Brother Charles, Matthew, John and Travis managed quite well the week of November 12 while Br. Bob was in Cincinnati, Ohio at a meeting of the Catholic Volunteer Network. Br. John was in New Rochelle, New York for a meeting of the Trustees/Members of ten schools for which we have responsibility. The three Trustees/Members [Br. John, Br. Dan Casey and Br. Ray Vercruysse] were joined by Sr. Ona Bessette, CND and Sr. Grace D’Amico, SSND who are the Office of Educational Services which supports all of the schools with relationships to Edmund Rice Christian Brothers North America.
The province offices are in a new location, 260 Wilmot Road, a sensitively restored former home with one section dating to the 18th century.
OUR THANKSGIVING TABLE
|From the left: John P, Blakely, Br. Bob, Grace, Br. Charles, Matt, Claire, Jenn and Br. John. Travis is in the mirror.|
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the Brothers and Matt Beben decided to celebrate at home and to invite any Americorps personnel who worked with our volunteers and had no place to celebrate. Originally, both John and Travis planned to see Southern relations in Memphis and Lafayette, respectively. These latter plans did not materialize; the numbers of guests fluctuated, but Matt made sure that between the community and the guests, we had a complete Thanksgiving dinner—in fact we ended up with lots of pies, two from a neighbor who cooked in the Marines!
|Matt cooks and cleans as he goes!|
|Pineapple and cranberry salad--some folks still surgically remove the cranberries--go figure.|
|Travis fixes tangled cords of the dining room blinds, Br. Charles supervises.|
Travis had a high school buddy come to visit—Ryan missed dinner because of plane delays but stayed in New Orleans at the Sheraton for the weekend. Disappointed by a mediocre dinner at one of the casinos on Friday night, at Br. John’s recommendation he and Travis went to Ralph’s on the Park on Saturday evening. They liked it enough to return for dinner on Sunday night after the Saints’ 31-21 loss to the 49ers. [Br. Charles and Br. John ate there once as guests of the Ursuline Sisters who were invited by a benefactor.] Travis got his first taste of turtle soup with a shot of sherry in it. Delicious!
Matt Beben, having washed every article of clothing he owned while preparing the stuffing and overseeing arrangements for our Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday, caught a 5:55 AM flight Friday for Atlanta on his way to visit family in one of the Carolinas. Br. Bob took him to the airport at 4 AM and Matt made his flight, despite missing the exit for the airport—“We were engrossed in our conversation. . . [at 4 in the morning????].”
On Saturday, November 24, Joe Failla came in and arranged for our wireless to reach all parts of the house so Br. John is now making himself an office in what was a storage closet in the side hallway of the house. With one floor to ceiling window facing front, and a 12.5 foot high ceiling, the room includes a wall of closets almost 2 feet deep and 10 feet long. The floor space is not great, measuring only 7 by 10 feet. With wireless, however, it makes a wonderful office. It's a good thing. And now our technologically savvy volunteers have great reception for their multiplicity of devices even on the third floor.
“Were there no God, we would be in
this glorious world
with grateful hearts:
and no one to thank.”
[Christina Georgina Rosetti]