Written at 2AM on June 29th at The Hospice of Grand St. Bernard
High on the mountain, just next to the official border between Switzerland and Italy, which is in a lake, sits the Hospice of Grand St. Bernard.
This weekend celebrated a great many things: the Treasury, the Collège Chapittet, the renovations underway to save the Hospice from dilapidation and decay. Read it clearly: complete closure. After 1000 years of service. Because that will happen someday soon if the Hospice is not saved. (PLEASE donate: Hospice du GSB- Union de Banque Suisse-1920 Martigy- IBAN CH50 0026 4264 6946 8001 X – BIC UBSWCHZH80A)
Moving on, I think it is safe to say, many of those who gathered this weekend did not know each other. Many people who crossed the threshold of the Hospice of Grand St. Bernard this weekend were strangers to each other. It’s just normal. What is not normal is the outcome.
They left as part of a family: the ever-growing, all-loving Hospice family.
Even for those of us, like me, who are veterans – it’s always a new family, you see? New faces, new stories, new names. Every day, the Hospice family is re-energized by “newness” and it is through this heart that the Hospice will always give warmth and light, even when it is a time of darkness or cold.
Pilgrims (like Brian) embrace physical endurance testers (like Mr. X from Vaud). Canons, deacons, and oblates break bread (or cheese) with Switzerland’s in-the- valley-working folks. Others are seeking peace and encounter someone in direct service (like Jackson). At the Hospice, we all fight for the same thing: peace. Peace not only for ourselves in this moment. Peace for all who are in need.
Because we are family. We are all the Hospice of Grand St. Bernard family and now we have new additions in Jackson and Alex, who contributed so much to make this weekend’s concerts happen. Hospice angels.
God bless José, Frédéric, Anne-Marie, Raphaël, Pascal, Jean-Michel, L, Anne-Laure, Christophe and the Campaign committee, Raphaëlle, Annick and Stefan, and many others. We all use our gifts to support the Hospice. That’s what we do.
I wish everyone could be lucky enough to join this family. It is a family that will never let you fall.
On a personal note:
It’s hard to point to a favorite moment, but I think the moment José laid eyes on me when I arrived was one of the best moments in my life. No one has ever been so happy to see me and let me know it. HUGE smile, eyes dancing, big bear hug. José – ich bin deine Schutzengeli und immer so.
Jackson Henry at the Hospice is too much goodness to handle. Seeing his feet walk out of the Customs door after over a decade of geographical distance is something I cannot explain. Jackson is one of my top five favorite people on the planet – he is my soul’s twin brother.