We, Servant Brothers and Priest, spent the weekend of November 3-5 with the boys of Lumezzane. It was supposed to rain that weekend, thank God, Our Lady had mercy on us and the weather was great.
We began on Friday and there were 13 of us: 4 Servant Brothers and 9 boys. After dinner we went straight to bed to charge up our batteries for the next day. There was total silence until the following morning…
On Saturday we woke up to gunshots. It seemed like they were at our front door. Carlo, who knew what was happening, explained that there were people hunting nearby and that there was no danger. Thank goodness! After breakfast and Mass, we had adoration. Pablo Lobo, candidate of the Servant Brother led the meditation while Fr. Rene heard confessions. Seeing as how it wasn’t raining (thanks to Our Lady’s intercession), we were able to go on a small hike while praying the Rosary. Then we went to the Church at Preseglie (it looks like a Cathedral), where there is a statue of the Dormition of Mary with the twelve apostles surrounding her.
After having placed Our Lord and Our Lady in first place, we went to play some soccer. There was only one small problem…we didn’t have a ball. Our Lady helped us out again and we ran into a woman from the town, who took us to a young man’s house. He kindly let us use his ball. We don’t know how long Br. Nico was happy about it, because the ball hit him on the head shortly after having started…but he survived. Thank goodness!
At lunch, the boys ate enough pasta for 15 people. Oh my! How the boys eat! Two of us who were praying the liturgy of the hours and arrived a little later, were left with nearly nothing.
After lunch more boys arrived and we ended up being about 20 people. We separated into two groups: older boys and younger boys. The younger boys went with Br. William on the hunt for a ball…and they found one! The older boys had a meeting with Br. Nico about a book that is used in Rome to teach children gender ideology. After playing football and capture the flag, it got dark outside and we played a classic: slender. It is a game where two boys have to walk around with candles looking for 4 hidden players in order to scare them. You have to try and scare them before they call you by your name and eliminate you. It is a very fun game.
For dinner we had “lo spiedo,” a typical dish of this region of Italy. To finish the day off, Fr. Francesco, the pastor of St. Apollonio’s, where many of the boys are altar servers, came to give his testimony. It was really good. Many of the boys asked him questions related to the difficulties on the way to the priestly vocation. He encouraged them to not be afraid and to trust in Our Lady and to entrust themselves to the saints, like Bl. Paul VI. We these thoughts we sang the Salve Regina.
On Sunday morning we had prayer after breakfast. Br. Nico spoke to us about Victor Frankl, a psychologist who survived a Nazi concentration camp, during WWII. Later we had Mass with the boys’ parents. We cleaned the house, ate lunch together and took a group picture. Our Lady has done great things for us and we are joyful. Our lady of Mt. Carmel, Our Queen and Our Mother, bless our get-together!