Society of Mary in the US Provincial Council (2015-2018)
Left to right: Paul Frechette (Provincial), Kevin Duggan, Randy Hoover,
Leon Olszamowski, René Iturbe (Vicar Provincial), Joe Hindelang,
Front: John Harhager (Treasurer)
Paul Frechette, a native of Massachusetts, recently served on the Marist General Administration in Rome and began his term as Provincial of the Society of Mary in the U.S. in July 2015.
Kevin Duggan, a native of Brooklyn, currently serves as Associate Director of Campus Ministry at California State Polytechnic Institute.
Joe Hindelang, a native of Michigan, is Principal of Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac MI. He served as Provincial of the Boston Province of Marists from 1991-1997.
Randy Hoover, a native of Cleveland with a background in formation and counseling, currently serves as Administrator of Marist College in Washington, D.C.
René Iturbe, a native San Francisco, is Vicar-Provincial and served as Provincial of the San Francisco Province of Marists from 1987 to 1993. He currently serves as Pastor of Notre Dame des Victoires Parish in San Francisco.
Leon Olszamowski, a native of Michigan, founded Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy in Pontiac, MI and currently serves as its President.
Mary is held up for us as Marists as a clear stream
of the truth of the Gospel and the very model of discipleship because of the clarity of her lifelong commitment to God.
Council of the Province
Front row (left to right): John Ulrich, Ronald Nikodem, Philip Gage,
Joseph McLaughlin, William Rowland, Héctor Cruz, Philip Parent (President),
Paul Frechette (Provincial)
Rev. Paul F. Frechette, SM
began his term July 1, 2015 as Provincial for the Fathers
and Brothers of the
Society of Mary U.S. Province.
Role of Provincial
The role of Provincial in the Marists is an elected position. The phone call comes from the Superior General that you have been elected and many changes emerge. The most challenging is the realization that one now has the ultimate responsibility for leading a province of the Society.
Our Marist charism captured by our founder, Jean Claude Colin, in the phrase "hidden and as it were unknown in the midst of the world" creates a palpable flavor and context for leadership in the Society. It emerges from our core spirituality of forgetfulness of self so that the grace of God can emerge in all that we do and are for the sake of God's purposes and desires in the activities and ministry of our daily lives.
The world may not necessarily treasure this approach to power and leadership, but we follow a Master who said: "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave." (Mt. 20:25-27)
Surprisingly approaches like this are moving into current corporate leadership. The beautiful Chinese book of the Tao is quoted often: "Of the truly great leader when the task is done, the people will say 'We did this ourselves.'" (The Tao of Leadership) Zen Buddhism is quoted about the softness, gentleness, and flexible yielding of water while it remains a substance that nothing can resist no matter how hard it tries.
Jesus, however, was no softy. Otherwise he would not have been sent to his death as a terrible threat to the world order. Mary is held up for us as Marists as a clear stream of the truth of the Gospel and the very model of discipleship because of the clarity of her lifelong commitment to God. If you see conflicts in this mystery of leadership and commitment to the Gospel, you are not alone. And none of us will ever likely get it clear by thinking about it. But we are called to live it out in surrender to the grace of God who Alone needs to understand it.
Fraternally, Ted Keating, SM