• June 21, 2012

The Gift of Belonging

By Katie Infantine, Heart’s Home Alumni

“Over Memorial Day weekend while most of my friends and family were bar­be­quing in the park or vaca­tioning, I had the greatest gift of spending time at home – at Heart’s Home that is! I knew when I had decided to go on mis­sion that I felt at home at Heart’s Home, but I was aston­ished once again by the sense of home that I felt upon returning to Brooklyn for the alumni weekend. I met up with eight other former mis­sion­aries, six from the US and two from Canada, and it seemed to me that after five min­utes of talking with each alumni, I felt like I was talking with a family member. It was so clear that we shared the same Spirit and the same charism of com­pas­sion, and in belonging to Heart’s Home, we truly are a family in Christ.

What Sister Regina said at the end of the weekend rang so true to my heart and pretty much encap­su­lates my own expe­ri­ence of the alumni weekend. “To see the pas­sion in everyone here is a con­fir­ma­tion of my own voca­tion. To see you with this same Spirit and this same charism of com­pas­sion in your hearts reas­sures me that it is not some­thing I made up or imag­ined for myself but that this is a very real and total gift from God.” I, too, have been given this gift, this charism, this family by a Love which is out­side myself, a Love to which I must respond daily.

Watching the four newest mem­bers of the Fraternity of Maximilian Kolbe make their com­mit­ments on Pentecost Sunday was a beau­tiful sign of this shared charism. The mem­bers told me that their com­mit­ment was really a recog­ni­tion of what already was – the recog­ni­tion of belonging to this family and knowing that it is through com­pas­sion and the imi­ta­tion of Mary at the foot of the cross, in her total pres­ence to the suf­fering of Jesus, that these men and women are called to be fully them­selves and serve our Lord. I see these com­mit­ments and the whole alumni weekend as yet another tes­ta­ment to the need for friend­ship and com­mu­nion. Just as we accom­pa­nied the friends in our neigh­bor­hoods on mis­sion and just as the mem­bers of the Fraternity accom­pany each other, I am now accom­pa­nied by these former mis­sion­aries and have new hands to hold in order to carry on my new Heart’s Home mis­sion in San Diego and go wherever the Lord may lead.”

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