On Monday, July 25, 2016 – a sunny and very windy day in San Francisco – we celebrated Br. David Steindl-Rast’s life and legacy on the occasion of his 90th birthday at the Cowell Theater. It was a joyous gathering from beginning to the end.
At his request, Br. David started the day off by greeting each and every one of the 275+ people who attended the event. Once we were all in our seats, Board member Adetola Abiade opened the afternoon with Amazing Grace, and Board Chair, Mary Kostel and Fetzer Institute’s Gillian Gonda welcomed everyone. Then we enjoyed a lively conversation about “Everyday Mysticism” with Br. David and Kristi Nelson, and special guests Nipun Mehta, Diane Musho Hamilton, Soren Gordhamer, and Dr. Robert Emmons. The afternoon session was beautifully punctuated by Jane Hirshfield reading poems as a tribute to Br. David.
During the intermission, Br. David signed books for dozens of people, guests nibbled on yummy treats and perused gifts for sale, and some people ventured out for dinner at Greens Restaurant.
We gave Br. David a welcome break from 7 – 9 pm, and let him sit in the audience. Board member Chuck Roppel hosted the evening and Margaret Wakeley gave a brief biography of Br. David’s life from 1926-2001, accompanied by great historical photos that hardly anyone – including Br. David – had ever seen. Rob Cox, the Head of Special Collections at UMass Amherst, talked about the gift and importance of Br. David’s archives that he recently donated. Anthony Chavez took us through 8 years of tales and photos of his travels with Br. David, and Chuck brought us up to date with Br. David’s vision from 2000 – A Network for Grateful Living and our beautiful website. There were tributes from Dale Biron, Gary Fiedel, our International Partners from Vivir Agradecidos and Dankbar Leben, and video tributes from many more who could not attend. Michael Lerner added a moving tribute, and Jack Kornfield was a surprise guest with a special acknowledgement of Br. David.
We wish that you all could have been there! And luckily, because of our partnership with Fetzer, the whole event was filmed and we will be happily sharing it online this fall. Special thanks to everyone who generously bought tickets, sent birthday Gifts and Wishes to Br. David, and gifts to support his Legacy Fund. Your support brightens and expands our future!
Enjoy the event program with more of the details:
Happy 90th Birthday, dear Br. David! With abiding love from your Gratefulness team
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Thank you so much for the informative post.
I’m sitting here in my kitchen, in a hot winter day, reading about the event and imaging how it was beautiful and special.
It’s so nice read about the Brother David’s legacy and about all involves the Network for Grateful Living. Amazing. Lovely and friendly as a big family.
Even I’m so far I feel like a guest in this special celebration.
The world needs love, peace and you provide it. Thank you 🙂
With fraternal love, Cintia from Brazil.
Thank you, dear Cintia, for your good wishes and care.
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