These last few days of the S.C. Experience were led by Dr. Larry Lenoir, a professional counselor who actually got his PhD at Loyola in Maryland. We were there at the same time for part of our studies. It was cool to see him again. His dissertation was on comparing marital satisfaction and stability in priesthood. In other words, do the things that keep couples happy in a marriage related to whether a priest stays in the priesthood. He found some connection. So he talked to us about the Gottman Institute’s work on what makes a successful marriage. I took the Gottman’s workshop this summer so it was very interesting to see it applied to community life.
In our “small groups” we talked about how we communicate in community and how best to make changes. We also reflected on what is the best of our community that we want to take forward into the future and what are aspects that we want to leave behind. This helped shape a letter from us, the 50 friars at this expeirence, to the rest of the friars. The other 7 Sacro Convento Experiences have done the same. My suggestion was that these 8 letters be combined as one letter to the friars of the rest of the world.
At our close ritual we also had a special blessing for Friar Eric de la Pena who will be ordained a presbyter on Nov 15th.
Now it’s time to pack and head home. This experience has been great, California glorious, but I can’t wait to get back to my own bed!!!