You might have noticed that I haven’t posted here for a few days. For the week from last Saturday I have been on vacation in the Dolomite mountains. For the past couple of years I have had the privilege of spending this week with a community of 300 friends from small towns in the north of Italy. As you might guess, when this number of people are together the image is not of the kind of vacation that most people dream of, but I have no doubt that our annual gathering provides all that a person needs in a good holiday.
We are a diverse comprising people of all ages. Apart from (mostly) living in neighbouring towns, I would suggest that these people have only one thing in common. They are friends of Christ, and seek to live this relationship fully. Of course we know that that there are many things that we seek, but none of these wants are able to deliver the depth of satisfaction that our hearts seek.
The question that united us this past week was “what are you really looking for?” Another way of saying this is “what do you most deeply desire?” Our goal in this friendship and this vacation is that we make sure that we do not settle for anything less than our heart’s deepest desire.
Our days began with the praying of the Angelus together followed by a reflection on some aspect of our lives of faith. For the rest of the day there was a great mixture of free time, walking together in the mountains, food and drink, all woven together with very good conversations. Later in the day we celebrated the Mass together, then after a relaxed dinner the later evenings were filled with entertainment amid much laughter.
It is a privilege to serve as a priest for these people who inspire me with their hunger to live life fully.
above & below, “Master Chef.”
Nine teams of ten people work together to create the winning Tiramisu