The meeting this month occurred on the Solemnity of All saints – and, this year, was the 25th anniversary of the Canonization of St. Gaspar Bertoni.
As usual, the meeting opened with a concelebrated Mass – with our Marist confreres who live with us here, and our Reverend Provincial, Fr. Gregory Hoppough. Fr. Hoppough had to leave after Mass to attend a Memorial service for a much loved faculty member of near-by St. Pope John 23rd Seminary, the late Fr. Thomas Schmidt.
In the homily, the emphasis was on St. Gaspar Bertoni’s service of Holy Abandonment to the Church – honoring the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with the intercession of the Holy Spouses Mary and Joseph – as his living of the ˆFiatˆ in the Lord’s Prayer. The Our Father was presented as the prayer of Hope of the Baptized committing each one to self-giving in their abandonment to the Trinity and in service to the Church.
The Prayer of St. Ignatius [Suscipe – cf. Sp. Ex. # 234] which expresses the Ignatian Mode of serving the Church, in the Company of Jesus – expressing loving obedience to His Father, as the Jesuit does to the Pope. A comparison was also made with the Prayer of Holy Abandonment of Charles de Foucauld. These are inspired interpretations of each one’s personal charism.
For St. Gaspar Bertoni, his mode of self-giving, was modeled on that of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his loving obedience to the Pope, St. Gaspar wanted a similar spirit to serve the Church as expressed through the apostolic needs of the Bishops of the world.
During the meeting, a letter was read from our “long-distance” members of the group, Tereza and Vicente Lopes, natives of Brazil, but presently living and working in Plano Texas. Their suggestion was to make note of the Stigmatine blog which they are managing, for news concerning the Stigmatines [http://stigmatines.com/blog/].
Due to the small number of members attending, the discussion ensued whether our format for meetings is acceptable – or, if there is any other way membership could be increased. The ultimate decision on the continuance of the group is s Province matter.
The Baptismal nature of all charisms seems also to flow from the very mysterious life within the Trinity as we read in both Paul and John that God so loved the world that He gave up His only Son – and the Son shows His love for us, by handing over His life on the Cross. St. Ignatius wanted all Jesuits to be in the company of Jesus and His loving obedience, by a special commitment to the Pope. St. Gaspar Bertoni hoped that all interested n the Stigmatine charism might offer the holy abandonment to the most Blessed Trinity, but a true commitment to their vocation in life.
The next meeting was set tentatively for December 6th, at the usual time, 9:00 a.m. for Mass.