Dear Alumni and Parents of Alumni,
I want to congratulate the Service and Spirituality Committee of the Marist Alumni Association for hosting the first ever overnight alumni retreat during the weekend of January 28/29. Special accolades are in order for John Lanier ’04, the chair of the Service and Spirituality Committee, who provided the direction and energy to make this retreat happen. Special praise to Maureen Davidson, the Alumni Director, and Mary Stagmaier, her assistant, who worked behind the scenes to make sure all the logistics were in order.
Many of committee members who planned the retreat, as well as those who attended remembered with great fondness the Emmaus, Retreats they either had participated in or led. Those experiences came in handy as they planned the talks, chose the presenters and organized the schedule for the weekend. Now, these alumni, older and wise, returned to Camp Westminster from where they had encountered the Risen Lord on the Emmaus Retreats when at Marist. They gathered in the “Upper Room” to share where they have encountered him again during their college years when they were married and began their families, and while they have been making their way in their chosen career.
Former Marist teacher and Parent of Alumni, Bob Fecas, current Marist teacher and Parent of Alumni, Janet Claussen, former president of the Marist Board of Trustees and Parent of Alumni, Bob Fitzgerald, and the 2016 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award recipient, John Lanier ’06, were the main presenters.
The Society of Mary does not promote any particular devotion to Mary. However, I see participating in retreats, such as Emmaus or the Upper Room, definitely as a Marist spiritual practice. Like Mary, we keep all these things or ponder what the Risen Lord is doing in our lives in our hearts. We pray, reflect, listen to each other’s stories, and encounter the Lord again in the breaking of the bread (Eucharist).
It is essential that the students, faculty, administration, parents, alumni, and parents of alumni engage in such Marist spiritual practices if Marist School is to retain its Marist identity. They are also essential if we, like Jesus her Son, are to advance in wisdom and age before God and one another.
Fr. Bill Rowland, S.M.
Chaplain – Marist Alumni Association