Two weeks to learn what it really means to be a part of Heart’s Home
Charlotte I., Katherine I., Grayson H., Jonathan A., Julian L., and Marcus J. joined the community in Brooklyn for a two week orientation program in preparation for their missions in Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Philippines, and the ICCC in upstate New York, respectively. In the past year, each of the volunteers felt called to find a concrete way to serve God’s people and deepen their faith. All of them expressed that upon learning about the Mission of Compassion and visiting the Heart’s Home in Brooklyn, their hearts finally felt at rest.
During the orientation program, the volunteers gained a deeper understanding of Heart’s Home’s three pillars of Prayer, Community, and Compassion by entering into the daily rhythm of the home and listening to various teachings presented by the permanent members of the community. They had the opportunity to participate in our community outreach and meet several of our friends, including a member of Communion and Liberation who explained the close relationship that has always existed between the two movements. One evening, Dr. Matthew Sutton professor of theology at St John’s University introduced the group to the teaching of Adrienne von Spyer, a 20th century mystic who greatly influenced the founder of Heart’s Home. He expressed the necessity of being filled with the Holy Spirit as we approach the suffering because our limited humanity is incapable of providing true consolation. The volunteers also had the opportunity to meet the founder of the International Artist Movement; he offered a unique approach to reconciling faith and art. Furthermore, the group was able to make a link between the loneliness and suffering experienced amongst those we encounter in the slums with hardships faced within the artist community.
Toward the end of the orientation program, the group visited the ICCC in Woodbourne, NY. This peaceful environment provided them with a deeper appreciation of friendship, beauty, silence, and simple tasks. The two weeks were concluded with Grayson’s sending forth mass at St James Cathedral in Brooklyn. He will leave for his 14 month mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina on July 6.
Julian L. summed up his experience saying, “I really enjoyed myself the last two weeks. What made the program great was the friendships I developed with the other volunteers.”
Katherine I. offered this reflection about the orientation program, “It is much less of a training and sending forth and much more of a family concerned for you all the way along your journey.”
“I came here not expecting anything, just trying to take everything as it was, but I got so much more. I have learned more in two weeks than I have in 19 years of my life!” commented Marcus J..
Charlotte I. concluded, “I honestly had no idea what to expect coming into the training session. While I normally like to be in charge of things, joining Heart’s Home has taught me how to fully rely on faith and trust in others. I definitely have no idea what awaits me in Peru; nevertheless, I feel peace in my mind and my heart because I trust in the mission and truly feel called by the charism of compassion.”