I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Easter than by making a much-needed difference in the lives of some of God’s most faithful servants.
Dear Friend of the Marist Brothers,
It is with great concern that I write to you. Our elderly and disabled Brothers need your help. You know that these men have given generously of their time and talents, and now I am asking you to give back with that same generosity.
I believe the Lenten season is a fitting time to think of our elderly and disabled Brothers. As you know, Lent is a time when we take stock of our lives and consider ways we can be more worthy of the great miracle of Easter, when God gave us the gift of His only Son to redeem our sins through His death and Resurrection.
Our elderly Marist Brothers have spent their lives living the Lenten message of “God and others before self.” They dedicated their lives to serving God through ministry and education, without any thought of reward apart from the satisfaction of helping their students to become knowledgeable, faithful, and moral people.
One of those who needs your help is Brother Joe. He has been a Marist Brother for 73 years, beginning his work in Catholic education in Georgia in the 1930’s. At that time he also began his lifelong personal ministry of making Rosaries to distribute in places around the world.
In 1948, with the devastation of World War II still evident, Brother Joe became one of the first Marist Brothers to serve in the Philippines. During his 25 years there working in Catholic education, he helped to found what is now the largest educational organization in that country. Upon returning to the U.S., he continued his tireless work for the education and protection of our children.
Now, after so many decades of vital ministry and mission work, Brother Joe is living in our largest retirement home. My concern is that he, or one of the other elderly Brothers living there, will suffer an accident, fall, or injury as a result of the unsafe, outdated, unsuitable bathrooms they have to use.
We need to refurbish these bathrooms in order to make them safe for handicapped and elderly Brothers. The current bathrooms need to be renovated to be compliant with safety guidelines as quickly as possible. We need to be able to accommodate the Brothers in wheelchairs and those with other special physical needs.
The work we need done right away will cost $29,250. As you can imagine, that is asking a lot of my already strained budget. But I have faith that you and other good friends of the Marist Brothers will find it in your hearts to make a Lenten sacrifice this year and help us raise these much-needed funds.
The existing facilities were designed and built over 50 years ago for younger Brothers. But as those Brothers age and acquire physical limitations, we find that they can no longer safely get by with things as they are.
This year, will you honor the spirit of Lenten sacrifice with an offering to make our Brothers’ lives safer and better? These Brothers need our help so that after their long service, they can live safe, comfortable, and dignified lives, free of fear and harm.
It is a tradition during Lent to give up certain things that we enjoy… partly to honor the sacrifice Jesus made for us, and partly to help turn our thoughts away from our own wants and needs.
This is a fine tradition. Will you make such a sacrifice this year, to improve the lives of our elderly and disabled Marist Brothers?
If you are giving up something for Lent this year, perhaps you can make an offering instead of spending money on the things you are sacrificing. That way, your sacrifice becomes more than a gesture of faith… it becomes a real gift that will make a difference in the lives of very deserving people!
Please make an offering so that I can provide our Brothers with the safety, the comfort, and the dignity they deserve. I will rest much easier when I know that Brothers like Joe no longer have to fear such a simple thing as using the bathroom. I know you will, too. And, I can’t think of a better way to observe Lent than by making a wonderful difference in the lives of some of God’s most faithful servants.
When you reply, please remember to write your special intentions on the slip where indicated. Our Brothers may not be able to tell you in person how much they appreciate your gift and the loving concern behind it, but it’s very important to them that they remember you in their daily prayers, Masses, and Rosary devotions.
On behalf of all the Marist Brothers, I wish you a happy and blessed Easter Season, filled with the joy and love that Christ’s great sacrifice and victory brings us!
Sincerely yours in the Risen Christ,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development
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P.S. I’ve enclosed a single nickel with this letter. Those of us of “a certain age” can remember when a nickel would actually buy something. It might not buy much today… except when it’s combined with many other nickels to create a greater whole. You might feel that your offering is not enough to make a difference in the lives of our Brothers. But I can assure you every great thing that’s ever been built started out as a collection of smaller parts. As a special gift please accept the stations of the cross prayer card I have enclosed with this letter, so that you can reflect upon the great sacrifice Our Lord made for us, and the great gift he gave us.