Some days I feel like a puppet without a master, endlessly dragging on through hours that seem to hold no purpose. . . . Most days, however, I feel guided by an unseen force, performing kind actions and always striving to live a morally good life for myself and others in every moment.
. . . a significant event happened when a Marianist brother asked me to help with a
youth gathering in the summer. He was Father André Fétis, SM. Sometimes, I now say, “It is all
André’s fault,” which means, “thank you, André.”
To truthfully answer the question of how I am being called to be Marianist, I have to go back to the year after graduating from the University of Dayton (UD). Like many graduating seniors, I did not have a clear path to a job or even graduate school, and my undergrad years at UD were quickly coming to an end. As fate would have it . . .
I first met the Marianists at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio as a 16-year-old
freshman with a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity, but not a lot of mental discipline. The presence of many Marianist religious meant I could both ask and be asked questions that sparked an even stronger current of inquiry in me that has always felt essential to who I am and what I do
I remember saying to my Episcopal organist friend, “I’m thinking of becoming a Catholic. I want to learn the rosary and receive the Eucharist.” Sometimes what comes out of our mouths is so prophetic, we don’t even realize it at the time. I think Mary was calling me.
“I feel like I really have to give it my all,” she told me. “If I don’t take vows and become a sister, I’ll feel like I failed.” This was the first time I met this woman, so I know she didn’t know my story.
. . . my wife called me at work distressed that children with HIV/AIDS did not have access to medicine like protease inhibitors. These children were often neglected and even mistreated. My wife’s distress and phone call would change our lives.
My call to be Marianist was very gradual, and it is very progressive. I started volunteering at the Marianist Family Retreat Center, and I stuffed and sealed envelopes. Then, I taught Brother Stan Zubec, a member of the brothers’ community connected with the Retreat House, to sight-read music.
Lay Marianists Matt Meyers and Linda Zappacosta share the story of how they helped start the Marianist Sisters Vocation Fund, which is a group of Marianist brothers, sisters, and laity who raise funds to offset the college debt of women entering the Marianist Sisters.
In this podcast, we interview six different people who were at the Beatification and the events surrounding it. Each of them provides their own perspective on that experience, as well as the legacy of Chaminade officially being named "Blessed."
Lay Marianists Carol Ramey and Ann Hirt reflect on how their friendship, their Marianist commitment, and relationship with Mary has sustained them for the past 50 years of commitment to Marianist lay life.
Father William Joseph Chaminade was beatified in September 2000. Brother Tom Redmond, SM, highlights two early Marianist discoveries—one, the rediscovering of Chaminade’s greatness; the other, the discovering of his physical remains—that helped initiate the 91-year journey that culminated in our Blessed Founder’s recognition by the Vatican.
Relive the beatification of our Blessed Founder with the words of Pope John Paul II and the Superior General of the Society of Mary, extolling the virtue of William Joseph Chaminade and reminding us of his call to missionary service as disciples of Jesus, with an emphasis on Mary.
Brother Timothy Phillips, SM, a Marianist scholar and formator, and Anthony Garascia, a professional counselor, discuss challenges involved in Blessed Chaminade’s long life. How was it that major setbacks—the French Revolution and organizational hurdles in re-Christianizing France—did not cripple the Founder with anxiety and fear? How was it that Chaminade pushed through obstacles into greater holiness. (A letter Chaminade wrote to Marie Thérèrse de Lamourous serves as a backdrop to this conversation.)