Monday, September 8, 2014


At 'Moon' Landrieu's [on the left].  He was Mayor and Secretary of HEW in Carter administration.

Labor Day 2014 was hot, humid and wet.  Amidst the downpours, John went to Theo’s for pizza with Sr. Kathleen Colmer, OSU and Sr. Regina Marie Fronmuller, OSU to reflect on a very successful Ursuline UK visit to the US.  Sr. Kathleen, the Province Leader for the Ursulines in the United Kingdom, has seen the program continue to expand and be replicated in the USA.

Br Charles made a steak and potatoes dinner for our Labor Day dinner—a good thing!  Bob is still struggling with a persistent, aching cough although he has seen his doctor again and notes slow improvement.  He is in to work daily, but the cough makes attending meetings impossible right now. 

On Wednesday, Charles and John went to a convocation of 200 religious women and men as part of the process for gathering input from the people of the Archdiocese for the Archdiocesan Synod.  Over 1600 people have participated in the sessions, meeting at round tables and discussing what is positive, needs attention and might be a new challenge for the Church of New Orleans.  Archbishop Gregory Aymond attends, makes brief opening remarks and then listens, notepad in hand!  The process will continue with a series of meetings of different committees through March to discuss what has been heard and to make recommendations.  John is on the Committee on Vocations, one of seven that will be meeting.

As part of this local volunteer community’s effort to attract young adults, John has been meeting with a person involved in young adult formation in the area, with experience in the UK and other places in the United States.  She is helping us look at our written materials, [input from Caitlyn De Castro and Catherine Drennan has been a blessing], and is helping us make connections here in our area.  She and John met for several hours on Friday.  Bob and Charles will meet Kristin Niedbala and some of her colleagues on Wednesday, September 10th when they come for dinner and a conversation with us.

On Saturday, John worked on pruning anything that did not move; rose bushes, ground cover, vines and a few errant tree branches.  It reminded him that our yard hosted a wonderful parish celebration in July on the Feast of St. Henry.  Instead of a hot parking lot, cool grass was underfoot, a stage was put on the parking pad where the community cars normally sit, and the first floor of the Blessed Pauline Center was a cooling station in the summer heat.  Pictures tell the story!

On Sunday, September 7, the New Orleans Saints lost, in overtime, 34-31 to the Atlantic Falcons.  It seems a poor defence can ruin a good offense.  Just saying...


Looking from Milan Street back toward the house.

Anthony and Colleen LaRocca
Food and fotos--it's a reunion! 
Msgr. Nalty, on the right!

Robert Morton, Alden Hagardorn and Msgr. Nalty together on our stage.

Even as we revise our materials for the Volunteer Program, and reflect on what has worked, and what we have failed to do, we know that the lived experience of community is what we aim to share with the volunteers; it is central to our life.
Our first group: Vincent, Br. Joe, Br. Tom, Caitlyn and Br. John

Following is an excerpt from a homily given by Most. Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin at the European Province Chapter in Dublin, Ireland on August 23, 2013.
“You can only be a Christian Brother of today if you follow where you came from, if you follow in the footsteps of Edmund Rice. You must, through the way you live and witness, attract young men and women to the person of Jesus Christ through witnessing what Jesus means to you in your own life.   There is a sense in which the history of the Christian Brothers and of the charism of Edmund Rice will never really be written by professional historians, but by how you live his charism day by day in the different worlds and cultures you may find yourself.

There is no catechetical programme that can replace the authentic witness of someone who really believes in Jesus and shows that faith in Jesus changes the way we live, and brings meaning and hope to our lives, mixed up and sinful though they may be.”

BLOG 09.08.14

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