• January 21, 2014

Remember, Reflect, Renew:
Echos from the “Frat Max” Christmas Retreat

By Tim Hynes, Fraternity St Maximilien Kolbe Member

“I can’t believe it, but the year 2014 will mark two years since I joined the Fraternity of Maximilian Kolbe within Heart’s Home. So much in my life has changed since then. At the time I was a soft­ware engi­neer with a fre­netic schedule, trav­eling con­stantly; now I am sem­i­narian studying for the arch­dio­cese of Boston with a markedly less hectic, though no less full cal­endar. With so much on my plate, I have never been com­pletely sure how to live out my com­mit­ment on a day to day basis. Living on one’s own is quite a dif­ferent expe­ri­ence than living in a Heart’s Home Center and it can be easy, often too much so, to forget what one has lived in Brooklyn, Lima, Tegucigalpa, and in so many other places in the world…

For me, this is pre­cisely what the yearly Frat Max retreat pro­vides: A place to remember, reflect, and renew. Sharing with new mem­bers and old (by God’s grace it seems that the Frat grows a little each year), I am reminded of the man­i­fold ways in which the charism of Heart’s Home and the Frat can be lived out in each of our lives, no matter how dif­ferent they might be. I am reminded that while I may live far away from Brooklyn or Woodbourne, NY, I am nonethe­less con­nected to my brothers and sis­ters of the fra­ter­nity in the unity of the body of Christ, as I seek to serve Him in com­pas­sion and friend­ship with those whom He has placed in my life.

This year in par­tic­ular it was impor­tant for me to renew my rela­tion­ship to the Frat and my com­mit­ment as I adjust and tran­si­tion into the new life I feel called to lead. Yet, at the same time, I know I am not alone; life is not static and the past year saw big changes not only for me, but for many others in the Frat with engage­ments, mar­riages, new chil­dren… We are all adapting and growing with each new expe­ri­ence that life brings along. So too our rela­tion­ship and under­standing of the Frat which, when we take the time to reflect and renew, grows dynam­i­cally along with us.”

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Amy’s renewal of her commitment within the Frat Max
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Frat Max kids’ end-of-retreat show
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Enjoying good food and friendship

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