Forty men attended the monthly house meeting this afternoon, focusing on "manners" or the lack thereof, especially in public areas like the dining room. Margaret Sheehan, Sodexo manager, invited comments as the regular surveys do not render specifics. "Too spicy" can mean different things (I presume depending on whether the man is of Irish or Italian-American heritage.)
The first comments surrounded ground pepper, the absence of fresh garlic, and some dissatisfaction with the coffee (not from the same person, btw.) A regular rotation of fresh fruit in the kitchenettes was suggested, and perhaps root beer like that offered in the 39th St.House.
[Blogger's note: given the on-going catastrophe in Japan, life must be pretty good here.]
The next topic was the all-encompassing heading of "manners." Some common-sense behaviors seem to have been lost during years of lonely living out in the African bush or the desolate altiplano. Fr'rinstance: Guys who handle food (fruit, sandwiches) then put it back, guys who use half a portion of jam and return the unused portion, sneezing or coughing without using your handkerchief or sleeve, putting up chairs to reserve seats (causing a tripping hazard).
Monopolizing the public computers (especially by guests), non-enforcement of the non-smoking policy in the house, watching TV with one's door open, using the 2nd & 3rd Floor washing machines and dryers (with buzzard) after 10:00 p.m. at night, and the perennial disappearance of Magnificat and America magazines from reading rooms. These were among some of the grievances.
On Lenten themes: the Stations of the Cross are prayed every Friday in the main chapel at 4:00 p.m. Fr. Larry Lewis will offer a day of reflection on "The Empty Tomb" on March 24, followed by Stations and Sacrament of Reconciliation.
An outside liturgist will come in to explain the new Roman Missal. One man wanted to express frustration that the whole process was foisted upon the US church. Our house liturgist shared the frustration but said Cardinal George had closed off any further discussion so we are stuck with it.
Tuesday of Holy Week there will be an anointing service.