The New Wine Press vol 26 no 1 September 2017 | Page 7

building in the alley between the vegetable garden and the main building. Two of the youth—one boy, one girl—had been shot. The police had been called and while we waited for the ambulance we stood on the edge of the wrought iron fence. Sr. Donna walked back to us. I could see her hands red with blood. We just stood there. Eventually the ambulance left. The officers questioned some of the youth and the adults. At the end of the wrought iron fence they tied yellow police tape from one side of the alley to the other. Fr. Denny Kinderman made the comment, “I never thought I would see yellow tape on our property.” It was a tragic ending to such a beautiful week. Both youth were expected to survive but still it left a mark. For me it was a harsh reality check that we are still very much on the edge.  Editor, continued from page 2 opposition additionally to Jewish and Catholic immi- grants. The Nazis of course sought to eliminate Jews, the disabled, gays and lesbians, and anyone who wasn’t “pure” (Aryan) racially. These hate groups are still with us today. They were there in Charlottesville. Let me put this in the context of this publication and our province and the world-wide Precious Blood community. If this hateful and evil ideology would prevail, here are some of the people who would be excluded from our circles: almost half of our pres- ent cohort of Precious Blood Volunteers; most of the youth and their families served by the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation; all members and Companions of our units in Latin America, Africa, India, and Vietnam; almost all the parishioners of St. Agnes Parish in Los Angeles and many parishio- ners in other parishes staffed by the Kansas City and Cincinnati Provinces; and a number of members and Companions in the United States. After a break to watch the eclipse with a group of friends, I am back to conclude this reflection. It was indeed awesome (not a word I like to use lightly). I was reminded of something I read just the day before, a commentary by a Muslim leader: “The total eclipse is a time of spirituality for many faith traditions. It is the time of unity and healing, especially in the aftermath of Charlottesville tragedy. It is the time to remember we have far more in common with each other than things that divide us. It is the time to remember we all share the same sun and the moon as we all enjoy and reflect on the spectacular solar eclipse.” Amen. W Leadership, continued from page 3 As I begin this sabbatical I can identify with Abraham, whose readings we listened to at daily Mass during July. God is leading and I trust. I also identify with Moses being called to eventually “set my people free.” Somehow at Precious Blood Renewal Center, spiritually I will be involved in “setting people free” from whatever burdens or whatever is holding them back from a deeper relationship with God, eventually leading them to a new covenant. I also identify with Peter, James, and John called by Jesus with “Come follow me.” Leave behind that with which you are familiar and begin something new. “Just learn from me,” Jesus says. Because of my personal timeline of making a 30- day directed retreat during the month of August and because of the publishing timeline of the New Wine Press, I am writing this article before I have heard the final results of the Symposium on Community Life. But I am presuming that new ideas will come out about constructing “New Wine Skins.” Jesus says in Matthew 9:16-17, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth onto an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak and a worse tear is made. Neither is a new wine put into old wine skin, otherwise the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wine skins and so both are preserved.” The new wine is the Gospel message. The receptacle for this new wine must be conformed to it, not the other way around. To take in the Good News, we can’t live in the cramped space of our old habits and attitudes. We can’t have an “expect-the-worst” atti- tude. Instead we must change the minds that we have. If God is love then only a soul that is on fire with love can pro perly take him in. We all know that it is really hard to let go of old hab- its and old patterns of living. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to quiet our minds so that we can think his thoughts. Let’s sit quietly in God’s presence letting God’s thoughts re- program our thinking. Let’s dream together. Our Community Life Symposium and our work at Precious Blood Renewal Center can build on the past, but also allow the Holy Spirit to create something new. Gaspar was totally dependent on the Holy Spirit to be able to carry the Gospel to people who had lost faith. He was very successful. He used new wineskins that hadn’t been used before. Today we are searching for another set of new wineskins. I am confident that we will find it. W September 2017 • The New Wine Press • 5