12-2-2016 + 12-3-2016 Visit
Dear Classmates, Mounties, Family & Friends,
Last week, Sue and I had the pleasure to visit Brother Francis. As usual, he enjoys having visitors and his spirit soars when he sees you. I do have to tell you that my heart was heavy as I entered Bro. Francis' room. He was sitting on his chair, with Bro. Henry at his side, listening to a beautiful rendition of Gregorian Chant. As we entered the room, he smiled and with a strained, delivered voice greeted us. His warm and spirited welcome more than made-up for the fact that he is not able to greet us with the customary hand shake and "abrazo", since he is paralyzed from the neck down.
You can't be around Bro. Francis without soon feeling up-beat, in good spirit, and mentally refreshed due to Bro. Francis' being an interesting conversationalist. Our two days visit passed as if it were just a few minutes. Yes, his tongue feels "tied down" but his will power / determination to pronounce every word clearly, allow us to have wonderful discussions on: Brothers, students and being a principal at the Mount; his early days at Walsh; and the wonderful people in Africa.
What else lifted my spirit and gave me strength during the visit? Here is a man who is dying right in front of us...yet...he continued expressing concern for the future of our country and the world; the direction of education not meeting the needs of all students; and other social issues. We also discussed at length, the accomplishment and impact that the Brothers have had on many young people that have lasted generations. He is still able to have a soft laugh and enjoys good humor.
Brothers James Lacasse and Raymond Fortin surprised Bro. Francis with a visit while we were with him. The conversation between Bro. James and Brother Francis was electrifying with the glow of happiness shown on Bro. Francis' face could have brought a ray of sunshine at midnight. The next morning, Sue and I were having breakfast with Brothers James and Raymond. Bro. James expressed what is in all of our minds when he said, "Brother Francis is an inspiration to all of us on how he has handled his illness (sic)".
On Saturday afternoon as Sue and I were returning to Connecticut, we looked at each other and we started to smile. We entered with a heavy heart and left in good spirit. We arrived while he was listening to Gregorian Chants and we left as he started to listen to a recorded historical book. We smiled because we had the pleasure to be with a good man...a man of God. We smiled because we had the pleasure of staying with the Brothers in Alfred; with educators who gave of themselves to make a difference in our lives.
Brother Francis may be weaker in body but not in mind, heart and faith. Your positive thoughts and prayers are always helpful.
Rafael S. Adames MAI '58
Dear Classmates, Mounties & Friends,
Sue and I wish you a Happy New Year. May the Lord bless you and your family in 2017 with Health, love and peace.
Recently, in my correspondence, I mentioned that we were to visit Brother Francis between Christmas and New Year. Due to my experiencing a terrible cold since the middle of last week, we had to postpone our visit. Last Friday, we spoke with Bro. Francis to inform him of my cold. Bro. Francis, although having more difficulty speaking, was most gracious in giving us his Christmas and New Year's blessings. During our brief phone call, he also express thanks for the Christmas Card. We agreed that we will be in touch during the first week of January in order to plan our next visit.
During these festive days, let us remember Bro. Francis and the Brothers in Alfred with our prayers of thanksgiving for being at our side and guiding us during our formative years.