Friday, January 11, 2008

Back in the Bronx . . .

. . . and back to blogging, after an unanticipated two-week hiatus. The chief reason that this is the first post of 2008 is that I've been on the go nearly constantly since my last post and haven't spent much time before a computer screen. The Jesuit formation gathering at Milford went well - it was great to catch up with my classmates who are studying in Chicago, and the various presentations on the themes of communication (particularly preaching) were uniformly stimulating. I didn't make it to the Taft Museum, but I did get to see the Krohn Conservatory and had dinner one night with a few other Jesuits at a fine Thai restaurant in Cincinnati's Mount Adams neighborhood. After a brief return home to Massachusetts, I flew to Montreal where I met up with a couple other scholastics from Ciszek for a four-day visit to the community where I made my retreat last year. Undaunted by piles of snow and sub-zero temperatures, I took my companions to familiar sights (like the Oratory) as well as some I'd never seen before (such as the small but well-curated Musée Marguerite Bourgeoys). I also made what will almost certainly be my last visit to the Trappist monastery at Oka, which the monks are leaving behind this summer to take up residence in quieter and smaller premises elsewhere in Quebec. All told, I had an enjoyable break, and if I have the opportunity I may soon post some pictures.

Returning to New York earlier this week, I joined the rest of my cohorts from Ciszek Hall for our annual vow renovation triduum at Inisfada on Long Island. This three-day silent retreat gave us a chance to prayerfully reflect both on our individual progress in the vowed life and on the state of our life together in community. We also offered daily prayers during the retreat for the ongoing 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus. The highest governing body in the Society, the General Congregation is expected to elect a successor to Father General Peter-Hans Kolvenbach and will likely issue documents on various areas of Jesuit life. To learn more about this General Congregation and its work, take a look at the GC35 websites hosted by the Jesuit Curia, the U.S. Jesuit Conference, the Jesuit Province of France, and Creighton University's Office of Collaborative Ministry. More importantly, please pray for the Society and its leaders during this time of discernment and transition. AMDG.


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