Mary's Impact on Youth Today (1)
Mary's Impact on Youth Today (1)
Your May Reflection and Discussion Guide

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Click HERE to download the Discussion Guide.

Start your meeting with prayer

Then read: 1 Cor. 13:11-13

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, and I thought as a child. But when I became an adult, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then, we shall see face to face. Now I know only in part, but then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now abide faith, hope, and love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.

Read the reflection

Mary’s Impact on Youth Today - Part One

Antonia Swann,
Marist Logos Youth Development
Kia ora, my name is Antonia Swann and I work for The Logos Project - Marist Youth Development.

On behalf of Logos, in January, I was fortunate enough to travel with Fiona Liava’a to Guatemala for the International Marist Youth Gathering. The name of the gathering was “Tijiendo Vida - Weaving Life”. Guatemala is renowned for their ancient and beautiful traditions in weaving. This experience wove together young people from all over the world with a Marist connection. Across the six-day gathering we were invited to deepen our connection to the Marist identity through lenses of community, interiority, solidarity and mission - each led by the four Superior Generals of the Marist family. Each day took us further in to a journey of what it meant to weave all aspects of our lives in to one and thus to make a stronger connection with ourselves, our companions, our faith and our God.

In ‘community’ we looked at the different relationships we have with for example, our families, our friends, our sports teams and our church groups. In ‘interiority’ we explored our inner selves and paid close attention to what is truly at the heart of who we are. In ‘solidarity’ we were given the opportunity to visit different places, this included, schools, orphanages and refuge centres and provided us with an overwhelming insight of how young people and families live in a society that has faced so many challenges and obstacles. And finally, in ‘mission’, we were encouraged to see ourselves in the bigger picture and consider our own personal mission, but yet inspired to start in our own backyard first.

Personally, the day where we explored the idea of ‘interiority’ had a big impact on me. Led by Sister Grace Ellul and Sister Anne McCabe, the first activity invited us to look at ourselves in a mirror for thirty seconds and to spend that short time solely with ourselves, asking and answering personal questions, pondering thoughts and curiosities we had and allowing us to truly appreciate what and who we are. In that time I was able to deeply reflect on who I am as a person and what great things I have in my life. It was though, very, very scary.

A particular highlight for the both of us was being able to represent Oceania alongside the representatives from Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna. On the second to last night of the gathering, we had “Marist’s Got Talent”. Each region was given the opportunity to showcase the Marist presence in their part of the world and to be able to do this through the beauty of song, dance, haka and culture was an honour and a true testament to the villages we all come from. We were able to share this experience with Superior General John Larsen, who played the role of Bishop Pompallier, alongside sisters and brothers from across the Pacific who acted as Marist missionaries from France. Our fellow participants thoroughly enjoyed getting a taste of Oceania, especially given the little knowledge they have of our home.

Upon leaving the gathering, as well as finding an appreciation for Central American culture, food, language and beautiful friendships, we took with us a renewed sense of identity and belonging to the global Marist family - a woven community of people who are committed to the compassion, challenge and mission of the Church, in the name of Christ and embraced in the mantle of Mary.

Share from these reflection starters:

What stands out for you in the Scripture above?

Antonia speaks about ‘community, interiority, solidarity and
mission’. Share what each term means to you.

When you think of those four terms, which ones are most well
developed in your life?

How could a ‘mirror’ experience of seeing yourself honestly help
you grow in relationship with God and others?

The event was called Weaving life. What are some ways you weave
your Marist identity and mission into your everyday life?

Take a moment to read this Easter Reflection

We have passed from death to life

Paul writes to the Christians of Colossae: “You are risen with Christ!”
As if our entry into eternal life had already been accomplished, even if we are not there yet.
The resurrection is on the march when a man or a woman rises from their tomb of hatred and violence, when they flee from the rancour that gnaws at them.
The resurrection is at work when a man or woman frees themselves from the tomb of sin and welcomes in life the joy of God’s forgiveness.
The resurrection manifests itself when someone emerges from the grip of alcohol, drugs or misguided sexuality.
The resurrection is sown when a person abandons the tomb of their own failure, in order to still believe in life, happiness, love and simply to carry hope in them.
The resurrection is signaled by a hand extended in solidarity, in help and service freely given, in indifference defeated and in every gesture of peace.
We could extend this list of empty tombs where the light of the Risen One of Easter shines.
May we all live resurrected!
(Father Joseph Proux, published February 2015).

Conclude in prayer together:
Then pray...

Thank you Lord for the gift
of belonging in Mary’s family.
Renew our identity and commitment
as part of the global Marist world.
Weave us together as a community committed to the compassion, challenge and mission of the church
with joy, embraced in the mantle of Mary,
And in the name of Christ Our Lord. Amen