A New Fulcrum: Marianist Horizons Today

A New Fulcrum
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What thoughtful person fails to see that the old levers that once moved our moral world now somehow need another fulcrum?

—Blessed William Joseph Chaminade


In A New Fulcrum: Marianist Horizons Today, Father David Fleming, former Superior General of the Society of Mary, muses and expounds on key questions of contemporary Marianist life, but always through the magnifying lens of Blessed Chaminade’s quest for a “new fulcrum.” Father Fleming’s work contains 10 essays covering topics pertaining to Marianist education, spirituality, leadership, mixed composition, and identity.
 
A New Fulcrum is a seminal work for today’s Marianist Family, a must-read publication, one which only could be written by someone steeped in Marianist spirituality and thought from years of imbuing the vision and mission of our Marianist Founder. Father Fleming agreed to publish his thinking under the middle initial J., for “Joseph,” a custom allotted to Superiors General of the Society, as this work is a critical embodiment of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade’s vision for today’s Marianist Family.
 
Here is an excerpt from Father Fleming’s essay “Prayer: Chaminade’s Teaching and Today’s Life”:
From the beginning to the end of his work as a spiritual guide,
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was preoccupied with nothing
so much as with the life of prayer. This enduring preoccupation
must have sprung from a deep personal experience of prayer. But
we know very little about Chaminade’s own prayer life. He was
very quiet about it, as about other aspects of his private feelings.
Rarely, he gave his followers, almost unintentionally it seems, a
glimpse into his personal life of prayer, a hint of deep personal
experience. But that is all. We can learn about his approach to
prayer mainly from his numerous conferences, letters, and writings
prepared for disciples who were beginners. His best testament of
prayer lies in his ongoing efforts to form them.
 
In this essay, I would like to show how key strands in the
rich Catholic tradition of prayer directly influenced Chaminade.
Then I also hope to note some additional spiritual traditions
available in today’s Church and point out ways in which they may
possibly be integrated into Marianist spirituality.
To find out more about these “additional spiritual traditions,” order a copy of A New Fulcrum: Marianist Horizons Today.

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  • Read the Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments ....................................................................... vi

    Chapters

    1. Faith and the Role of Mary

    Central Axes of the Marianist Tradition ................................1

    2. The Founder and Ourselves

    Marianists as “Missionaries Apostolic” ..............................15

    3. Marianist Charism: Social Transformation

    Or Middle-Class Conformity? .............................................37

    4. Mixed Composition

    Some Cultural and Social Aspects .......................................55

    5. Prayer: Chaminade’s Teaching

    And Today’s Life .................................................................75

    6. Leadership Styles Throughout

    Marianist History .................................................................97

    7. What Makes University Education

    “Marianist”? ......................................................................143

    8. Marianist University Education

    Probing an Identity ............................................................147

    9. Note on Education for Truth and Values

    In “Postmodern” Times .....................................................163

    10. Toward a Marianist Future

    A Marianist Spiritual Family? ...........................................177