"To the Honor of God"
Last night, three friends from the road -- Glenn McDonald, Andrew Leung and Jose del Toro -- made their final profession as Basilians in the community's eponymous mother church located on the campus of the U of T. Today, they're being ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop Ron Fabbro of London, himself a former superior-general of the congregation, founded in France in 1822.
Please God, they'll be ordained to the priesthood in April... and not soon enough -- because we need them out there.
Earlier in the year, I was blessed to spend much of my week in TO with the new deacons and the three other scholastics in residence at the Basilian scholasticate there, Frassati House. Thanks to that time, getting to experience the depth of their commitment, hear their stories, see the joy their "yes" has brought them and the life it's brought others, their vibrant, easy-going community spirit and, especially, coming to know their many, many talents (and how the community's supported their engagement and creativity in the work of the church to the greatest extent possible), to say I came away energized and encouraged barely scratches the surface. And the experience has remained much alive with me since.
Bottom line: in these guys, I've seen the future. And it's is in good hands... very, very good hands.
To prepare for this weekend, the scholastics made their retreat on pilgrimage in the Holy Land, and recently contributed to a podcast about themselves and how they got here. (On top of undertaking a community blog during their summer apostolates.) So you can get to know them, too, the program can be accessed either via the "raw" link or through iTunes. Most of all, please keep our new deacons, their confreres -- and everyone pursuing a vocation out there in whatever form, but especially in the sem or consecrated life -- in your prayers.
A few weeks ago, I got an e.mail asking whether my contemporaries "are up to the task of passing on the faith as remarkably as this past generation."
In these scholastics, and so many others, I see the answer: we are. And just as none of us can make our way alone, I'm grateful in no small measure for that little house in Toronto with a big heart and big spirit that's helped inspire me to keep on keepin' on.
Congrats, guys -- God love you for many years!