By Katherine T., Volunteer in Spokane, WA
“Just after the holidays, our community was blessed to have our visitor, Melanie, come and join us at our home in Spokane. Her visit came just at the right time, and was really helpful for us in starting of this new year and this new semester well by deepening our mission and sense of community. During Melanie’s visit, she led the five of us in a weekend of silent retreat. This weekend of silence was filled with many graces, as we contemplated our encounter with Christ and what He calls us to do, and read together the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe. It is amazing how, by being present with each other in silence, we were able to grow so much as a community, deepening our relationships with each other and with God.
This experience of retreat also gave us the grace to see our mission here at Gonzaga with new eyes, and to share it more fruitfully with our friends. As soon as school began again for the spring semester, we hosted a back-to-school night at our home for our friends. So many of our different friends were able to come, and it was a wonderful gathering. Because Melanie was still with us, she talked with our friends about what Heart’s Home is, beyond our mission here in Spokane, and Amy gave a presentation about her experience of her Heart’s Home mission several years ago in Honduras. Our friends were very interested in and attentive to these presentations, and it was beautiful to see how much they wished to connect to our mission and understand better what we do as part of Heart’s Home. After the presentations, our friends joined us in drawing “friends from heaven” to stay with us through the year ahead. Judging by our first event of the year, this will be a very fruitful semester for Heart’s Home St. Ignatius!”