The House Chronicle from Nov. 1950 contains these memories:

New Phonograph  The strains of a new phonograph fill the recreation room at the opening of November.  Frater Sigmund’s parents sent a new three-speed phonograph.  Now the clerics can use long playing records and do not have to jump up and change the records so often.

An old familiar sight awaited the happy friars as they left the choir on First Friday.  This was none other than the first snowfall of 1950.  Smiles of realization shone on the “old timers’ ” faces as they watched the “bambini” beam at the falling flakes.  Oh beautiful green grass, when shall we see your lovely color again.

Fr. Melchior Arrives  On the evening of Nov. 4th a new laugh was heard in the clerics’ rec room.  No, it wasn’t a stranger.  It was a new addition to our happy family, in the person of Frater Melchior.  Frater Melchior brought news from many friends in the novitiate.  The new cleric’s winning laughter and smiling eyes gave a surge of new life to our “corpus clericum.”

A new phonograph, a snowfall, a new addition with smiling eyes and a winning laugh: it is amazing how simple things like these can bring such joy!

We had our own splashes of simple joy this week, too, and they did not involve snowflakes!  Monday, we had a group of ten volunteers who came to help us fold letters for a mailing.  I’m not sure how much difference the isolation of 2020 made, but based on the volume of their conversation and laughter, they certainly seemed to be enjoying the simple pleasure of each other’s company as well as the opportunity to be of service to St. Anthony’s.

Tuesday, a group of twelve young adults came to stay for a couple of nights while they offer a retreat to the students at Newman High School in Wausau.  Their youthful enthusiasm, camaraderie, good humor and impeccable manners brought joy to those of us who were there to greet them, feed them and help them settle in.

Wednesday, we had three more volunteers come to help stuff envelopes and help with another “sitting project”.  Since they were all at the same table, the volume was not quite the same as Monday, but the joys of fellowship and service were still apparent.

This morning, we celebrated the birthday of one of our long-time volunteers.  She is 92 years young today, so the staff and residents celebrated the day with her.  A cake, some coffee, and a chorus of well-wishes had the birthday girl beaming like the bambini friars of 1950.

For the simple joys of fellowship, service, meeting new friends and celebrating long-time friends, we say Deo Gratias!