What a glorious weekend this past weekend in Dayton, Ohio. The leaves were changing and the weather was just perfect! We held our annual Directors Meeting at Bergamo. The Directors from the 37 local Marianist communities gathered for sharing best practices and challenges in exercising leadership in our local communities. Other time was devoted to some of the mundane that is necessary in running a house, ie, emergency contact, medical information, living wills, budgets and other sources information that assists a director in exercising his leadership. The first night the Novitiate community hosted a great social and the other two nights were hosted in the Bergamo Retreat Center. As always, it was good to see some Brothers and catch up with the "happenings" of their lives.
On Saturday morning we all attended the Ordination of Sean Downing, S.M.. The service was held at the UD Chapel and the choir made the ordination an outstanding experience. The ordaining bishop, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia from San Antonio was so pastoral and caring during the whole time he was with us. I think he delivered the best ordination homily I've heard in recent years! Close to 300 people attended the Ordination and the dinner that followed. Lot's of good food, conversation, and plenty of wine was had by all! The next day, Fr. Sean celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving with close to 100 people attending. He did an excellent job in presiding and preaching for the first time as Fr. Sean....there will be many more times and years ahead of him. It certainly brought me back to my own ordination 17 years ago. The memories are still priceless!
Ordination Day. I was one of 40 concelebrants who was able to lay hands on Sean during the Ordination Ritual. For the welcome to his new role among us as priest in the community, a line of close to 100 Brothers and Priests waited to embrace him and wish him peace during the Sign of Peace..it was a beautiful moment!
Sean and I at the reception
The Founders of the Marianist Family: Fr. Chaminade, Mother Adele and Marie Terese de Lamorous
This is hanging in the new Chaminade Center on the property of Bergamo
The 3 Founders (puppets) reading their own Biographies!
After my time in Dayton, I flew to St. Louis to go to some doctors appointments and to celebrate Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar (Oct 12) at one of our Marianist Sponsored Secondary Schools. I was invited to preside by my good friend Mallory Green. She is currently the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary's. I arrived early (7:30am) to hear some Confessions before Mass and then celebrated a festive Eucharist with close to 400 high school boys! It was great seeing Mallory whom I knew when I lived in Hawaii. I helped her during her time at St. Louis School by presiding at Masses, hearing Confessions, and helping out on Retreats. We were part of a Lay Community together. She is committed to the Marianist Charism and is a breath of fresh air...it was so good to see her again.
Mallory and guess who?
So, I returned back home to Mexico last night. Today I will hear First Confessions and the weekend will be booked with special Masses for the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar in one of the colonia (Friday 9pm and Saturday 2pm), and 3 Masses on Sunday. So, this American will be busy preparing 3 homilies for the next 3 days....God give me strength!
Have a great one!!!