April 2017


Intention from the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network - Young People  
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

The reflections this month are drawn from the First Letter of the draft “Rule of Life”.

1 April - Saturday  CAFOD Lent Reflection
Jer 11:18-20;  Jn 7:40-53

Intention 1:  For deceased Brothers, parents, relatives, pupils, colleagues and benefactors.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at St Joseph’s College, Alafua.

In Memoriam:   Gerard Fougerousse, 1st Marist Brother in Samoa (Moamoa, 1847).

Reflection:  Our identity, charism, spirituality and apostolic mission as ‘Little Brothers of Mary’, or Marist Brothers, draws its origin and inspiration from the loving encounters and faithful covenant that grew between God and Marcellin Champagnat, and the first communities of Brothers, in early nineteenth century, southern France. The first communities of Brothers witnessed to and were modeled on this experience.

Lent5 20172 April - 5th Sunday in Lent 
Readings:  Ez 37:12-14;  Rom 8:8-11;  Jn 11:1-45  
Link to readings USCCB  
Link to Gospel Commentary  

Office:  Week 1  
Intention 1:  That we foster a culture where a call or vocation can take root and flourish.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at St Louis High School, Bairiki.

Reflection:  Led by the Holy Spirit through his difficult early years, Marcellin was seized by the unconditional love Jesus and Mary has for all people, and for him personally. He responded generously to this profound love by choosing to give himself totally to following Jesus Christ in the service of his brothers and sisters.

3 April - Monday   A Prayer for Lent
Readings:  Dan 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62;  Jn 8:1-11

Intention 1:  That we open our homes and hearts to invite young men to our way of life and ministry. 
Intention 2:  Marists at Templestowe.

Reflection:  After answering the call to Diocesan priesthood, Marcellin’s imagination and passion was caught by the dream of collaborating with other Marists in founding within the Church a new charismatic Marial family, the ‘Society of Mary’. This family sought to bring Christ-life to birth, accompanying the Church as it came to be born anew in the changed circumstances and culture of post-Revolutionary France.

4 April – Tuesday | Isidore of Seville -
d. 636, Bishop of Seville, Spain and Doctor of the Church.   

40 Days--Matt Maher
Nm 21:4-9; Jn 8:21-30

Intention 1:  That we endeavour to develop our relationship with God.  
Intention 2:  Marists at St Joseph’s Secondary School, Tenaru, Solomon Islands.

Reflection:  Marcellin’s growing passion for God, and his sensitivity to the religious and social needs affecting people, opened his eyes and heart to the religious ignorance and impoverished education experienced by many young people in isolated rural areas.

5 April – Tuesday | St Vincent Ferrer -  d. 1419, Dominican priest.  
Readings:  Dan 3:14-20,91-92,95;  Jn 8:31-42

Intention 1:  That we encourage all in the church community to foster vocations.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Lavalla Catholic College, Traralgon.

Reflection:  Eager to do God’s will, Marcellin quickly realized the mission that he and other Marists urgently needed to carry out on behalf of the church was to make Jesus Christ known and loved in a way that mediated Mary’s maternal, compassionate and tender face to people.

6 April - Thursday  MercyMe - When I Survey The Wondrous Cross  /  Traditional
  Gn 17:3-9;  Jn 8:51-59

Intention 1:  That we believe that God continues to move the hearts of young people and call them to a variety of vocations.  
Intention 2:  Marists at St Dominic’s Rural Training Centre and St Marcellin Primary School, Vanga Point, Solomon Islands.

Reflection:  As the fledgling Society of Mary took shape, Marcellin became utterly convinced of the need and importance of the Brothers’ vocation as an essential part of the Marist project.

7 April - Friday | St John Baptist de la Salled. 1719, Gave up a life of dignified ease and devoted himself to the education of the sons of poor people.  He realised the problem of providing adequately trained teachers so resigned his private fortune and began training young men who became the nucleus of the de la Salle teaching brothers. He opened many schools in France and Italy and was the first person to set up teachers’ training colleges; a leader in his time in education.

Readings:  Jer 20:10-13;  Jn 10:31-42

Intention 1:  That we do all that we can to foster young people’s generous response to God’s invitations.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Mt Carmel Catholic College, Varroville.

Reflection:  For Marcellin, Brothers make visible to young people God’s saving love through their loving presence and fraternal service as teachers and evangelizers of faith and life, and by the witness of their fraternal communion.

8 April - Saturday - Chris Tomlin - At The Cross (Love Ran Red)
  Ez 37:21-28;  Jn 11:45-56

Intention 1:  That we continue to nurture and deepen our relationship with Jesus and Mary.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at Marcellin Centre, Vatuwaqa, Suva.

Marist Anniversary:  1872—Opening of the first Marist Brothers school in Australia by Br Ludovic at St Patrick’s, Church Hill.

Reflection: [Marcellin] then dedicated himself wholeheart-edly to the creation and approval of an Institute of Brothers, who bearing Mary’s name, would go to every diocese of the world providing Christian education to children and young people, especially to those who were poor, vulnerable or neglected by society.

Holy Week

Palm Sunday9 April - Palm Sunday  
Readings:  Is 50:4-7;  Phil 2:6-11;  Mat 26:14-27:66  
Link to reading USCCB  
Link to Gospel Commentary  

Office - Week 2  
Intention 1:  That we come to know God, who has “pitched his tent in our midst.”  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at Galen Catholic College, Wangaratta.

In Memoriam:  Br Nestor, 3rd Superior General, 1880-83 (St Genis Laval, 1883).

Reflection:  In choosing Mary’s name, and believing she has done everything for us, Marcellin wanted all his Brothers to confide in Mary’s maternal love and protection as their ‘Good Mother’, ‘Ordinary Resource’ and ‘First Superior’.

10 April - Monday of Holy Week   Holy Week in Two Minutes
Is 42:1-7;  Jn 12:1-11

Intention 1:  That we open our homes to the poor and share with them our presence, time and resources.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Marist-Sion College, Warragul.

Reflection: [Marcellin] wanted his Brothers to be like Mary in the way she responded to God’s call to becoming the mother and perfect disciple of Jesus Christ.

11 April - Tuesday of Holy Week  Passion Song - The Story Of Holy Week (Lyric Video) by @scartermusic
Is 49:1-6;  Jn 13:21-33,36-38

Intention 1:  That, at Eucharist, we deepen our relationship with the living presence of Jesus in our lives.  
Intention 2:  Marists working with youth initiatives across the region.

Reflection:  Following Jesus Christ in the way of Mary is learned through contemplating Mary’s life in the Gospels and trying to make her spirit our own in our attitudes and total living as a disciple of Jesus.

12 April - Wednesday of Holy Week  HOLY WEEK: HOW TO PREPARE FOR EASTER [Radical Catholic]
Readings:  Is 50:4-9a;  Mt 26:14-25

Intention 1:  That our passion for our calling be evident at the heart of our way of life and ministry.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists in the District of Asia.

Reflection:  To make Mary known and loved as the one who leads to Jesus puts into action our Marist motto: “All to Jesus through Mary; all to Mary for Jesus”.

Easter Triduum 

Holy Thursday13 April | Holy Thursday - What is Holy Thursday?

Readings:  Ex 12:1-8,11-14;  1Cor 11:23-26;  Jn 13:1-15

Intention 1:  That we experience the Eucharist as the source and summit of our Christian life.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Marcellin Technical College, Adelaide.

Reflection:  At the Altar, the Eucharist, we find a privileged place to enter into communion with the Body of Christ: to stand as one with all who are members and to deepen our relationship with the living presence of Jesus in our lives. The celebration of the Eucharist, and prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, were intense experiences of God for Marcellin. Experiencing the Eucharist as the source and summit of the Christian life leads us to the heart of the Marist’s spirituality  (Water from the Rock, 23).

Good Friday14 April - Good Friday   Good Friday meditation 

Jesus remember me

Readings:  Is 52:13-53:12;  Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9;  Jn 18:1-19:42

Intention 1:  That, at the foot of the cross, we enter the mystery of Christ’s suffering.  
Intention 2:  The Champagnat Marists, school and community, at St Joseph’s College, Alafua.

Reflection:  At the foot of the Cross, we are in awe of a God who loves us without reserve. We find a God who shares the physical and psychological suffering, betrayal, abandonment and violence experienced by humanity, and transforms these experiences. There we enter the mystery of redemptive suffering and learn humble fidelity in love. The crucified Christ is the sign and deepest expression of a God who is love (Water from the Rock, 22).

The 7 Last Words of Jesus are sayings of Jesus during his crucifixion: 
1) Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do. LK 23:34
2) Today you will be with me in paradise. LK 23:43
3) Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother. JN 19:26–27
4) My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? MT 27:46
5) I am thirsty. JN 19:28
6) It is finished. JN 19:30
7) Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. LK 23:46

15 April - Holy Saturday 
Gen 1:1—2:2; Gen 22:1-18;  Ex 14:15—15:1; Is 54:5-14;  Is 55:1-11;  Bar 3:9-15,32—4:4;  Ez 36:16-28;  Rom 6:3-11;  Mt 28:1-10

Intention 1:  That Mary, “our Good Mother”, has a central place in our lives.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Alice Springs.

Reflection:  The Paschal Mystery is not just something that happened many years ago, not just something that we commemorate each ear or that we re-enact each year; it is part of our daily living  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).



Easter16 April  | Easter Sunday Easter Song - Sing Alleluia 
  Acts 10:34a,37-43;  Col 3:1-4;  Jn 20:1-9  
Link to readings USCCB  
Link to Gospel Commentary  

Office of the solemnity 
Intention 1:  That we come to know the Risen Lord.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Marist College, Ashgrove.

Reflection:  As Christians and as religious we are called to follow Christ, and to experience in our lives the pattern of his.  He reproduces in us his death and resurrection so that each day we too can live the mystery of dying and rising  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

Easter Sunday is the most important feast day in the Church. Jesus rose from the dead on the first Sunday following the feast of the Passover. Easter Sunday is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season that ends with Pentecost Sunday. The liturgical colour is white.  Easter has no fixed date. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring equinox (20/21 March) in the Northern hemisphere.

17 April - Easter Monday Easter Inspiration  
Acts 2:14,22-33;  Mt 28:8-15

Intention 1:  For those brothers living outside Marist communities.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Trinity Catholic College, Auburn and Regents Park.

Marist Anniversary:  1921—Consecration of the Institute to St Joseph.

Reflection:  He lives in us and through us, drawing us together in communion with one another and with others to build the kingdom  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

18 April - Easter Tuesday  Egg – An Easter Meditation  
Readings:  Acts 2:36-41;  Jn 20:11-18

Intention 1:  That, like Champagnat, our imagination becomes life giving.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Burdekin Catholic High School and St Francis Primary School, Ayr.

Marist Anniversary:  1999—Canonisation of St Marcellin Champagnat by John Paull II.  
In Memoriam:  Br Theophane Durant,4th Superior General, 1883-1907—the first SG to visit Oceania (Mataro, Spain, 1907).

Reflection:  If we live this mystery and respond faithfully to his presence, our communities will reflect that communion and that mission [to build the kingdom]  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

19 April - Easter Wednesday  Song - On Eagle's Wings 
Readings:  Acts 3:1-10;  Lk 24:13-35

Intention 1:  That we are sensitive to the needs of our times.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at St Louis High School, Bairiki.

Reflection:  We will be ministers of unity and love, building up supporting one another; we will be witnesses to God’s love and care for all, and to His desire that all work with Him to create a fuller and more just world  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

20 April – Easter Thursday  Easter Spread the Word 
 Acts 3:11-26;  Lk 24:35-48

Intention 1:  That, like the Founder, we love the children and young people of our day.  
Intention 2:  Champagnat Marists at Trinity College, Beenleigh

Anniversary: 2002 - Bishop Pompallier was laid to rest in New Zealand

Reflection:  Our way of living this mystery, this communion and this mission is the Marist way, the way of Champagnat  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

21 April - Easter Friday A Very Special Easter  
Acts 4:1-12;  Jn 21:1-14

Intention 1:  That we follow Christ as Mary did.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Bendigo, Victoria.

Marist Anniversary:  1951—Br Joche-Albert Ly was shot by the communists at Sichang, China.

Reflection:  In this way we can be truly “sowers of hope”… people who clearly manifest Jesus of Nazareth in their lives and in their mission  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

22 April - Easter Saturday  

Acts 4:13-21;  Mk 16:9-15

Intention 1:  For those in initial formation.  
Intention 2:  The Champagnat Marists, school and community, at Marist Brothers Primary School, Mulivai.

Reflection:  In this way we can be people who are witness of hope to the young, people who lead the discouraged towards Christ, people who lead them to a greater sense of their own dignity  (Sowers of Hope, p.276).

Divine Mercy223 April | 2nd Sunday of Easter  - Divine Mercy
Acts 2:42-47;  1Pt 1:3-9;  Jn 20:19-31  
Link to readings USCCB  
Link to Gospel Commentary 

Office - Week 2  
Intention 1:  That our communities will witness to gospel values.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Blacktown, Sydney.

Reflection:  Marcellin’s last and burning wish for his Brothers was that like the first Christians we would love one another as Jesus Christ loved us, being united in heart and mind.

24 April - Monday | Fidelis of Sigmaringen - (1578-1622) priest and martyred in Switzerland during the Reformation.  

He lives 
Readings:  Acts 4:23-31;  Jn 3:1-8

Intention 1:  That we continue to develop a spirituality that is strongly relational and affective. 
Intention 2:  Marists at Marcellin College, Bulleen.

Reflection:  Our fundamental call as Brothers then is to give joyful and prophetic witness to creating together fraternal communion, wherever we are. We often call this our ‘family spirit’.

25 April – Tuesday | ANZAC Day | Lest We Forget  
Wis 1:3-9  (Is 9:1-6);  1Cor 1:18-25  (Eph 2:13-18); Jn 12:23-28  (Jn 14:23-29)

Intention 1:  For all those who live a life of sacrifice and service.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Bunbury Catholic College, WA.

Anniversary - On Sunday, 25 April 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli Peninsula.

Reflection - Anzac Day is a very special day both in Australia and New Zealand. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by New Zealand and Australian forces during the First World War. On the 25th of April 1915, forces landed on Gallipoli so the 25th of April became the day on which Australians and New Zealanders remember the sacrifice of soldiers who had died in war.

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.” (Ataturk)

26 April - Wednesday | St MarkCousin of St Barnabas, accompanied St Paul on his 1st journey. A disciple of St Peter in Rome. Wrote the 1st of the Gospels.
Readings:  1Pt 5:5b-14;  Mk 16:15-20

Intention 1:  That we be men of action. 
Intention 2:  Marists at St Augustine’s College, Cairns.

Reflection:  Conscious of the love that Jesus has for each of your brothers and sisters, and how he is present in each of them, our family spirit develops as you give and receive love

27 April - Thursday | St Louis Grignion de Montfort - (1673-1716) a French priest and Confessor. He is considered as one of the early writers in the field of Mariology.  

Easter Song - Sing Alleluia

Readings:  Acts 5:27-33;  Jn 3:31-36

Intention 1:  For a spirit of openness and sharing.  
Intention 2:  Marists at the Lavalla School, Yodifee and Villa Maria, Cambodia.

Marist Anniversary:  1883—The Institute was consecrated to the Sacred Heart, and was associated with the Apostleship of Prayer.

Reflection:  As Brothers this love [family spirit] calls us to forgive, to be attentive and present to the other, to remain open and sensitive to the needs of the other, to provide support and help when appropriate, and to practice forgetfulness of self. All of this is done with good humour and joy.

28 April – Friday | St Peter Chanel SM  - d. 1841, First martyr of Oceania. b. 1803 in France. Became a Marist Father in 1831and was a missionary on Futuna Island in 1838. Was clubbed to death in 1841.  

Readings:  Acts 5:34-42;  Jn 6:1-15 or  1Cor 1:18-25;  Mk 1:14-20

Intention 1:  That, like Marcellin, we trust in the providence of God.  
Intention 2:  Marists at St Gregory’s College, Campbellton.

Marist Anniversary:  1841—Fr Peter Chanel SM was one of the first Marists to leave France for Oceania in 1836.  On 8th November, 1837, together with Br Marie-Nizier Delorme FMS, he started a mission on Futuna Island, where he was martyred this day in 1841.

Reflection:  Our brotherhood is a source of strength for our mission. Practicing the spirituality of communion is not confined to the Brothers in your community but goes out to all to whom you offer welcome and hospitality, engagement in prayer, solidarity and service.

29 April - Saturday | St Catherine of Sienna, d. 1380, Lay Dominican and theologian. Spiritual writer and Doctor of the Church.  

Easter Reflection, to ‘Everlasting God’ by Chris Tomlin
Readings:  Acts 6:1-7;  Jn 6:16-21

Intention 1:  That personal prayer be a priority in our lives.  
Intention 2:  Marists at Marist College Pearce, Canberra.

Anniversary:  1836—Gregory XVI approved the Society of Mary by the Decree Omnium Gentium.

Reflection:  The charism of Marcellin Champagnat is a gift of the Holy Spirit to our Institute, the universal Church and the entire world.

Easter3 201730 April | 3rd Sunday of Easter 
  Acts 2:14,22-33;  1Pt 1:17-21;  Lk 24:13-35  
Link to readings USCCB  
Link to Gospel Commentary 

Office:  Week 3  
Intention 1:  That we be willing to share our spirituality, especially with young people.  
Intention 2:  Marists at St Mary’s Catholic College, Casino.

Reflection:  Like all charisms, our Marist charism prompts us to develop a more intimate, loving and filial relationship with God, others and creation. We work together in contributing to the building up and unifying of the Body of Christ.