I was in North Jackson, Ohio last weekend with members of the Holy Family Institute at their annual three day retreat (Triduum). I was able to set up a display of mainly Pauline editions at the group's meeting, and I led Eucharistic adoration for them on Friday and Saturday. North Jackson, Ohio is a bit west of the city of Youngstown. The spacious grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon has been hosting the HFI for ten years, It is truly a "family" event and multi-generational. Certain members are grandparents already, while others are younger adults blessed with children. The evening meals which are taken at the Shrine show how the Institute is growing potentially with the energy only kids can bring.
The Holy Family members (HFI) hail from all over the USA and Canada. There are always new members joining. Couples or sometimes just one spouse join the Institute because they are seeking a deeper spirituality for married folks. This year's retreat director was Father Michael Harrington. Father Mike is a Pauline priest too. He belongs to what some call a "secular institute", the Institute of Jesus the Priest. IJP members are diocesan priests who take vows of chastity, poverty and obedience and follow the spirituality of the Pauline Family. Whenever possible the IJP members serve as spiritual directors or contact persons for the Holy Family members. Father Harrington is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston engaged in vocational and multi-ethnic ministires and work with young adults.
I enjoyed the drive back to our Alexandria, Virginia convent where I am now assigned for a while. Our convent and book center are at the corner of US 1 South (Henry Street) and Virginai Route 7 which is King Street. It is a lovely city and a great location. Have a blessed first week of October!
Tomorrow is the feast of St. Theresa Martin, the French Carmelite Saint. Since my family name is Martin, we adopt her as our family's patron saint along with St. Martin of Tours. May we all imitate the deep love of God and neighbor /Theresa practicved in her Little Way of doing all things == big and little -- very well for God.