One of our private retreatants this week, Ann, came here to celebrate her 90th birthday on Thursday. She told us she wanted to celebrate her big day by spending some quiet time with the Lord. The staff sang Happy Birthday to her at lunch and wished her a good day.
Danny, one of our regular volunteers, will celebrate his golden birthday at the end of the month. He wants to spend it with his friends at St. Anthony’s. He planned the menu a year ago, and reviews it regularly with Kim. He has been reminding all of us every time he is here that his big day is coming so none of us forget to join him for his celebration.
Two years ago this weekend, St. Anthony’s had a big party of its own in celebration of its centennial. Like Danny’s anticipated celebration, months of planning went into that weekend’s celebration. Many of our friends were able to join us. Looking back, we are all very grateful the centennial occurred when it did, before COVID, so we were all able to come together to celebrate.
This past Sunday, the 102nd anniversary of the opening of St. Anthony’s passed rather quietly – no cake, no crowds, no fanfare at all. Like Ann’s celebration, it was just another beautiful summer day to enjoy the quiet beauty of this holy place and an opportunity to spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Whether we celebrate alone or with friends, with much fanfare or very quietly, it is the event we celebrate that matters most. Birthdays and anniversaries are common celebrations we have all experienced, but whatever the reason for the celebration, these are opportunities to remember and give thanks for what has been, and opportunities to look forward to what is still to come.
For all of life’s celebrations, and for those who celebrate with us in person or in spirit, we say Deo Gratias!