I never cease to be amazed at how one commitment leads to another and how the unexpected seems to become the norm. Here I am writing to you from the Eternal City, Rome, on what would have been the the 92nd anniversary of my mother’s birth, surrounded by my Brothers from all over the world.
There are 49 of us representing some 38 countries remaining for the last three weeks, as 17 partners and one Brother left last weekend. Monday – Friday each week is pretty well scheduled with talks and discussion, always navigating the three main languages of our Institute (Spanish, French and English).
Unfortunately, I missed the talks by Brothers Chuey Rubio, Joseph Felix and Alvaro, our Superior General. Alan tells me all three were very good. Fortunately, the chapter we had at Techny, which caused me to miss the talks, was also very good.
The highlight of the sessions so far for me has been those presented by Br. Sean Sammon, a Marist Brother from the United States. He spoke very practically about the identity of the Brother in the Church and Religious Life prior to and after Vatican II. He addressed Community noting that such requires a free commitment to live, work, pray, and relax with a specific group of people and is meant to help us carry out our primary mission which is to love God and make God known and loved. He concluded by distinguishing between Celibacy (being unmarried) and Celibate Chastity (a way of being a sexual/intimate person).
Two and a half weeks remain so you will here from us again.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever.
Br. Stephen Markham