Easter at Saint Francis Inn was definitely a new experience for me but also for the Team. With 483 guests in attendance at the meal on Sunday, everyone was surprised by the number, everyone was scrambling to put meals together, and everyone was rejoicing in the resurrection! I was on deliveries during the meal but each time I returned to the Inn the yard seemed more crowded and as we let the last guests in to eat at 1:20 (twenty minutes after the gate closed), I was able to enjoy the busy-ness of the meal and really make the connection between the Easter season and the work I am doing.
During the Easter Vigil homily, Fr. Pat (an import from Camden) shed new light on the resurrection of Jesus and how it is THE source of our hope. We have hope in our daily lives because Jesus wasn't in the tomb that Sunday morning two thousand years ago. As I thought more about this, I realized how intrinsic hope is in all humans and I firmly believe that our guests still possess hope. I find hope reflected in their unending determination to continue to live by simply seeking food and nourishment. My thought is that if their hope was lost they would not continue to do activities that would keep them alive. And honestly, I believe that each smile, each hug, each tear even, is a sign of hope, a sign that they still find joy or even that they're being affected by their surroundings and know that it's not the only thing out there.
This new twist on Easter has really enabled me to translate that hope to others, to see the light at the end of their darkness, and to continue to hope myself that things will get better and that hopefully one day Saint Francis Inn will no longer need to be open.
In other news, things have been really busy around here. Since Easter, we've had a lot going on between community activities and visitors! My aunt and uncle from Massachusetts came down Thursday night to work at the Inn! The same night they arrived, the Team went on retreat! We've been working like dogs around here but it's been really fun! After the meal on Friday my aunt, uncle and I went downtown to do some touristy things like the Liberty Bell, City Hall, LOVE Park and just to see the area. It was a great afternoon out! We returned and had Chinese food and played games with my housemates!
Saturday was great! I coordinated the meal with 337 guests and no problems! I think the guests know when the Team is gone and therefore behave for us. My wonderful aunt and uncle took Emily and I out for dinner, ice cream, and a movie (21, highly recommended)! And today I had the day off so we went downtown again to do some shopping and some more historical site-seeing! We came back and rested for awhile then went for cheesesteaks and water ice, two Philadelphia classics! It's been so incredible having them here to share in my life and ministry like few others have, it'll be really sad to see them go!
In other exciting news, Fred and Flo (the retired couple) returned to us for a couple weeks while their house in Prince Edward Island thaws out from the vicious winter the northeast experienced!!! It's been so great having them back!!!
Okay, I think that should be all for now. I hope everything is going well for you all! God bless!