During the last weeks of July, some of us went on vacation, some to retreat and some vacated 4219 Constance as they concluded their year as members of this volunteer community.
Charles was on the West Coast until the 24th visiting family and friends in the Pacific Northwest and California. It was his “Jubilee Tour.”
On July 18th Matt Beben and Travis Wain completed their commitments to Americorps, but remained in New Orleans for awhile.
On the 22nd Bob left by car for a vacation in Minnesota and Chicago and retreat with a Sisters community in Iowa. John left on the 22nd for a directed retreat at St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington, LA, returning on Saturday the 27th.
Br. Lucian Knapp came in on that Monday evening to meet up with Br. Tom LeJeune who was in Destrehan, LA visiting from Seattle. Travis was host; Lucian left on Wednesday, the 24th. Charles returned home on that same evening, joining Matt and Travis.
Matt Beben left on Saturday morning, the 27th, headed to an orientation program for folks joining a Salesian volunteer program; he is planning for next year in Ethiopia.
Travis devoted his days before he left us to cleaning the third floor; he steam cleaned all the carpets—they needed it after six years.
On the 30th of July Charles, John and Travis hosted Sisters Mary Ellen Schroeder, Kerstin Maria Deuben, and Mary Nancy Vance, Sisters of Notre Dame [Toledo, OH] who run the Mirabeau Learning Center which does remarkable work in early childhood programs in a number of Catholic elementary schools as well as running an after school program. They make an important difference and are volunteers like ourselves.
John drove to Madison, MS on the 31st to facilitate a faculty retreat at St. Joseph’s High School on August 1st. The Brothers have had a commitment to the Diocese of Jackson for 16 years: Br. John Brennan, Ted Dausch and Dan Lauber have been there for all those years. John returned to NOLA that afternoon for dinner with Travis and Br. Charles on Travis’s last day before he took off to visit family. He is returning at the end of August for a second volunteer year.
Br. Bob returned on Sunday, August 4th to the ‘empty nest.’ On Tuesday we had Sr. Nancy Hale and Sr. Pauline O’Reilly and Pauline’s nephew, Eoghan [Owen], a young Irishman visiting New Orleans. Sisters Nancy and Pauline are members of the Congregation of the Holy Faith and volunteer several days a week where Br. Charles works.
Now Charles, Bob and John are back at work. We look forward to our three new volunteers coming at the end of the month, even while missing the three young men who continue to be a part of our lives.
A THOUGHT AFTER A RETREAT AT A BENEDICTINE ABBEY:
The Benedictines chanted much of the Divine Office at Vigils [6:00 AM], LAUDS [7:00 AM], VESPERS [5:30 PM] and COMPLINE [7:15 PM].
Participating in those Offices, in the beauty of the Abbey church, one is reminded of a line in THE EMERGING CHRISTIAN WAY: “… worship is of God; it is for us.”