Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween Memories

It has been a tradition each year to travel to our friends at Queen of Peace Residence in Queens Village, N.Y. This year we made our annual Halloween pilgrimage in all types of costumes. While the costumes were important and the treats even more enjoyable, the experience each year always brings a joy to the residents and the Little Sisters of the Poor.

This year we were greeted upon our arrival with something unsual and ghoolish. As we approached the front gate we spotted a large crowd jumping and screaming. The residents and sisters greeted us at the main entrance. Our arrival usually did not merit a crowd of greeters, except one year to be sprayed with silly string. The culprit who organzied that caper was none other than Mother Superior.

This year our greeters waited at the doors with masks and cheers. We carried pumpkins, gourds, leaves and festive hand-made cards. But the flurry of activity was unmerited until we came much closer. There, amidst the frenzied activitiy, were masks and faces that were unusual for the Sisters and Residents. Those faces emblazed on the masks were the Marianist Brothers. Through the wizardry of modern technology one of the computer savy sisters had prepared masks made with the faces of the Marianists.

Laughter and explanations filled the first moments of our arrival. But our visit to the residents and sisters enabled us to engage in some soemthing far greater that a scare of a trick. We gathered at Queen of Peace for something more meaningful than a costume or a pumpkin. We gathered to share a relationship that we have developed for many years. We gathered to engage in dialogue with those who are often without their families. We gathered to shares stories and experience peace and joy.

It did not take too long for our students to get acquainted with the residents. Good cheer and entertainment filled the over 50 student volunteers. And memories became the lasting effect of this year's Halloween.