Holiday season with the student community

Fr. Tim Gray, SCJ, a member of our formation team at Dehon House in Chicago, writes the following:

The Dehon Formation Community Christmas tree

The Dehon Formation Community Christmas tree

The formation community began the holiday season by visiting the retirement community in Hales Corners for Thanksgiving. The next three weeks saw a flurry of activity as the tasks of decorating the house and making other Christmas preparations were competed alongside the students’ pressure of final exams and papers due for school.

However, on December 7 we maintained our normal First Friday prayer schedule; we welcomed back Fr. Greg Schill, not so long ago a member of our formation community, to lead us in an evening of reflection. We were joined by Br. Ray Kozuch and Br. Long Nguyen, who brought three potential candidates for a “Come and See” weekend.

The community gathered on Wednesday, December 12, for an outing to see “Potted Potter,” a comical re-visiting of the Harry Potter series, and again on Thursday for a party (complete with charades), and gift opening.

After that, the community began to disperse; the candidates and the professed students headed home for vacation, and the novices began to steel themselves for their first experience of Christmas away from home. Fr. Bob Bossie and Br. Duane Lemke will also remain in the house over the holidays, while Fr. Antonny Warjito and I will take the chance to visit family.

As a community, we receive so many visitors and guests that “guest-master” is a regular work assignment, on a par with washing dishes and vacuuming. We are pleased and honored to be considered a home away from home by SCJs, their families, and friends — and other religious communities.

God’s blessings at Christmas and throughout the new year.

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