May the Holy Spirit, who guided Jesus, be our guide and
our strength so that we may witness
to God’s love to the people of the world today.
-Apostleship of Prayer
All of life is a field of formation. And the human call, whether we accept it or not, is to allow ourselves to be formed, as the Brothers’ Fundamental Principles say, “through the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life.” This call doesn’t cease. As we know from our own experience, life has a way of bringing consistent, sometimes painful, sometimes glorious change.
As Brothers, and in communion with the wider Xaverian family, we are engaging in a process to place us in closer relationship with the charism and deepest calls of our Congregation. We are using the image of “Graced Crossroads” for this process. The image reveals that, indeed, we are now and always on a path where past and present meet, and where the future is not just a direction, but a concrete choice to live with renewed love for the gift that is our vocation in the world, here, now, and eternally. So, we encounter the crossroads as a question: How do we live our vocation, our love of the world, today? Put another way: What are our unique gifts and where can we serve the world? In local, regional and international meetings of the Brothers in the year ahead we will examine these questions through the lens of mission, the lens of community and the lens of the resources (human resources, spiritual resources and financial resources) that will sustain and nourish our vocation at this crossroad and for the future.
We have a strong faith and belief that our mission and charism transcend culture, as we have Brothers from across the globe and from many different countries and backgrounds. We also see our mission and charism transcending even our vocation, as we have seen the passion with which Collaborators in our schools and Associates around the United States have taken to discovering a liberation and a freedom given by God through the common, ordinary, and unspectacular flow of everyday life.
The educational mission continues to manifest in new ways. A new endeavor for the Brothers continues in Lodwar, in the Turkana Desert of Kenya, with the building of St. James school. Additionally, a study of the Brothers' XBSS structure continues in very positive and enthusiastic ways. For example, Lowell Catholic, an XBSS school in Lowell, Massachusetts now has an elementary school division, in response to the needs of their local community for Catholic education.
We look to recently deceased Brothers whose lives contribute to our self-understanding as a Congregation, each in his unique way: Brother Bonaventure Scully with his restless heart, Brother Peter Donohue through life giving restorative justice in prison ministry; Brother Bede who was the embodiment of ordinariness; and Brother Nivard who faithfully broadened our educational mission through his administrative talents.
Our crossroads are graced because we are not just a “band of Brothers.” We have invited, and will continue to invite others to share our charism and mission. We will soon be announcing our new advancement initiative, the Theodore James Ryken Society.
Pray for us as we seek renewal and deeper communion. And may God be with you in the crossroads of your life, that you may you and the grace there, in the freedom of Love.