your Church joyfully awaits the coming of its Savior,
who enlightens our hearts
and dispels the darkness of ignorance and sin.
Pour forth your blessings upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath;
may their light reflect the splendor of Christ,
who is Lord, for ever and ever.
Archive for November 2009
In keeping with the theme, “In the Steps of Chaminade,” the brothers of Casa María packed their bags for a weekend at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa Retreat Center on Nov. 27-29 to tour three significant places in the life of Blessed Chaminade: Verdelaise, Zaragoza and Bordeaux.
By watching compilations of video footage of those places taken by Brother Michael Sullivan while on sabbattical in 2007-08, the brothers made virtual pilgrimages to each location, pausing to reflect on the graces that Chaminade received there and how those intersect with their lives today.
The weekend of the retreat, which also marked the beginning of the new liturgical year, enabled the brothers to celebrate the start of Advent in a setting of prayer and contemplation.
More photos on Flickr.
“Amid football, family, and too much food, we pause quickly and without inconvenience to remember and to thank. You have given so much—not least your only Son…Gift us the gift of dazzlement and awe that we may rejoice in our penultimate lives and keep you ultimate all the day long, relishing the wonder of your self-giving love.” (From Prayers for a Privileged People by Walter Brueggemann).
Brother Bob Jones and Father Tim Dwyer each scored victories in bowling as part of the Casa María’s ‘community fun nite’ on Monday, Nov. 23.
Fresh from his victory in the Uno Cup, Brother Bob opened this month’s community fun nite with a win in the first game, outscoring all brothers playing in lanes 27 and 28 at Bandera Bowl.
In the second game, Father Tim connected with several splits and two strikes to end Brother Bob’s string of victories and led all scorers with 125 points to capture his first community fun nite win.
Despite the fact that a majority the brothers failed to score in triple-digits, the victory still was special for Brother Bob, head of the Office of Religious Life at Casa María.
“When you’re in community, of course, you’re all winners,” said Brother Bob. “I’m reminded of the Prophet Amos who said, ‘Let justice roll like a bowling ball.’”
Father Tim spent little time savoring his victory and, instead, focused on the consequences of the win.
“It means that I’m going to have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning,” he said.
While Monday nights typically are reserved for weekly community meetings, the brothers decided to rotate ‘community fun nites’ into the schedule periodically as way to foster community building, coordinated by Casa María’s Office of Education.
Box Score: At Bandera Bowl. Game 1. Bautista 75. Capinpin 71. Rivera 70. Game 2. Bautista 74. Capinpin 89. Dwyer 125. Halderman 120. Jones 98. Rivera 70. Time-1:30. Attendance-7.
Approximately 30 students joined the brothers of the Casa María community to celebrate the final evening Mass of the semester at Founders Hall on Thurs., Nov. 19. Rev. Rudy Vela, S.M., vice president for Mission and Identity, presided at the Eucharist.
At the conclusion of the Mass, the prayer room of the residence hall, which was funded by a private donor, was blessed and light refreshments of pan dulce, fruits, vegetables, juice and hot chocolate were served.
As part of their efforts to connect with the student community on campus and support faith formation and spiritual growth, the brothers of Casa María made the commitment to celebrate their Thursday evening community Mass every week throughout the semester at Founders Hall, which houses approximately 300 freshmen.
Each week, a different Marianist offered to preside at the Mass to support their efforts. Celebrants included Norbert Brockman (Woodlawn Community), John A. Leies (Marianist Residence), Patrick McDaid (Woodlawn Community), Cris Janson (Holy Rosary Parish), Kip Stander (Woodlawn Community), Ken Templin (Hale Malia) and Rudy Vela (Ligustrum).
“Our mission is very much a part of sharing our Marianist heritage…to gather at Eucharist. That’s where community is created,” said Vela. “What the community has done in taking the initiative to provide this opportunity is a real gift…it’s a living, vital, joyful part of the way we celebrate the mission in a very active and positive way.”
A regular group of about 20-40 students attended the weekly Mass. Some expressed their appreciation for having the opportunity to celebrate the Mass in the residence hall.
“I’m glad that the brothers of Casa María have decided to bring Mass this way [to Founders Hall],” said Leo Benavides, a St. Mary’s student. “Receiving the Eucharist is one of the greatest joys we can have so after my studies, coming to a late night Mass feels just great.”
“I think it’s very important [to have Mass at Founders Hall] and I feel proud that we have a Mass here at our own place and other individuals from other dormitories can come by,” added Katherine Benavides, another student at St. Mary’s.
With the upcoming Thanksgiving break and study week approaching, Nov. 19 was the final Thursday evening Mass for the semester. The community intends to continue with the schedule in the spring.
Casa Tuesday served tacos, turkeys for Thanksgiving theme
Approximately two dozen students joined the Marianists of Casa María to celebrate a Thanksgiving-themed Casa Tuesday with tacos and turkeys. The featured dessert was a turkey cookie made with Oreo cookies, Reese’s peanut butter cups, candy corn and malted milk balls, held together and decorated with frosting.
A handful of students were seen taking photos of the turkey cookie dessert while others talked about various approaches to eating it. By the end of the night, no dessert was left as they were all gobbled up!
See more photos on our Flickr set.
In keeping with this week’s theme of how our daily scriptures connect with the movie industry, we are given a simple message based on the lives of two leading actors: Eleazar and Zacchaeus.
In the first reading, we find Eleazar, the 90-year old scribe, given the opportunity to escape the death penalty by eating pork—thus demonstrating loyalty to the king and renouncing his own religion. Instead of escaping the death sentence, Eleazar remained faithful to the practices of his religion and, because of his faith, was tortured and killed.
What compelled Eleazar do to such a thing?
In the Gospel, we find Zacchaeus, the wealthy, chief tax collector of Jericho, climbing a tree to get Jesus’ attention while passing by. When Jesus tells Zacchaeus that he will dine at his house, Zacchaeus announces publicly, “I’ll give half of all my possessions to the poor and repay back anyone who I extorted money from 4x as much!”
What compelled Zacchaeus to do such a thing?
Indeed, Eleazar and Zacchaeus are powerful central figures in their respective ‘movies.’ Both performed extraordinary acts by taking a leap of faith. Inspired by their examples, we, too, can be asked the same question: What compels us to do extraordinary things on a daily basis—such as dedicating our lives to the service of Mary’s mission? What fuels our efforts to do the best we can with limited resources? What encourages us when the challenges of life become burdensome and difficult?
Like Eleazar and Zacchaeus, may what compels us to do extraordinary things on a daily basis be our response—through our words and actions—to the many blessings that God gives us.