All in all it was quite a marvelous few days.
The CPPS assembly, at least the part of it I attended, was very rewarding, interesting stuff about Circles, shared values, conflict resolution and reconciliation.
You know I am not a fan of jargon ("Circle keepers," passing around a "talking piece", too cute by half,) but it was very useful, very sound stuff.
The conviviality was unsurpassable (the CPPS charism of hospitality is boldly lived out, and there seems to be an unspoken charism of wit and humour,) what a bunch of beautiful beings...
Charm, erudition, kindness... and I will state outright that I met with saints.
The liturgies were a mixed bag, just my opinion. Good sense of ritual for the most part, good presiders, not bad preaching, but members of the assembly loudly proclaiming the words they would have used if anyone had consulted them over any masculine pronouns that dare to be part of the missal are just foolish, and much of the the music was ill-chosen, it seemed to me. There is no excuse for using "psalms" that play fast and loose with scripture. If any individual is credited with the text in the copyright notice for a psalm, it had damn well better be King David. And there were some interesting, but far too chromatic for congregational use, songs. I do like the Proulx ordinary we used, (sorry that the Boss wasn't there to hear it.)
I was glad to finally learn a little more about who we are and how we came to be where we are -- there's a bit of the Whiting syndrome at play there, everyone just assuming you know all the history and the names and the places a relative newcomer has no way of knowing, (like Aunt Eileen giving me, as part of directions, a turn "at the junk yard on Mountain," which hasn't been there since the 1930s!)
Br Nick is a very interesting man, so sweet, and down to earth. I'm looking forward to any visits he makes to our... chapter? group? what are we?
Himself had a terrific time, but is feeling the need to remind me evermore frequently and evermore emphatically that he doesn't think it's for him, he has no intention of joining (and no, I HAVEN'T asked him... so he does indeed protest a bit too, too.)
The serenity and prayerfulness of the atmosphere of the Retreat center, the surrounding countryside, and especially the Shrine really speak to him.
But the highlight for me was unquestionably the several hours I spent talking with Fr. H.
What a beautiful man; a giant, and a saint.
I am going to find a way to get some tapes that will be useful to him.
(The encyclicals, I will record myself.)