We were very blessed the to have a special visitor recently. Sr Isaac traveled from her home in Rhinebeck NY to spend some time with us, and she was met with open arms by the volunteers  and guests at the Center, as well as many of the parishoners.  I asked her to write a few words for the column:

From Sister Isaac:

MaryAnn asked me to write this column to share with you some reflections on my recent visit to the Center.  I am honored to do so.  I reflected on this Sunday’s readings and, as always, the Word has a message for us.  We are called to serve one another humbly, with care and compassion.  That’s what goes on at the Center!

During the week I volunteered to serve the guests.  True, a few thought that I had “passed” but it was so good to be among them, and they were so welcoming.  Of course I witnessed once again the incredible work of all the volunteers who always go above and beyond to meet the requests of those who come and ask for assistance.  Because of donations from so many of you we are able to share such good things.

One young woman stands out in my thoughts.  She is a veteran who served two stints in Bosnia, returned home, suffered family deaths and moved into depression and drugs.  She is on her way back, struggling hard to beat her habit.  She needed serious dental care in order to be able to find work.  No challenge is to big for the Center and I feel we are truly giving her a “hand-up” and not a “hand-out”.

If you have not visited the Center, give yourself a treat and do so.  During the summer Steve Levesque and his dedicated crew, along with Tim Martin, a Class A painter, have made the Center so welcoming.

I started my visit by riding in the bus to our New Cathedral with very special people.  The Cathedral is beautiful and I reflected on how many of you donated towards making it a reality so that future generations might honor the Holy Name of Jesus.  Then there is our own Basilica that our ancestors in the faith gave to us – such a prayerful space.   I was brought up to date on how the final part of the Tileston building , the 1919 addition, will soon have a face lift.  That, for me, will bring to completion a project that I was involved in since the 90’s.

The Basilica/Shrine of St. Mary’s is Alive and Well!  Praise God!