Following upon the vision of the 20th General Assembly an international Community Life Symposium will convene in Rome this July. In past years Symposiums have centered on Mission & Ministry, and Spirituality. Members and Companions of the Kansas City Province have been challenged to engage in a series of conversations about what it means to live authentically in community as Precious Blood Missionaries and what it means to live a simple lifestyle. We have been asked to envision what the fullest participation of our Companions in our communal life, spirituality, and apostolic work might look like.
The first “Conversation” of five asked what our favorite experience of living in community was and what our hopes and dreams are for the kind of community life we want to live in the future.
“How good and how pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell as one.” Psalm 133.1
In the many gatherings of members that took place in February living, studying, praying, working, eating together while in Formation was seen as a joyful time for members. We all have stories we love to share in our gatherings. Living together at Precious Blood Seminary and some of our larger parishes, and living together inter-generationally were seen as valuable experiences. “Clusters” once intentionally gathered monthly for study, prayer, meals, and fun. The Annual Assembly was seen as an opportunity to gather, reacquaint, catch up with others, and share new ideas.
The “Mission House” was envisioned as a new and positive way of being together in community and ministry. While most of us will not be living in a Mission House we need to find time and ways to get together more often for prayer, study, reflection, support, and shared meals. We need to make use of new technologies to better communicate with one another and communicate our mission of evangelization, reconciliation, and renewal. What might a “virtual” Mission House look like?
While our process moving forward may be messy (being community can be a messy business), we need to venture forth boldly.
“Let’s continue this process to see where it might lead us while hoping that it will land us in a time and space for interpersonal reflection and introspection that springs forth community life.”