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The Back Door Opened

Colene was in a wrestling match with the text of Generating Traces. Then she encountered Lorenzo Albacete.

Colene and friends in South Dakota

Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete came into my life through the back door. Often in these experiences, I have discovered this common thread about myself--that generally, when these encounters happen, I am in a place of need.

I was finding myself in a wrestling match with the writings of Luigi Giussani. From following friends and mentors, I knew this course of study and prayer wasn’t one that I wanted to dismiss. Finally, after one particular flat School of Community meeting last October, I happened to find the tribute Lisa Lickona shared marking the anniversary of the death of Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete. For me, the back door opened.

I watched a YouTube video on a talk he gave that was centered on Psalm 8. “What is man that You are mindful of him?” I was captivated. He was so genuine. He wasn’t trapped (like I can find myself) in appearances of what others may think. He, in so many ways, is everything I am not. But again, from past experiences, I know that these encounters are the very instruments God provides for me to help me look and see with greater clarity.

I was fascinated by his confidence. He has this ability to speak in a manner that is not arrogant but that points to a Mystery that doesn’t need to be trapped in lofty theological discourse. It was refreshing. He has this demeanor of not adhering to an agenda but simply proclaiming Jesus Christ. Period. The Mystery is no longer wrapped in this veil of abstract discourse that one reads about in theology texts but one that is experienced in all of its raw humanity. I was intrigued.

Then his book showed up on my doorstep. The Relevance of the Stars: Christ, Culture, Destiny fueled my desire to pay attention to what is in front of me. I was discovering this recognition, seeing earth in the light of heaven spilling forth onto the pages of what we were reading for School of Community.

Slowly I began to see how Msgr. Albacete’s writings were an echo of the text of Generating Traces. The wrestling continues but it’s as if a trainer showed up to assist me. He has the gift of communicating the Mystery that is so compelling that I too want to get up and leave my nets and follow.

Colene, Harrisburg, South Dakota


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