Living at the Mountain

Joe Flynn, a former Mountain Companion, shared his reflections on this important ministry and its limitless gifts.

joe flynnOften, what seem like limits in our lives are actually signs pointing to a space outside of limits. God has shown me this many times, but never more so than in my coming to Mt. Irenaeus.

The relationships I formed in college at Geneseo awakened me to a vocation of serving the Church or another for-purpose organization as a lay person, but upon beginning graduate school at St. Bonaventure, I still had no clue where to begin.

The idea to live and serve at the Mountain couldn’t have been my idea. Fr. Dan Riley, ofm, who first invited me here, is a champion of drawing up people from every walk of life to meet their own needs by validating their capacity to serve the community as equals.

Each of the friars here model, in his own way, how true service is not oppressive, but communal. I learned from their example every day here. Whether in mowing the lawn, driving students to and from campus, leading prayer, or helping to represent the Mountain at an off-site gathering, every role I carried here is a freeing experience. The hundreds, or probably even thousands, of people who call the Mountain home energize me to be a better person than I ever could be on my own.

I encourage anyone feeling a call to greater freedom in rootedness, or a call to reach beyond the limits of our lives, to consider joining us for a while, in any way, from a silent walk in the woods to full-time ministry with us. You’ll find that everyone who takes the time to break bread or split firewood with us is an important part of our community.

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