Imitating the early French Fathers
Kerry Maher, Tony O'Connor, Bruce Goodman, Tim Donoghue

Sat. 17th May ’69.

Dear Mum & Dad,

Thanks for your letter, & also thanks Helen, Rick & Stanley for their letter. Letters are much appreciated here, so you can imagine how hard it is for the likes of Maka Tatafu (& other Tongans) who got his 1st letter all year last week!

Fr. Bennett is going away tomorrow for the Provincial Chapter in Wellington.

Fr. Blake from S’Stream called in to see us today. He has just finished a week’s course at Massey. Fr. Tom Ryan (from Timaru but who was at S’Stream when I was there) is staying the night. He is attending Massey next week. Six students from the Mount are coming here tomorrow to stay for a week while attending Massey – 3 of them are Aspirants.

Do I know the two Irish Sisters who were professed?

I have been going for a lot of runs lately (I think I may have told you). Last week John Lomu & I went on a 12 mile run – and we usually run for 4 miles every Wednesday & Saturday. On other days we run for about a mile. So we are getting fairly fit.

Fr. Vella came to stay for a little while last week – he has just finished his 2nd Novitiate & is going to teach science at S’Stream. Fr. Mills will be returning to S’Stream too, after also doing his 2nd Novitiate.

Last Thursday was Ascension Day. We went for a walk down to a local river but there were no good Conge spots there.

Our 2nd Retreat (the Marist Retreat) is from June 8th to 18th.

On Friday we had out 1st sleepin all year when the bellman slept in for 20 minutes.

All the leaves are falling off the trees now so we are kept busy raking them up.

Tonight at Benediction the hymn “Mary Immaculate” was grandly intoned by the Organist – who then played & sang a solo for a whole verse because he was the only one who knew it. Apparently Tony O’Connor knew it too, but he was laughing so much that he couldn’t sing!

The Brothers went down to S’Stream last Thursday to see Brother Walter who is at the Home of Compassion. He is 96 & a 1/2, & intends to get to 100. He became a brother in his late 50s, & is the oldest Marist in the world - & makes the most of it. He was here until last year. The story goes that when he was here, the superior gave him 9 Stations of the Cross to make for riding the bike without permission, so he asked if he could make them on the bike!

Well I don’t think there is much more news this week. We are expecting a Conge soon – it is about 3 weeks since our last one, & usually you can tell it is 3 weeks since the last one just by looking at everyone – you don’t need to look at a calendar!

Love from

P.S. I’m not sure whether Br Bede has sold the goldfinches or not because he didn’t have many but I will check again. The trouble is that we are not allowed to speak to the Brothers, so it is a matter of catching him in the right time & place – [& in the right mood!]

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