Thanks to the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Missouri Area gathered for a Morning of Reflection, including Mass, a thought-provoking talk, and a boxed lunch, on Saturday, April 17th. Knights and Dames appreciated the blessing of being able to gather once again, even while taking the precautions of careful masking and social distancing.
In years past, the Spring Morning of Reflection was held at Catholic Studies Center at Saint Louis University and members of the Order of Malta were able to worship and interact with students. The pandemic made it impossible to gather on campus, so the event was transferred to the Immacolata Catholic Church, where Area Chaplain, Monsignor Vernon Gardin, is pastor. Despite the change in venue, the event still drew on the talents to be found at the SLU Catholic Studies Center. The featured speaker was Fr. David Meconi, S.J., D.Phil, the director of the center, and music at both the Mass and the subsequent program was provided by two of the center’s student musicians.
After Mass concelebrated by Msgr. Gardin and Fr. Meconi, members and their guests gathered in the parish school for distanced fellowship and Fr. Meconi’s reflections. In a talk enlivened by both visual images and live music, he showed how viewing our thoughts and actions through the lens of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “rules for discernment” might make us both holier and happier. As he shared practical thoughts on what to do both in times of “desolation” and times of “consolation,” his message seemed particularly apt at this point in the pandemic.
The event concluded with a boxed lunch for those who felt comfortable sharing a meal. Knights and Dames were delighted to welcome the members who will be invested this fall, new members of the Order of Malta, American Association Auxiliary Corps, and guests interested in the Order.