Wednesday, May 29, 2013


About to cut the cake!

Br. Charles celebrated his 70th Jubilee with a Vow Renewal Ceremony and Reception on Saturday, May 18th here at 4219 Constance.  Brs. Charles, Bob and John were joined by Br. Barry Lynch, a Province Councilor, in renewing vows in the presence of the assembly during a brief prayer service.  When he arose to speak Charles mentioned that it took him 50 minutes to cover his material during his 50th  Jubilee [!], but he was only covering the last twenty so it would be shorter.  He was true to his word—20 minutes, not that we were timing him.  John Petrullo and Travis Wain took charge of the food and even cooked—and their culinary efforts were a hit.  Br. Bob took care of liquid refreshments and Br. John set the tables.  Matt Beben took the pictures accompanying this post.  [The pictures are of the reception—we did renew vows—Br. Lynch is our witness.]

Br. Charles takes care of the mail at Lantern Light and the Presentation Sisters arrived with a lavish hat box with a gift cap that you will see in the pictures.  It was the hit of the party.  Neighbors and friends participated in prayer and song.  Charles requested the “Salve Regina” at the close and due to the presence of Presentation Sisters, Sisters of Charity, Notre Dame Sisters and a Cabrini the singing was superb. 
The hat!

Br. Barry Lynch was with us for a few days and had time with Br. Charles at Lantern Light and at home. At the same time as we celebrated Charles, Matt Beben’s dad, Greg, and sister, Maria were our house guests for five days.  They had wonderful weather, found neat antiquarian bookstores their first day in town, and got to a plantation and the Pearl River Swamp tour as well as the Jubilee.  We did explain we did not normally have 50 people over on Saturday afternoon for cake and wine.
Br. Barry Lynch, Maria Beben and Greg Beben [Matt's sister and Dad]

In a reality check on Monday, September 20, as the community and our guests sat down to dinner, Travis came in late having been caught in traffic returning from his work on a house on the West Bank.  His casual retelling of a drive-by shooting that day targeting a group gathered next door to where he was sitting, and how he and a companion dove behind a ‘bullet proof’ door of the house they were working on, was met by silent surprise and later conversation with our new visitors to New Orleans.  

On the 21st, Sr. Monica Gundler joined us for pizza and reflection on our last month together.  With Charles leaving on June 19 and John Petrullo on the 29th we will not be together again after the 19th.  With that in mind, Monica gave us questions to ponder before the meeting, and a lively and open conversation engaged everyone.  We hope to schedule one more community outing before Charles and John Petrullo depart and some sort of ritual for closure so we don’t just drift away from what has been a good year indeed.

Bob leaves for his vacation in July, a few days before Charles returns.  Matt and Travis’ end their commitment to this year’s volunteer program at the end of July.

Matt and Travis have been working with volunteers recently; Matt just concluded his tutoring at Boys Hope here in New Orleans so we may see him on Wednesdays now—though his social calendar seems well taken care of.  

Br. Bob is rebuilding the porch on the west side of the building; Br. John is involved with end-of-year programs with the School Leadership Center.  On the 23rd Br. John met Sr. Dale McDonald, PBVM and Sr. Enid Storey, PBVM for dinner.  Sr. Dale heads up the public policy and governmental relationship desk at the National Catholic Educational Association where Br. John worked and she volunteers a week each year at Lantern Light.  On the 24th, Br. Bob and Br. John joined Br. Charles, and John Petrullo at Lantern Light to make a monetary donation and help prepare lunches for the homeless guests as a way of marking the birthday of Edmund Ignatius Rice which falls on June 1st.  

For Memorial Day, Br. Charles went all out: baked sweet potatoes with grilled onion and blue cheese, corn on the cob, and steaks from the grill the volunteers bought this year off ‘Craigs List.’  Of course, there was a bit of confusion about who was to do the grilling, but have no fear, Br. Bob and Travis stepped in and everyone ate too much. 

After a mild Winter and Spring, more tropical weather is arriving; it is getting warm!

 Some photos from the Jubilee:

Msgr Doussan in white  shirt, Glen Lirette [green shirt] and Randy Miller [blue shirt] our neighbors --that's Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt in the painting.

Sr. Monica Gundler, SC, Sr. Regina Peterson, MSC and Sr. Enid Storey, PBVM
Anthony and Colleen LaRocca with John Petrullo who is trying to get Colleen's recipe for bread pudding

We are serious about cake.  [This was a posed shot.]

Presentations, Notre Dames, and Charities -- no dust on Charles Avendano!

Sr. Nancy Hale, CHF and opposite Sr. Pauline O'Reilly CHF in front.  Next to Charles is Sr. Dale McDonald, PBVM.

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