Happy Memorial Day weekend to all – years ago, before I became a friar, I used to visit a veteran of World War I, a man born in Canada in 1893 and who was 99 years old when I began to visit him at his home. His name was Hector MacNeil. I used to go to his home in Arlington, Massachusetts on Monday evenings. His daughter would meet me at the door and bring me up to his room. He could not hear well, so I mainly listened. He talked about growing up in Canada, playing hockey, falling through the ice once and being rescued by his friends, and sometimes he would talk about the war – The Great War as it was first known. He would mention gas masks, barbed wire, trenches. He did not say a whole lot about the experience, but I will never forget the time I spent with him, and his first-hand account of war and all its terrors. And so we remember, on this Memorial Day weekend, all who have known the experience of war, and we pray, in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, for peace throughout our world.
Many thanks, as always, to all who brought grocery bags of food for the Our Lady of the Rosary food drive. After the 5:30 mass last weekend, the truck was filled with almost 8,000 pounds of food. Our Lady of the Rosary is a parish in Louisburg, 40 miles or so to the northeast of here and there is a large migrant population in that area which is served by a food pantry; the food we collected last weekend will go to serve that migrant population. You may have seen in the stewardship center a sign-up for volunteers for our migrant ministry which is starting up again this summer. If you’re interested, it’s a beautiful way of meeting these migrants who are so often misunderstood in our culture.
This past week we had graduation ceremonies for our Franciscan School and also, this weekend, Cardinal Gibbons High School. Congratulations to all our graduates and thank you to teachers and parents for guiding them along the way.
Blessings on your week!