For Faith in Action: East Coast Fraternity Exercises 2011

What a difference a year makes. Last May, the leader of our fledgling School of Community invited me to stop by the annual spiritual retreat of the East Coast participants of Communion and Liberation. So I drove up for lunch at a conference center in Florham Park, NJ to meet Webster Bull, the man who started this blog and who introduced me to Communion and Liberation. I didn’t know much about CL, and visited its East Coast Fraternity Exercises with a mix of suspicion and enthusiasm. On a personal note, I also was in the midst of retraining myself for a career teaching special-education students.

Now, I’ve spent a year attending weekly School of Community meetings at my parish, as well as other CL-sponsored events. Our little group has grown to about dozen members who have become good friends. Tonight I pack my bags for a weekend at the very same conference center, this time as a participant. The site is a short distance from the public high school where I’ve spent the past school year working as a teacher in special education classrooms.

The Call of the Wild!

The timing for the Exercises could be better. When I head north to Florham Park, I will leave my husband, who is enduring a stressful stint at his job, and our sons, who together have two baseball games, a soccer practice, an orchestra rehearsal and an altar-serving duty, all within a 36-hour span. The lawn looks lousy, our personal Serengeti. Folded, clean laundry sits in piles and baskets in the family room. I have hours of work to do to finish up my year-long graduate coursework, and pages of materials to edit for my year-end evaluation at work. By Monday.

Maybe I will discover this is just the right time for my first-ever retreat. In the middle of the busyness of life, this weekend could be conducive to quieting down and spending some time talking to God and fellow travelers. I’ll let you know.

  • Sarah Harkins

    Is that really your lawn?? In the middle of all that is the PERFECT time to go and RETREAT! Enjoy! Pray for all of us :)

  • Allison

    Oh no, Sarah, I just pulled the picture off google images. Our lawn looks much worse.

  • Fran

    God bless and good wishes your way Allison. I always say I am not much of a "joiner" but that's more safety mechanism than anything else. Good for you, I will look forward to hearing how it goes, if you share that out here. I will be praying for you and hope it goes well.And good luck with everything else!

  • Sandy C.

    Our yard looks very similar. Flooding rains for weeks + dead lawnmower battery + teaching nearly full-time = very tall grass. Have a great time at the conference!

  • Allison

    @ You all are so sweet and yes I will pray for you all. Sandy: Here in NJ we have had nonstop rain and the grass keeps growing and you can't mow very wet grass. Or at least that is our story and I am sticking to it!

  • Webster Bull

    Looking forward to seeing you there, Allison!