Individuals in the deacon and advanced lay formation program in the diocese, together with their spouses, participated in a Lenten retreat led by Monsignor Pat Browne. Bishop Patrick J. McGrath celebrated Mass with the participants during one of the days at Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos. The four-year diaconate program includes participants at various stages of formation. Several prepare for ordination to the diaconate this May, while others will assume advanced pastoral roles in their parishes and beyond.
Rose Lue, new to the program this year, reflected on the retreat with a poem that echoed the sentiments of others about the tenderness of formation.
New Growth Amidst the Old
How striking it is to see the soft, bright green leaves
amongst the hard, dark green ones.
I am filled with joy and awe.
I touch it gently as I give it a warm welcome into the world.
I know its color and texture will change over time.
It will become just like the others.
But in the period while it is new, there’s a tenderness to it.
As you and I grow in many ways,
as formation is all about growth,
may we be gentle with ourselves
as we warmly welcome it in our lives.
And may we do this for each other as well.
Our new growth may be harder to spot.
So, let us be gentle, in general!