Again, we had the grace of being able to gather almost all of the priests of the Province together, once more at the house of the Marist Brothers on the Island of Tynos.

Like last year, we spent much time in community recreation, taking some outings on the Island, participating with the bishop and local clergy in the patronal feast of the Island (the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin), hearing a conference about Luther by Fr. Arturo Ruiz Freites, IVE, and taking a trip to the mountain.

As a special touch to this convivencia, we took a pilgrimage to the well-known Island of Patmos. As you may know, St. John, the Apostle and Evangelist lived on this island for five years as an exile after “outliving” martyrdom in Rome. By means of some miracles, and despite his being a simple prisoner, he was converting souls on the island. The most distinguished site on Patmos is a cave in which St. John received visions and revelations from Christ himself. These were dictated by the Apostle to his scribe Procoro, and have been handed down to us in the last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse or book of Revelation. We were able to pray a long time in this grotto and later celebrated the Mass where St. John baptized the first converts of the island (in Sykamia) after he overcame Kynops, the magician of the island.

We give thanks to God and our heavenly Mother for the gift of this time of rest and community formation, and for being able to begin this new year with renewed strength. May all be for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls.

Priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, missionaries in Northern Europe

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