I am in California. And in a way, so is Trinita. I packed up lesson plans and supplies and skit props for a family retreat based on our 2008 summer program, "The Lord is our Shepherd." So here I am, enjoying the hospitality of Josie Morales in not-so-sunny California. (I never heard of "June Gloom" before. Apparently it's the West Coast's pathway to seasonal affect disorder.)
It is always a privilege for me to spend time with MCA in other geographic areas. I am fascinated by the way the Missionary Cenacle charism is expressed differently in different places. I was especially moved when I saw the two huge canvas banners unfurled at the parish hall where we were gathered this weekend. On one side, our three founders smiling down at us. On the other side, a painting of what was clearly the mission cross at Holy Trinity, Alabama. Almost life-size! Perhaps only half a dozen of the 150 attendees have actually been there, but they all know Holy Trinity and want to go there one day.
I went for a walk in Josie's neighborhood, a quiet suburb in the midst of Los Angeles urban sprawl. The trees and ornamental plants are all so different! And the ethnic diversity of the neighborhood is change of pace from the rather homogenous environment around Trinita. Then a street draincover caught my attention. "No dumping. Drains to Ocean." Cool! I never saw that before! I have seen "Drains to River" before. But Drains to Ocean? I guess that's the ultimate!
And suddenly, I felt like a little water drop, circulating around on my long and convoluted journey to the Ocean. So much life has flowed through Trinita, brought by so many folks for so many years. And I packed up a suitcase with some of that Trinita-stuff and carried it here and let it out. At the MCA Pentecost retreat, everyone got a little training in how to run a family-based program Trinita-style. Trinita's style, however, is just one expression of Cenacle Family "style" of carrying out the Church's mission. And whatever I let out of the suitcase has now got mixed in with the California MCA style.
I don't know what will flow from my work here this weekend. The various little drops of water get mixed together, but ultimately we are all flowing to one destination. Drains to Ocean.