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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Once more with feeling

The lawn in the Quadrangle had almost recovered from the abuse of putting in the emergency access grid under the grass, Founders Day, Jubilee and the blistering summer drought, when the tents are going up again.

We expect 500+ Haitians here on Saturday for their annual day of prayer, praise and reflection. Our own Father Romane St. Vil organizes this event. IMHO our lawn is a small price to pay to attract life and enthusiasm to this place, not to mention a faith-filled people.

This could be a foretaste of what our main building can become in the future. I know the Koreans from St. Paul's in Flushing could easily fill this place several times a year were it converted into a functional* retreat house and mission center. And that's just from one parish. Haitians, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Hispanics could just as easily spend several weekends here each year. Training other groups for mission, cross-cultural seminars, conferences on interreligious dialogue all could take place here with just a few Maryknollers heading a staff of competent employees. I've seen this at other centers.

My concern is that from where I sit (outside in the Quad watching the tents go up) I don't detect any future thinking except for turning off the lights and locking the door. BIG mistake.

*Functional means grandfathering guys out of the R Wing and letting retreatants and workshop attendees have those floors to themselves. It means putting the word "active" back in retirement. It means not giving in to whoever whines the loudest that all this commotion is disturbing their nap.

"People perish for lack of vision." Ain't it the truth.

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