*Please only request Mother Marla Marie if you participate in an Eastern Rite Liturgy
Peace in Christ the Light!
I’m Mother Marla Marie of the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light, an Eastern Rite community, and I have been in religious life for 37 years. Praise God! I would like to share my vocation journey with you.
I recall vividly the moment I realized our Lord was calling me to be all for him. I had just graduated from university and was going full speed ahead in my career plans as a journalist in Washington, DC.
Then something, someone, changed everything. Jesus made it clear to me that my life was meant to be offered as a consecrated religious to serve his people. I was captivated by His love and drawn deeply to let go, leave all things and to follow him. The next year I entered a Roman Catholic congregation serving in the mission of evangelization and catechesis.
Again, God knocked on the door of my heart with a call within a call. In 2008 after twenty-five years of joyfully serving our Lord, I was called to return to my Eastern Catholic roots. In collaboration with His Excellency, Bishop Gregory J. Mansour, of the Eparchy of St. Maron Brooklyn, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light began. This new endeavor became the first Maronite religious congregation of women to be founded in the United States and in the world outside of Lebanon and Syria. It is a great joy for me to return to my Maronite roots and to live our Eastern Catholic spirituality.
Our congregation serves the Church as the spiritual mothers of the parish in imitation of Mary, radiating the Light of Christ in our life of contemplative prayer, penance, and apostolic mission. We serve alongside our priests in pastoral ministry reaching out with a maternal touch to the many needs of the parish family.
I have learned that each vocation journey is personal and sacred. It is God who calls and He then invites our free response. I have also learned that each vocation is an adventure of love no matter where the road may lead. Jesus holds out his hand and invites, “come, follow me.” May Mary, the Mother of God, be your companion and model on this discernment journey. “Behold the servant of the Lord, let it be done to me according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38).
Fun Facts: I delight in a summer bike ride or walk on the beach, and in the winter a toboggan ride or throwing snowballs! I like growing vegetables and making the sisters a fresh tabouli salad. I enjoy having guests over for our Prayer & Supper evenings to share our eastern spirituality and hospitality.