Marist Sisters in the Philippines attended the official launching of the Marist Vocation Year for the Society of Mary District of Asia. The year was launched on November 15, 2021 on the 146th Death Anniversary of Ven. Jean-Claude Colin, Founder of the Society of Mary. The theme of the Marist vocation year is “Enriching, encouraging and assisting Marist vocation”.
During the Mass Fr. Lauro Arcede beautifully preached on the treasures left to the Marists by Fr. Founder Jean-Claude Colin specifically the importance of community living; how it challenges Marists but at the same time how it protects Marists from the things that could swallow them and make them far from what Fr. Colin envisioned for “living a Marist life”.
Three Marist Sisters from the Asia-Pacific Region are currently in Rome – Srs Lorraine Campbell (ANZ), Noelene Simmons (Aus) and Lilibeth Cajes (Ph) as members of the Marist Sisters Finance Committee. They took time to visit the Basilica of Santa Sabina. This is one of the Basilicas visited by Fr Jean Claude Colin, the Founder of the Marist Sisters, during his final visit to Rome.
“In your difficulties,
in your troubles,
in your zealous plans,
in the problems of your ministry,
do you have recourse to God,
do your thoughts turn immediately
to prayer, to God?”
(A Founder Speaks, 132.6)
On this anniversary of the death of Jean Claude Colin, Founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters, we give thanks for the witness of this humble and courageous man. We pray that, like him, all Marists will have a deep dependence on God and a deep resolve to be Mary’s compassionate presence in our world.
“And the Blessed Virgin,
who did such great things then,
will do even greater ones
at the end of time…” (Jean-Claude Colin)
Jean-Claude Colin, founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters, knew suffering at an early age. Orphaned at the age of five he developed into a person with a deep longing for a life of solitude and strong desire to serve God. It was while studying for the priesthood at the major seminary in Lyon he came into contact with the Marist project. Despite his sensitive and timid temperament he was courageous in responding to the needs of his time. He took his inspiration from the life of Mary in Nazareth and and from her presence as a mother in the early church. On 15th November, the anniversary of his death, Marists throughout the world recall with gratitude the legacy of this man who teaches us what it is to live the Spirit of Mary in our times.
On 12th September each year Marists throughout the world celebrate the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. This feast reminds us that we “belong by a gracious choice to the family of the Blessed Mary, Mother of God. In her name we are called Marists”(Spirit of the Society of Mary by Jean Claude Colin S.M., Founder). The feast is also an other opportunity for Marists to reflect on how Mary would have lived the gospel in our day.
Two New Zealand Marist Sisters have prepared a reflection for this year’s feast. The reflections may be downloaded here.