Sunday, January 29, 2012


Sr. Lory Schaff, CSJ [1932-2012]
Sr. Lory Schaff, CSJ, died this past week after a long life of service to the poor in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Br. Charles and John attended a beautiful memorial service that included a reading of her renewal of vows for her 25th Jubilee [a long time ago], and reminiscences from co-workers and those she ministered to at Hope House and other venues in New Orleans. We got to know her at the “Newcomer” gatherings of religious who came to NOLA after Katrina.  Sr. Lory was a native of Louisiana and welcomed us “Newcomers,” sharing her stories and valued insights with us.  A powerful and consistent advocate for the poor, she lived that simplicity of life so many of us espouse.  As her days came to a close she chose not to pursue aggressive forms of medical treatment because she felt the resources consumed could be better used elsewhere.  She believed in life after death and the world to come.

We recall, too, her gracious manner, gentle good humor, and lovely voice, redolent with the cadences and pronunciation of New Orleans.  She was a great lady who made you feel special as you left her presence.  Religious life was never lived more fully.

The Other Real Presence

Am I mistaken, Lord?

Is it temptation to think
You increasingly urge me
To go forth and proclaim
The need and urgency
Of passing
From the Blessed Sacrament
To your other presence,
Just as real,
In the Eucharist of the poor?

Theologians will argue,
A thousand distinctions be advanced
But woe to him who feeds on You
And later has no eyes to see You
To discern you
Foraging for food among the garbage,
Being evicted every other minute,
Living in sub-human conditions
Under the sign of utter insecurity.

By Helder Camara, written out in his own hand by
Cardinal Basil Hume

On a more mundane level, we are still praying for and, Bob is still recruiting volunteers for our community.  He is in contact with many possibilities, but things take time.  Michael Jakob from our first Ursuline summer group in 2009 is in contact about a possible  early 2013 sojourn with us and we are having a group of Jesuit volunteers in for dinner this Wednesday.

We are in contact with  some of our former volunteers--Vincent Fiedler-Ross, now a graduate engineering student in Washington, DC called to check on us and fill us in on his life.

Haley Mills, our volunteer who departed in November 2010 when given an extraordinary scholarship opportunity to further her plans for ordination, [she is a Methodist] has been in contact.  She continues her studies at Emory.  Below a picture of Haley during the prayer service at the orientation ceremony in August 2010.

Br. Bob and Haley with Br. John and Josh Burgess in the background.
Haley came to us because of her interest in living with a Eucharistic community and was very involved in our community meetings, and in giving us an insight into the vitality of Christian social ministry among our Methodist brothers and sisters.  She is pursuing ordination in her  Methodist faith community as an aspect of her commitment to social ministry in the Church. 

We have to follow up on e-mails and phone messages from Catherine Drennan who has something in mind for us.  We shall see.  

Our weather is cool and sunny--Bob just planted basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme near our car park so he can pick fresh  herbs as he comes in to cook!  "Fancy!" as Allison Maraldo would say.

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