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25/10/2013: United States



Year of Marist Vocation Updates  

Our Year of Marist Vocations is off and running. Click here for further details.

Foundation Stones

Click here to read more about our first annual Foundation Stones Week as well as see the video.


Accompaniment Program News   

Click here for a listing of our current members and some recent happenings.


Esopus Novitiate News 

Sam Amos, James Hodge and Jack O'Sullivan officially began their postulancy in Espouson September 22. Click here for further details.


Vocation Committee
Bro. John Dunning
Bro. John Kachinsky
Mr. Mike Kennedy
Mr. Ted McGuiness
Bro. Dan O'Riordan
Bro. Owen Ormsby
Bro. Todd Patenaude
Mr. Fernando Portilla
Bro. Brian Poulin
Bro. Michael Sheerin



Marist USA 
Marist International


LetterFall 2013 Issue
Dear Marist Vocation Friends,

Our Year of Marist Vocations is well underway in many of our ministries as we acknowledge and celebrate together our Marist call. In a fast paced world such as ours, it is good, even necessary, to pause and reflect on our lives in general. This Year of Marist Vocations invites us all to reflect on how we are Marist and what that means to us and to others. May our efforts, great and small, bring us ever closer and deeper into that meaning.

Vocation efforts of the past few months include the first annual Foundation Stones experience for 10 young men, eight of whom were new to considering Marist life for themselves. The week proved quite good in helping five of the new participants decide to join Accompaniment and offered good clarifications for the others. A strong spirit of community developed among the entire group and their energy helped complete a number of Esopus property projects. See link to DVD and article on Foundation Stones.

We also rejoice with our new postulants: Sam Amos from the USA Province and Jack O'Sullivan and James Hodge from the Australian Province. All three were received as postulants on Sunday, September 22 at a Rite of Welcome ceremony in the Novitiate in Esopus. The word postulant comes from the Latin, postulare, which means to claim, to request and to demand (want). These three young men "claimed" their spirituality with their new intention, "requested" to begin living that spirituality, and "demanded" (wanted) to see and know Marist life lived in us, their new Brothers.

The Year of Marist Vocations hopes to continue deepening all our Marist vocations. The more we grow in that awareness, the more we will offer to those with whom we come in contact. May all our efforts continue to be blessed. For a complete rundown of activities and prayers for the Year of Marist Vocations, please visit our website at www.maristbr.com and click on VOCATIONS. Then scroll down to Marist Resources and the page will open listing all the available information. We invite you at this time to pause and pray the prayer below, being used by all our communities and ministries this year.

With gratitude, 

Bro. Dan O'Riordan, FMS       Bro. Michael Sheerin, FMS
brdano@hotmail.com              bromikes@gmail.com


vocationYear of Marist Vocation Updates       
Our Year of Marist Vocations began with a very successful Foundation Stones week in June. Each of our schools in the province also began their school year by distributing special Year of Marist Vocation prayer cards to each student and faculty member in the province as well as displaying a commemorative Vocation Year Banner, Lantern and Candle in their school community.

Christopher Columbus included in their opening faculty meeting a reflection on our Marist Year of Vocations. St. Joseph Academy also held its first faculty dinner and prayer evening, which also focused on our Marist Year of Vocations. Archbishop Molloy, Mt. St. Michael Academy and St. Joseph Academy included special ceremonies during their opening school masses to commemorate our Year of Marist Vocations.

The Marist Brothers Center in Esopus will host its second annual LaValla Weekend Service Retreat October 12-14.

Bro. Tony Leon, who has served as Vocation Director for the Australian Province will be making a number of Marist Vocation themed presentations in November at Archbishop Molloy High School, Central Catholic High School, Marist High School in Bayonne and Roselle Catholic High School.




foundationFOUNDATION STONES: A Marist Brothers' Vocation Program

We kicked off our Province's Year of Marist Vocations this past June with our first annual FOUNDATION STONES week. The intention of Foundation Stones is to invite students graduating from our Marist high schools in the U.S. to retreat together at our Center in Esopus. Foundation Stones offers the opportunity for these young men to explore the Marist Brothers' way of life through a seven-day experience, providing time to live, reflect, relax and work side by side with the Brothers. Support from the Province leadership was very strong as was support from individual Brothers. We had a total of 10 students participating, eight first-timers and two current members of our Marist Accompaniment Program.

So what happened each day during Foundation Stones? The basic schedule consisted of gathering daily for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. Various forms of prayer were experienced highlighting our Marist charism, the Liturgy of the Hours, Taize Prayer, Meditation, Rosary, Holy Hour, the Examen, and silence. Learning and singing the Salve Regina each morning and night was also part of the experience. By the end of the week, the young men could sing the hymn without the Latin words in front of them. To welcome the participants at the beginning of the week, our Superior General, Br. Emili Turu, videotaped a personal message from Rome highlighting the theme, 'Quo Vadis.'

Each morning from Monday through Thursday the young men participated in conferences and discussions facilitated by various Brothers. Topics included; celibacy (Br. Steve Schlitte), spirit of our Founder St. Marcellin Champagnat (Br. Ben Consigli), developing personal spirituality (Br. Don Bisson), and Marist life from the perspective of our youngest member (Br. Brian Poulin). Also joining us for the week was Sam Amos, postulant in September. Each afternoon they worked side by side with Brothers Owen Ormsby, Greg Delanoy, Dan O'Riordan, and Todd Patenaude in service projects on the property including refurbishing the Stations of the Cross pathway circling our cemetery and finishing a grotto to Mary, our Good Mother next to the Outdoor Chapel in the Woods. Time was also devoted to ice-breaking activities, rock wall climbing, one-to-one interviews and opportunities for theological reflection, journal writing, and quiet time. Community recreations included eating all meals together with many Brothers joined us throughout the week, as well as relaxing together at various times during the day.

Friday was a day of relaxation, which began with Mass at Marist College presided by Fr. Richard LaMorte and musically accompanied by Br. Bill Lavigne. After lunch at the college, we launched a two-hour boat ride up the Hudson River, joined by about 12 more Brothers. The boat ride went up as far as our Esopus property.

Most of the young men were impressed to meet the many Brothers who visited Foundation Stones to share a meal, work side by side, pray with them, and basically show an interest in who they were. We Brothers were able to demonstrate what often comes so naturally to us: our way of living together and supporting each other. Young people do not always get to see this part of our lives since they know us primarily as their teachers, administrators, counselors, coaches and/or campus ministers. Foundation Stones accomplished its ends by enhancing their knowledge and experience of who Marist Brothers are.

The participating alumni were from all parts of our province: New York (Molloy, Mt. St. Michael,) New Jersey (Roselle and St. Joseph Montvale,) Florida (Columbus,) Texas (St. Joseph,) and Illinois (Marist.) Many came alone and, after overcoming those awkward opening silences, quite easily formed bonds that will carry them through further explorations of Marist life while they attend college. "It meant a lot to me to come together for a whole week with other guys considering the Brother's life," was echoed frequently in our follow up discussions/evaluations with the young men.

Five of the eight first-timers have since joined our Accompaniment program. Said one participant at the program's end: "This week was an eye-opener for me, living together with others and being immersed in the life of a Brother. I thought I knew everything about the Brothers but I realized I learned a lot more during the week."

"I never did anything like this before. I am happy I came as it opened up a new door in my life to consider," recalled another. Other comments also captured the spirit of the experience. "I didn't realize how much praying the Brothers did. I was surprised and pleased to see that Brothers began and ended their day with prayer." Another participant said, "The best thing about Foundation Stones was being together from activity to activity and being treated like brothers already."

This experience offered our province a firm "foundation stone" upon which to build a solid discernment process to carry these young men into their future. It also solidified a new program, which seems likely to become a strong annual event in our vocation recruitment efforts.

Click here to watch the video.  


accompanimentAccompaniment Program News
We currently have 17 college age Inquirers, two post-college Inquirers and two Discerners in the Accompaniment Program. In addition to Foundation Stones in June, a number of these young men were involved in many activities with us during this past summer.

  • Several members volunteered one or more weeks in Esopus at the special needs camps.
  • Six members participated in a week-long rebuild project with students from Molloy in the Rockaways in August, which including a dinner and prayer gathering at the Jamaica house community. Special thanks to the 4th floor community of Molloy for hosting some of these young men for the week.
  • Three members joined with the United States Delegation to the International Marist Youth Gathering and World Youth Days in Brazil in July.



novitiateMarist Novitiate News
On Sunday September 22, our Novitiate in Esopus hosted a Rite of Welcome and Entrance into Postulancy for Sam Amos, Province of the United States of America and James Hodge and Jack O'Sullivan, Province of Australia.



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