Monday, October 09, 2006

A weekend away.

Joining a veritable exodus of New York residents who chose to spend Columbus Day weekend in New England, two carloads of Jesuit scholastics took to the highway on Friday afternoon for a two-hundred mile drive to Boston. Despite heavy traffic all along the route, my group reached our destination (Boston College) in time for dinner. Leaving only a couple hours after the first group, the second carload of Ciszek Hall residents faced considerably heavier traffic and didn't reach Boston until midnight. We all enjoyed the gracious hospitality of the Jesuit community at Boston College, who are lucky to live in what easily rates as the most architecturally appealing Jesuit residence I've visited. On Saturday morning, we witnessed the diaconal ordination of several of our Jesuit brothers and two Capuchins during a Mass held at St. Peter's Church. The diversity of the ordination class was reflected by the music used in the liturgy. An energetic Kenyan church choir sang rousing African hymns in honor of a couple of Kenyan Jesuits who were being ordained. Another of the ordinands was a Chilean Jesuit who writes liturgical music, so one of his compositions was performed, in Spanish, as a communion meditation. Also included were selections of Gregorian chant performed by a choir of Weston students. For the most part, the disparate mix of musical styles featured on the program hung together surprisingly well. In a larger way, the ordination Mass was both reverent and moving, a fitting commemoration of the solemn commitment the newly ordained have undertaken.

On the way of St. Peter's Church after the Mass, I was surprised to run into none other than Father Ron Murphy, a friend and a mentor of mine at Georgetown. Father Murphy is a man of diverse interests and commitments: a professor of German at Georgetown for the past three decades, he is also (among other things) a sailing enthusiast, a Knight of Malta, and a bi-ritual priest (click here for a photo of him celebrating the Byzantine Divine Liturgy in Georgetown's Dahlgren Chapel). He was also the first Jesuit to tell me, while I was a student at Georgetown, that I ought to think about becoming a Jesuit myself. Having come to Saturday's ordination to represent the Georgetown Jesuit community, Ron had to catch an early-afternoon flight back to Washington and thus couldn't stick around long after the Mass. Though we were only able to chat briefly, I was still happy to see Ron Murphy in Cambridge, particularly since I hadn't expected to see him there at all.

Following the post-ordination luncheon, I drove down to Rochester to see my folks. At my mother's suggestion, we had dinner at Adega, a new Portuguese restaurant in the South End of New Bedford. Though we had to wait a long time to be seated and found the dining room rather noisy, the quality of the cuisine more than made up for any discomfort. I would happily eat at Adega again, and I'm pleased to recommend the place to any readers who might find themselves in the New Bedford area. The one night I spent at home was all too brief, but being based in New York I hope I'll be able to get back to Southeastern Massachusetts more often than I could during the previous five years in the Midwest. Whenever I next return to the SouthCoast, you'll surely see something about it on this blog. AMDG.


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