Friday, August 16, 2013

There and Back Again

Over eight hours on the road to New Paltz, N.Y., and back, for the three hours we stayed at Saint Joseph Parish to celebrate the life of Bro. Barnabas Keck, who died on Tuesday. Here is a biography of our brother, who would have marked the 70th anniversary of his joining the order on Aug. 31. Beautiful to see the church filled with the people of the parish, whom Brother Barnabas served as priest for the last sixteen years of his life. Plenty of friars were there, too, as well as dignitaries of the Knights of Columbus and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New York. But we alone would not have been able to fill the church; only the faithful of the parish could do that. Splendid music, too, from the people of the parish who swelled the ranks of their choir.

But for all the positive notes sounded this day, I am feeling wiped out again, not from the liturgy and the reception, but from the traveling. I hate riding in automobiles. Never mind driving; I don't even want to ride as a passenger. I deeply dislike going places in cars. It's not simple.

Ah, to bed now and to make a new start of it tomorrow. We are preparing for the arrival of our two housemates who are already in simple vows and returning from vacation and summer pastoral assignments. They will renew their vows for one more year on Sunday evening. We are also getting ready to host the brothers who are staying with us for the week-long workshop on the Capuchin Constitutions. We will be getting our house and grounds in good order for the week to come. All hands will be helping with the meals; surely yours truly will be busy baking some good things.

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