We first got to know Fr Ron last year during his lecture series- 'a little bit about the Sacraments', and we- Dermot & I -had begun forging a friendship with this priest. This year he had been asked to do another lecture and seminar series and we were drawn to his lecture series again.
Fr Ron –a Marist Priest gave a lecture series on Marist Saints. It was a very informative look at the Marists spirituality and the different branches in the Marist Family. The Marist Fathers, Marist Brothers, Sisters, Laity, Marist Missionary Sisters
He began with explaining their motto. Sub mariae nomine- Under Mary’s name. He discussed how it was formed Post French Revolution and how the founders prayed in a small chapel in the same place St Therese of Liseux asked a Blessing on her life- “The Ancient Chapel of the Virgin”. He discussed that the Marists went where Parish’s were deserted and where education was abandoned. He talked about needing to meet the people where they were at , and this included being missionaries during there down seasons in the winter- as the people were out in the fields during summer.
Fr Ron has taken pilgrimages to the places that were significant to the Marist order, and his passion for Our Lady and his founders roots are shining in everything he says. Places like Fourviere, Lyon and villages in this area.
He states Fr Peter Chanel to be the 1st Marist Saint and 1st martyr of the pacific. He discussed St Marcelli Champagnat as a saint as well. As many may know, he was the Founder of the Marist Brothers. He was deeply inspired by Our Lady.
He talked about Jean-Paul Colin and Fr Ron being asked to submit his case for Sainthood by the Vatican.
I loved learning more about the Marist spirituality.
I was inspired by this and wanted to share it with you all
Pope Benedict XVI writes:
"Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope. Certainly, Jesus Christ is the true light, the sun that has risen above all the shadows of history. But to reach him we also need lights close by, people who shine with his light, and so guide us along our way. Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us? With her 'yes' she opened the door of our world to God himself; she became the living Ark of the Covenant, in whom God took flesh, became one of us, and pitched his tent among us (cf. Jn 1:14)."
Last week at SSE11, during the day, we were asked to attend lectures and seminars. There is quite a variety, and I always like to stretch my learning at this time. So I usually attend at least one ‘heavy’ lecture and a thought provoking one. I am usually spirit lead, and this year Dermot & I attended mostly the same Lectures together. This in itself is unusual. We always like to discuss ou various learning sessions at coffee breaks.
This year, Brid and some of the older tweens were asked to attend a lecture series. They all felt quite grown up, as they took themselves, responsibly off to the 8.30am lecture. It was run by a beautiful, vibrant young woman of God. It was called Creative worship. -Right up Brids’ alley.
She has swayed to church and praise music, since I can remember. She loved to dance in the aisles as a toddler.
They had a marvellous time painting and dancing and allowing The Holy Spirit to touch their hearts. This was obvious in the way the people attending this lecture, were so free in the Spirit at times of Praise & Worship. It added a deeper dimension to the evening sessions. Crystal had flags made up for use during P & W and I was given one at one point, and as I baulked at using it I realised how free these others were, and how much more I needed to be free. Needless to say, Brid’s paintings are awesome and she freely danced in the spirit.
The evening sessions are a time we praise and worship God in whatever way you are led to do that, witness talks, and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for Adoration. It is a beautiful time for prayer close to the monstrance, or a time for prayer, with prayer teams, and of courses our greatest Sacrament –confession. It is available every night. Every night is ended by the Night Office. Something I love and I have been doing since our first Summer School, many years ago now- It can be hard to follow, but we have the idea now. The Mgls make it very easy to follow along.
We have just had the most Blessed 8 day retreat- called Summer School of Evangelisation(SSE 11)2011. It is organised by the Covenant Community of the Disciples Of Jesus, every January. Totally Catholic. Totally awesome. An amazing week guided by the Holy Spirit. We are exhausted, exhilarated and in awe of Our mighty God and his work in us this week.
I was Blessed to be involved in several wonderful lectures and seminars. We had 3 wonderful Priests. One a Marist Father from St Patricks, Sydney city, and 2 are MGLs’- Missionary of Gods’ Love-. The MGLS were born out of the D of Jesus community 23 years ago. We had our first MGL Deacon at this SSE11 this year.
Anyway, I have many posts to write as I was totally inspired by this week.I can’t wait to share some of these posts.
It was so nice to see a bunch of girls, including my Brid, at the Presentation Day for our Area, late last year, sitting chatting and not one felt left out. They were all engrossed in the conversation. So my heart melted- that is so nice. I knew this would be a good thing.
Now we are in our 6th year of homeschooling and its been a great experience for the whole family. We are heading into the teen years now.
Although we have been there before with 3 teens, they were largely involved with Catholic Schools- so they had friendships formed.
We are Blessed in our homeschool area to have several teens and Mums who want there teens to expand beyond the computer and the Wii and the techno stuff.. ( all that stuff is great, but there is nothing like chatting and 'doing' with other teens.) As said School can look pretty inviting at this time, because there are no teens at events being held.
Brid has been praying for a Teen group, a teen prayer group and get to know you group for teens.
Her prayers were answered as I logged into our local proboard, and saw all these things Teens unfolding.
An activity type group, a teen girls group to be run at the same time as a Mums group, Various picnic days. Brilliant.
She has several good Homeschool friends from the local area and others from homeschool camp. I made sure that she developed friendships a few years ago when the wind was taken out of our sales with 2 family crisis', within 3 months of each other. Brid prayed and I prayed for Girls here age to be at various events. And Guess what, God is good, it happened.
So as well as various catch ups with teens- ie birthdays and just because..., I think we will have a strong little group, if we as Mums and Dads all stay strong and keep it going.
Praise God for his mighty work. Thank you Lord.
It has been a wonderful Peacefilled time for us as a family, as we celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord and ponder the reflections and Homilies of our Priests. We are also able to catch up with friends from afar. I was very tentative to reconnect with a lovely friend as I would need to rehash our events of the last 2 and half years. I wasn't sure if I would have the strength or the energy to do this. Or whether I was able to through the tears. I was hesitant and a little offputting to this dear friend. She lives several hours away, Her husband and her only gets down this way once or twice a year, so our lives don't cross regularly. Probably my fault because I have avoided the connection. As the evening unfolded and we chatted, it all came so naturally. She knows me and I know her. WHAT WAS I THINKING. This women has been with me through my midwifery training, our children were babies together, we lived in the same street. She saw me through PND and took beautiful care of me pre pregnancy, antenatal and post natal for our dear little Brid. I was worried I would end up with PND again. She moved to a country town 8 years ago, and I thought I was losing my best buddy. How would I cope with that? I know, I will just see them when they come down. I would push the pain away. The pain of losing her and her regular chats was too much to cope with. Anyway, we chatted like we have never parted and I can say anything to this Women. We are truly connected, why was I fighting that. I don't know. She was and is shocked with our sequence of events, but also very supportive and I know she will be there always. She has also been through quite a lot of pain with one of her children, and her 'light' is another son is getting married this year. How exciting is that. I have known him since a little 9month old. I suppose my biggest fear was that I would be judged yet again and considered guilty of all charges without a fair trial. I needed to be listened to, and understood. For the first time, someone understood and really got it. We spoke the same language, It must be a nurse thing, she just knew what to say. God, you are so good, why did I doubt that you had given me Fran as a friend. I just almost threw it away. How Blessed am I to have such wonderful Friends near and far. Now I have confessed and part 2 will come later. I have been teasing most of you about our trial. I suppose I need to explain........until part 2..
On New years Eve as we were enjoying our last meal for 2010 together, we each shared what we were thankful for in 2010.
We have so much to be thankful for.
It was a lovely way to spend our meal time, remembering and explaining the many blessings and graces God gives us. We can so easily focus on our Sorrows and the trials of everyday, that we sometimes forget the goodness that we are Blessed with. So as we looked back on 2010, with fondness we know we will embrace the New Year with freshness.
As we sat in Church the next day, our Parish Priest spoke about January being a month of reflection on the year just gone and how we would move, with God into the coming year. It was a reflection that resonated with me, as we had done just that.
So as my friend Erin, wrote in her post here, about the word for 2011, I would say my two words would be Peace and Unity.
I am a Catholic Homeschool Mum. The love of my life is Dermot. We have been married for 24 years. We have 4 gorgeous children. Louise, Kristie, Kieran & Brid. We began our Homeschool journey in 2005. We enjoy life and give thanks to God for all he brings us. Enjoy reading and interacting with us