Tonight after work I drove nearly thirty miles to be part of a gathering of Partners in MInistry at Mt. Irenaeus. The mountain as we call it is one of my favorite spots. I almost blew this meeting off. In fact it was only Monday that I decided to come. I got there about 4:15, which was about forty-five minutes after the meeting had started. Fr. Dan asked me to reflect on a handout that included the Mountain’s mission and some thoughts of about the mission statement. As I sat and listened to the others share what this place and its form of ministry mean to them, I thought of my own path here. What was there about this place that continues to invite me back.
The garden is central to what brings me back here time and again and that is hospitality. At Mt. Irenaeus all are truly welcome. Christians of all stripes, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, atheists, all are welcome here. No one is asked to accept a particular theology. There is no proselytizing. Words and thoughts are shared, but central to it all is an overwhelming feeling of peace and hospitality. I think it’s what Jesus is really about.
The Eucharist followed our time of sharing and then it was down to the House for dinner. Each of us played a part in its preparation and mine was to help Br. Kevin Kriso, OFM collect lettuce, peas and beans from the garden. I joined two other guests and Br. Kevin and we gathered just enough for dinner. Tonight we all enjoyed a simple dinner and the company of many friends. Our meal was completed by a sumptuous blueberry dessert prepared by Fr. Dan Hurley, OFM. Dan Hurley is 88 years young and though he can no longer see well, he is able to contribute insight and culinary delights.