In 1936 Fr. Bishop wrote, “A Plan for an American Society of Catholic Home Missions to Operate in the Rural Sections of the United States.” This plan which became the foundation of Glenmary Home Missioners was carefully thought out based upon his experience in a rural parish and his understanding of the lack of a Catholic presence in the rural parts of the United States.
I find it fascinating that in the plan written over 70 years ago he considered almost all of the critical points that Glenmary continues to operate by today with just a few modern tweaking. One idea that could almost be overlooked was his concern for the holistic health and spirit of the missioners. Therefore in his plan he wrote about the need for all missioners to return to the Motherhouse once a year.
"Every priest should be required by rule to return to the Mother House once a year for a visit of a few weeks to refresh his spiritual and physical energies and renew contact with his superiors and fellow members, also as a precaution against lonesomeness, discouragement or the development of an inferiority complex as a result of long and uninterrupted life in regions where clerical contacts are few."
As a result the Glenmary Congress is our annual gathering for all members to gather as a community with no major agenda but to spend time together. It is our time to walk, listen, laugh and play together, time to refresh our spirit and strengthen us for the work ahead.
I will be at our Glenmary Congress all week