Photo: Felix Carroll
'People Don't Want Bromides'
By Dan Valenti (Jun 23, 2010)
As Provincial Superior of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC, leads 84 men in the United States and Argentina. Part of his job is dealing with the day-to-day matters that concern his "family of brothers."
More than that, though, a leader is expected to show vision. That is, he must articulate a series of goals, along with plans for implementing them, that lead to success. Much rides on a leader's ability to do this.
Since taking over as Provincial following the death of Fr. Mark Garrow, MIC, in October 2007, Fr. Dan has identified one overriding "umbrella" goal: "the urgency of spreading the message of Divine Mercy." He realizes how much people need (and want) a reliable source of hope.
"I don't have to tell the laity about the evils of the world and even the wrongs committed by the Church," Fr. Dan says. "People don't want bromides. They want a reliable source of relief, genuine hope. I can honestly put forth God's love and mercy."
When he became provincial head, Fr. Dan established clear, precise goals that would help the Marians succeed. In asking him for his "State of the Union" address for the province, he refers to these goals.
(1) Open a mission in the Philippines. It opened in June 2008 and has been growing since.
(2) Within three years, open a mission in India. Land has been purchased in the southern part of the nation, and the Marians have the support of a local bishop.
(3) Greater productivity on Eden Hill. Workers and managers at the Marian Helpers Center have adopted practices to do more with less.
(4) Make more efficient use of the Internet. Many strides have been taken to boost the Marians' web presence.
(5) Strengthen the Marian formation program. Father Dan cites the incorporation of clinical pastoral education (CPE). The CPE initiative will put young Marians to work in settings such as hospitals and jails. "The idea is to integrate their education with real-world suffering. The message of mercy is often best received by those confined where suffering takes place."
(6) Outreach to parishes. In March, Fr. Dan began a series of parish missions that will take place at a two-a-month clip until the end of the year.
With Fr. Dan, a bear of a man who laughs easily, somehow it doesn't seem lonely at the top.