Sunday, September 25, 2011


In September of 2010, we had the orientation for new members of the Volunteer Community here in New Orleans for the first time.  Molly Sherry, Haley Mills and Josh Burgess spent several days together before Josh went to spend his volunteer year in Bonita Springs.  Haley was with us until offered a wonderful scholarship opportunity in November which is an answer to her call to the ordained ministry in her Methodist faith community.
Molly, Haley and Josh during orientation.

Fast forward to Summer 2011, and Molly Sherry and Allison Maraldo, who joined us when Haley left, were joined by Nick Roland, from the 2009-10 community in offering hospitality to a group of young men from Bishop Hendricken High School [in Molly's native Rhode Island.]  When students from our schools come to volunteer here we have them over for dinner, reflection and then dessert.  Bread pudding and Blue Bell ice cream seem a universal hit.
Molly dishes out the bread pudding; Allison the ice cream, Nick assists.

We do not just work and host groups, we also celebrate significant moments in our lives.  Here Molly and Allison are arriving at Dante's Kitchen in the Riverbend section of New Orleans for Molly's birthday dinner.  Molly and Allison remain in New Orleans, sharing an apartment in Mid-City.  Allison continues at Operation Helping Hands coordinating paint and volunteer crews, while Molly is a teaching assistant in early childhood classes at Langston Hughes Elementary School near City Park.

Allison and Molly arrive--let the celebration begin!

In July the community celebrated Br. Bob's Golden Jubilee with a gathering at 4219 Constance that included prayer, a brief vow renewal ceremony, some words by Bob and, of course, food!  Our guests included members of a number of women's religious communities we have come to know through our shared ministries, volunteers and staff from Operation Helping Hands, Fr. Michael Joseph Nguyen a friend and major benefactor of the Volunteer Community, and Colleen Larocca and her husband who have been supportive of our efforts here and have guided our inculturation!

Charles greets our guests.
Molly and Allison lead a litany of Edmund Rice.
Sr. Vera Butler, PBVM from Lantern Light Ministries

Fr. Michael Joseph Nguyen proclaims the Gospel.

Kevin Griffith, John Casey, Bob Koppes and Charles Avendano renew their vows. 

Br. Kevin Griffith leads prayer.

Colleen Larocca and Sr. Jackie Schmitz, CSJ

Bob cuts the cake!   

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