Sr. Odilia Korenek
Nature abhors a vacuum is a line I remember from my high school days. Blessed Sacrament Academy must have learned that somewhere along the way, as well. No space is to be left unused is the way PVA and BSA lives out this truism. Our beautiful new cafeteria still has four items left on its Punch List of items to be completed. In the light of the whole, that’s just a little hangnail causing a bit of discomfort. So, despite that, we’re on to other ways to fill space and time. For example, one room in the newly acquired – made of wood – portable, accessed by a system of ramps and walkways is home to the recently organized Ladies Club.
Then, there is the original Sisters’ dining room turned student cafeteria which has now turned another flip. It is now an exercise and boxing room. Whereas, at our 6:15 am prayer in the 1st floor chapel we used to hear the sounds of cooking and enjoy the appetizing aromas coming from the basement, now at 6:15 pm, we hear the thuds of boxing and the whir of exercise machines and the sounds of young voices excited by this new opportunity. As for me, I worried about whether the beam would support this new activity. Must say that I got over it and have gone on with the rest of life and its possibilities.
Another part of the campus has gone rural. A rooster and two hens needed a home. What better place to come than to us! Their intercessor, Mario, was a former supervisor of our cafeteria construction. Their house was constructed by Mark in maintenance, in part from screens which used to be on the windows of our boarders 2nd floor dormitory in St. Joseph Hall. A coffee table discarded at our dumpster recently now serves as a perching and egg laying station. Mario’s gift which started with one rooster, is now up to a rooster and two hens. They are busy about teaching us of our connection to nature and to the earth. There will be eggs for a few. The rooster will remind us to roll out of bed in the morning to use well the hours given us. Our Child Development Center children will have an on-site field trip opportunity of which I feel confident they won’t tire.
Fr. Ken Myers who stayed on our campus when he was here from El Salvador would crow with delight to see that we have come to our earthly senses. The only thing missing is that goat or two he kept insisting would take away our dependence on lawn-mowers. Here’s to you Fr. Ken! Blessed Sacrament Academy continues to be a learning laboratory at many different levels.
Picture at left shows coffee table pressed into new service. There’s hope for all of us.
And deep learning is indeed happening. Not too long ago I was working in my office about 6:00 as dusk was settling in. I heard what sounded like high school students playing and laughing — the unburdened, carefree attitudes of well-cared for youth. Thinking I was mishearing, I went out the front door to look. My heart was delighted when I saw 1st hand that they were indeed just playing and enjoying each other. I said a grateful prayer that our plot of land can be that place of welcome and safety for severely at-risk youth. I went back to work. They continued their play. Awesome! And, then…….
“I don’t want to scare you”, Sr. Ann Francis said softly. I had come down from the 3rd floor about 12:20 am to find something which would encourage sleep – an egg, some milk, peanut butter – all of them have been known to work before. The screen on a 2nd floor window was off, her binoculars were trained on clear, sparkly skies. “I can see the moons of Jupiter” she said in awe. “Want to take a look?” I took my time, hoping that indeed I would see them, as well. I wasn’t sure if I needed better eyesight or more imagination. Finally, I was able to report that I saw some little lights jumping around the brightness of Jupiter. Sometimes we see. Sometimes we wish we could. In the midst of it all, from way before dawn to way after dusk God blesses us with surprise and leaves no space of caring unfilled.