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December 8, 2008

Feast of Immaculate Conception!
It is nice to be back in Florida and finally have my normal work routine, yes, a very full week, but itís great to be here with everything happening in our houses in Florida. Itís good to have a chance to speak with our guys and girls and, most of all, to see them growing in their journey in Community. The many changes that Mother Elvira made in each house have been opportunities for everyone to grow, the old guys and the new ones. Then each person chooses how he will react to the changes. In a second Mother Elvira sees where each person really is . She gave responsibility to different guys, and this is giving them the opportunity to grow up more and to develop their gifts. This makes the strengths and the poverties come to the surface.
At OLOH pretty much we are working on the garden and putting everything in order after the Festival. Taking the stage apart is a big job. There is a lot to do, but in the meantime, the normal rhythm of the Community is back with the right time for prayer, sports, and sharing. That is helping a lot. We had a guy, Johan, from NY and had another guys doing his orientation. We sent to Richard A., Lucas, and Piotr to Mary Immaculate. Now we have more guys at MI than OLOH, but it is good because at MI we have a lot of work to do.
Today also at MI is a big celebration because is the 4th anniversary of the Community house. Four years ago we were getting the property, and it has been a great journey for so many guys. There are more to come. Life had been changed through sufferance and sacrifice thanks to those that are choosing to give their life for the others. This is the most important. Thatís why we are here and why the Community exists. For sure in terms of building and improving the property we havenít moved as fast as I would want because of costs and waiting for the right time that the Providence will come, but we need to be patience and rejoice for what has been done and how much more life will come to many young men that God brings to the Community in that special place. Many guys gave and sacrificed so much there so that new guys coming in could have a new life in truth and in the good. We have seen so much fruit of the many months of sacrifice and we see the sacrifice still now. We have the statue of the Blessed Mother way up high, overlooking the site. Itís really special to see when you drive up. We know that many more blessing will come! The guys from OLOH will go there to celebrate and spend part of the day, and a dear priest will come to celebrate Mass there! A special thanks to those that helped to get the property and throughout the years helped us in this special project!
At St. Maria Goretti this week we had the second girl enter. Her name is Gabriella from CA, and we are having another coming for orientation this week. I had an opportunity to spend some time in the fraternity, and it is just so nice to see a new fraternity getting started. The girls are doing a great job living Community life and getting the house looking beautiful . Every day you see improvement. The most creative thing they did so far is a nativity scene made inside the chapel that is just so beautiful. It was made with paper, wood stick, pine bark and the figurines are made with fabric. What an imagination and how clever! It is the best nativity in town, for sure I invite you to see it! Providence brought us another sewing machine with a frame to make quilts or any large drapes ect. What a great gift from God for the girls.
In Europe our guys are doing fine so far. They are getting ready for the Christmas party that it will take place in Cuneo on Dec 14. Some of our guys will be there, probably the ones from the houses in Italy close by.
A lot of people are asking about Christmas presents for son or daughters. Remember the best present to give to them is the changes that you are making in your life or in your relationship in the family. Those are the presents that will last and be more important that everything else. Please do not send any packages overseas!
Have a wonderful Advent

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