“At Home in Any Part of the World”
Two witnesses from the Southeast Vacation
I am writing to tell you what struck me during the days of the Southeast Vacation. First of all, I was struck by everyone’s enthusiasm and the desire to gather and spend time together – how this annual vacation is valued and important for them. Those that came from Florida and in particular from Miami drove between 11 and 13 hours, without the option of flying, given that we were in a remote location in the woods of Georgia and we needed cars. Some families drove hours with four or five kids. A young girl wrote to me when she arrived home: it was 11PM, and they had left at 10AM, and tomorrow they will all be at work. It was clear the need for companionship, to meet and live the experience of the Movement like someone in the desert that begs for water.
Through these friends Christ is present in the community, in this way of staying together, and that makes it worth living. It seemed they were many, but we have to remember that they came from all over the Southeastern States, where people live very far from each other. To participate in the School of Community, some people have to drive two hours in the evening, even if it is in the same State. It is clear that they have encountered something that moves their lives in a real way. It is a great witness for me and for all of us in Italy that have everything nearby, who always find excuses to refuse when confronted with the proposals of the community. I want to thank my son Pietro and his wife Cristina because they signed me up for the vacation and the Lord that gave me the freedom to say “yes”. A great way to share time with my son. I had many fears because I don't speak English, but everyone helped me and they made it easier. To live fully the Movement and your faith removes all the barriers and gives you the opportunity to feel at home in any part of the world. Let's pray for all our weaknesses and measures.
Mario, Como, Italy
It had been several years since my last Communion and Liberation vacation. Covid, the busyness of life, and my “Martha-ness” had kept me away. I had worked hard on several of the previous vacations and the anxiety associated with this work distracted me from Who was always present. Someone in our School of Community mentioned that he knew he belonged when he went on his first vacation – one that I had not attended. I wondered what I had missed, and a seed was planted. We signed up for this summer’s Southeast vacation the day Enrico sent out the announcement.
Still ambivalent when we arrived, I settled in for the opening session. As soon as they began singing “When the Saints” I felt myself becoming certain of why I came. Looking over at Lisa who had decided to come even though none of her family could be there, reminded me that only One thing is needed. Listening to Enrico’s provocation showed me that there is “work” for me to do: to judge what my heart needs and to look! There were many opportunities to be with friends, even late into the night. The meal our community prepared also became a sign to me, that I can still do Martha-like things but with a new heart.
Therese, Spartanburg, SC