We received this email from Jim Polito, one of our Monastic Immersion Weekend participants and pass it on to our readers. I think Jim’s sentiments were felt by everybody…
I just wanted to say thanks, and express my appreciation and gratitude for the great weekend at Holy Cross Abbey. I did not think that you could develop community in less than 48 hours(5 p.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Sunday), but this somehow really happened. The men on retreat did become a community, everybody shared, everybody was open, and specifically we became a small community that is part of the larger HCA community. It occurs to me how delicate a thing this is. Too much direction would have been stifling, too little and we would have had no focus, no intent. I am grateful for all that went into making this happen.
The weekend has really deepened my appreciation for the monastic vocation, in ways that I cannot articulate at this point. It was great to share and have time not only with the other men explicitly expressing an interest in vocation, with those not having declared that interest but nonetheless thinking about it, and with the whole group. There was no separation among us based on that. That the group consisted of men interested in a vocation as monks and of men seeking to incorporate monastic principles into their lives outside the monastery, as part of a community that extends beyond the boundaries, I think, reflects the reality of monasticism in the 21st century and was enriching. I think the diverse composition of our group was integral to what happened.
In other words, I cannot imagine it having been better.
Says it all I think…look for photos of the weekend soon (as soon as I can figure out how to download them).