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Download Fall 2016 Today's Marists Newsletter
(updated Nov. 18, 2016)
From Today's Marists Newsletter
The Marists Celebrate 200th Anniversary at Its Founding Parish in the US
By Harriet Melancon
“In the morning of July 23, 1816, twelve young men went to the chapel of Fourvière located on a hillside overlooking the ancient city of Lyons in southern France. The chapel was a famous Marian shrine dating back to the 12th century. The newly ordained priests and seminarians went there with the fervent purpose to found a religious congregation of "Marists."
They brought along with them a document containing a pledge to found this congregation under the name of Mary and bearing their signatures. The pledge was placed under the corporal on the altar and there they celebrated a Mass praying that their promise would be fulfilled.
The Church would eventually officially recognize these four religious congregations bearing the name "Marist": Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers, Marist Missionary Sisters, the Marist Fathers and Brothers (Society of Mary) and the Third Order of Mary (Marist Laity).
The entire Marist Family looks back on that pledge taken two hundred years ago as their point of origin and has designated this year as a time to recognize and celebrate its 200th Anniversary."
This was the introduction read during the 200th Anniversary Mass celebrated at St. Michael's Church on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Marist Father Bill Rowland, former Pastor of St. Joseph Church, celebrated this special Mass along with Fr. Ed Fuss, retired Marist, Fr. Vincent Dufresne, Fr. Alec Sheldon, and Deacons Alfred Adams and Sam Sammartino. Fr. Rowland stated it was only fitting that the 200th Anniversary be celebrated at St. Michael's Church in Convent since it was the first Marist foundation in the United States.
It was a beautiful Mass followed by a reception in the newly renovated Saint Michael Church Hall. The hall was filled with the community who came to celebrate with our retired Marist, local and visiting priests.
Members of our Knights of Columbus provided everyone with a delicious meal, while other cluster-wide church organizations such as the Catholic Daughters from Court St. Joseph in Paulina, The Knights of Peter Clavier and Catholic Daughters from Court St. Michael's provided the meal, drinks and a beautiful cake.
We are blessed to live in a community whose love for Mary, Our Blessed Mother, has continued to grow even without the influence of the long-loved Marist religious. Fr. Ed Fuss, a very active retired Marist, is a living example for all of us as to what being Marist is all about. Fr. Ed witnesses to "Being Marist" which means to follow Jesus as Mary did. It means making the "spirit of Mary" imbued in one's way of being and acting in somewhat the same way as one might be influenced by a spiritual guide. Fr. Ed is that guide. He is a living example of what it means to be a Marist and to do Mary's work in our community. The Cluster of East St. James Parish is very proud of its ties to its Marist roots in the United States.
Celebration at Notre Dame Pontiac School
On the feast of the Holy Name of Mary the student body at Notre Dame Prep and Marist Academy (Junior Kindergarten - grade 12) in Pontiac, MI gathered in the school gym for Liturgy. Fr. Jim Strasz, SM in his homily told the students that the Society of Mary is celebrating 200 years of history. It is important that each of us as part of a Marist school, put our faith into action in the humble and simple manner of Mary who always pointed to her Son. At the end, the whole school celebrated with a Klondike Bar festival.
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looks back on
that pledge taken
two hundred years ago
as their point of origin
and has designated
this year as a time to
recognize and celebrate
its 200th Anniversary