Villanelle for a Marianist

Mahalo for a combined 170 years of faithful service. Pix by Kapono Ryan.

This poem was written in honor of Fr John Bolin S.M. and his “traveling companions” to mark his 50th year of priesthood in 2005. We dearly miss his presence and his grace in our lives.  We feel confident that he would approve this poem being given another airing to pay tribute today to fellow Marianists  (from left)  Bro. Jerry Bommer, Bro. Tom Spring & Bro. Bob Maruyama.


They travel light, these men on a fabled journey.

They’ve heard of wondrous worlds and they believe.

Seeking treasure, they find ways to honor Mary.

There is no map to speak of.  All they carry

Is a faith that illuminates. Leaving their homes

They travel light, these men on a fabled journey.

Their lives, like the decades of the rosary,

Embrace the Mysteries, wherever they lead.

Seeking treasure, they find ways to honor Mary.

Popes and presidents find ways to parry

Challenge with rendition. Not they who look to Mary:

They travel light, these men on a fabled journey.

To her Spiritual Maternity, they pledge stability;

A filial devotion to service, justice, peace.

Seeking treasure, they find ways to honor Mary.

A call so clear, impossible to resist, drew them surely

On. Wasn’t it yesterday that they left it all behind?

They travel light, these men on a fabled journey;

Seeking treasure, they find ways to honor Mary.

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3 comments on “Villanelle for a Marianist
  1. Gwen mayer says:

    All your posts are so well-thought out, so clear, so beautifully-written. However, it’s so sad that we don’t/ can’t have people in power who are of your ilk.

  2. kaysiemc@aol.com says:

    Love is such a powerful gift to write about. Thank you for this.

    • Kapono Ryan says:

      The poem is beautiful. What I am amazed about the vowed religious who celebrate their jubilees is their faithfulness over decades of change. Fr. Bolin, Brothers Bommer, Maruyama and Spring, and others like them, encourage me to continue the journey. They are a testament to the truth of “Spiritual Maternity.”

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