This week in Madonna House the main event came at the very beginning of the week (technically, the end of the previous week, but who’s keeping track?). That is, the feast of All Saints and our celebration of same.
We do enjoy parties at MH, truth be told, and we have a long tradition of celebrating All Saints with a costume party in which people can come dressed as a favorite saint. And so we did, this year. After a festive supper of pizza and ginger ale, both home made, we had a very fun and laughter-filled celebration of the saints. The library put together a saints trivia contest, and people had a chance to present the saint they had dressed as.
They weren’t all canonized saints, either. One of our applicants came dressed as Caryll Houselander (see picture on the side), and I have to confess that while I recognized Caryll, I didn’t immediately know who was underneath the wig and the makeup. While I don’t usually mention names on the blog, I have to mention that our applicant Nadine and a long term guest named Bernadette came dressed as each other, thereby presenting to us in a most creative fashion, St. Bernadine.
There was lots of creativity on display. St. Anthony of Padua kept interrupting the proceedings all night as he found various lost items, while St. Margaret Clitherow’s explanation that she was executed under Queen Elizabeth I was interrupted by an amusing heckler that “No, she was executed under a board!” A good time was had by all.
The next day was All Souls, and also was Sunday, so we postponed our tradition of processing to the cemetery to pray the rosary to Monday. I personally love this very traditional Catholic custom of gathering at the graves of our departed, particularly that of Catherine Doherty and Eddie, to commend their souls to God in the time-honored fashion. Of course this month of November is dedicated to that intention, and the priests often offer the Mass for the faithful departed throughout the month.
Beyond that, it was a quiet-ish week. There’s always lots more going on here than I can really express in this column. Our three directors-general returned from their annual vacation. It is something of a relief to have them back, especially for those of us who fill in for them when they’re away.
Deer hunting season is ongoing, and ‘the hills are alive with the sound of gunshots.’ This is a huge part of the local culture and way of life in the Ottawa Valley. We have started a series of educational dvds on Friday evenings in the MH basement, on a variety of topics, just to provide some broadening of horizons in these quieter winter months. Last night’s, for example, was on the brain; the previous week’s was on the history of the arctic husky dog breed.
Other than that, it’s the same old stuff – work and prayer, community life and all that goes into that. Know that we keep you in our prayers always, and are lifting up the world and the Church to God through it all.