“The lack of historical memory is a serious shortcoming in our society. A mentality that can only say, “Then was then, now is now,” is ultimately immature. Knowing and judging past events is the only way to build a meaningful future. Memory is necessary for growth.”

Pope Francis

As Catholic Leadership Institute continues to celebrate our 30th anniversary, a team member suggested digging up some old photos and incorporating them into some of our events and communication. Feeling nostalgic, I volunteered to take on the task thinking there might a shoebox or two to peruse. We utilize an off-site storage facility for a few things and when I requested the boxes of photos, the person said “You want all of them?” As the storage company rolled in the 8 humongous boxes, I realized I had perhaps, once again, bitten off more than I could chew. As I eventually sat down to work through my project, I was reminded of people who paved the way for our apostolate. I chuckled at some memories I distinctly remember contributing to and marveled at the number of faces and events for which I had no recollection or knowledge. I noticed on the storage slip that the last time we looked through these memories was five years before, at our 25th anniversary.

I couldn’t help but think what a shame it was that all of these memories went untouched for so long and how some of them should have more life and attention than just a passing giggle every five or ten years. I began to reflect on which memories of the past I choose to prioritize. How do they inform my present and future? As a leader and a disciple, how do I connect where we’ve been to where we feel called to go? Especially when faced with tomorrow’s challenges, do I look back to God’s goodness in the past to ground me in His promise for the future? I made a pile of photos to share with some folks who walked this journey with CLI at various points through our history and another pile that we will keep in front of us daily to keep us grounded in who we are, where we came from, and who we are called to be. What is your picture perfect memory of God’s goodness in your life? When was the last time you called it to mind and shared it with someone else? What lesson might it be reminding you of today? Prayers for your stroll down memory lane.

by Daniel Cellucci

August 02, 2021

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