The Bonds of Silence by Robert Hart

The Bonds of Silence

Robert Hart on Finding Friends While Alone with God

An hour or so from moist and chilly Berkeley, our cars, filled to capacity with fugitives from secular turmoil, with luggage and sacramental appointments, traveled into the Napa Valley, amid mountains standing guard over the vineyards. Pine forests grow up the sides all the way to the top, and clouds envelop the tallest of these, as if lending modesty to the peaks.

Our small caravan of priests, deacons, and seminarians had already begun to create that informal fellowship best expressed with the good humor of jokes, the wittier the better. (Humor and meaningful conversation, rather than “male bonding,” makes friends of men.)

Our . . .