I wanted to post this about twelve hours ago, but my day was crazy enough that this is my first chance to sit at a computer without having an assignment hanging over my head. Today the Brothers of the Sacred Heart celebrate(d) our Foundation Day, marking 188 years since the first Brothers professed their vows in Lyons, France. We're a small order, but to think of all the good that has been done in the past 188 years, and to think of standing in that tradition, following in the work of some truly great men, is both deeply humbling and encouraging. Those first Brothers came together to respond to the social wreckage of France after the Revolution, in particular taking care of orphaned children who were in jails and on the streets, and the permutations of ministries have exploded from there. Even though most of our work today is in schools, that original charism has even come full circle in several places where AIDS has created massive numbers of orphans in need of care.
I entered my community as a teenager, and I am grateful to have grown up with the modeling of the men with whom I have lived over the past thirteen years. I don't think I will ever recognize what a grace all those men have been in helping me be less of an idiot than I would have been without them. In our community hymn, there is a line which reads, "Qu'il est bon, qu'il est doux, d'habiter un seul lieu," which literally refers to living in one place, but which we have typically rendered as "dwelling in unity"; community has been about more than just living under one roof - at its best, it has been about sharing a vision, wanting to support each other while we hold one another's feet to the fire (gently, of course!). So, to Brothers, colleagues, former students of the Brothers, and friends who have stumbled upon this blog, Ametur Cor Jesu - loved be the Heart of Jesus. Happy Foundation Day, Brothers.