This past weekend Brothers in various stages of initial formation plus their formators met at St. Charles Borromeo Retreat Center, adjacent to Lewis University. It was their first meeting in the Midwest District. Brother Stephen Markham coordinated the retreat which involved the young Brothers in the USA-Toronto Region, along with four international Brothers who are studying at Saint Mary’s University in Winona.
The retreat began with a social and dinner hosted by the Brothers of La Salle Community on Lewis Campus. Friday evening, four Brothers from the Midwest spoke on their experiences of being called into leadership. The evening ended with a Taize prayer led by Brother Michael French, who also facilitated the Saturday morning session on leadership.
On Saturday evening, Bro. James Gaffaney hosted the group in the lobby of the new science building on campus. That was followed by mass back at St. Charles Borromeo celebrated by Fr. Paul Novak, OSM, president of De La Salle Institute in Chicago.
The retreat wrapped up on Sunday morning with prayer and an input session on the weekend as well as a sharing of possible topics for the fall retreat to be held in the San Francisco District.
Brother Michael Miller from DENA shared this about the weekend: “The panel of four Brothers who spoke Friday evening provided much insight about the journey this vocation leads those who are open to the movement of the Spirit in their lives. Br. Michael French also led an engaging and thought-provoking morning about the varying forms of leadership we as Brothers can and will take. Br. James Gaffney made those of us from outside the Midwest District feel most welcome by his hospitality at Lewis University. Of course, I was gratified to see my classmates again and to catch up on our lives and experiences since the last gathering (in November). All in all, in was a refreshing weekend.”
Let me just add what an honor and blessing it was to be part of Friday night’s panel with my three fellow Midwest District Brothers. It made me very proud of all the good that this group has helped bring into birth in our district.
A special THANKS to Bro. Stephen for all that he did to make this weekend so successful. That included lots of trips to and from airports! And what a blessing to have Brothers in initial formation in our Region. Here’s to many more in the years ahead!