What do you call the first ” in person” gathering of a community that has been meeting daily online for five years? Is it a reunion? But, technically, don’t we have to meet first to have a reunion? We already know each other face’s from photos, voices from phone calls, and spirits from the daily sharing of our prayers and life. But this was our first ‘in the flesh’ visit….an incarnational moment. And what a moment it was! Maybe one day I’ll be able to put this moment into words, but all I can do right now is savor it
We were given an incredible welcome by the the Marianist Brothers of Ballybrack. They have wined us, and dined us, and even provided us with some local Irish talent, Sean Frayne, for an evening of song and laughter. Sean is an alumnus of St. Laurence school. And, thanks to Susan, our days are packed with sight-seeing and fun.
Last night, we gathered for prayer and shared gifts and items brought from home. We joined Pati in Philadelphia via a Skype call, wishing she could have been with us. Joanne and Chris suprised us with a new OLRT logo. The ceramic version is in the group picture above. Joanne also gave us each a carved, wooden symbol to take home. This morning, we finally had a community lectio prayer in person. It was amazing to hear the voices and see the faces.
Mary shared her excitement at finally being together for Eucharist. We gathered with the Brothers to celebrate the feast of St. Catherine of Siena – lovely timing! During our shared homily, the immensity of the moment was felt by all. We were touched to hear the brothers speak of their happiness to be part of our retreat, as much as we were happy to be with them. Yet another great moment of Marianist family spirit.
As usual, I’m writing this blog late in the evening and we’re getting up early tomorrow for a trip to Dublin. Hopefully I can post more tomorrow. I need to get a good group shot of all our hosts….with another dear friend who’s visiting from the other side of the pond!
Thank you to all who are sending best wishes and prayers!