I’m writing this in Fiumicino Airport waiting for my flight to Chicago, which is a mere six hours late! The good thing is, thanks to an early morning text, I got word before I left for the airport. The other good thing—aka blessing—is that I was able to stay for the closing session, which featured Brother Bob’s closing remarks and our commissioning service in the sanctuary of the main chapel.
Here the General Council is praying a blessing over all of us Visitors; you can see the Founder’s reliquary in the background. We ended by singing together ,”Honneur a Toi”, which I found really moving. I guess being right there in the sanctuary, surrounded by my fellow “Principal Brothers” and so near the relics of St. John Baptist de La Salle, really brought it all home to me.
Our sessions this week got very practical as we discussed the importance of accompaniment both of the Brothers in our charge as well as the GC’s responsibility to accompany us as Visitors. Yesterday we surfaced our hopes and ideas for the Intercapitular session in 2018; Brother Ricky Laguda led us through the process in which we all had an opportunity to see what everyone had come up with.
Josh McElwee, Rome corespondent for the National Catholic Reporter, was our guest for lunch on Tuesday. I had gotten to know Josh several years ago when he was a Lasallian Volunteer living at the Catholic Worker in Kansas City and interning at NCR. It was very interesting to hear him talk about all his experiences covering this endlessly fascinating and unpredictable Pope.
Brothers Martin and Pedro from the District of Antilles-South Mexico gave each attendee one of these lovely blue shirts, so when we took our obligatory group photo Tuesday, we all wore them.
So, it’s been a rather intense ten days, but also very good. To experience international brotherhood with so many good and dedicated men is an inspiration and an affirmation. We all share so many of the same issues but also the same hopes and dreams. We have no doubt this amazing Lasallian charism entrusted to us will live on. We are simply trying to make sure we do everything we can to assure that it thrives and that we continue to encourage one another to cross the many borders and boundaries that get in the way of serving the most vulnerable.
It’s all about faith and zeal—-and of course, association. Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!
Ciao for now.