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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Future of Walsh building?

The Walsh building, oldest building on the property and home to MARYKNOLL and Revista magazines as well as Orbis books, Voices of Our World radio and New Media offices for decades, has been vacant for more than two years since the staffs of those operations moved over to the highly utilitarian but less interesting Price Building.

"Rumor has it" that a plan for the future use of the Walsh building has already been decided, but it is easier to get the minutes to the staff meeting of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il's inner circle than to pry information from those here in a position to know (let the reader take note.)

Speculation abounds (which it is wont to do when information is scarce and communication rare). One man thought a Center for Spirituality would be nice, or perhaps a counseling center. Another suggested an expanded parking lot would be useful. Another said a formal garden right at the entrance of the property would be pretty.

I, for my part and for what it's worth, bandied the future of the Walsh building about with the former Super G, Fr. Ray Finch. He and I agreed it would make a great initial formation house for men when they first enter the Society. Since that is supposed to be a non academic year, it would be a wonderful opportunity for the men to imbibe the spirit and history of Maryknoll and meet the veteran missioners while still having some measure of independence and privacy.

It would take a considerable investment to gut the insides of the Walsh building and bring it up to code as a residence. But I heard it could comfortably hold 20 bedrooms, a kitchen and dining area (which it already has) a living area and rec room as well as a small chapel. And wouldn't it be a great sign of hope for the future of Maryknoll? Your suggestions?

And while on the topic of North Korea, isn't it ironic that North Korea now also has a Facebook Page that no one living in North Korea can access? I mean, really. Talk about insecure, despotic control freaks!

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