kaikoura and Picton on March 30th/31st, went well - they were both encounters with Grace. Thank you for the prayers and for the Marlborough parish which was so open to welcome and receive us.
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Marist Ministry
Marist Weekly BLOG
The Marist Fathers are offering a weekly reflection by weblog as a response to the Popeâs encyclical Laudato Si. Links to it can be found on our Facebook page also. There are different articles from Marists around the globe, including New Zealand every week.
That the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.
In the Resurrection we realize we are utterly dependent on the Mercy and Grace of God. There is a great call on the people of God to humility and prayer. As we rejoice we begin to gather in the upper room and pray for ongoing conversion in our lives this Easter. May the full truth of the Resurrection come home to us. We are Easter people of hope and joy.
Together with Mary,
Bev, Margaret and Fr Chris
NZ Marist Laity Commitment
I, ------------ bring myself today just as I am,
With the intention to live my ordinary life as a Lay Marist for 12 months from ------------------
I choose to be part of the Work of Mary
in the Marist family which bears her name.
I recognize that Mary calls me to portray
a Marian face of the Church in the world of today.
I desire, to make the Church friendly,
open and faithful to the Gospel.
I want to respond generously to the Holy Spirit
as Mary did.
In asking the Spirit of God to guide me every day,
I want to be a bearer of mercy, life, and hope
to all who are waiting to meet brothers and sisters
on their journey of life.
I will be particularly attentive to those
who are suffering and in need.
I acknowledge how small I am,
So, I put all my trust in God and in Mary.
I ask God, through Mary, for the strength, courage, and patience to be faithful to whatever God asks of me,
for the greater glory of God and the honour of Mary, mother of Our Lord Jesus.
Music of Fr Chris Skinner SM
While Fr. Chris Skinner is spiritual director for Marist Laity NZ. he also has a renowned music ministry and has happily shared several of his songs on the audio tracks for our monthly reflections which adds something special to them.
His web site has a list of all his albums & prices, with music clips available.
To contact him:
Rev. Chris Skinner sm, PO Box 68627, Newton, Auckland, 1145, New Zealand.
PRAYER FOR FR COLIN
This prayer has been issued by the General Administration for use by those who wish to pray to the founder to ask his intercession.
God our Father, in your servant Jean-Claude Colin you gave your people a zealous priest and religious founder dedicated to serving the Church in the spirit of Mary.
We ask you for the glorification of your faithful servant in the midst of your Church and grant us the favour which we ask through his intercession. ( .)
This we ask through Christ Our Lord.
The Studio of St John the Baptist, Auckland, NZ, has finished work on an official icon of Marist Founder, Jean-Claude Colin.
The icon features Fr Colin receiving a script from the Blessed Virgin indicating how the congregation he was to found would live 'under Mary's name' ('Sub Mariae Nomine').
The icon will be used on materials to promote the Cause for Beatification of Fr Colin.
For more details and a high definition copy of the image, see the Australian province web site.
Note about icons:
You will see how in the image, Fr Colin is looking at the Blessed Virgin. It is a convention in iconography that only a canonised saint is pictured looking out at the viewer. Other subjects look in towards the one who is in heaven.
Prayer is your most important gift, but finances are a fact of life.
If you have already sent us a donation Thank you!
You may wish to consider a collection at your meetings, every bit contributes to the cost of our production and mailing.
If you wish to make an online transfer please include your group name on the transaction and send a covering email to the office.
New Zealand Bank Account Number:
A Certain Way
This wonderful easy to read book containing snippets of Marist history and spirituality, all combined to form a coherent 'whole' is now available to read on the internet. There is a link from our web site (on the 'Links' page) or you can go there directly.
For those who prefer a 'real' bookwe still have some copies available of this book - cost $30 each, including NZ postage.(extra for overseas or you could obtain a copy from your local Province of the Society of Mary.)