Monday, May 21, 2007

Follow the Leader

A pair of Canada geese are back at the pond in front of the plastics plant right up the road. Any day now we'll see this year's crop of fluffy goslings trailing after their mother in daily parades around the area.
Last Saturday some of our own goslings were back, following after our sister-recreational therapist all day. They started coming five or six years ago: high school students or young adults needing community service hours for school or after some minor infraction with the law.
For those who aren't Catholic, or even for those who are but have never been inside our place, it must be like entering a parallel universe! Shy, quiet, and obedient are their first reactions. But after two or three times they seem to relax, talk to us in the halls, and actually appear to catch on to the rhythm of the place and what's going on.
The Sister that they follow around all day is marvelous with them...teaching, sharing, modeling all sorts of behaviors, attitudes and lessons. At the end of their time she often invites their families to come for dinner, as a kind of informal "graduation." In the Benedictine world we call that hospitality....a unique version no doubt, but hospitality for sure.