04/25/2016 Latest UPDATE! THANK YOU RAFAEL!
Dear family, classmates & Mounties,
This past Wednesday & Thursday we had the pleasure to visit Bro. Francis at the Saint Andre's Care Center in Bidderford, Maine. During the two days visit, we were able to be with him for about six hours. Bro. Francis was much weaker now than the last time we saw him five weeks ago. Early in our conversation he mentioned and we noticed that he was having a harder time articulating some words and completing some sentences. He demonstrated his sharp mind by our discussion of such issues as world events, present US politics and education. We also had some laughter talking about "the good old days" at MAI. A good discussion was the memory of our band director Peter "Sarge" Blessant who was able to accomplish so much with high standards for so long.
Soon after we arrived on Wednesday, Winfred Braun (MAI '58) called Brother Francis from Germany. Brother needed some assistance with the telephone and the conversation would have lasted much longer in past years. However, his smile during the phone call was priceless.
Brother Francis still plays Bridge with his bridge friends of the last five years, having an extra player to manipulate his cards. Brother looks forward to the once a week card game.
Brother Francis still has some control of his hands. He is able to navigate his motor chair...no longer as if he were in the Daytona 500 but now he "drives" as if in the Bidderford 100.
As always, if you have a few minutes drop Brother Francis a brief note, I know that he would enjoy that very much. Naturally, if you are in the neighborhood, stop by to see him (avoid the morning that he is playing bridge), I can assure you that it will be a visit that you will always remember.
What did we find during our visit? Yes, Brother Francis is weaker than the last time we saw him five weeks ago. However, after being with him for a few minutes, our feelings and conversations are positive. During our drive returning to Connecticut, Sue and I felt emotionally and spiritually better because of our visit with Brother Francis, a man who continues to demonstrate great faith during this trying time. About two years ago while discussing his illness with me he said, "I don't know how long the Lord is giving me but I will continue to live as long as I have life (sic)". Think about that!
Rafael Adames (MAI '58)
01/16/2016 Update from Rafael Adames on Brother Francis
Dear MAI Classmates, Mounties and Friends,
Sue and I just spoke with Bro. Francis; always in good spirit and a tower of spiritual strength. I'm happy to tell you that he received over 50 birthday card / letters. I could tell from his voice that those cards & letters brought him great joy. Unfortunately, he can't write to respond to your wonderful messages. Although Bro. Francis did not tell me the content of your cards & letters, he did tell me that he was very happy with the messages. It was wonderful that many of you remembered the birthday of this religious honorable educator. Thank you for being part of this happy occasion.
It was hopeful that Bro. Francis could return to Alfred to celebrate his birthday. It was decided to celebrate his special day at the Center. He was happy with his birthday celebration where his guests could still enjoy his company with good conversation, cake and refreshment.
The weather in CT has been terribly cold in recent days. Sue and I hope to visit Bro. Francis in Biddeford, Maine in the near future while he is still in his "honeymoon period" regarding the illness (doctor's phrase as told by Bro. Francis).
Rafael S. Adames
I have attached a copy of a letter sent by Brother Francis to be shared with all Alumni. Those of us who know Francis have a great respect for the character and fortitude of this man. His letter stands as an inspiration to all of us who have been blessed to have had the opportunity to call him a friend.
As Brother Francis states in his letter, his heart will remain with his friends on earth.
Don Recore - Webpage Administrator