Page 23 - Marist Magazine Fall 2012

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radioed our guide saying they had spotted goril-
las. Back on the trail, we suddenly cut into the
jungle, led by our machete-wielding guide.
Down a slope, then around the corner we
encountered our first silverback gorilla, lying on
his back as he munched on plants. He looked at
us and continued to eat throughout our photo
Our final four nights were in the town of
Masaka, the hometown of Dr. Mark and his
family. The clinic that Dr. Mark owns here is
in the bush, about 30 minutes from town. Still
under construction, it has no running water and
only a hole in the ground for a toilet.
Our lab work consisted of doing quick tests
for malaria and HIV. Here we again used many
$5 Wal-Mart specials—generic glasses of dif-
ferent magnification—and “cured” blindness.
We also cured deafness by removing wax from
many an ear canal.
Other memorable activities included a visit
to a church in the bush. The church was made
of sticks and straw and had blown down the
week before, but it was rebuilt and finished the
day before we arrived. About 25 members of the
congregation were present, including African
drummers. We each stood in front of the con-
gregation and through an interpreter gave a brief
comment on who we were and a comment about
our mission. It was a moving event.
Then it was off to another church founded
12 years ago by Dr. Mark’s wife, Beatrice, who
was the pastor. She had a following of about
4,000 parishioners. We arrived at the end of
the service and a wedding ceremony followed.
Again we were asked to come on stage and give
a brief commentary.
We also visited an orphanage and school
founded by Pastor Beatrice with 23 children four
years ago in one small building. It now has more
than 500 students, of which 280 board there.
As we rolled into the driveway, an amazing
sight greeted us. About 100 children were lined
up on both sides of the driveway, cheering and
waving as tears flowed from our group. We took
pictures, sang, and danced with all the children
and told stories as they gathered around us.
Later we were on our way, battling rush-
hour traffic en route to a 46th birthday party for
the wife of the pastor at the tent church where
we had held our first clinic. What a treat—
African wedding and birthday on the same trip.
My watch stopped working four days into
the trip and I didn’t miss it at all. No cell phone,
either. It was a great, relaxing, slow pace of life.
I will certainly be back next summer if not
sooner. I now know why this was on my bucket
list. Anybody ready for a great adventure: join
our group!
Readers may contact Dr. Weinman at
Bro. Sean Sammon ’70, FMS,
Delivers Champagnat Lecture
Pictured at the Champagnat Lecture were
(left to right) President Dennis J. Murray, Bro.
Sean Sammon ’70, FMS, Dr. John Allan Knight,
assistant professor of religious studies and
coordinator of the Catholic Studies Program,
and Bro. Frank Kelly ’73, FMS, director of
Campus Ministry.
arist Scholar-in-Residence and Trustee
Bro. Sean Sammon ’70, FMS, spoke
on “Leadership for a Global Society within a
Marist Tradition” in Marist College’s annual
Champagnat Lecture this past spring.
The free, public presentation, held in the
Nelly Goletti Theatre, focused on attitudes
and tools needed for effective leadership in
the Catholic Church and society during the
21st century and also addressed emerging
challenges facing leaders.
Prior to his appointments as scholar-in-
residence and trustee, Brother Sean was supe-
rior general and vicar general of the Marist
Brothers internationally and a leader of one
of the Brothers’ U.S. provinces. He has also
served as president of the Conference of Major
Superiors of Men, a group that represents the
leadership of Catholic religious congregations
within the United States. In 2011, Brother Sean
received the St. Edmund’s Medal of Honor
from the Edmundite Fathers and Brothers
for his contributions to the Catholic Church.
In addition to his BA from Marist, he holds
a PhD in clinical psychology from Fordham
The annual Champagnat Lecture is
sponsored by the St. Marcellin Endowment
for Catholic Activities at Marist College. It was
created to commemorate the 1999 canoniza-
tion of Marcellin Champagnat, who founded
the Marist Brothers in 1817 as a teaching order
dedicated to serving the educational and spiri-
tual needs of youth.
“My watch stopped working four days
into the trip and I didn’t miss it at all.”
Many Marist Brothers attended the 2012 Champagnat Lecture.
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