Over the summer, 75 Lay Marists gathered in Long Branch, NJ for the first-ever USA Lay Marist Assembly. The retreat-style assembly was guided by guest speakers Pep Buetas from Spain who is the Co-Director of the Secretariat of the Laity for the Marist Institute, and Patti Rios, a Lay faculty member at a school in Tijuana, Mexico. The retreat centered around three sessions entitled “Discover,” “Dream,” and “Design and Create.”
On the final day, Participants were divided into 6 groups and rotated around to discussion circles on different topics surrounding the future of USA Lay Marists in an opportunity to offer input, insights, and recommendations. The topics were: communications, leadership, local communities, national communities, formation programs, and Communion.
A number of recommendations were raised such as monthly prayer gatherings in regional areas, a Lay Marist newsletter, creation of Lay Marist social media platforms, the creation of a Lay Marist steering committee (which has since come to fruition), and a possible Director of Lay Marists position within the USA Province.