Some things that have gone down:
• The Chinese priests and Sisters completed another successful winter-break seminar under the guidance of Father Larry Lewis. Given that no less than eight are studying at Fordham University, I asked why none was staying with us here at Mother Knoll. Larry whispered, "They like visiting here but would find it too depressing to live here." Ouch.
• Yesterday's Memorial for our late Maryknoll brother Father Doug Venne was an inspiring tribute to both the man and to mission. In fact, it merits a much longer posting which I hope to get to early next week after...
• A week-end retreat by forty Sunday School Teachers from St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Korean Catholic Church in Flushing, NY beginning tonight at 8 p.m. I pray for a less drama-filled experience than the one two months ago with 60 high school students!
• But I would be remiss without singling out Father Ernie Brunelle whose cell phone went off not once but twice during the Mass yesterday. Normally I would be more forgiving, but this was at least the fifth time Ernie's phone has interrupted one of our Masses. Perhaps if we threatened future offenders with public exposure on this blog they might have the courtesy to shut it off in advance or at least have the common sense to withdraw from the assembly and not let it ring for over a minute. Twice.
• Sodexo Food Service has had to take the unusual but necessary step of wrapping in individual waxpaper bags all the cookies, bread and sandwich meats in our kitchenettes. The problem arose at St. Teresa's where a resident had a habit of taking several slices of bread to his room, then after several days had passed, returning the unused portions back to the refrigerator. Also, in these days of H1N1 precautions, it is better not to have all these hands in the cookie jar, as it were. And the problem is not limited to the men at St. T's. Sodexo Manager Margie Sheehan reports that on more than one occasion, a resident has gone to the kitchenette and taken a bite out of the leftover entrees and returned the uneaten, though bitten, portion. Ew.