Saturday, November 5, 2011


Recently we had a 'trifecta' of activity in the community.  We had visitation from our congregation leadership, during a retreat weekend at a rectory in New Orleans East and while on retreat celebrated Br. Charles Avendano's 86th birthday!  

Br. Peter Dowling, CFC, [pictured at left], is a member of the Congregation Leadership Team and came to visit with us from Friday, October 28 through Tuesday, November 1st.  While here Peter shared with us his experiences traveling around the world, including spending time at the recent "Way  To The Future" conference in Kenya that John also attended.  Peter came to us after facilitating a retreat for school leadership in the West.  While here he participated in our long planned retreat where we were discussing our way to the future facilitated by Sr. Monica Gundler, SC.  On Monday, Peter spent time with Br. Charles at Lantern Light Ministries, had lunch at Cafe Reconcile, visited Br. Bob at Operation Helping Hands, and visited Allison Maraldo at the house she is renovating in the city.

Bob, Charles, Sr. Monica Gundler, SC and John

On Friday, Peter joined Bob, Charles and John at the Resurrection of Our Lord Rectory in New Orleans East and after dinner viewed the movie "Of Gods and Men" about eight Trappist monks who lived and died in Algeria in the 1990's.  It is a moving exploration of brotherhood, community, discernment and service.  It was an unforgettable experience.  On Saturday, Sr. Monica came and facilitated our discussion of both the film and Br. Philip Pinto's inspiring meditation on the future of religious life, "Out of Darkness, Colour Breaks."  We used these to reflect on our own way forward.

Bob, Sr. Monica. John, Charles, Molly, Peter and Allison at "East of Italy"
That evening we were joined by Molly Sherry and Allison Maraldo for dinner at a Vietnamese-Italian restaurant, East of Italy, near Lake Pontchartrain, for Charles' birthday dinner.

Br. Peter Dowling and John visiting Charles at Lantern Light Ministries on Monday.
Br. Bob at his desk at Operation Helping Hands--sorting and paying bills.

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