Wernersville 1999

 

Fratres,

        Although the sun didn't really cooperate, I managed to get a few pictures during the Reunion a few weeks ago. I'm posting them here for y'all to peruse and download - such as may be your pleasure! What you see on this page are "thumbnails." Double click on the thumbnail to get the full size picture and hit "back" on your browser to return to this page. If you'd like hard reprints, please let me know. The Juniorate was closed the summer our class would have become Juniors (we were all shipped to Shrub Oak), so I spent only a few weeks on that side of the house. Most of the shots, therefore, are from the east side. The Novices' side was being renovated and not real photogenic. I did get some shots of where the bulletin board and mail slot alcoves were, but they're hardly recognizable. Also, there are some other "less interesting," or poorer quality pix that I may post if the spirit moves me...!

 

        Again, to those of you who attended, thanks mightily for a powerful weekend; to youse other guys -- hope to see you next year!

 

 

 

1. The front of the house.  Taken Sunday after lunch. Would have been nicer with a blue sky -- maybe next year!
2. The main chapel. Again Sunday morning. Taken from the third floor oratory. It was so dark, I had to rest the camera on the front railing to keep the picture from blurring. I guess the railing slants...!
3. Statue of St. Isaac Jogues (at least that's what we were always told!). You'll have to expand the picture to see it, but above the statue are the words "Aeterna non caduca."  We were Dom Maruca's first class of Novices (our Secundi had had Fr. Gavigan for their first year). So, of course, the quote was immediately changed (at least in our worldview) to "Maruca non caduca."
4. From the front road.
5. Novice side from the road to Lake Goupil. Seems to me there used to be a few more handball courts that should've been in this view.
6. Junior side from (what used to be) the Novices' Frascati. Frascati ain't there no more -- someone said it burned down.
7. Statue of René Goupil. Near the Lake of the same name.
8.  Lake of the same name. There was a disgusting scum/slime in the lake that day. Someone's black lab (Len Simons', I think) jumped exuberantly into the lake and starting swimming right after I took this picture. Cleared out a good bit of the scum, he did. Needless to say, there are no longer goldfish in Lake Goupil.
9. The road to Lake Goupil. (which I believe is right around the bend.)
10. St. Joseph's Grotto. Tucked neatly behind Mary's Grotto. I almost forgot it was there -- never really spent any time there...
11. Mary's Grotto. On the other hand... Sight of the dreaded (at least for Secundi) May sermons. I had to intone whatever various hymn we sang after the sermon and could occasionally be heard making barely audible cheep-like vocalizations during the sermon, trying to find the right pitch. I have a vague memory of once locking someone in the altar alcove under the statue, but I can't remember the details. Lousy May sermon I think...
12. View of the house coming back from the Grotto. Which, if you'd just delivered your May sermon after weeks of practice and worry, was a vision of incredible beauty. I remember the walks back to the house on those gorgeous May evenings with remarkable clarity. A deep serenity I've rarely experienced since.
13. The gazebo near the (olim) Novices' Frascati. I don't think I entered the gazebo my whole time at Wernersville. But whenever I read the word "gazebo," I see this one in my mind...
14. The "park" behind the house. Over the fence was the German Church cemetery. We must have some name for this place, but I'm damned if I can think of it. Ernie R. showed me a place on the fence where you could sit with your back against an adjacent tree and gaze onto the park or the cemetery. It was one of my favorite spots (I had more than a few...!) Sadly, I could not find it again...
15. Still Life with Statue and The World. The road to Goupil is off to the right. Frequently at night from the upper cloister, I would study the headlights of the cars in the far distance and wonder where the drivers were going and what they were thinking of at that moment. And wonder what their lives were like. What their hopes and fears were. I remember that they felt oddly present to me...
16. Looking to your left as you approached the house from the Grotto. Again, taken that dreary Sunday afternoon.
17. The Novices' Library. The part of the library to the right of the divider shelves as you entered. The door is to the right, windows to the left. The day I took this, the shelves to the left of the divider held a boatload of deGuibert's ("Priciples of Ignatian Spirituality" or some such title. Our lives as Novices revolved around this thick green book, known affectionately as "dickey bird.") They were pretty battered. I don't know how many classes of Novices used them; our class was the first...
18. What used to be the Novices' Conference Room. On the second floor that is. We used the first floor conference room exclusively during postulancy and then for academic stuff. The second floor conference room was for P. Magis' more-than-daily conferences. Also for general and particular chapter. Once, for several weeks (and for some god-knows-why reason) the Socius, Fr. Buckius, was reading to us about French history. One of the bros "spontaneously" asked the meaning of "kow-tow" and the Socius asked me to give the class a demonstration - which I did with rare thespian relish. I still think it was a set-up.
19. View of the Novices' cloister. From my first room as a Novice - 110 I'm pretty sure (they were renovating the Novices' wing when I took this picture and the door frames containing the room numbers had been removed.) I can't tell you how many hours I spent looking out this window -- then again, I guess I don't have to...