As warm sunny days begin to cool and leaves rustle and crunch; as we exchange t-shirts for sweaters and curl around mugs of hot tea, my mind turns to our Companions and the transitions they are experiencing as they continue walking their respective paths. As Assistant Coordinator of the Companions Program, it was my privilege to accompany Jasmine, Kelsea and Florence along the adventure of the past 11 months. We learned a lot about ourselves, both collectively and individually. We learned at lot about community and where God is leading. We explored the importance of being still, and practiced various ways to be in God’s Presence. Some of us grew in appreciation of God in and through creation and others, some of us, in the deep stillness within and some of us encountered God through delving deeper into the ever ancient, ever new treasure of Scripture. All spent the year listening with Mary-like attention to the voice of the Lord and Martha-like service to God in others.
As the pandemic began to sweep the globe, we, like millions of others worldwide, like you reading this, struggled with the challenge of holding lightly the once seemingly impenetrable stalwarts of daily life and routine. We began the difficult journey of reshaping our daily lives to the new contours of pandemic-life.
It has been three months since this year’s Companions Program has drawn to a close. Jasmine, Kelsea and Florence have taken new steps in their journeys as they settle into their post-Companion lives. Jasmine returned to Hong Kong and is beginning a new job, Kelsea has returned to her home province and also has begun a new job and Florence discerned an invitation to religious life. She was accepted as a Postulant with SSJD in August.
I think of them frequently, wish them well and pray for them often. I hope you will join your prayers to mine. May the One who is “the love that moves the sun and all the stars”* bless and keep them, may God make his/her/their light to shine upon them and give them deep peace. Amen.
While it is not possible to offer the Companions Program for the 2020-2021 year due to the pandemic, applications are being accepted for the 2021-2022 year. I am very much looking forward to meeting and journeying with our next cohort in September of 2021.
Until then, may the deep Peace and Blessing of the One who gathers and holds all into being, be upon you and yours.
* (from Dante’s Paradiso)