This week our prior provincial, Fr. Tom Enneking, osc, is with us in Onamia. In the first days of his trip, he and his council will meet to review and discuss the province directives. He will then stay on in our community to live among us, to observe how we live out our vocation and offer some concluding affirmations and recommendations. Later this year, our new master general, Fr. Laurentius Tarpin, osc, is tentatively scheduled to visit both of our priory communities, meet the confreres and experience our Crosier Religious Life in the United States. Be assured, I am not pointing out these two visitations as in the Gospel story of Jesus when He entered the temple and created havoc because of what was going on there. Rather, I talk about these visitations because of the directive in our first reading from the letter of Peter (4:10), “Use your gifts to serve one another; be good stewards of God’s grace as you have received it.” The visits of these two leaders are ways of calling us to be good and faithful stewards.
All of us Crosiers have a commitment and a responsibility to profess how we will live as baptized persons and then to live as we have professed as vowed religious. With this commitment, we have the responsibility to continue the stewardship of our Crosier charism and tradition for the sake of the Gospel as our ancestors have done for more than 800 years. Today, we are the ones who received and embrace this way of life; we are the ones who have the responsibility to keep it alive and hand on this living charism and tradition to the future generations of Crosiers.
We have elected leaders including two priors, a prior provincial and a master general, who have unique stewardship responsibilities with this Crosier charism and tradition. They have a special commitment and duty to govern and be creative leaders to help us, their brothers, live and work in an atmosphere of love, friendship and unity. They made a commitment to inspire and lead us in pursuit of Crosier ideals. They have the responsibility of keeping alive the Order’s unity and charismatic gifts, and to promote rich, productive and rewarding religious life among all of the members. It is also worth thanking them for this service.
I firmly believe that this way of a life is a calling that is worth nurturing. I do not want this Crosier vocation, this Crosier charism and traditions, to be like the Gospel fig tree–to be cursed, dry up and wither away. Rather, I believe that through our faithful common commitments, the gifts and inspiration of our Crosier leadership, the privileged partnership with God’s people, and most especially God’s abundant and unconditional love and mercy in us, this life will continue to keep the Gospel of Jesus Christ alive and proclaimed.