No one enters Heaven alone – we reach it through community, through helping one another, the Guest House clinical team was told at a recent Commissioning ceremony. As Catholic philosopher Jean Vanier explained, being in communion “means to be with someone and to discover that we actually belong together.”

Father George Hazler, Guest House chaplain, and Guest House President and CEO Jeff Henrich commissioned Guest House Clinical Director Robert Rinaldi at a June 12 Mass and staff retreat. Rinaldi then commissioned the entire Guest House clinical team.

“Communion means accepting people just as they are with all their limits and inner pain but also with their gifts and their beauty and their capacity to grow.’’ Father George said. “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them but to reveal to them their beauty and value. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that’s shining on them.’’

As part of the commissioning ceremony, Rinaldi was asked to uphold Guest House’s sacred ministry and staffers affirmed that they “value the persons who you serve believing that each person is made in the image of God.”

“We cannot go it alone and Jesus made it so clear to us,’’ Father George said. “We are interdependent and interconnected. Jesus is our life, He is the vine. You and I are the branches. And we have got to be attached… This statement of Jesus was made the night before He died. And of all the things that He could have talked about or shared with the Disciples around the table, this was one of the most important …

“He begs us to remain in Him… In these few short verses, the word ‘remain’ is mentioned eight times. There’s a sense of urgency. If our lives are to have meaning in this world, they must be attached to Jesus. We hear it in John also. John says those who keep His commandments remain in Him… To me, this is core to our life as Christians. We derive our spirit life from Jesus Christ but our lives are sustained from being connected with one another.’’