The Journey to Love as Christ Has Loved Us12-08-2016, Malta
It was a joyful moment as the congregation started to gather at the Vocations Chapel of the Major Seminary in Malta on Friday evening, August 12, 2016. They were about to witness Patricia and Mark Dol acknowledge their Life Covenant commitment to Glory of God International Covenant Community (GOGICC) as part of the ICPE Mission.
Mark who is from New Zealand, and Patricia who comes from Malta, both joined the ICPE Mission as singles. Patricia completed her School of Mission (SOM) in New Zealand in 1988 while Mark participated in the SOM in Rome that same year. They both remained with the ICPE Mission following their SOM and served in Malta, Germany and Rome. After taking a seven year sojourn away from missionary life they returned to lead our Mission Center in Germany for five years before moving to Oregon, USA to pioneer a work of the ICPE Mission there.
After nearly thirty years, and after a period of discernment from both the sides of the GOGICC Council and Mark and Patricia, and seeing their heart for the call and vision of the ICPE Mission, they were offered the opportunity of Life Covenant Commitment. This journey culminated with a personal Day Retreat in which they were accompanied by Mario and Anna as they reflected on their journey of faith and the reality of the covenant they have lived all these years with the ups and downs, challenges and joys. The second half of the day was oriented towards appropriating the call to covenant love, a call to love one another as Christ has loved us (Jn 13:34). Pat and Mark’s YES to this call for the rest of their lives was declared formally during the Life Covenant Eucharistic Celebration last Friday.
Mark and Patricia were blessed to have their son Joshua, dear friends and family join them for this special occasion. Present and serving in a tremendously supportive way through the leading of worship, the organization of Mass, the preparations and serving of the reception that followed Mass, and so many other ways, were the members of the BOLCC. We thank them all and in a special way Marica and Igor Zbirka, who were in constant contact with Mark and Pat over the last months. They were also joined by our dear friend from the MSSP, Fr Frankie who presided over the Eucharist, Fr Martin, Fr Gigi and Fr Mark. Also present were Fr Jimmy - rector of the Major Seminary, Fr Paul - friend and advisor of the ICPE Mission, and Fr Reggie - Patricia's uncle.
Fr Frankie gave a beautiful homily that reminded us that it is God who initiates the Covenant, and we are given the privilege and opportunity to respond. We were also reminded that the journey of our walk of faith is in itself very precious and we should not fix our mind on the destination but “enjoy the journey”. Hence, Life Covenant Commitment is not a destination but only the beginning of a journey marked with God’s faithful love.
It is with gratitude therefore that as members of the GOGICC, we celebrate this grace-filled moment in the lives of Mark and Patricia as another step towards living more fully their lives conformed to the image of Christ, loving as He has loved us.
Our prayers are with you Mark and Pat. Thank you for your YES!
The GOGICC Family