Dare to Dream is ready to go

June 17, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

With just on a month to go, everything is ready for the launch of Dare to Dream programme in Lyon, France.

“The final touches are all that’s left” says Marist Father on the organising committee, Alejandro Muñoz.

Alejandro Muñoz SM of the Dare to Dream organising committee

Alejandro Muñoz SM of the Dare to Dream organising committee

Dare to Dream is a world-wide gathering of Marist Youth taking place from 17 – 23 July and marks the 200th anniversary of the young Marists who signed a pledge at Fourvière to found the Society of Mary.

“Sharing “The Marist Places“; our spiritual origins, is such a pivotal part to understanding our Marist spirituality”, he said in a statement and responding to questions put to him.

As well as visiting a number of the Marist Places, the programme also provides for participant input.

Fr Muñoz thinks the opportunity to meet and learn from other young lay Marists will be a rich experience for everyone. He hopes the youth who attend Fourviere event will return to their provinces enriched, energised and willing to share the Marist charism.

Fr Muñoz also hopes Marist provinces and mission districts will help the Dare to Dream experience grow.

“We have a number of New Media networks in place and we’ll of course be promoting these.

“I also intend to start a reflection group around the topics of youth ministry and vocations in preparation for the 2017 General chapter”, he said.

Of the 400 young Marists participating in Dare to Dream; 50 will represent the Society of Mary Fr Muñoz said.

He says the Society of Mary is making a large contribution and the organising committee is very grateful to the Marist school, Sainte-Marie, Lyon who will host the event.

The school is going beyond the call of duty and giving extra support and personnel to help make the event go smoothly, he said.

Dare to Dream is the first time since the last World Youth Day the four branches of the Marist Family; Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and SMSM sisters have worked together on a programme for youth.

Visit Dare to Dream on the Web and follow Dare to Dream on Twitter and Facebook.

Billeting is likely to continue at St Patrick’s College

June 16, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

St Patrick’s College Wellington is pretty sure it will continue billeting students despite fears they could be liable if something happens to the visiting student.

The Marist College Rector, Mr Neil Swindells told the DomPost that with the right protocols in place he is 90% sure billeting will continue at St Pat’s.

neil swindells

St Patrick’s College Wellington Rector, Neil Swindells

Swindells says the College will put a safety process in place for billeting, but will not go beyond that.

Colleges’ concern over billeting students is a response to the Vulnerable Children Act which includes

  • carrying out a risk analysis on the host family
  • seeing two forms of ID
  • running a police check on anyone in the house who is over 18.

As a result of the Act, some schools have decided to stop billeting.

However, the  Ministry of Social Development says parents involved in billeting are considered volunteers, and are exempt from such safety checks.

It offers no comment on siblings over the age of 18 who are still living at home.

Hosting other students from around the country and internationally is seen by most schools to be a positive opportunity to learn and socialise with a student’s peers, and traditionally billeting has been a free and easy way to accommodate visitors on sports and cultural exchanges.

Source: DomPost

Young lay Marists Dare to Dream in France

June 10, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

A sense of expectation is rising amongst young lay Marists around the world as they begin the count down to the International young Marist meeting in Lyon, France.

More than 400 from the four branches of the Marist family will attend the 17-23 July event.

Dare to DreamNew Zealand’s Jen Martinez and Sam Mano will travel over earlier to help organise the final stages of the event.

Jen Martinez says she is looking forward to learning from others and hopes the meeting will inspire and encourage young lay Marists.

Eight young Marists, four from LOGOS, and four teachers from Marist schools in New Zealand will attend.

Fr Alejandro Muñoz SM of the ‘Dare to Dream’ organising committee said the meeting is to encourage young people to dare to dream, like the group of young Marists did 200 years ago when they signed a pledge at Fourvière to found the Society of Mary.

“Fourvière is a promise that has given us a lot of life and has certainly given a lot of service to the world,” said Fr Muñoz.

Fr Muñoz says the Dare to Dream programme aims to

  • promote the coordination and integration of young Marists
  • celebrate of the bicentenary of the Pledge of Fourvière
  • prepare for the bicentenary of the founding of the Institute of the Marist Brothers on 2 January 2017.

According to Fr Muñoz the programme will include an opportunity for the youth of the four Marist branches will visit historical places such as L’Hermitage, La Neylière, Belley and Sainte-Foy.

The gathering will take place in the Marist School of Sainte Marie Lyon – La Solitude, located on the hill of Fourvière with participants staying at the Lycée Aux Lazaristes high school.

This world-wide gathering is a joint initiative of the four religious branches of the Marist Family, and precedes World Youth Day, in Krakow from 26 to 31 July.

Follow Dare to Dream on Twitter and Facebook.

Youth work springs from ‘Hokianga where prayer became exhausted’

May 27, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

After only a few months of youth work at LOGOS, Magdalena Webb realises she doesn’t have to be exactly like others.

Studying and also working part time at LOGOS, the Society of Mary youth development programme, she hopes to make a positive difference.

logos magdalena webb

Youth Work: LOGOS’ Magdalena Webb at work

“I’m learning to embrace my differences and use them in a way to positively influence young people,” she says in a profile feature on the LOGOS website.

Magdalena comes from land near the Whirinaki River in the “Hokianga Whakapau Karakia” (Hokianga Where the Prayer Became Exhausted).

Through family connections she has an association with the Catholic Worker Movement (CWM).

Not a CWM member herself; the Movement however plays a significant role in who she is and how she works as a junior youth worker.

Magdalena describes the philosophy of the Catholic Worker Movement living a simple lifestyle in community, serving the disadvantaged, and resisting war and social injustice.”

Two years ago she decided to give her life to the service of young people and like the Whirinaki River she hopes to be a source of life and growth to others.


Bomb threat closes St Patrick’s College Wellington

May 26, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

St Patrick’s College in Kilbirnie, Wellington, was evacuated on Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was made via email.

Rector Neal Swindells said the threat was made about 9.30am.

After contacting the police Swindells made the decision to send staff and students home.

St Patrick's College Rector, Mr Neal Swindells

St Patrick’s College Rector, Mr Neal Swindells

Police remained at the school for much of Wednesday, working with the school’s management team, and investigating the threat.

As far as Swindells knew, the school had not received such a threat in the recent past.

He was not sure if any other schools in Wellington had been threatened in the same way on Wednesday.

It was obviously unsettling for staff and students, but the school had to make the decision to disrupt everyone’s day to make sure they were safe.

The threat follows similar incidents in February which closed a number of schools around the country.

At the time, police said the “robotic sounding” phone calls could be linked to an international hoax which had hit the US and other countries.

Evans Bay Intermediate School, neighbouring St Patrick’s, was also evacuated, and students moved to nearby Rongotai College.

College principal Kevin Carter said his school was happy to help out. “They were very close to St Pat’s, and they wanted to evacuate the area.”

Carter said the intermediate students watched a movie in the hall for about an hour and a half, then headed back to their own school shortly before 2pm.

Source: CathNews

Jen Martinez new LOGOS leader

May 18, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

Forty staff, volunteers, friends and supporters of the Logos Project in Auckland recently attended a Mass at which Jennifer Martinez was commission as the leader of the Logos Project.

Jen Martinez has worked at The Logos project for more than ten years.

Jen Martinez of LOGOS

Jen Martinez installed as Logos Leader and Denis O’Hagan becomes Logos Chairman.

“The experiences and opportunities I received in my younger years have had a profound impact on me, and are why I am so passionate about faith and personal formation,” says Jen Martinez.

“Many years ago I lived in a Catholic young adult community run by the Christian Brothers and I was very involved in different ministries within the Edmund Rice Network.”

“I also trained and worked as a chef after I left school at Marist College.”

“I love the fact that each day I have the opportunity to support young people to grow in their faith and in who they are called to be,” she said.

At the same Mass, Fr Denis O’Hagan SM also became Chairman of the LOGOS board.

Founded in 1999 by the Society of Mary, The Logos Project works with young people in the Auckland region.

It runs a range of programmes designed to develop young people, helping them to know who they are what they stand for.

More images available at Logos.org


LOGOS 2015: New leadership, premises and a new programme

April 21, 2016.   Category: New Zealand

New leadership, a new programme and new premises are highlights of the 2015 LOGOS year.

Jen Martinez

Jen Martinez

LOGOS is pleased that in 2015 Jen Martinez became its leader. Having been with LOGOS for several years she is well known to those involved and the groups it serves.

Also new are the premises.

The board is very pleased to have secured more suitable and much more modern premises, in Eden Terrace, not too far away from the old site.

Since 2007 the youth development project based itself at the historic Josephite convent on Benedict Street, however finding suitable new premises has been on the agenda for over 12 months.

The other 2015 ‘new’ is for the first time LOGOS delivered a programme “Jade Speaks Up”; a teaching resource helping students create strategies to keep themselves safe, particularly in relation to family violence.

Staff and students at St Dominic’s College commented on the positive impact of the programme.

Staff said it created a safe space for students to explore topics that would otherwise remain unspoken, and students said they appreciated the practical approach to learning ways to keep themselves safe.

Student feedback identified four “most important” things they took away from the day as:

  • violence isn’t the answer; and when in a tough situation “to breathe, think and do”, and help others,
  • being violence free begins with me,
  • I have the right to be safe,
  • how to apply my Personal Safety Plan.

Also in 2015 LOGOS delivered

  • 37 one-day retreats (1840 students)
  • 5 regular “special character” activities (107 students per week)
  • 2 week-long OSCAR programmes (36 participants)
  • 1 3-day retreat for leaders from seven schools
  • 1 overnight retreat for LOGOS volunteers

School chaplaincy

In addition, LOGOS was involved in sacramental programmes resulting in 40 students receiving the sacraments of initiation, Eucharistic Ministry training in three schools and regular school Masses in four colleges.

Fr Kevin Murphy is well known within the Auckland diocese and in 2015 provided chaplaincy services at Sancta Maria, Liston, Marist and St Dominic’s colleges. These services also include: staff retreats, assisting new Religious Education teachers and giving input on school charism and the Catholic character.

Youth development

In 2015 LOGOS was pleased to welcome several new volunteers to the team, making for a team of 18 young volunteers, helping deliver its programmes.

All volunteers receive training and gain important practical experience including developing skills in

  • project planning
  • project management
  • budgeting
  • leadership
  • promotion, and
  • completing risk assessments and evaluations.

Throughout the year a number of staff moved on to take up roles in youth work, pastoral work and other not-for-profit areas. LOGOS was fortunate to replace these people with others who brought a new variety of talents and skills to contribute and grow the ministry.

In terms of governance, 2015 Mila Burke and Laurence Caltaux were significant additions to the LOGOS’ Board of Trustees.

Founded in 1999 by the Society of Mary, LOGOS works with young people within the Auckland region.

Primarily a youth development agency, LOGOS works with young people enabling them to make a positive impact within their communities and wider society.

LOGOS’ programmes are designed to develop young people, helping ground them in their values and identity, and make them more fully integrated member of New Zealand society.

Source: LOGOS

Marist-Challenge GAP student experience profound

November 8, 2013.   Category: New Zealand

On Wednesday afternoon, 8 Marist Challenge 2000 Gap year students who have recently returned from their month-long pastoral placements, reported back to their friend and colleagues gathered at Pa Maria in Wellington. Read more

Eight young people join 2013 Marist Challenge 2000 Gap year

February 12, 2013.   Category: New Zealand

On Monday 11 February, sixty people attended a powhiri in Johnsonville welcoming eight young people into the Marist – Challenge 2000 Gap Year Programme for 2013. Read more

Marist Youth International website proves to be popular

February 1, 2013.   Category: International

Fr Alejandro Munoz, assistant to the Marist Fathers Superior General, is very happy with the response to the Marist Youth International website which he launched towards the end of 2012. Read more

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