Oh, what festivities enlivened the house this weekend past!

Holly Day enthralled young and old alike, setting the house abuzz with laughter and singing and the startling – but most welcome – sound of children exploring these cavernous corridors at full tilt.

It’s always an honor and a joy to host this community event sponsored by the Marathon Area Business Association. It’s an event that holds a little bit of something for everyone:

–wagon rides through our snowy woods (we’ve got so much snow that, for a few tense moments, we thought the tractor might get stuck!)

–those beautiful ice candles crafted by Just Bob (oh, how the candles evolved from his first attempt at making them!)

–a living Nativity (very Franciscan!), courtesy of our friends at Highland Community Church here in Marathon

–a chance to visit with Santa (even our dear mascot, Flat Friar, got to spend some time with Santa!)

–a chili cook-off, during which the ears of Fr. Bob, Jackie, Dean, and all of the other judges (just barely!) managed to remain free of steam

–a chance to make crafts and to engage the services of a volunteer face painter (I remained blandly un-decorated, while Jackie and Cecilia both emerged from this activity looking even more festive than before!)

–a concert by members of the high-school band and a concert by members of the high-school choir, including the vocal talent of Charlotte, daughter of our very own Cecilia!

Sitting in the choir loft snapping photos of the concerts, I recalled fondly the 1931 House Chronicle that inspired this chronicle before your eyes. Brother Chronicler writes often in 1931 of the friars’ concerts, both vocal and instrumental, and of the musicals that they wrote and performed. It seems that there was no shortage of musical talent among the young men who studied here all those years ago and their professors. No doubt, the house was delighted to hear such talent ringing through the halls again!

As for myself, I was delighted to realize once again the amazing continuity of joy, of prayer, and of community in this house. Neither time nor change can extinguish the still, small (yet very large!) sacred-ness of this house (even when its hallways are full of laughter and the sound of running feet); neither time nor change can extinguish the joy experienced by all those who open their hearts to that still, small (yet very large!) sacred-ness, coming together in a community of Divine, Eternal Love!

Let it be noted that silliness, too, has endured through the years within these walls. To wit: yesterday morning, when I announced my intention of running into town, Just Bob quietly informed m that it would probably be quicker to take my car…To which Kim responded with a groan and a roll of the eyes, “There’s one in every crowd…”

The exchange was almost identical in words – and certainly in silliness – to the banter of those brothers and lay staff members who called this place home during my year of CapCorps service. Indeed, the exchange and the memories that it awoke caused me to search for the picture you see above. Wait patiently for an explanation thereof: Sister Chronicler will be traveling out of state next week and will be unable to report on events of the house. Instead, I will sate your curiosity as to the events that resulted in the aforementioned photo.

In the meantime: long live the silliness, sweetness, and sacred-ness of community, of ministry, and of the Divine Love that lends meaning and life to both our community and our ministry of hospitality!

Deo Gratias!