When planted in fertile ground, great friendships need not take long to blossom. On the afternoon of July 22nd, at the front entrance of De Smet Jesuit High School (St. Louis, MO), I met much of the ASC 25 cohort for the first time. An hour later we were settling into Green Hills for ASC Summer Orientation, choosing rooms, learning names, and preparing to spend two weeks retreating and learning together. In those days that followed, we cooked, played, prayed, cried, combed the yard for lost treasure, learned, loved, stretched, laughed, and grew. We shared deeply of ourselves and our stories, and became family therein.
This past week, equipped with a backpack and a hankering for some good coffee, I visited Denver – namely, the Denver ASC communities at Regis Jesuit High School and Arrupe Jesuit High School. They welcomed me into their communities, introduced me to their schools and city, and moreover extended the warmest, kindest, most heartfelt hospitality I could have imagined. See, I’ve only known most of these folks for about seven months – and spent a total of 5 or so days with them since those now-famous days at Green Hills. Yet, these stats considered, the Denver communities opened up their arms to me as they would to the bearer of free Little Man’s Ice Cream.
To feel a part of something larger than oneself is truly special. When that something makes you feel at home, though 800 miles away – that is a blessing and a heavenly gift. Today I’m writing drenched in gratitude for the friendships I’ve been so very lucky to have formed through ASC this year – right here in my own community, with the “boys” in Kansas City, and with my gracious Denver hosts and hostesses.
A very Happy Easter indeed.
*One enormous “Thank You” to those in the Jesuit residence at Regis University, for including me in their weekly Community Night mass and dinner festivities, and for making me once more feel so warmly welcomed in Denver.