A Catholic Monthly Magazine

‘A Marian Church’ in the words of a European Marist

Francois Marc

Fr Francois Marc sm

Craig Larkin in his Booklet Bearings, recalls a French Marist Fr Francois Marc who died of cancer at 47.

He took his Marist vows in 1968 and lived through the turbulent years of hope and conflict that European society in general, and the Church and the Society of Mary in particular experienced at that time. In his early years his spirituality had been shaped by the ecumenical monsastic community at Taizé and by the Trappist monastery at Tamié. His years of ministry were spent as a chaplain in Marist schools in France. His battle with cancer was a long one. His confidence in God and his love for his Marist vocation are reflected in the well-known reflection he wrote on “The Marian Church”

He begins his reflection: “ I would like to plead for a Marian Church; not for a church which multiplies processions and blesses huge statues, rather a church which ‘lives the gospel after the manner of Mary’ “.

"The Marian Church rejoices and sings. Instead of bemoaning its fate and the world’s woes, she is in wonder at the beauty there is on the earth, and in the human heart, as she sees what God is doing there...

"The Marian Church despairs of no one, and does not quench the smoking flax. When she sees someone on the side of the road wounded by life, she is moved with compassion and with infinite tenderness tends their wounds. She is the safe harbour who is always open, the refuge of sinners, mother of mercy.”

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