A Personal Call to Continue a Journey

Brother Dan Skala speaks with Brother John Collins during a session at the Integration Team meeting in Rome, June 2017.

By Brother Daniel Skala | en français

We’ve just finished a major renovation of the former brothers’ residence and chapel here in Westwood. It is a beautiful transformation of space which had served the school well in the past. Today’s new generation of students possesses different gifts, and the new collaborative learning spaces will serve their needs. Now that the project is completed I feel content and believe that I’ve done a good job. But then I realize something is missing and some aspects of the work could have been done better. It is time to look from a different perspective as something new is slowly emerging. After what seems like a lifetime of construction projects, I need to do more.

At our meetings in Rome this past June, I came to appreciate better what the Xaverian Brothers have achieved and to see that more needs to be done. We struggled to communicate the joys and challenges of each region of the congregation. Despite these cultural filters, we did agree that our international identity enriches and challenges us. Although my own bias makes it difficult to be completely open to another Brother’s perspective, I can use whatever gifts God has given me to understand Xaverian internationality and contribute to an expanding mission. Just when I thought I had it figured out, I am being challenged to see more and do more. It is a personal call to continue a journey I have begun so many times before.

The journey now, like our mission, is alive and part of who I have become through the ordinary experiences of my days living and working with and for the Brothers. In the time given to me, and all of us, there is a great deal to accomplish in whatever capacity we are able. I believe transformation will come in the inescapable circumstances in which we find ourselves. I am gearing up for the surprises, which will surely accompany our efforts, and leaving judgment of who is worthy or unworthy to others. I continue to reflect on Pope Francis’ assertion that “all of us are invited to the table of the Lord. Let us learn to look with mercy and to recognize each brother as fellow guests at the table.” After a lifetime of discernment we are being called to come to a deeper awareness of one another and our mission. We just might be transformed in the process.

One Comment

  1. John Hamilton says:

    Dan,

    Your reflection contains a great and succinct description of what this sometimes mysterious process is truly about: “After a lifetime of discernment we are being called to come to a deeper awareness of one another and our mission. We just might be transformed in the process.” Thanks.

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