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Like Jesus, Mary, and Marcellin: becoming servant leaders

 

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North American Marist Youth Leadership Conference

09/07/2009: United States - Photo gallery

Whether you say “Mariste,” “Marista,” or “Marist,” it all means the same thing. That’s what over 75 young people from Canada, Mexico, and the United States learned during the Marist Youth Leadership Conference held in Esopus during the recent Memorial Day Weekend.

The students gathered in Esopus learned about the concept of “servant leadership” and how it is the model for anyone who considers himself or herself a Marist leader. While students did focus on some specific leadership skills such as effective communication and team building, they also examined other appropriate concepts such as servant leadership, identifying my gifts and talents, sharing my gifts and talents, the importance of prayer and self-reflection and solidarity as a hallmark of Marist leadership.

The students left Esopus knowing that at its heart, Marist leadership is a call to service and that the best models of servant leadership that we have are Jesus, Mary, and Marcellin.

To bring that point home, each of the leadership-related presentations was followed by a brief presentation by “Marcellin Champagnat” (aka Irving Burbano, graduate of Mt. St. Michael). Marcellin’s reflections focused on how the specific leadership skills were important to him in his life as he and the early Brothers worked to build the Hermitage and begin their mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved.

Participating in the 2009 Marist Youth Leadership Conference were Christopher Columbus High School; Miami, Florida (Brother John Healy, Mr. Matt Fallon, Manuel Macias, Ignacio Borbolla, Rafael Moas, Ian Cuba, Mark Weekley, and Ricardo González), Msgr. Edward Pace High School; Opa Locka, Florida (Mr. Andrés Novela, Katherine Schuck, Jorge Pèrez, Andrés Rodriguez, and Gabriella Milanes), Marist High School; Chicago, Illinois (Brother Patrick McNamara, Mrs. Colleen Pochyly, Mr. Adam Wouk, Mr. Tim Hagan, Kristin, Duewerth, Moira Gilligan, Becky Hrad, Leslie Matuszak, Michael Reid, and Joseph Ward), Central Catholic High School; Lawrence, Massachusetts (Brother Kenneth Hogan, Samantha Murray, Brooke Basiliere, Courtney Naughton, Kevin Desjardins, Michael Bourie, and Phil Rosario), Marist High School; Bayonne, New Jersey (Mr. Dan Short, Demetrius Terry, Johathan Candelaria, and Yehide Offord), Roselle Catholic High School; Roselle, New Jersey (Mrs. Maureen Hagan, Brother Dan O’Riordan, Caitlin Abbate, Kelley Jane Carvalho, Bryanna O’Donnell, Vira Mae Sanchez, Joseph Mucha, and Michael Mercuro), Archbishop Molloy High School; Briarwood, New York (Mr. Mark Sweeney, Kate Mulvihill, Gina Galizia, David Champlin, Thomas Colombia, Matthew Mitarotonda, and Marc Ochs), Mt. St. Michael Academy; Bronx, New York (Mr. Anthony DelGuidice, Mr. John Hayes, Domenic Scipioni, Carlos Nolan, Daniel Federico, Xzavier Barnette, and William Bittner), St. Agnes Boys’ High School; New York City (Mr. Fernando Portilla, Willy Aponte, Edwin Amador, Kevin Guzman, Christopher Torres, and Jorbel Mateo), Our Lady of Lourdes High School; Poughkeepsie, New York (Mrs. Beth Safford, Kendrick Coq, Brad Fronckowiak, Emily Murphy, Michael Schepis, and Anthony Sprea), St. Joseph Academy; Brownsville, Texas (Mrs. Paty Daniels, Mr. Andy Muñoz, Paulina Chacon, Analia Pérez-Solis, Tommy Dunn, Carlos Carrillo, and Michael Fischer), Cervantes Loma Bonita; Jalisco, Mexico (Brother Jorge Mejia Duclaud, Mr. Rodrigo Sánchez Guzmán, Luis Manuel Jiménez Garcia, Isabel Sánchez Pérez, Samaria Elizabeth Alonso Orozco, Jimena Moreno Herrero, and Andrea Murillo, Zamora); Collège Laval; Québec, Canada (Mr. Claude Prègent, Emmanuelle Globensky, Maude-Emmanuelle Tardif, Noémie Pinsonnault-Duchemin, Laurence Gagnon, and Jean Ajmo), École Secondaire Marcellin Champagnat; Québec, Canada (Ms. Karine Robitaille, Ms. Claudine Cholette, Marie-Pier Mercier, Myriam Girouard, Emmanuelle Guertin Blanchette, Marc-André Bonneau, and Audrey Mallet)

YOUNG ADULT TEAM: MODELING MARIST LEADERSHIP

For any type of leadership conference to be effective and credible, the leadership has to be modeled by others. The 2009 Marist Youth Leadership Conference was guided by a strong young adult team composed of graduates of our US Marist schools. All of the young adult leaders participated in one of the Marist Youth programs during their high school years!

The Young Adult team was made up of Ellen Salmi, Chris Clesca, Meg Friedman, Ellen Sisk, and Katie Murphy graduates of Roselle Catholic; Nick Cano and Lauren Lenzo, graduates of Marist-Bayonne; Chris Woods, Irving Burbano, Michael Negron, and Michael Sweeney, graduates of Mt. St. Michael, and Christina Campisi, graduate of Archbishop Molloy.

ADULT TEAM: FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

The members of the young adult team were assisted in various ways by faculty members from all of the schools represented. All of the adult team members modeled the Marist Youth motto, “Marist Youth today – Marist always.”

Our thanks go out to Brother John Healy and Mr. Matt Fallon from Christopher Columbus; Mr. Andrés Novela from Msgr. Pace; Brother Pat McNamara, Mrs. Colleen Pochyly, Mr. Adam Woik, and Mr. Tim Hagan from Marist-Chicago; Brother Ken Hogan from Central Catholic; Mr. Dan Short from Marist-Bayonne; Mrs. Maureen Hagan and Brother Dan O’Riordan from Roselle Catholic, Mr. Mark Sweeney from Archbishop Molloy; Mr. Anthony DelGuidice and Mr. John Hayes from Mt. St. Michael, Mr. Fernando Portilla from St. Agnes, Mrs. Beth Safford from Our Lady of Lourdes; Mrs. Paty Daniels and Mr. Andy Muñoz from St. Joseph Academy; Brother Jorge Mejia Duclaud and Mr. Rodrigo Sánchez Guzmán from Cervantes Loma Bonita; Mr. Claude Prègent from Collège Laval; Ms. Karine Robitaille and Ms. Claudine Cholette from École Secondaire Marcellin Champagnat; Brother Brian Poulin from the Novitiate, Sister Claire Rheaume, SMSM from the Marist Missionary Sisters, Brother Ben Consigli from the Office of Marist Education, and Brothers Hank Hammer, Steve Milan, and Al Rivera from the Marist Evangelization Team.

As always a gracious THANKS YOU to Brother Don Nugent and Brother Joe Matthews from the retreat house and to Roland Varriale and Johnnie McEntee from the Marist Young Adult Community. Thank you too to Father Richard LaMorte who celebrated mass for us.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: STUDENT PARTICIPANTS

What I learned about myself at the Marist Youth Leadership Conference:


One thing that I have learned about myself is that all my gifts are special and that I have something to offer in my life. (Samantha Murray, Central Catholic)

I have learned that I truly am a leader to others. I have been living how Marcellin wants us to live and I hope I can continue his mission. (Courtney Naughton, Central Catholic)

I have learned that I and my school are not the only family I have. We are all part of the Marist family. (Manuel Macias, Christopher Columbus High School)

I have learned to love and care for everyone no matter who they are or where they come from. We are all followers of God as Marists. I also saw leadership qualities in myself that I had not seen before. I will use these qualities because it helps out others in great ways. (Ricardo Gonzalez, Christopher Columbus High School)

I have learned that there are many ways to be a leader, but in order to be a Marist leader we must be followers of Marcellin Champagnat. (Marc Ochs, Archbishop Molloy High School)

One thing I have learned about myself is that even I can spread the faith of God through leadership. I have learned a what a true Marist leader is. Through my actions and solidarity, I can serve as an influence to other students in my school. (David Lulgjuraj, Mt. St. Michael Academy)

One thing that I have learned about myself is how to be a better Marist leader. (Carlos Nolan, Mt. St. Michael Academy)

I can be a great Marist leader. All I need is my faith and support from others and from God. (Jorge Perez, Msgr. Pace High School)

I learned that I cannot do everything to be a leader alone. I must use the gifts that God has given me to make the best out of each and every situation. (Michael Schepis, Our Lady of Lourdes High School)

I’ve learned that I have a social responsibility to be Marist, that I have a great amount of love for God and serving those in need, I already knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but after this experience, I want everyone to do it for the rest of their lives too. (Paullina Chacon, St. Joseph Academy)

One thing I learned about myself is that we all have strong passion for “Marist” – a family that will never be broken. I will love everyone more and will try to bring people in Chicago together the way we did here in Esopus. (Joe Ward, Marist High School – Chicago)

This experience has shown me that the point of Marist values is to bring people together and that they are a demonstration of hope for the future. In other words, they have shown me the power of love. (Marc-André Bonneau, École Secondaire Marcellin Champagnat)
One thing I will do differently when I return home:

One thing I will do differently is serve my community more and be able to ask for help from God and others when I need it. (Yejide Offord, Marist-Bayonne)

I will take all that I have learned, especially the idea of “servant leadership” and live it out in my school and my life. I will share the mission of Marcellin and live as a Marist Youth in everything that I say and do. (Courtney Naughton, Central Catholic)

One thing I will do differently is become more active in making people aware of “Marist” and how much God influences our lives. (Brooke Basiliere, Central Catholic)

I will definitely use this new gift to get more people involved in the Marist tradition. (Christopher Torres, St. Agnes Boys’ High School)

I will begin to incorporate new ideas in my school in order to create a stronger community based on Marist ideals. (Manuel Macias, Christopher Columbus High School)

One thing I will do differently is to serve as if all eyes are on me. I will be the best leader I can be through my school work and my service to the community. I will do the best I can to answer Marcellin’s challenge. (David Lulgjuraj, Mt. St. Michael Academy)

I will see the world in a whole new way, the Marist way. This can help me be a better and more understanding leader. (Michael Fischer, St. Joseph Academy)

I am inspired to lead, encourage, and make a difference in my community. I will return home and bring back a passion for “Marist” and spread it everywhere I go and lead. (Paulina Chacon, St. Joseph Academy)

As a result of this conference, I will actually use the leadership skills I possess to carry on the solidarity mission as a Marist. (Analia Perez, St. Joseph Academy)

One thing that I will do differently is that I need to show God more through my actions and not just my words. (Kristin Duewerth, Marist High School – Chicago)

One thing I will do differently is to share all my experience with my school by doing more activities that relates to this experience in Esopus. (Jean Ajmo, Collège Laval)

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: YOUNG ADULT TEAM

What I learned:


I have learned that I can be a great leader. It has become so natural for me, and I am comfortable with it. I thank my Marist family for making me a confident and strong Christian leader. Every time I come to this place (Esopus), I find a piece of myself in the peace of the property, in the love I share with others, and in the new people I meet and learn from. I want to change my wavering faith and disheartened spirit by going to church more often, praying more and living the love that I have here in this place and within this family (Chris Woods, YA Team, Mt. St. Michael graduate)

I have learned to trust more in the gifts and talents of others and to seek to try to bring the best out in each individual I meet. (Ellen Salmi, YA Team, Roselle Catholic graduate)

One thing I have learned about myself is that being a leader takes more than characteristics like positive listening and effective communication. It also takes courage, love, and confidence in yourself to be the best leader you can be. (Katie Murphy, YA Team, Roselle Catholic graduate)

What I will do differently:

One thing I will do differently as a result of this gathering is that I will not question my abilities, and I will embrace/listen to everything I hear with an open mind and an open heart. (Nick Cano, YA Team, Marist-Bayonne graduate)

One thing I will do differently is to be more confident in my abilities as a leader and as a person in general. (Chris Cleska, YA Team, Roselle Catholic graduate)


One thing l will do differently is to make an effort to develop those traits that don’t come naturally. (Meg Friedman, YA Team, Roselle Catholic graduate)

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: ADULT TEAM

What I have learned:


I learned more about what experiences of mine young people can relate to and that I might have some things to share that they need to hear. (Brother Brian Poulin, Marist Brothers Novitiate)

I learned about the importance of servant leadership in mission today as we are in solidarity with the world. (Sister Claire Rheaume, SMSM)

I learned that we have much to look forward to given the hope of our Marist young adults and Marist youth and all they will make happen in living Champagnat’s dream into the future. (Brother Dan O’Riordan, FMS, Roselle Catholic High School)

I learned that I am never too old to learn new things in life and in my faith. (Brother Philip Robert)

One thing I learned about myself is that I have grown as both a leader and as an educator, and that a Marist Education is one of love, faith, and commitment. (Mark Sweeney, Archbishop Molloy High School)

I have learned that God’s grace is there for the asking. (Brother Ken Hogan, Central Catholic High School)

I have learned that our Church is in good hands! (Brother Ben Consigli)

It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and commitment of these young people. They participated whole heartedly, and hopefully that means they got the most out of it. It gave me the energy I need to “go back to work” and continue the Marist agenda. (Maureen Hagan, Roselle Catholic High School)

We have learned that the Marist spirit is international. There are no fences or borders. (Karine Roitaille and Claudine Cholette, École Secondaire Marcellin Champagnat)

What I will do differently:

I will try to relate more to new people I meet and be less self-conscious in certain ways.
(Brother Brian Poulin, Marist Brothers Novitiate)

I will be open to new forms of living the Marist spirit as the youth of today are called to live it.
(Sister Claire Rheaume, SMSM)

I will try harder to appreciate and see the goodness in young people around me. (Brother Philip Robert)

One thing that I will do differently as a result of this conference is to bring more of Champagnat’s life and teachings into my classroom , and I will dedicate myself to the responsibility of being a Marist Educator. I feel that I am truly living “Marist Youth today; Marist always.” Thank you for all that you do. I feel truly blessed for having such influential men in my life as I begin my teaching career. (Mark Sweeney, Archbishop Molloy High School)

I will continue to support the Marist spirit in my own life and at Our Lady of Lourdes. (Beth Safford, Our Lady of Lourdes High School)

I will be patient and wait for the Lord to speak in His good time. (Brother Ken Hogan, Central Catholic High School)

We have learned to open our minds and to push Marist values in our school. (Karine Roitaille and Claudine Cholette, École Secondaire Marcellin Champagnat)

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