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The End


Written by: Bro. Brian Poulin


June 3, 2023 – Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs


For those of us who orient our lives around the academic calendar, June is generally a time of transition. Another school year has ended and summer is beginning, a respite from the normal routines that occupy most of the year. Even a busy summer (as mine generally are) can feel refreshing simply because of its newness. 


This June has particular significance for me. As many readers already know, I am concluding this blog series with this final post after almost five years. Furthermore, the Year of Marist Vocations is ending soon, along with several related initiatives, while allowing an opportunity to reflect on what vocational promotion practices to carry forward. Most significantly, I am preparing to move to Texas, a place where I have never lived, and will be among brothers with whom I have also never previously lived. In short, there is both a lot to let go of and a lot to move toward.


Amid these and other transitions, one lifeline to which I cling is the belief that our God is faithful. Even before returning to the Church at the age of 27, I had already received the blessed awareness that I needn’t to worry too much about wherever I might go—I have never wanted for lack of encountering good people. With my adult faith in God, and plugged into the Marist family as I am, this confidence is greater still, as it would be even if I didn’t already have friends and brothers awaiting me in Brownsville, TX.


Every Memorial Day Weekend, the Marist Province of the USA hosts a Marist Youth Gathering that brings together young people and their chaperons from across North America, along with various facilitators and coordinators. As some might imagine, the students are always changing, but many of the adult and young adult faces return time and again. There is always a considerable representation of Marist Brothers present, but most of the essential roles are filled by Lay Marists young and old.


I was speaking with one of the adult team members on the last day of the program—somebody who is rather new to our Marist community—who was very taken by the extent to which our Marist charism lives not only in the Marist Brothers, but also in so many Lay Marists and in the community we create together along with the young people we serve. He already possessed some conceptual understanding of these things, but now he was experiencing it in a powerfully compelling way. Marist Family had become real to him.


I am grateful to be part of this Marist Family, and count myself lucky to have a branch of this family to welcome me in Texas, as well as when I travel to Guatemala, Colombia, and the Philippines later this year. As in any family, we have our differences and misunderstandings at times, but these take place within a deeper context of mutual belonging. How lucky we are.


The theme of this Year of Marist Vocations has been “caring for and generating Marist life.” This is something that all members of our Marist family are called to do in some way or another, whether it means supporting each other or inviting new members into our family, but it also implies the need to practice healthy self-care. I can think of no better way to end this blog series than by echoing the Christian mandate to love others, ourselves, and our God, and to recognize the interrelatedness of these tasks. What better way to care for and generate Marist life?



This month’s ‘ear candy’ is a celebration of new beginnings as we head into another summer and I move on into a post-blog life. The ‘brain food’ reports surprisingly good news on Mississippi’s recent achievements in education while demonstrating the importance of looking beyond our assumptions. What an opportunity to celebrate new life in places that once seemed unlikely!


Ear Candy: “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone

Brain Food: “Mississippi Is Offering Lessons for America on Education” by Nicholas Kristof


That’s it for this blog series! Thank you for your support!


Previous Posts:


May 6 – In God’s Time

Apr 1 – Countdown 

Mar 4 – Joy in the Holy Spirit

Feb 4 – Second Coat

Jan 7 – Pick It Up. Carry It.


Dec 3 – Waiting for Us

Nov 12 – Millstones

Oct 1 – House of Healing

Sep 3 – Voice 

Aug 6 – Journey

Jul 2 – If the Lord Does Not Build the Playhouse

Jun 4 – The Sacrament of Fun

May 7 – How They Love

Apr 2 – Be Like Mary

Mar 5 – Unbound

Feb 5 – Glitch 

Jan 8 – Making It Real


Dec 4 – Reason for Hope

Nov 6 – Unspeakable Love

Oct 2 – God of the Always

Sep 4 – Time Unchained

Aug 7 – Pray for Us

Jul 3 – Real Presence

Jun 5 – Bag of Squirrels

May 1 – Brothers 

Apr 3 – Plan B

Mar 6 – Times 40

Feb 6 – Testimony 

Jan 2 – Unconditional 


Dec 5 – Gestation

Nov 7 – Where Hope Lives

Oct 3 – Enough 

Sep 5 – Assembly Required

Aug 1 – Stumped 

July 4 – Bitter and Sweet

June 6 – Fire

May 30 – Brother’s Keeper

May 23 – Remote

May 16 – Getting By

Apr. 25 – Thank God It’s Saturday

Apr. 18 – Joseph’s Fiat

Apr. 11 – Bells & Sirens

Apr. 4 – Adaptation

Mar. 28 – Guest Column

Mar. 21 – Moving Forward

Mar. 14 – Reality Check

Mar. 7 – Soar 

Feb. 29 – Hiking Lessons

Feb. 22 – Love in the Desert

Feb. 15 – Beautiful Life

Feb. 8 – Bad Science

Feb. 1 – All Shall Be Well

Jan. 25 – Let Somebody Love You

Jan. 18 – Extraordinary Time

Jan. 11 – L’Chaim!

Jan. 4 – Decisive


Dec. 28 – Can’t Alone

Dec. 21 – Unexpected Gifts 

Dec. 14 – No Room

Dec. 7 – End of the World

Nov. 30 – Elective Unpleasantness

Nov. 23 – Always Greater

Nov. 16 – Coloring Book

Nov. 9 – Justice and Mercy

Nov. 2 – Together in Loneliness

Oct. 26 – Gently

Oct. 19 – Flow

Oct. 12 – In This Place

Oct. 5 – Why Understanding

Sep. 28 – Stone to Flesh

Sep. 21 – Let God

Sep. 14 – Passion

Sep. 7 – Hermanos

Aug. 31 – 525,600

Aug. 24 – Pathway

Aug. 17 – Crazy Together

Aug. 10 – To Bridge

Aug. 3 – Stripes

July 27 – Ghost Town

July 20 – Adrift

July 13 – Borders without Borders

July 6 – Little Bit at a Time

June 29 – Holy Dissent

June 22 – Old Kentucky Home

June 15 – Steamer Trunk

June 8 – Squad

June 1 – Legacy

May 25 – Live like You’re Loved

May 18 – Purity of Heart

May 11 – Builders and Creator

May 4 – Value Proposition

Apr. 27 – Vital Signs

Apr. 20 – Let It Be Real

Apr. 13 – Meet Self

Apr. 6 – Let Go of the Best

Mar. 30 – Thirst

Mar. 23 – Back Home

Mar. 16 – Say Goodbye

Mar. 9 – Garden and Desert

Mar. 2 – In Transit

Feb. 23 – Wealth

Feb. 16 – In Place

Feb. 9 – Each and All

Feb. 2 – Not Disneyland

Jan. 26 – Pilgrim People

Jan. 19 – Waking Dream

Jan. 12 – Called and Sent

Jan. 5 – Divine Encounter


Dec. 29 -- Resolution

Dec. 22 – Room for Love?

Dec. 15 – Humbug!

Dec. 8 – Let It Begin with Me

Dec. 1 – Driven by Love

Nov. 24 – What Manner of King

Nov. 17 – Stranger

Nov. 10 – I Need Help to Be Holy

Nov. 3 – Fully Alive

Oct. 27 – Behind the Curtain

Oct. 20 – Questions. Answers?

Oct. 13 – Stumble & Fall

Oct. 6 – Young World

Sep. 29 – Defend Us in Battle

Sep. 22 – The Taste of Water

Sep. 15 – God’s Plan

Sep. 8 – Life Finds a Way