I have a large, extended family in Arizona. One of the things that always happens when we gather is one of the younger generations wants to hear the family stories. Storytime has become a cherished tradition of our family celebrations. The children are curious to know about how their parents acted as children. It is always funny when the stories get shared because they change slightly depending on whose version you are hearing. Everyone gets the basics of the story correct, but each teller adds a little embellishment to make their story unique. The one constant among all the stories is the love that is shared. That’s what makes this time special.
As a Precious Blood family, we come from a long line of storytellers. Our faith, Scriptures, and beliefs all began through the process of sharing our stories. Our sacred Scriptures came because the stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were shared among the community first by those who were the direct witnesses. The stories were passed on from generation to generation until written records were kept. The founders of our communities also began their journeys drawn to those sacred Scriptures. Like today, those messages propelled them in their journeys of faith and as they formed the communities that comprise our Precious Blood family. We now stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. We are encouraged by the stories of Scripture and strengthened through our relationship with God. This encouragement propelled us to share our stories with the world today.
Precious Blood spirituality became known because our founders, Gaspar, Maria, Mother Theresa and Mother Brunner, recognized the wonder of this spirituality and shared it with others. I can only imagine what those early communities must have been like as they began embracing this spirituality, especially because they didn’t have the benefit of a Google search! Yet they prayed, discerned, talked and challenged each other as everyone pushed to the next horizon. Throughout the centuries of our communities, these times continued as our spirituality was passed from generation to generation; it grew more substantial and profound. In each era, even to this day, the problems of the world seem enormous. Our ancestors recognized that Precious Blood spirituality could help in their times. Today we inherit that mission to share our spirituality in the hopes that it can be a balm for our fractured and battered world.
Sharing the gifts and blessings of Precious Blood spirituality with the world is one of the goals of the Precious Blood Spirituality Institute. To be charged with keeping the gift of Precious Blood spirituality alive was somewhat daunting. This task did not seem as intimidating when it became apparent that we don’t do it alone; we do it together with all of you who make up our Precious Blood family. Like a kaleidoscope, we stumbled on the surprise of diversity. The unique ways we define our spirituality and the ways we join together are a joy to behold. To celebrate this and in the footsteps of our ancestors, we, too, believe that we need to come together.
As our Institute begins, we believe that we need to come together to pray, discern and challenge each other regarding the gifts of our spirituality. It is in that spirit that I invite you to join us for “Coming Together, Celebrating Connections and Differences.” This event will be held on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty, Missouri. A panel of representatives from our communities will offer different perspectives about our spirituality. There will also be opportunities for questions and discussions. Can’t make it to Kansas City? There are two other ways to view the event. You can join us via Zoom on March 18. The event will be recorded and available later on our website. Also, to learn more about this event and other activities of the Institute, I invite you to visit our website: pbspiritualityinstitute.org.
As our new year begins, may we go forth with the same conviction of our ancestors and share the graces and blessings of our spirituality. It is what our world needs.
— Story by Vicky Otto, Executive Director, PBSI