Yesterday we had a nice, if cramped, welcoming get-together in the Second Floor R-Wing Rec Room for four men who have recently taken up residence here at the Center. Br. John Frangenburg, Fr. Jim Nierkarcz, Br. Al Patrick and Br. Conrad Fleisch have swelled our ranks here to 89. Br. Conrad is especially amazing. He is 99 years old (one month older than our Society, BTW) and he looks and feels marvelous. His mind is sharp, his health is good and he walks regularly. No, I do NOT want to look and act like him when I am his age. I want to look and act like him right now!
To no one's surprise, yesterday Maryknoll and our music director/pianist/organist finally parted company after about a year and a half of a rather awkward relationship that "just didn't fit." Although expected, her departure was sad because she is a very nice person but just didn't have what it takes to lead music for our community. For the foreseeable future we will rely on a list of local talent for funerals and look forward to Ms. Lucille Naughton coming back to direct music for Christmas and the all-important Centenary liturgical celebrations, not to mention Jubilee and the ordination of Rodrigo Ulloa to the priesthood next spring.
Speaking of seminarians, TEN of our TWELVE seminarians will be here this weekend as they gather before their opening retreat in Connecticut on Monday with Fr. Dr. Peter LeJacq directing. The five Newbies: Jonathan Hill, Tony Lopez (another one!), Peter Letouf, Glen D'Angelo and Chase Olinger will join the "older" seminarians: Rodrigo Ulloa, Shawn Crumb, Angel Oswaldo Garcia, Philip Yang and Daniel Kim. Seminarians Dae Kim and Lam Hua are doing their OTP in Bolivia and Kenya, respectively. Not to jinx this sudden influx of new life, but we might have a goodly number joining us next year, so keep those rosaries and Angeluses flowing.