The Marist Laity Service Committee is a group of lay volunteers who work under the
guidance of Father Edwin L. Keel, S.M., Promoter of the Laity for the Atlanta
Province.  The Committee’s purpose is to serve the Marist lay movement in the
Province especially in the areas of materials and communications.  The Committee
meets twice a year at The Marist Laity Center in New Orleans, and members of the
Committee work on their respective areas of responsibility throughout the year.  

Meeting October 20-22, 2006

The members of the Committee devoted time not only to their own formation in the
Marist spirituality as individuals and as a Committee, but they also discussed a wide
range of concerns and projects.

The following were among the many items on the Committee’s agenda:

The development of formation materials under the title of “Marist
Words to Ponder.”  These will be offered to group leaders for use at meetings.

The first issue of a newsletter for group leaders and other interested Marists
was published in September and was well received.  

It was reported that 96 copies of the formation program, “Doing the Work of
Mary: An Introduction to the Marist Way,” have been distributed.  Copies have
been sent to Marists in the U.S. and 12 other countries.

The Committee is attempting to finalize a Spanish translation of the formation

The Committee welcomed the news that two new Marist groups are forming—one in
Missouri and one in South Florida.  

Two departing Committee members were honored with cards and gifts.  Jackie Ball has
been a Committee member since 2000 and has served terms as Secretary and
Chairperson.  Rosita Martinez has been a Committee member since 2000 and has
served as Vice-Chairperson.  They will be missed.  The Committee chose new officers.

Meeting March 16-18, 2007                                     

Three new Committee Members were warmly welcomed.  Don and Rosemary Kean
have been lay Marists since the 1980s, and both have experience in leading the lay
group at our Lady of Lourdes, in Melbourne, Florida.  Sheila Barrett, also a Marist of
long standing, started a new lay group in Coral Springs, Florida, in 2006.  They bring
knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to the lay movement.

Rosemary, Don and Sheila shared the story of how Don and Rosemary mentored
the group started by Sheila.  Don and Rosemary stayed in close communication with
Sheila and invited her to visit the group in Melbourne.  Rosemary and Don then visited
the new group in Coral Springs.  In a casual setting, they shared their stories.  Sheila
tells us that the personal witness of Don and Rosemary was “the biggest launch for our

This model of members of an established group visiting and mentoring a new group is
not new.  In the past in the United States, the more experienced groups “adopted”
newer groups.  Sometimes they called the newer groups “daughter” or “associate”
groups.  If distances were too great to permit personal visits, the parent group regularly
sent letters.  There are stories of newer lay Marists traveling for hours to attend
meetings of a more established group.  

Communication among groups, new or established, is vital.  While distances between
our groups is a huge obstacle, there are many ways to communicate in our times, and
we encourage much more communication between and among lay Marists.  Let us
know if members of your group are interested in sending packets of letters, or regular e-
mails, to another group.  Or just go ahead and do this—see the list of groups on this

From left to right:
Sheila Barrett from Coral Springs, FL
Don and Rosemary Dean
from Melbourne, FL


                                        Bob, Ed, Fr Edwin
                              Martha, Mary-Ann, Rosemary, Don
                                Joyce, Christine, Diane, Sheila

The Committee is meeting later on this month in New Orleans.

For a list of members of the Committee,
click here  
Marist Laity Service Committee

Atlanta Province