The weather FINALLY. cooperated to allow our annual Employee/Maryknoller picnic to take place in the space between the Price & Walsh buildings. Many dug deep into their closets to take tie-dye threads out of mothballs and put flowers in their hair. For some (like me), the 60s are only a top drawer away.
The "Rocking Knoller" band (Frank Enzerillo, Janice Singer, Bill Gordon, Holly, Cindy Lynch, Eddie Gonzales, Dave Agosta, Anthony Giadoso, Paul Lonce) put on a great performance of Joplin, Grateful Dead, Chicago and Guthrie tunes that got people, including Super G Fr. Ed Dougherty, complete with love beads, dancing to the beat.
Alas, I could not find the necessary ingredient for my special brownies (where can you buy chocolate at 11:00 p.m.?) so we made due with delicious, homemade flan and other desserts.
Following the picnic, the crowd migrated to the Asia/Africa Rooms where Fr.Dougherty held an open town hall meetting. For the first half hour, he reported on Centenary events. Doc announced the Closing Ceremony for the Centenary will be Monday, December 12 (Our Lady of Guadalupe) with Mass at 4:15. A special exhibit in the Spellman Room will exhibit artifacts and souvenirs of our year from around the world.
The recent edition of the St. Anthony's Messenger had great coverage of our centenary written by former Maryknoll Lay Missioner Mike Lavery.
Doc had great praise for the missiological paper prepared for this anniversary by our theologians.
Doc then recited a litany of the various Centenary celebrations around the country, as well as in Rome, Asia, Africa and Latin America. And we look to the big Mass at St. Patrick's on October 30.
Maryknoll has gotten several inquiries from Africa to help with the various refugee situations. The Guadalupe Fathers, (Mexican missionaries founded by Maryknoll Bishop Escalante, have become our heirs in the mission fields.
The results of an emplyee survey were alluded to. Ms.Adriane Glass, head of HR, reported that, among other things, employees have a clear understanding of Maryknoll's mission. A desire for clearer communications (sound familiar?) was expressed.
HR is always looking to compare and improve employee health benefits.
At this point, the special brownies that I didn't eat started to kick in, so I spent the rest of my conscious time concentrating on the fascinating pattern on the drapes. Oh wow.
I woke up for the Q & A. A request was made to set up computer kiosks for those individuals who don't have access to email at work. Another inquired about the compressed, four-day week introduced by the last council, that many see as disruptive and counterproductive. A committee will look at alternatives. One asked that voicemail be used to reinforce communications.
Doc then gave everyone the rest of the day off.
As soon as this happening ends, I'm crashing up in my pad.