A number of people I know as they finished sharing a moving, personal story, have exclaimed: "what a blessing!" I understand them to mean they have been deeply and positively touched in ways they had not imagined. And I am using those words, "what a blessing," to highlight the wonderful experience I had, beginning Friday afternoon, August 14 and concluding Saturday afternoon, August 15, in Portland, Oregon.
Three wonderful young men, Patrick Couture, SJ, Michael Laveson, SJ, and Lorenzo Herman, SJ, publicly proclaimed their First Vows in the Society of Jesus.
These wonderful young men publicly stated that with the prayers and love of family and friends and with the loving support and direction of God, they were choosing to live, with their brothers in the Jesuit community, poor,celibate, and obedient lives... giving themselves to the work of supporting God in creating a safe, healthy, and happy world for all God's creatures.
Each one of them moved through the services with great grace, confidence, and humility. I was so glad I had the chance to thank them for what they were doing.
I had an opportunity to spend some time with Lorenzo's father. We laughed and teased. Here is a picture of Lorenzo Herman, SJ, with his familyAnd I had a few moments with Lorenzo and those few moments were the occasion for my thinking I was so happy to be alive.
At the Eucharistic Celebration, during the Ritual of Sharing the Scriptures, Lorenzo's aunt sang wonderfully... enjoy her prayerful singing