The North American Lay Spiritan Gathering was held at the Spiritan Center in Bethel Park from May 4-6, 2018. This annual meeting provides opportunity for fellowship, reflection, planning, and collaboration among Lay Spiritans of the three North American Spiritan Provinces.
From the TransCanada and United States Provinces, 12 Lay Spiritans, along with two candidates in formation and several confreres, attended the event. Members of the Canadian Province were not able to attend, but provided a report to be shared.
With a theme of “Building Bridges to a Culture of Universal Solidarity,” the weekend’s events began with a welcome and prayer service for solidarity in the chapel on Friday evening. Over the course of the weekend, participants provided updates from their respective provinces.
The group reflected on shared topics of interest and commitment, such as living mission interculturally; justice, peace and integrity of creation ministry; and ministering to refugees; as well as opportunities for increased solidarity, support and collaboration.
Session topics incorporated the ‘Building Bridges’ theme, through ‘Understanding,’ with discussions led by two African Spiritans on challenges related to migration and the environment in their countries; ‘Shared Grief;’ ‘Celebration;’ and ‘Planning for the Future Together.’
On Sunday, U.S. Provincial Fr. Jeffrey Duaime, C.S.Sp., concelebrated Mass, and afterwards the Lay Spiritans concluded the weekend with a business meeting.
The group will meet again in Pittsburgh over the weekend of September 28, 2018, for fellowship and a Lay Spiritan recommitment ceremony. Next year’s North American Lay Spiritan Gathering is tentatively scheduled for the weekend of April 14, 2019 in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
For more information on becoming a Lay Spiritan, visit http://www.spiritans.org/join-us/become-a-lay-spiritan/.