We greet you in the joy of Jesus! The season of Lent is so filled with opportunities to grow closer to our merciful Savior through prayer, acts of loving and selfless service, and genuine repentance for the many ways we reject His love through our sin and our weakness. Certainly, the new concern with the Corona virus drastically manifests how life can change in a moment through something completely unexpected. It reveals to us how little we are and helps us touch the reality that our relationship with Jesus is the center and source of our peace. There are so many aspects of life we cannot control, but if we remain in His merciful heart, we can feel His love and experience His peace in the midst of happiness or suffering.
We are sure that you, like us, are watching the developments of the rising medical problem of the Corona virus. Rest assured that we have taken hygiene precautions in all our houses. We are trying to limit the exposure of the guys and girls from people outside the Community. As you were told at the First Saturday meeting, we have a on freeze on experiences and now also on orientations.
After much prayer, we have decided to cancel the Parents & Families Retreat on the weekend of April 3-5 for the protection of your sons and daughters and the families. There would be many family members coming from all over the country, both driving and flying, and the risk of exposure would be greatly increased. We ask that the few parents who have decided for their sons to exit at this time please call Albino directly. We do not want any family members to come to the Community to pick up their sons.
However, because our Parents & Families Retreat is so very important, we hope to have the Retreat on two different weekends in May, if in fact the Corona virus has receded: Friday, May 1-Sunday, May 3 for families whose son/daughter entered after November 1, 2018. Families whose son/daughter entered before November 1, 2018, are to attend the Retreat on Friday, May 15-Sunday, May 17. Both retreats will begin Friday at 5:00 pm with dinner. Breaking it up into two weekends, we can address the needs and issues specific to the newer and older families. We will have more time to talk to a greater number of parents individually. With the new buildings, we now have the space to gather. God always provides! Of course, we will be watching the developments of the virus, and the dates will ultimately depend on the medical situation.
Please join us in increased prayer for our nation and the world. As always, we entrust ourselves to the merciful heart of the Father who chose each one of your sons and daughters for Community, so s/he might come to love Jesus and to have eternal salvation. This is the true goal of our earthly life—eternal life in the arms of Jesus and Mary.