For a time this week many persons of faith come closer, sensing the shared experiences of sacrifice and – particularly – hope.
There was news this week that Monsignor Robert Hoffman came to the end of his long struggle with health issues. “Father Bob” as he was known in many circles, was said to have many gifts as a mentor and teacher and as an outgoing leader.
We spoke to a particular group of his colleagues, clergymen who met regularly, across the boundaries of their denominations, for mutual dialogue and support.
“He had an ecumenical heart,” said Pastor Larson of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Charles. Retired Methodist Pastor Al Patten stressed Father Bob’s excellent mind and loving compassion for others.
Pastor Rogers of the Congregational Church related the experience of the monthly breakfast meetings at Corfu for the vigor of their discussions, particularly as they were influenced to cross the built-in boundaries.
“Father Bob and I shared a passion for the mountains,” added Pastor Rogers.
Sharing, indeed, characterized this improbable yet significantly productive and caring relationship between men of varying yet connected visions.
A connecting and familiar scripture resounds.
Speaking of hope, there’s good news about Hearts of Hope. The dramatically powerful agency that serves the community with support for families impaled by heroin addiction has a bright new location. The facilities have moved from the Geneva Drive location to Commonwealth Drive on the eastside. For details about the family support meetings on second and fourth Mondays, a wealth of information about addiction, referrals and a network of support and action,visit heartsofhope.net or call 630-327 9937; or perhaps you might see agency founder and director Lea Minalga charging past in her Oprah-awarded Volkswagon. She’s got hope in her heart to spare.
May the hope of this week – a bit more sunshine – and the gatherings of family and friends bring you much to celebrate.
Come on, tulips and daffodils!
• Joan Arteberry is a long-time resident of St. Charles. Her columns are featured in the Kane County Chronicle’s Neighbors section every other Friday. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.