Today, Alex makes his permanent commitment to the Companions of the Cross. Tomorrow, God willing, he will be ordained a deacon, and, in due time, he will be ordained a priest.
It is a momentous day for Alex, for our seminarians, and for the Community. Days like these never get old.
I was looking for a picture of Alex this morning to pay tribute to the day. There are a lot of great pictures of Alex. However, I thought the one below was the most appropriate.
The reason, in a word is brotherhood. I don’t mean the word in the sense of a religious brother. I mean it in the familial sense of the word. These men treat each other like real brothers!
We were working on a project with Alex this summer (which will be available in a few months) and he was telling me how important the brothers were to his journey. He told me how vital their support was and how important the brotherhood was to his journey to the priesthood.
“Our spirituality necessarily includes a share life. We are to make ourselves available, not only to God, but to one another. Our community living situations will be the main forum in which the Lord will deal with us. While we are to be an active community, not contemplative, we will place great emphasis on how we live together. While we will be a ministry- oriented body, our prior focus will be on our shared life. We strongly believe that, before we can do anything worthwhile for God, we first have to be something together. The Lord will bless our desire to share our lives with one another, be he wants us to know that we will have to work at it.
“We will share time together. We will share our goods with one another. We will share our struggles and our joys. This will mean, for each of us, allowing all the others to be who they are. While we will strive to be of one mind and heart around the community’s vision, we will recognize that we are all unique, all different in many ways. We will respect each brother’s need for personal space and yet, at the same time, be willing to give up our own privacy for the sake of those with whom we share our lives.” (Fr. Bob Bedard, We are Called to be Companions of the Cross, 147-148)
These big steps that Alex is taking today - on our feast day - and tomorrow, are certainly reflective of his character. He is a dynamic, energetic, wise, thoughtful, and Godly man. These steps are also reflective of the brothers surrounding and supporting him.
Today, let’s all pray for Alex and for all the brothers who have supported him in his journey.
Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart Major Seminary (www.shms.edu)