Bishop Konzen on "Doing the Work of Mary"

On Sunday, January 22, following a Family Mass in Centennial Center’s Young Gym, the Marist Alumni Association’s Service and Spirituality Committee hosted a community discussion led by Bishop Joel M. Konzen, S.M. on the Marist Way theme of the year “Doing the Work of Mary.” 
Each year at Marist School, we share a unique and purposeful theme that reflects the core values and teachings of the Society of Mary and its founder, Fr. Jean-Claude Colin. By “Doing the Work of Mary,” this year’s designated theme, we resolve to serve others daily, embody a missionary spirit as Mary did, and fulfill our God-given mission by stepping beyond where we are.

Bishop Konzen, former Marist School principal and current auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, presented an overview detailing how Marists define the work of Mary, understood in a spiritual sense rather than as a concrete description of a particular task, and what that work calls us to do in our everyday lives at home and in the wider world.

Konzen emphasized the missionary spirit of the work of Mary, which Fr. Colin described as an aim to “make the whole world Marist.” Konzen remarked that such a goal is idealistic, but “what’s underneath every idealist approach to life is hope. If we’re going to dare enough to be idealistic, then it means we have hope.” Konzen also discussed how we should prioritize the safeguarding of human and spiritual relationships in a world of technology, noting that it is possible to embrace the tools of a modern society in service of nurturing social relationships and spirituality.

When asked how Konzen recommended our community members do the work of Mary in their own homes and communities daily, Konzen outlined these four actions: Prayer, charity, open-mindedness, and learning.

  1. In recommending prayer, Konzen urged, “We have to start there. We have to be people of prayer.”
  2. Charity,” Konzen said, “is a sign of whether we really understand the message of the Gospel. If we are very sparing about our charity—whether that is monetarily or with our time—I think we must question how much we have understood about the Gospel.”
  3. Konzen counseled open-mindedness by “meeting people where they are, in a kind way, to understand what our Lord may be asking them to do and helping them in that direction. Trying to create peace in our homes and workplaces through prayer and leadership is a real calling for all of us.”
  4. Lastly, Konzen reminded those in attendance to continue to learn and read. He put special emphasis on the importance of older individuals refreshing their knowledge rather than relying on what knowledge they gained in school or studies in the past.
Bishop Konzen encouraged those in attendance to go out and live their lives “as much like Mary as possible,” by submitting to and having trust in the will of our Lord. We are grateful for his guidance and shared insights.

To discover more about the Marist Way, click here.

List of 1 items.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers