FIAT Leadership Training Retreat 2015: Reflection 1 2


I wasn’t sure how I could add to last year’s reflection after the retreat, so I jotted down an impressionistic string of words. Here it is.

FIAT LTR 2015_D2_0609

One by one they arrived in the wind and the sun
Gathered their luggage and first impressions
Of washed out buildings and stretched out roads

Still in a daze they convened
At the check-in desk of the inn
And the cavernous space of Thomas Hall
Huddled among the familiar
A shield against the unfamiliar

Welcomed with name tags, notebooks, and pens
A bag full of papers and snacks
The happy surprise of anonymous gifts

In twos and sixes they knelt
Crucifixes placed around necks
And a group was formed
And they opened up
Little by little
Watched by the Pope, stiffer than usual
As they took awkward selfies
Faked some smiles and simulated family ties

Then went deeper
Trusting in the luck of the draw
And strips of papers in jars
And a few held hands
And looked into each other’s eyes
And shared a moment

And ended the evening by telling more truths than lies

They shared a heritage
More than one
Racial, historical, spiritual

They shared a mission
All for one
For family, parish, community

They shared a love
Of three in one
Of Father, Son, Holy Spirit

They shared a weekend
Some more than one
With peers, leaders, priests

Together they worshipped and prayed
Together they praised and danced
Together they adored and shed a tear
Together they were silent
And noisy
And reflective
And joyful
And alone
And together

And on the last day
In the blinding sun
In the washed out courtyard
In a stretched out moment of time
They took their last photos
Created last impressions
Selfies no longer awkward
Smiles no longer fake
No longer a pretense of family ties
For we were family

We were all one


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