Sunday, February 21, 2016

This Week in Madonna House - February 14-20

Well, this won't be much of a blog post, I'm afraid. We are in just about one of the quietest periods of the year right now. Oh, there's lots going on (when is there not?), but in terms of special note-worthy events or much at all beyond the daily routines of the departments of MH... no, not too much at all happening.

The weather has been the big driver of work for the men in particular. A big snow storm, followed by extreme cold, followed by a sudden thaw, followed by more extreme cold, and then another thaw... well, you get the drift (pun intended). Lots of snow to move, and then slush to manage so it doesn't flood our basements, and then ice to sand. Rinse and repeat, as this crazy winter keeps see sawing back and forth up and down the thermometer.

The women began the first preparations for Easter with the making of the paska. This is a sweet confection made of cottage cheese, butter, eggs, raisins, and sweetener. All pressed in a mold to make it a rich and frankly delicious part of the Easter feast. It is part of our Russian heritage from Catherine.

We had a little upsurge in the guest population, as universities were all on their 'reading week', and a few students came to spend that time here. This included some grown children of local families who we have watched grow up. Nothing quite like having a young woman be a guest at MH who you clearly remember as a cute little baby to make you conscious of the passage of time.

The guests continue to have their catechism class on Wednesday mornings, while the staff do their study groups on Friday afternoon. We had Foundation Day of Friendship House Harlem--an important historical remembrance for MH, as it was the second stage of the apostolate's founding. Our commemoration of it included a very fine display of a scale model replica of the FH storefront, with historical materials inside it, and a presentation at supper of Catherine telling stories about her time in Harlem working for inter-racial justice and harmony.

Well, that's about it. Like I say, everyone is doing lots of stuff all the time here - don't get the impression that we're sitting around. But it is more or less the usual stuff we're always doing--making a house of love and hospitality so the world can march through our home and (please God) our hearts each day.

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