At the end of February, Tiziano and Andrea flew to Medjugorie via Italy for a retreat for senior brothers. This was planned for the beginning of Lent so that they could all consider how to approach the coming season. On Ash Wednesday, Lent began with the distribution of ashes and Holy Mass; it was also the beginning of three days of complete silence (even at meal times). During these days everyone prayed, celebrated Mass, listened to talks from priests within the Community, and heard testimonies from missionary brothers and also from brothers / sisters who have married and have family and are still living in Community. For some three years is not enough. For some it is a vocation for life. This is an important opportunity for everyone to reflect on our individual journeys within the Community.
For Tiziano and Andrea this was their first visit to Medjugorie and it was very powerful experience for them. “Initially the same nationalities mixed with each other but gradually we came to know brothers from different houses and we shared our experiences which was very enriching. Each day we were privileged to have the opportunity for Confession, Eucharistic Adoration and personal reflection. As the days progressed the peace of the place and the growing awareness of the presence of Mary became increasingly powerful. At the end of the eight days of retreat we all took time to reflect on our failures and the weaknesses that we had discovered in ourselves in roles of responsibility. We wrote them down and we lit a bonfire and burnt the rubbish of our lives. This was very liberating and joyful so we celebrated with singing and dancing.” When they left Medjugorie they returned to Italy and Andrea moved to another house there to continue his Community journey. Tiziano had a few days of “verifica” with his family before returning to his brothers in Kendal.