Friday, July 31, 2015

Ignatius - A good friend

This afternoon, seventy priests, brothers, and scholastics from the California and Oregon provinces assembled in Los Altos, California to begin an 8-day individually directed retreat. Nineteen retreat directors gathered to guide them in their prayer journeys.

We celebrated the vigil of the feast of Ignatius of Loyola with a reception, a hearty meal, and holy liturgy. Bishop Gordon Bennett presided. The singing was robust.

Though the retreat is individually directed archbishop-emeritus of San Francisco, George Niederauer provides points for the retreatants. He is a gentle soul with a sparkle in his eye. He loves being in the presence of so many Jesuit colleagues and friends.

It is quite a privilege to be in the midst of such a gathering. The power of prayer is immense and it is easy to tell that so many good men are praying for the people of God they meet in their apostolates.

This year I am especially thankful to Ignatius for his consolation during my recent hospitalization. I simply asked him to hold me as I prepared for surgery and to console me as I healed. He did a very fine job. I asked other Jesuits to minister to me as well - Peter Faber, Francis Xavier, and Pedro Arrupe - as well as other deceased Jesuits. I also knew I had my living Jesuits and our colleagues praying for me.

This is my feast to give thanks back to everyone in prayer. I'm grateful to be alive and my spirit is light because of all the goodness I received. Thanks everyone. Let's enjoy a meaningful feast day together.