by Eduardo Benlloch, SM
Late in the 18th century, during the French Revolution, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was inspired at the feet of Our Lady of the Pillar in Saragossa to found the Marianist family. Are the aspirations and inspirations of William Joseph Chaminade still relevant in the 21st century? This question is thoroughly addressed in Father Eduardo Benlloch’s Chaminade’s Message Today. Father Benlloch explores the influences and experiences of Father Chaminade’s lifetime, but not in a biographical context. Father Benlloch’s purpose is far more long-reaching. Father Chaminade’s unfailing faith, devotion to Mary and dedication to prayer life are timeless qualities that are inspiring, and Benlloch suggests even necessary, for today’s Marianists. Father Benlloch unites Father Chaminade’s message with the problems facing the world as the 21st century precariously unfolds. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was unique in his forethought and devotion to sharing Christ’s message with future generations. Chaminade’s Message Today inspires today’s Marianists to continue in this mission. We also have a free reading guide for this publication, which you can access a PDF of by clicking here.
Precisions in the Definition of the Marianist Family
It [is] clear that the essential element for incorporation into the Marianist Family is a conscious commitment to live missionary spirituality as Chaminade taught it. This commitment is made in a group or a community. A community which integrally lives the missionary spirit taught by Chaminade embodies the Marianist charism. Here again is the idea of body and spirit, of spirituality and corporate or community structure. Commitment by people in various walks of life and social conditions to living this spirituality day by day, putting it into practice in different ways, constitutes the only bond of union within the Marianist Family.
Another precision which has become clear in recent years has been the twofold dynamic of Marianist spirituality—first, to be brought into conformity with Jesus Christ through the Spirit, in whose action Mary cooperates with maternal love; and secondly, to participate in the mission of Mary and, consequently, be integrated into the apostolate of the Church.
Considering this, we could define the Marianist Family in this way: “A network of groups, communities, and persons committed to living the two fold dynamic of Marianist spirituality.”
Introduction: The Purpose of This Book
The Missionary Project of Father Chaminade: Its Origin and Development
Chronology: Dates and Events in the Life of William Joseph Chaminade
Chapter 1 : The Divine Inspiration
Chapter 2 : A Project in Gestation
Chapter 3 : The Project Gets Underway
Chapter 4 : The Project Is Consolidated
The Present Status of Chaminade’s Message
Introduction to the Second Part: Body and Spirit
Chapter 5: The Marianist Family
Chapter 6: The Marianist Spirit