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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tributes for the living and the dead

Live music, song and dance from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s regaled the residents at St. Teresa's residence yesterday as an unofficial kick-off to our centennial celebrations. "These men embody Maryknoll's early years," said Mr. Robert Ambrose, Maryknoll's chief operating officer, who acted as both emcee and performer. "So often health or declining mobility prevents them from attending events in the main building," he said, "so the celebration was brought to them."

Mr. Dave Agosta, director of support services, welcomed the men as they entered the rec room to his trumpet rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In." Then the "Cheery Knollers" (Mr. Frank Enzerillo, Ms. Holly Brown, Mr. Paul Lonce and Mr. Bill Foster) played tunes from previous decades, leading to Dave playing "In the Still of the Night" and Ms. Adriane Monero-Glass, Ms. Cynthia Lynch and Ms. Janice Singer sang "Johnny Angel." Cythia then soloed with "Route 66."

Ms. Kathy Golden and Ms. Leah Diaz-Mahnken showed a video they produced with footage of St. T's interspersed with six interviews with residents.

A surprisingly talented performer (at least to Maryknollers!) was Fr. Emile Dumas who both sang and played the guitar. He was then joined by Fathers Fern Gosselin and Paul Masson on the bass and guitar respectively.

Ms. Aurette DeCuffa and Ms. Cindy Lynch then tap-danced for the guys. Bob, Cynthia, Adriane and Janice next performed a quartet medley.

Superior General Father Ed Dougherty then added his words of thanks to the men, and also mentioned that it was during the tenure of Fr. Tom McDonnell that the concept of "Mission St. Teresa's" was started, underscoring how these men continue to support and participate in Maryknoll's mission work through their lives of prayer and sacrifice.

Two elementary schools where Maryknollers had visited recently wanted to show their appreciation for the work that missioners do, so the students crafted hand-made crosses and sent these in. Each Maryknoller at St. T's received one as a reminder that they and their service are appreciated and will not soon be forgotten.

The entertainment part of the program ended with Janice singing Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable."

Then the partying began with hors d'oeurves and liquid refreshment. Ms. Pat Moritis, St.Teresa's director, remarked that one proof of the success of the program was that so many men lingered even after the dinner bell rang.

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Following the 11:30 Mass today, about 25 men gathered under the clear autumn sky at the Celtic Cross in the corner of cemetery for a brief prayer service in honor of the Maryknollers who had served their country in the armed forces. Br. Kevin Dargan led the service. The service started with the a cappella singing og "God Bless America" and ended with "My Country T'is of Thee. Every year Kevin makes sure that the grave of each veteran has a medallion and American flag on Veterans' Day and Memorial Day.

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