“Give thanks to the LORD, who is good; whose love endures forever!”
Dear Brothers and Marists,
In the next weeks, I complete six years as Provincial. I thought it would be a good time to look back over the past years and reflect—with gratitude—on all that has been and to look ahead with a joyful heart to all that will be.
The Psalmist had it right; it is good for us to give thanks to God for all the blessings bestowed on us as individuals and as a Province. Being grateful reminds us of the positive things in life; of who and what is important. It reminds us to thank God and to thank others.
In reflecting over these past years of leadership, there is much I am grateful for:
- Our families and friends.
- Our Brother Jubilarians; Our senior brothers on whose shoulders we stand.
- Those who minister to our senior men…our Brothers, our aides, our doctors, and our nurses.
- Our Marist Brothers Center at Esopus; Our student retreat and encounter programs.
- Our summer camps…the Mid-Hudson Valley Camp and Camp Marist…touching the lives of young people and campers.
- Our school ministries…the wonderful evangelization efforts that occur, day in and day out in these institutions.
- Those who serve on our various Province committees and Boards.
- Our Marist colleagues who nurture our Marist charism.
- Our Adult/Young Adult Evangelization/Joint Formation programs.
- The generosity of Brothers in their willingness to move to new communities and ministries.
- The steps we take to safeguard children.
- Our youngest member’s renewal of vows and the anticipation of the three novices’ first vows.
- Our vocation efforts and the young men who are interested in exploring God’s call to them.
- The stewardship of our finances.
- Our Development Office efforts.
- Our Mission Appeal program.
- Our community directors.
- The “little virtues” and care we show each other on a daily basis.
Learning how to experience gratitude involves being grateful as an attitude, not as a reaction when good things occur. Any one of us does not need to wait until things are perfect before being grateful; in fact, it may be just the opposite. It could be that the act of being grateful, in itself, makes us receptive to life’s blessings, and these blessings continue as we continue to be thankful.
Saint Marcellin’s gratitude for being loved by God was very real. He often told his Brothers that “God has loved us from all eternity; he chose us and drew us out of the world. The Blessed Virgin has planted us in her garden, and she sees to it that we lack for nothing.”
Be assured of my good wishes and prayers, and THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your support and prayers over the years. In June, Brother Patrick McNamara will succeed me as the new Provincial. Please join me in congratulating Patrick and offering him our prayerful support as he begins this new journey in promoting our Marist mission and charism.
Brother Ben Consigli, FMS