Reporting on the travels of those who live and work at St. Anthony’s is not an uncommon topic for the Chronicle. The summer entries in the old Chronicles are replete with the friars’ comings and goings. The newest priests, having finished their studies, moved on to their first assignments. Clerics took time to go visit family over the summer before returning for continued studies in fall. Staff would leave to go on retreat, to visit family, to move on to their own new assignment or to just take a break. New faces would arrive, both staff and the bambini friars, to settle in before school began again. Visitors would come and go, too, over the summer months.
In some respects, summers have not changed much in 103 years. Retreat activity usually slows down a bit in the summer, but we still have some groups, private retreatants as well as volunteers coming and going. The slower pace gives staff and residents, including this Chronicler, an opportunity to get away for a bit themselves.
Everyone needs to step away from the routine from time to time, to rest, relax, recharge. We encourage everyone else to take advantage the opportunity we offer to do just that right here 52 weeks a year, but it is a little harder for us to rest, relax and recharge here. We would always see something that needs doing, or too easily slip into our daily routines. Whether the get away is for a day or two, or a week or two, it is most appropriate we take our own advice and step away from our own routines and from St. Anthony’s once in a while.
It is good for all of us to get away to spend time with family and friends, to explore nature, to create new memories. It is said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and that is true. Stepping away for a time can help us better appreciate the gifts in our daily lives that we may take for granted. It can also make us grateful for the benefits that provide us the opportunity to step away, like the means to afford time to get away. For us, it can help us appreciate what we have here every day – the sacred space, the talents of the team of staff and volunteers we work with, the beauty, the quiet, the sense of community.
For all the blessings of living and working at St. Anthony’s, as well as the gift of time to step away, we say Deo Gratias!
P.S. The photo here and those on Saturday’s Facebook are from this Chronicler’s time away in the Upper Peninsula last week.