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Marianist Charism the Focus of School Assembly

Now well into their first trimester, Chaminade freshmen learned more about the order which founded and continues to operate the school Thursday.


At a freshman spirituality assembly, students watched a short video about Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, the school’s namesake. He founded the Society of Mary, the Marianists, 200 years ago this month.  The video told Fr. Chaminade’s story and vision to create a congregation of brothers and priests bringing people to Jesus through Mary.


Mr. Thomas Terrill ’10, an aspirant with the Marianist Province of Meribah and freshman religion teacher at Chaminade, detailed his recent pilgrimage to France and Spain for the order’s bicentennial.  He visited many of the places Fr. Chaminade lived and worked, including the Chapel of the Madeleine and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar.  He met Marianists from other countries who convened on this part of Europe to mark the celebratory anniversary. 


“Reflecting on all the Marianists around the world showed me that I’m not alone – none of us is alone,” Mr. Terrill said.  “Pray for us, as we pray for you.”


Fr. Chaminade often spoke of the Marianist Family; it includes not just Marianist sisters and brothers, but also lay men and women who devote themselves to the mission of the Society of Mary.


“That ‘Marianist Family’ terminology is important,” said Bro. Peter Sennert, n.S.M. ’11.  “It’s not just brothers or sisters working to spread Chaminade’s mission.  Everyone in this room, students and teachers, are Marianists, too.  You are my brothers, just as I am a brother to you.  We all have the same mother in Mary.”  Bro. Peter is novice in the Province of Meribah and is teaching at Kellenberg Memorial High School.


Novice Bro. Andrew Santoriello, S.M. ’07 said two particular Gospel stories inspire him to follow Mary.  “Mary’s ‘yes’ at the Annunciation is an example for all of us,” he said.  “Every image of the Wedding Feast at Cana shows Mary pointing to Jesus.  The entire joy of her life is leading people to Christ.”


Bro. Stephen Balletta, S.M. ’74, a senior religion teacher, vocations director, and director of the Chaminade Marianist Community, concluded with a simple message about what religious brothers are led to do.


“The word ‘brothers’ includes the word ‘others.’" Bro. Stephen said.  "They live their lives for others – God Himself and all the people whom God loves.”

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