Reflections on a memorable visit (1-08-2014)
It is customary to make resolutions when a new year knocks on our door, especially those which are most likely to advance further some project, existing or new. I, too, made some resolutions, but there is no question of a new project, just continuing on the Brigittine path, albeit with greater strides in terms of sharing with others. One tool for doing this is to tell you, dear readers of this WEB page, more about ourselves and more frequently. Please pray that this will happen!
What is on the horizon for this year?
In 2012 the Brigittini Servitores Sanctissimi Salvatoris was established in the diocese of Tyler as a public association of the Catholic faithful. In 2013 the move to a bigger Residentia was made, in order to provide adequate quarters for Postulants. If God so wills, 2014 may see postulants taking up their abode in it, given the recent increased interest in the Brigittini Servitores. There were several inquiries and even two visits last year. However, let me put future aspirations aside and fulfil my promise of giving the highlights about our visit to The Brigittine Brothers of Amity in July 23rd.
Our Father Chaplain and I were privileged to share the life of the community for close to a whole week.
The central event was celebrating the Feast of Saint Birgitta in a grand style, with sung Mass celebrated by Archbishop Sample, who preached on the importance of contemplative religious orders for the Church.
The liturgical celebration was followed by festive dinner, with close to 200 people in attendance. The enthusiasm of the participants for the Brigittine Brothers was almost palpable. After the celebrations were over, community life continued in its grove. We were invited to the community’s meals and recreation and had ample time to share spiritual insights and stories with each other. It was a truly blessed time, with the cohesion cemented together by praying in common.
In addition to the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated for the Brothers there was a Tridentine Mass daily, thanks to the presence of Father Chaplain. The schedule made it possible for both groups to pray the Divine Office together as well as other community devotions, such as the daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with Benediction, rosary and the nightly litany of the world. We were present and took part in all of this, praying after the joint prayers in the chapel the Hours of the 1962 Roman Divine Office either jointly or in private, without the Brothers.
Different liturgical forms, but the same Brigittini spirituality, creating a bond, with the bigger, more firmly established and thriving community encouraging and helping the fledgling Brigittini Servitores to press on, with both groups hoping and praying for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the other.