By David Lewellen
“Hearts on Fire: Our Own Emmaus Journey” officially began Friday under cold, rainy skies in the desert north of Albuquerque. Nevertheless, arriving chaplains got a good look at rolling desert scenery and mountains on the horizon at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa.
The narrow, winding road to the hotel resembled the average chaplain’s journey through life, said Fr. Richard Bartoszek, BCC, the liturgy chair of the conference task force, in the homily for the opening prayer service. Thinking back over the people who guided him on his path to chaplaincy, he said, “Every one of us here has those people in our lives and journeys, who helped us see who we are.”
Looking at the altar cloth decorated with the names of hundreds of deceased NACC members, he said, “These people on here are part of our story and our journey. They make us realize how blessed we are by God. God sent us the very best.”
And as NACC members pay it forward, Bartoszek concluded, “You are sent to staff, boards, people at bedsides. You take away pain and let them know God loves them. And God sends you to be the best to them.”
Corn necklaces as a sign of welcome
Pueblo women from the local area greeted NACC members Friday afternoon with a traditional Pueblo greeting and a corn necklace. The beautiful keepsake necklace is a symbol of friendship, prosperity, and good health.