Sunday, July 8, 2012

'Be Who We Are in All We Do,' Leader Sums Up

Deacon Tom Bello, OFS
 CHICAGO -- Calling it "a Trinity of Scary Basics," National Minister Deacon Tom Bello summed up at the final evening session what he saw as key themes coming out of the small group discussions at the 18th Quinquennial Congress.

He saw an initial overarching three-part theme of a life-long commitment to the Trinity, a life-long commitment to fraternity, and a life-long commitment to sanctification of the self. 

And that comes with one primary goal: Salvation within and through the fraternity with the help of the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

He cited three practical implications: Keep our charism alive, keep our fraternities alive, and keep ourselves alive (on-going formation and self-improvement). Those are accomplished through prayer, priority and commitment.

Regarding the specific ideas coming out of the discussions, he pointed to three basic concepts: 

  1. Rebuilding and building bridges (in fraternity, church, world) and better communication.
  2. Better formation at all levels.
  3. Be who we are in all we do. "Be better children of the Gospel, making Christ ever-present in the world."
Mary Ceil McManus, OFS
After his presentation, Tom gave out several prizes, including recognizing the longest professed member in attendance -- Mary Ceil McManus, who found herself facing cheers and a standing ovation for being professed 67 years.

Professed on July 1, 1945, Mary Ceil turns 91 on July 10. She is a member of St. Anthony Fraternity in Oaklawn, Illinois.