Visiting Old FriendsApril 19, 2017
by Cindy Hruby, English Department
Several times a year, the administration extends an open invitation for faculty and staff to spend a day visiting our retired Jesuits at Colombiere Conference and Retreat Center. The trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The drive went faster, the center was bigger, the Mass was more beautiful, and my spirits were lifted higher than I had even hoped they might be.
My colleagues and I left early, hit the road, and soon we were being embraced by our dear Jesuit friends including Fr. Canfield, Fr. Libens, and Fr. Streicher. After Mass in the beautiful Colombiere chapel, with its stunning altar mosaic and stained glass windows, we made our way to the dining hall. Breaking bread with the Jesuits was the highlight of the day for me. My favorite things about these men were on full display, as strong if not stronger than ever: their joy, their humor, their faith, their intelligence, and their love for all things Ignatius.
As an English teacher, I was thrilled to be at a table with the master grammarian once again, as Fr. Streicher shared fresh insights on the English language. Fr. Canfield worked his magic, keeping us laughing and making sure we felt loved. I could listen to Fr. Libens tell stories all day, so as usual, I hung on his every word. Our time was up long before I had my fill.
It’s been one week since our visit, and I continue to replay parts of it in my mind on a daily basis. I would like to think that the fellowship was good for our Jesuits’ souls. Without a doubt, it was good for mine.