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MLC-NA Assembly Breakout Sessions Survey
Please select your top 5 sessions to attend during the Assembly breakout sessions and note them in the section below. This information is helpful so that we can do our best to accommodate interest with our space and timing constraints. You will be able to choose which session to attend when you are at the conference as the sessions progress.
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Breakout Sessions
1 The Future of the Marianist Family as a "Charismatic Family" in the Church
Presenter: Fr. David Fleming, SM
In today’s Catholic Church a new form of committed community is emerging: “Charismatic Families,” in which laypeople, married and unmarried, men and women, share a common spirit, vision and mission. They build on common experiences of formation, spirituality and mission in order to communicate a common vision and focus for the life of the whole church. This workshop will explore examples of such “charismatic families” and show how Blessed Father Chaminade and our other founders were forerunners of this movement.

2 Starting and Sustaining Marianist Lay Communities
Presenters: Susan Vogt & Bro. Tom Giardino, SM
Many lay people are inspired by the Marianist Charism to value being in community. Generally that means joining a local Marianist Lay Community (MLC). But then life happens. You move to a new city, take a different job, marry someone who hasn’t made a Marianist commitment, or you just get busy. On the other hand there are those “lucky” people who have never lost their community, but maybe it’s aging or just getting boring. Your life has taken a new direction. Sustaining an MLC can take even more work, creativity, and encouraging new people to take leadership. This workshop will offer ways that have worked and will solicit new ways for new times.

3 You Aren't Alone: Seeing the Big Picture of Marianist Life Around the World and How You Fit In
Presenter: Susan Vogt
As a Catholic Christian our faith is both personal and global. The same is true of being a Lay Marianist. BUT, how much do you know about how Lay Marianists around the world live out their commitment? Yes, we all try to live the Marianist charism but how might this differ from one country to another and what difference does this make to YOU? Find out what you share in common with Lay Marianists around the world, how you might be different, how you can make a global difference. You aren’t alone.

4 Fr. Chaminade's 5 Silences from the Perspective of Nonviolent Communication
Presenter: Bro. Stan Zubek, SM
How would Fr. Chaminade talk about the 5 Silences if he were here today? Violence is one of the major issues in today’s world. Nonviolent Communication is a contemporary way to speak about the goal of Fr. Chaminade’s System of Virtues – especially the 5 Silences – namely to “Become another Christ”. If we want to become like Christ, violence of any kind has no place in our life.

5 Practicing Marianist Leadership
Presenters: Allison Leigh & Ryan Allen
Through reflection, conversation and research we developed a model of Marianist reflection based on the head, heart, hands and feet. More than an answer to the difficult question of, “what is Marianist leadership?” this model was a way of guiding our practice of making the Charism come alive through our lives and work. In this presentation you will hear the story of the problem, the steps we took to say “yes, God” and find a way to make our commitment to the Marianist movement come alive, and understand the head heart, hands and feet model and how one might apply it in his or her life and work.

6 True Grit and Grace: The “Yes” of Our Marianist Founders
Presenters: Dan Jordan, Patti Gehred, Sr. Gabrielle Bibeau, FMI
We will examine how our Marianist Founders—Blessed Chaminade, and Venerables Adèle and Marie Thérèse—said yes to God in spite of many obstacles along the way. To use a buzzword from today, they had “grit.”

7 The State of the State
Presenters: Marge Cavanaugh, Tony Garascia, and Jacqui Griswold
One of the strengths of the Marianist Family is the variety of types of commitments, not only lay and religious, but different “flavors” of lay as well as religious. This workshop provides an opportunity to learn more about the “State” commitment. Soon after Chaminade’s sodalities were formed in the early 1800’s some of the sodalists wished to make a more permanent commitment to live the spirit of the evangelical counsels in a lay lifestyle. In France, it was called “Etat” or State and is short for “State of Religious Living in the World.” Much has developed since those early years so State members in the USA today take a Vow of Stability. Come and find out the many US states that have State members and how they live out their vow in a societal context that presents challenges that are very different from those 200 years ago.

8 How Marianist Lay Communities continue the tradition of the Founders of Active Lay Apostolate in the Contemporary Church
Presenter: Fr. Ted Cassidy, SM
Today the lay vocation is taking on new forms. Our charism to form lay communities and leaders is a gift to the Church that can adapt to the needs of our time. We have a deep tradition of forming lay communities that is evident both in our history and in their present growth throughout the Marianist world. We possess a unique way to form lay communities which is the way of Mary. The workshop will engage Lay Marianists in discerning how our communities can adapt to the contemporary context.

9 Restorative Justice: An Approach That Views Healing and Community Building as Goals of Justice
Presenter: Mary Hallinan & The Death Penalty/ Restorative Justice Issue Team
Through the restorative justice practice of “circle,” participants in this workshop will learn how the restorative model of justice differs from the retributive model that is currently followed by justice systems throughout most of the world, including the United States. Participants will learn how the restorative model aligns with the Old Testament concept of Shalom and coincides with the Marianist charisms of community and hospitality.

10 MLCs in Marianist Schools: What Works and What Doesn’t
Presenter: George Lisjak, members of Marianist schools
The desire for an experience of Marianist Lay Community is increasing among people who work in Marianist-sponsored schools. Some schools have a long history of MLCs, while people in other schools are not really sure how to begin. This session will involve a sharing of best practices among those who have experience and a chance for those who don’t to realize that it is possible.

11 Marianist Leadership: The Essential Really is the Interior
Presenter: George Lisjak
As Marianists we are called to continue Mary’s mission of bringing Christ to life in the world. This involves intentionally exerting influence, the very definition of leadership. How can we stand in the world in ways that both exhibit leadership best practice and are distinctly Marianist? This session suggests some answers.

12 Marianist Lay Communities Effective engagement in the struggle for Immigration reform and the elimination of racism.
Presenter: Fr. Ted Cassidy & Ashley Davidson
This workshop will focus on the work of the Anti-Racism-Immigration Team of the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative and how the Family of Mary can be a force against racism and for Immigration reform. The way out of racism and to immigration reform is primarily through dialogue of respectful listening and conversations where communities can come together to find solutions of creativity to meet the problems and the needs hospitality. The workshop will demonstrate what we have done and what we propose to the Marianist Family.

13 MLC-NA Bylaws Update - Compliance, Efficiency, and Agility for the Future
Presenters: Mike Wasno and Brian Gravunder
The MLC-NA Leadership Team will host a workshop to discuss the updated Bylaws and Policies of the MLC-NA. Two sessions will be scheduled to give people flexibility to attend other workshops

14 Living Aloha - The Marianist Way of Life
Presenters: Martin Moore & Faith Leasiolagi
Through walking our faith journeys, our community has learned to work together utilizing our Marianist family spirit while embracing the difficulties of life. In this, we have adapted to Hawaii’s melting pot of cultures and have learned the concept of Aloha and its way of life. Living with aloha, the Marianist family spirit unites us and our Marianist education guides our knowledge. Our workshop will be structured to exhibit being a young Marianist in today’s world; maintaining our identity and cultures through life’s transitions, and what it means to commit to the Marianist Movement; and truly what “Yes” means for us.

15 Sacred are Our Stories: Justice, Imperfection and Accompaniment
Presenter: Jarrod Kinkley
The 21st century has rapidly thrust the western world into a post-modern period of self-reflection with uncertainty about faith, identity and what it means to be human. We find ourselves grasping at what it means to hold on to traditions and familiarity but also embrace the societal changes in which we find ourselves. The Marianist movement offers an intuitive response to this situation. The Marianist tradition of saying, “Yes, God!” is what breathes life into the charism. In this presentation/discussion we’ll explore how the Marianist tradition provides us with the tools to embrace emerging contexts through the lens of storytelling. Guided by the example of Adele de Batz de Trenquelleon and the work of more recent theologians we’ll attempt to dig deeper into what it means to be a Marianist in our context(s).

16 Getting to 'Yes': Chaminade's Letters and the Various 'Yeses' of His Correspondents
Presenter: Fr. Robert Witwicki, SM
The celebration of the 200th anniversary of the marianist foundation is a good occasion to revisit the letters of Fr. Chaminade. He appears there as a spiritual guide to many people, always inspired by deep discernment and strong faith. This presentation will look specifically at Chaminade's epistolary conversations and show how he helped them say Mary's 'yes' in the different situations they faced.

17 In the Upper Room: Group Dynamics in Marianist Lay Communities
Presenters: A’hava Community Members - Kate Schuster, Jimmy Fritchman, Stephen Mackell, Caitlin Cipolla-McCulloch, FMI
Upon reflection of our last 5 years, the A’hava community has concluded that our continued existence is due to grace and the Spirit of God, and also can be framed in a theory of why groups subsist. In our workshop, we will share this framework and these reasons, and tie them into the community of apostles in Acts. We will then share some examples from our own community experience. We will invite a dialogue from the participants about their community experience and then charge them to think about how to take some of these ideas back to their home communities.

18 A Place at the Table: Welcoming LGBTQ+ People into Community
Presenters: Ish Ruiz, Brad Leger, Beth Garascia
A “yes” to God includes a “yes” to all of God’s people. Our Marianist Charism calls us to reach out to all people, including LGBT, and draw them into an inclusive community of faith. This workshop offers personal testimonies, informational presentations, and group discussions to help the attendees develop a sense of commitment and inclusivity towards LGBT people as well as a sense of appreciation for their contributions to our faith. Our commitment as Marianists calls us to honor the gift they are to the Church.

19 Building Community with Children: Committing to the Marianist Movement as a Family
Presenters: LeeAnn & Brandon Meyer, David & Danielle Weickert
As young adults and new parents, it can be challenging to make time for the Gospel in a Marianist way within family life and be engaged in the Marianist movement given so many other competing priorities. Through this session, we hope to provide a space for young adults, parents, and families to consider more intentionally incorporating the Marianist movement into their daily lives as a family. By providing our own examples and encouraging participants to share their stories, we will challenge and support one another to grow in Marianist values and identify defining commitments as a family.

20 Changemakers – A Call and a Challenge for Marianists to Engage in Social Justice with Others
Presenters: Jim Vogt, Brian Reavey, Alfredo Ortiz, April Risteff
Two Changemakers events were held last year (2016) which involved over 175 participants. But these events were just the beginning, not the end, of a process. This session will focus on the main learnings that emerged from these events, where the Changemakers process is going, and how you can be part of it.

21 Say Yes! Partnership for Vocations Ministry
Presenters: Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI & Bro. Tom Wendorf, SM
Join us as we explore together how all of us can support and nourish vocations to the Marianist Family. Questions we’ll be exploring: What attracts people to the Marianist Family? How do we invite people to be committed to the Marianist Family? How can each of us walk with those discerning a permanent commitment to the Marianist Family? How do we work together to encourage commitment to the vowed Religious Branches of our Family?

22 Lessons in Solidarity: Marianist PULSE
Presenters: Maureen O’Rourke & Members of the 2016-2017 PULSE Community
This workshop will give Marianist PULSE community members a chance to share outcomes, lessons learned, and stories from their year of living in intentional community and solidarity in the Dayton community. The PULSE community members will share stories from their respective work placements, wisdom and insight gained from the year, and ideas for future growth of the PULSE program and the overall mission of lay Marianists to advance peace, justice, and reconciliation in the world at large.

23 Meditation, Movement, and Mary
Presenters: Bill & Ann Hirt
This workshop will provide food for our journeys as we contemplate the role of movement in prayer and meditation. We will pray the Magnificat with stillness yet movement, reflect on how movement is metaphorical to our spiritual lives, engage in some simple Yoga poses, ponder the phrase “letting go and letting God,” and provide ideas and nourishment for community prayer.

24 The Integrity of Creation: Environmental Sustainability and Justice in Marianist Institutions
Presenters: Tara Poling
This workshop will examine how Marianist Institutions are responding to the call - expressed in a careful reading of the signs of the times, Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, and our own recent Marianist documents and reflections - to protect and enhance the Integrity of Creation. Ecological degradation today disrupts economic, political, and social systems around the globe and parallels can be drawn to the founders' own time. By including all of Creation in our concept of community, rooting ourselves in Mary as seat of wisdom and the Mother of God incarnate, continuing to grow in ecological literacy and nurturing ecological conversion as a matter of faith, we say “Yes” to being disciples formed and sent to create environmental change for Creation and for the poor who suffer most from the excesses of our age.

25 Our Common Home: Apache/Marianist Interfaith Dialogue
Presenters: Katie & Orlando Gushoney
Orlando Gushoney, White Mountain Apache, and his wife Kathleen “Katie” Gushoney will explore themes from Laudato Si, through their Apache and Marianist perspectives. As Pope Francis says, “it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be…”principal dialogue partners.” The Gushoneys will offer stories and examples to illustrate the challenges and opportunities they have experienced thru Indigenous-Catholic Interfaith dialogue and how they live out the call to care for and create a common home. Topics covered will include contemporary Native American issues, cultural appropriation, environmental racism and interfaith reconciliation.
Please indicate which of the following tours you might be interested in (if any)
On Friday afternoon, we will be offering tours of some of the significant Marianist locations in Dayton. Participants can travel to these locations on their own, but transportation can also be provided to different locations. In order for us to gauge how many people we might expect at each location, please select all of the locations below that might interest you.
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