17)  11 January 2004


To:  The Greater Monlezun Family

From:  Aunt/Anna Bernadette

Re: To Celebrate/‘Sayings and Remembrances’…


To celebrate:

5 January – Gabriel Pierce is 6.

14 January – Uncle Hector and Aunt Bernadette committed matrimony 26 years ago on this very day!

15 January – Jamie is 38.

20 January – Uncle Lee J. clocks in at 61!

25 January – Jason is 26.

31 January – Benjamin Lee is 23.


More Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad!...




18. 3 February 2004


To:  The Greater Monlezun Family

From:  Aunt Bernadette

Re:  ‘Happenings’  ~ ‘Sayings & Remembrances of Mom and Dad!’ ~ Dates for Celebration:


1 February – Nique is 15 years of age!

4 February – Makenzie Lynn is a big 3 years of age!

7 February – Veronica Gertrude is 45 years of age and a Silent Retreat Day in her honor on Arthur Avenue!

9 February – Dominique and Tina celebrating 24 years living the Sacrament of Matrimony!  Madison Claire is 13 years of age!!  Lawrence Joseph and Jolene will be celebrating the same Sacrament  in 3 years of marriage.

16 February – Kameron LaRae will be 7 years of age!

25 February – Ursula will be 49 –and- holding years of age! Katherine Anne will be 22 years of age all on Ash Wednesday!


+ 28 January 2004 was a special day!  It was Grandparents Day at Our Lady Immaculate Elementary school in Jennings, LA with Christian Joseph, 7th grade and Suzanne Louise, 3rd grade. Uncle Dominique & Tina extended the invitation and, in that both sets of grandparents have died, the eldest Aunt was honored to humbly step up to the plate!  Aunt Leona sat behind me for the wonderful Mass and sang alto just like MawMaw.  The parents-in-law of the man who took down the old pine tree at Arthur Avenue was there and I told them of the ‘Pen of Pine’ gift with a poem given at Christmas 2003 and he will pass it on to Mr. Terry who felled the tree.  Many of my Silent Retreat ladies were there, one clutching her eighth child beaming and thanking me for the impetus to redo their kitchen before the baby was born!  Another is asking for another day and will join those scheduled on Arthur Avenue for February 7, 2004!  Two ladies approached and said that they grew up in Pine Island and asked if I was Teemie’s cousin and if so, that we played together as children!! Christian led me to Suzanne’s room where they were entertaining all present and enthusiastically showed me her entire classroom! It was so cute!  Then, the fun began…the recess bell rang and we all ran to the playground!  There it was, a football being thrown across the lovely blue skies and I caught it and yes, kicked it back across the wide expanse. You should have seen their faces…no grandparent could do that!  They lined up to hike the ball!  Christian and Suzanne were delighted!!  This Aunt then led all in a curvy train singing Kumbaya and waving my ruana in the air. Then a little soccer and then, the Chicken Dance was taught complete with all the motions!  The teacher watching all of this was once the baby that I had held in my lap when I was 14 years of age and touring all the western states Canada with the Houssiere families!!! She couldn’t stop grinning and invited me back anytime for recess!! On my way out, I stopped by the cafeteria and politely requested a hot homemade roll that only cafeteria ladies can bake, received one and was on my way. Was this a great day or what?!! Ah, the simple request, major memories. (Suzanne informed me this past Sunday while celebrating Nique’s 15th birthday, that her mates said, ‘Your Grandmother rocks!!!’)


+ January 2004 Erick and Amanda  Fontenot-Berken married at St. Theodore’s in Moss Bluff, LA; Aunt Constance and I were requested to cantor the same songs we cantored for cousin Erica Andrus-Zaunbrechers’  wedding in Eunice, LA.  It is always a privilege to sing with our own at such epiphany times! The reception was a blast in that, the entire dance floor at Harrah’s was filled with first and second cousins dancing and whirling to the DJ playing just the right old songs!! We formed circles of joyful movements inviting many to the center; little Adam Berken stole the show!  The chicken dance was, well, the most poignant dance of past, present and future for I looked around and saw gleeful faces set firm in celebrating those who have gone before, those who were present along with new family and those yet to come…it was pure grace!


+ Santa Claus carried Baby Jesus to His Holy Family Christmas Eve on Arthur Avenue in a beautiful touching way as his family sang, ‘Silent Night.’ His aunts and uncles read the ‘Blessing Prayer for the Christmas Crib’ as Santa gentled the little ones into laying Jesus softly and carefully in that sacred space centering them on the Incarnate Birth-day that changed the world; ‘wise men still seek Him!’ Thank you, Santa Sye Joseph!


+ The dedication of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital’s ‘Heritage Center/Reverencing Those Who Have Gone Before’ was a milestone and so noted by all in attendance, to include, Uncles Lee J., Charles, Dominique and Aunts Anne, Sharon and Constance!! They were captured in photos for print media!  We loved smoothing our hands over Daddy’s display cases as they sit in the Heritage Center holding wonderful interesting medical artifacts and more arrive weekly!  Many kudos have been extended from all the shifts at the hospital for the meaningful and peaceful Center but especially the unique cases; again, thank you Dominique and Tina.  My siblings, present and afar, presented me with a unique metal carving on wood of Our Lady of Guadalupe which I’ve always wanted for my home and all of their names in  my birthday card…a day that I shall never forget! I’m planning a ‘Memory in Glass’ for phase ll!  Aunt Ursula, Anna and Ben were gracious in requesting a tour of the Center over the Christmas holidays; I was so pleased to point out the brass plate verbiage about MawMaw and PawPaw!  Antoine, who was in the area for approximately 30 hours (!) at Christmas, visited on his way our of town; he commented how teenagers were walking around the center and enjoying the artifacts in PawPaw’s cases!!


+More ‘Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad!’ …175 to date!!!


I so love writing to you, feeling close to each and every one of you as I think and share all the good…for in the end, after all is said and done, He Indeed, Leads Kindly and Faithfully!

Love, Aunt Bernadette



19) Date: 1 March 2004


To: The Greater Monlezun Family; Sibling/Spouse Monthly Dinner on Spring Street

From:  Anna Bernadette

Re:  Calendar Dates of Celebration, ‘Happenings/Thoughts’, Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad!’


Calendar Dates of Celebration:

2 March – Jon ‘Dylan’  is 9 years of age!

14 March – Anne is 57!

17 March – Sibling/Spouse Monthly Dinner, 6:30 pm at The Pontons for Hector’s surprise!

19 March – Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary!

20 March – Robert Joseph, Jr. is 37 years of age on the first day of spring!!


Happenings/Thoughts:    + As per Uncle Dominique’s request:

      March 13/14, 2004, you and yours are invited to visit The Lake Arthur Butane booth at the LA Homebuilder’s Association convention at the LC Civic Center. His butane truck will be parked out front while in the booth will be representatives from his professional associations to give demonstration safety tips for heaters with videos on said topic, a fireplace area which is for sale (!), and more being planned at this moment!!  See you there!


+ Uncle Lee J. and Aunt Anne celebrated 25 years in Mardi Gras with JD and those tah-tah grandchildren on stage opening the show with remembrance of the marriage proposal while on a bicycle built for two with UncleLee J. singing’ Daisy Daisy’!!  Uncle Hector  aka ‘Julio’  and Herman Manuel aka ‘Willie Nelson’ did their infamous ‘To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before’ and it was terrific! They were too-o kool! It was a wonderful celebrative 25th Mardi Gras evening and we danced the night away!


+  GG Gautreaux, son of Aunt To-To and Uncle Guy, brought along the US Navy Band to entertain SW LA in military style and it was magnificent. Uncle Hector, Antoine, Uncle Vic and Aunts Constance, Ione, Leona and Uncle Louis, Mary Gayle Berken-Moses and children were present and accounted for! We were  so-o proud as a wide range of musical numbers were aptly performed and GG as percussionist stood stage center and swung those sticks! (I gave him persimmon bread and he shared that his sticks or made from the persimmon tree, the best wood and color for sticks!!!)  Veterans of all the armed services were asked to rise as well as members of families of the band members were also asked to stand and be recognized – we all waved across the auditorium to GG and he waved back!!! I gave him a full set of Sayings and Remembrances (182!) of Aunt Gert and Uncle Lee’ to read while on the bus trip to, next stop, Natchez! But not before he and the family who attended came to Spring Street for gumbo and a one on one visit with him!


+ I was invited to speak to the Business and Professional Women’s club of Lake Charles on the topic of my ‘Medical Resource Book’.  I was particularly excited to be with these ladies, in that I was selected the ‘State of Louisiana Young Career Woman’ in 1972 representing this very club and had not been with them in a very long time. The evening of my talk I was riding the elevator to the Mayor’s conference room when my cell phone rang with Antoine on the other end very excited to tell me that he was hired to work his first hospital job at North Monroe Medical Center in Cardiovascular ICU, ICU and ER! I couldn’t believe the coincidence of my topic, a Medical Resource Book that was started because of Antoine’s diagnosis and now he was hired to work in the medical field as his vineyard! The Father leads kindly and steadily!


+ Archival work has found me and I love it!  I am continuing to order the Archival Room at St. Patrick’s hospital, am ordering Msgr. DeBlanc’s desk, floor (!), closets, files, books, papers, photos, articles, etc. in his home which many of these papers are the archives of OLQH parish and have commenced organizing the RCIA office starting today with rearranging the furniture. Ordering and setting out on Arthur Avenue continues to be my once a week joy and challenge and it is wonderful Aunt Constance is there on Tuesday nights to also enjoy all the material to read and ponder! All is set out for you and with Easter approaching, we hope you will take time to read and know the markings of your family that have gone before.


+ More ‘Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad!’ – 170!




20) 12 May 2004


To:  The Greater Monlezun Family

From:  Anna Bernadette

RE:  Calendar for Rememberings, Happenings/Thoughts, Sayings & Remembrances of Mom and Dad!

April 2004~

4 April – Don was 39.

24 April – Daddy was 87!

May 2004~

5 May – Uncle Lee J. and Aunt Anne were married 25 years!

13 May – Renee is 38 and Rhonda is 33.

16 May – Chase Dwight is 11.

18 May – Pope John Paul ll is 84!

26 May – Anna Clare is 25.

27 May – Uncle Robert will be 60 years of age! And, 39 years that Alvin Joseph and

 Veronica Gertrude arrived in heaven and intercede on our behalf!

30 May – Pentecost, the Birthday of the Church!



+ May 3, 2004 found me in the Field of Apparitions near Birmingham, AL. Marija Lunetti is a visionary from Medjugorje, Yugoslavia to whom the Blessed Mother appears daily and has for 22 years. This is not sanctioned by the Vatican however pilgrimages to Medjugorge are not discouraged. This field is private and owned by a family that works the land. Thirty-seven people live across the road and have formed a community called ‘Caritas’ whose mission it is to print and distribute the translated messages throughout the world. I was booked on a Trinity College, D.C. tour to Medjugorge in 1987, however had to cancel two weeks before, so now was able to see the visionary in person. I made my way past 4 thousand people on their knees praying the rosary in anticipation of the apparition and knelt 3 people from Marija. I watched her during the apparition as I fervently lifted up each one of you by name and all that is on your heart, mind and soul.  I have never prayed so passionately in my life as her eyes were fixed on our Blessed Mother. The apparition lasted 10 minutes and was translated thusly, “Our Lady was happy to see so many people here in prayer to Her Son and She looked upon each one of you and blessed all of your intentions in Her native tongue, Hebrew.” I am still processing this sublime and intense 7 days away.

I spent time in the Adoration Chapel at Eternal Word Television Network in Irondale, AL and onto the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament, Mother Angelica’s monastery (Our Lady of the Angels) in Hanceville, AL where I prayed the evening Divine Office with the nuns. It was an uplifting pilgrimage for me as I prayed for you all the moments while there.

It was especially wonderful to spend some time with Antoine in Monroe. We attended 10:00 am Friday Mass, after one of his finals, at CHRISTUS St. Joseph Assisted Living facility 3 minutes from his apartment capping the many rosaries offered, Eucharist received and storming the gates of heaven for my family, those who have gone before, are here and will come after us.


+ CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital has said yes to my offering to teach my Medical Resource Book through her many ministries, the first set being her 13 Support Groups. I will co-teach with Aunt Constance, Ms. Renee and Sarah Elizabeth! I have booked to begin with the Facilitators of the Support Groups, followed by the Parkinson and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia groups within the next two months. CSPH is placing the MRB on their website hotlinked ‘Personal Medical Resource Book.’ The MRB will also be on Uncle Lee J’s website in the near future. While in Monroe, Antoine introduced me to his nursing instructor & advisor to the student nurses at ULM. I shared the MRB with her after Antoine had told her about it and she invited me to teach it to the entire nursing student body in the near future. Also, Time Management with a Christian Perspective will also be shared at her invitation!


+ Silent Retreats Series continues to be booked on Arthur Avenue and some ladies are requesting quiet time in retreat there when I’m there and that is fine. She is morphing into a lovely retreat home for all who need. Lovely in that, Lisa Monlezun arrived on Arthur Avenue, 20 April 2004 with her vehicle completely filled with flowers – I could hardly see her face!  We offloaded the lovely cargo, dirt and mulch and worked until 8:00 PM that evening – she is something else when she gets focused…can she work!!! There are flowers all along the home from the northeast, north and west side. We will continue with the west and south side in the near future planting some sweet olive trees.  In the flower beds are those implements from Daddy that I saved for the ‘Monlezun Meditation Garden!’ Remember?  Well it’s time and the gardens are forming. The flowers are for the girls and the implements are for the boys to enjoy!! Thank you Uncles Lee J. and Dominique for the opportunity to make beauty. Thank you Lisa for your heart and eye for color and how to point the petals to the heavens. Thank you Robbie and girls for your Mama’s gift to all our family that day.  Thank you Aunt Constance for watering while I was away!!


+ More Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad…

I love you and I pray for each and every one of you by name with each daily rosary.

Lead, Kindly Light!




21)  15 June 2005

To:  The Brothers and Sisters

From:  Dominique, Your Brother


“It is 60 years ago today Daddy and Mom started The Business! I want to thank each of you for, at age 25, trusting me to buy the business and pay your back monthly; it took 12 years but Tina and I did it. You helped make it a success. Thank you! It is a privilege to carry on.

I’ve recently spoken with John David about utilizing some of the cypress from Grandpa Monlezun’s barn which, as you know he felled, to be crafted into a cross for the new office to which he readily agreed! (They pour the slab at the new location this Friday!) I would like your permission to use Daddy’s casket cross that hangs in the back room on Arthur Avenue and superimpose it onto the cypress –crafted cross. I can’t think of a better way to honor his toil than by the significance of a cypress cross from his father, a carpenter who worked with our native wood. (If I don’t hear from you in the near future, may I take that as a yes and move on this so as to have it ready for the opening?) Thank you!


I just wanted to share this special day and my thoughts with you. I love you!”


(God, I love this and the man who penned his heart to paper…O, the faith we live by and for…)



22) Today’s Date:  13 July 2004

To:  The Greater Monlezun Family

From:  Anna Bernadette

RE:  Calendar for Rememberings & Events, Happenings/Thoughts, Sayings & Remembrances of Mom and Dad!

June 2004~ 18 June – Branton Heath was 24!

21 June – Anna Clare and Jason – 1st Wedding Anniversary!

22 June – Whitney Pierre, lll was 25!

30 June – Constance Victoria and Vic – 31st Wedding Anniversary

July 2004~ 4 July – Steven was 29!

10 July – Robert Joseph, Jr. and Lisa – 14th Wedding Anniversary

21 July – Kade Joel is 35 years of age!

23 July – Wanda is 58 years of age!

24 July – Antoine Adolfo is 22 years of age!

                 Lisa is 39 years of age!

                 Hannah June is 5 years of age!

25 July – Hector is 68 years of age!

31 July – PawPaw will have been in heaven 19 years!


August 7th,  2004  is ‘Anniversary (63rd) Tidy-Up Arthur Avenue Day’ from morning till ... and Alvin Joseph’s 50th  birthday!!!  More on this event soon…


~ There is another meaningful addition to the Heritage Center at St. Patrick Hospital… ‘Christ’ (a 25” replica of the larger Christ on the lakefront) with His arms outstretched for all and the bronze plaque on a 3-foot granite pedestal reads:

‘The Millennium Christ – Citizen of the Centuries!’

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Heritage Center, 2004

With deep gratitude and warm admiration.

Donated by Monsignor Irving A. DeBlanc

The statue was dedicated at the Mass honoring all for Hospital Week 2004. Aunt Constance and I cantored the Mass held in the convent chapel. (O, just this week received my 1000 hours pin- it was 3 years in April 2004 I’ve been a Pink Lady!)


~ The latter part of June was a grand road trip. Aunt Constance and I (Aunt Ione couldn’t join us due to her traveling schedule; next time!) headed east to gather up Katherine Anne from summer camp in Brevard, NC! We talked for 3 days and 3 nights and never finished! It is our first trip like this, but not our last!! While in Meridian, MS we decided to call Karen Monlezun and she directed us eastward all the way across 3 states right up to her front door in a charming wooded area in Macon, GA!  It was quite the visit as she served a lovely evening meal with conversation and a delightful breakfast just like Aunt Nadine use to do and off we went with all kinds of goodies! We had stopped earlier at a major peach packing plant and major shopping spot for all things peachy filled with flowers and rocking chairs set among the blooms! Best peach ice cream I’ve ever eaten and Constance bought a ready-to-go peach cobbler!

While at the camp, we attended Mass with Gary Ault and Kate cantoring and on guitar.  He was there as counselor for boys camp and Josh, his son, was so proud. JoAnne and Sarah Ault sat with us as Constance and I were invited to join them in singing the ‘Prayer of St. Francis!’ It was like old times a-singin with Gary! We stayed with JoAnne in her hotel room and early the next morning The Ault family jumped in bed with us singing ‘Good Morning’ as Gary said MawMaw Gert would not have past up the opportunity!! Constance grabs her camera and after morning prayers for safe trips for all, they departed for a 3-week stay in the northeast.

The loads of food was shared with camp counselors while Kate readied for me to pack the trunk and back seat and front middle and all floor space and it all fit!! Farewells were caught up in all the huggin and west to Atlanta for the evening and Mandeville, LA the next noon where Kate’s car was resting at a home on Lake Ponchartrain. Constance and I feel sure we saw the ‘hotel’ where we and Uncle Robert were sent by PawPaw to move Uncle Homer when I was about 12!! My My!!! What goes around comes around!

We arrived home grateful and convinced as ever that we are a composite of our upbringing, experiences and life’s challenges in general, and how our faith specifically has brought us through it all intact and looking forward to more of the same! We were aware while on our trip that Steven Marceaux is in the process of writing a story, to be included in a book of remembrances of growing up in Lake Arthur, about the heroism of Alvin, his contemporary! He has never forgotten Alvin or that day as many others in our extended family, community and people that have mentioned it to us over the years and now, to Aunt Constance at The Clinic frequently, as they recall that day 39 years later. It is a difficult but beautiful story for the ending is Steve’s faith exclaimed to the highest heavens. All the siblings are in the process of  reviewing what has been written in the first draft as we are placing where we all were at that time in that place in our composite history. Isn’t life interesting?! Isn’t The Father a gentle but persistent God Who brings all into His Light and Way?! It is all a mystery but that is why this is earth and not heaven. One day in that big Hallelujah Square with all who have gone before and will come after us, we will know instantly all we ponder and rejoice in the Light!


More Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad…

I love you and I pray for each and every one of you by name with each daily rosary!    Lead, Kindly Light!




23) Today’s Date:  21 September 2004


To:  The Greater Monlezun Family, Other Family and Friends!

From:  Anna Bernadette

1-) Calendar for Remembering & Events:

August 7, 2004 Alvin Joseph was 50 years of age!,  9th – Uncle Charles and Aunt Sharon were married 35 years!, 10th – Kade Joel and Jamie were married 8 years!, 11th – Sye Joseph was 23 years of age!, 13th – Mom and Dad were married 63 years!, 16th – Lee lll and Renee were married 7 years!, 18th – John David was 33 years of age!, 27th – Suzanne Louise was 9 years of age! And, on the 28th Victor Wayne was 56 years of age!

September 4, 2004 Ione Marie was 48 years of age!, 6th – Luke Perry was one year old!, 12th – Sarah Elizabeth was 25 years of age!, 15th - Constance Victoria was 54 years of age!, 18th – Parris Anne was 12 years of age!, 19th – Antoine Adolfo was commissioned as a Eucharistic Minister in his parish ‘Jesus the Good Shepherd’!!!, 20th – Dominique Joseph is 44 years of age; Sarah and Steven are married one year!, 23 rd – Lee Joseph, lll and Lawrence Joseph are 35 years of age and it will be five years that MawMaw was diagnosed!, 29th – Charles Joseph is 58 years young!


2-) Opportunities & The Monlezun Reunion 2005:

A-)  www.monlezun.com, Lee J’s professional website, now holds the Medical Resource Book that is available to you and yours! It is being put on the www.stpatrickhospital.org  website soon and CHRISTUS has professionally printed it through their ad agency with binders and tabs (!) as I steadily continue to teach her throughout the departments; Constance and I teach CSPH Home Care Services, 40 folks, next week and from there it will funnel into homes! Gracias a Dios!


B-) Also, planning has commenced to teach a two-day thrust incorporating my ~ ‘Medical Resource Book’, ~‘How to Have Your Very Own Heritage Center and Archival Room!’ and ~a ‘Silent Retreat Day’ teaching the Dailiness of Prayer, Journaling and Time Management with a Spiritual Perspective and doing this throughout the CHRISTUS Health network onsite!... (I also have a 1 April 2005 deadline for a Submission Flow Report on the MRB for a hospital project!)…And, I’m just a Pink Lady!!


C-) I have the opportunity to plan toward a television documentary which I’ve entitled, ‘We Are Our Ancestors!’ on Roberts Cove, Louisiana with the LA Endowment for the Arts and for LPB airing in 2005-2006!...I interviewed the Dean of the Mass Communications Department at MSU and a Germanfest representative & native of The Cove back to back for my television segment and, look what happens when three people are in the right place at the right time…we’ll see!

Therefore (!),with these accelerating  opportunities,  I have offered to Constance Victoria, Facilitator for the Monlezun Reunion, April 23, 2005. She graciously accepted to do this right along side Lee J. and Dominique Joseph, Co-Owners of Arthur Avenue and anyone else that wants to get involved. They will need our assistance as they plan, scope out and organize to make ready the best possible first reunion! You will be hearing from Constance on this exciting and special event!

3-)  Sayings & Remembrances of Mom and Dad! (208 to date!)…


I will be in St. Martinsville with a nun friend visiting from Trinity College, D.C. this Saturday evening planning another television interview!!  Y’all have fun in Big Lake this Saturday at 6:00 pm! Thank you Constance for gathering all! 

Lead, Kindly Light and boy, does He!




24) Today’s Date:  19 October 2004


To:  The Greater Monlezun Family, Other Family Members and Friends!

From:  Anna Bernadette

1-) Calendar for Events &Remembering,  2- ) Happenings *& Thoughts and  3-) More Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad (248 to date!):


October 2nd  – Feast of the Guardian Angels!  6th – Jolene was 38, 10th – Tina was 43,

17th – Antoine served his first Mass as a Eucharistic Minister (EM) in his parish church/Monroe! ( PawPaw and MawMaw were & Bernadette (hospital EM) and Antoine, Constance and Vic, Kate and Tina are commissioned EM’s!),  23rd –J.D. and Rhonda are married 5 years,  30th – Kade Joel, ll is 3 years of age!

November 1st  – Cody Lee is one year of age!, 6th – Robert and Wanda are married 39 years,  24th – Morgan Olivia is 5 years of age, 28th MawMaw’s 4th anniversary of death on the 1st Sunday of Advent.


+The Medical Resource Book’s final website draft has been approved and will be on the CHRISTUS St. Patrick website pronto - www.stpatrickhospital.org.  To reiterate, it is currently at www.monlezun.com.  It is for you & yours, friends and family to print and utilize one page at a time!  Next up, to teach her in November, Constance and I go to CSPH School Based Health Centers and back to CSPH Home Care for a more pointed time for a question and answer session among the patient care staff! A physician and staff thrust is in the planning, also the MSU College of Nursing and Health Education through to the Community Clinic.


+ The- world of- all- things- Archival: Special Collections, Historical Preservation, Artifacts, Papers and Photographs has cracked opened wider!  I met with the McNeese Archivists in their space and saw, questioned and learned. They invited me to the annual meeting of the ‘LA Archives and Manuscript Association’ at the McNeese Alumni Center. I met archivists from four of LSU Universities who were on a panel, others from the Diocese of Baton Rouge, New Orleans Historical Society, MS, TX and AR. It was fascinating. I am learning, so as to literally preserve 1- what is on Arthur Avenue for generations to come but sooner, the Monlezun Reunion , 23 April 2005!

 2. CSPH Archives, 3- Msgr. DeBlanc’s Collection & 4. the German Heritage Museum in Roberts Cove!  (I have catalogs for ordering deacidifying spray and mylar enclosures for paper and photographs…books to read and websites to visit!)


+I recently facilitated my 23rd Retreat on Arthur Avenue since March 2001- total 155 persons there, and, a total of 519 persons since I began these Retreats years ago. One never knows what life will bring and, in that my love and gratitude for my parents, family, foremothers and forefathers is never-ending and uplifting, my actions- so- that- all- might- win are filled with faith, fire, love and will. That is why and how I live the daily in this my third-age. I simply have put my faith, time and experience into full throttle realizing that The Father uses ‘straw to light His fires’ and I want to serve Him. And, when invited, I attempt to humbly serve you to the best of my ability. I thank Uncle Hector often for being able to serve in this way and I thank his Mama!


+Uncle Hector continues to work with Dr. Harcourt Stebbins – ‘Associated Translators and Interpreters of SWLA.’ It is fascinating work as he reads documents, researches, studies and translates different cases in and outside of the Lake Charles area. He continues to golf and sail and has an email domain so as to receive the LC Yacht Club news and information!


+ Recently the Germanfest Folk Singers (30 of us) met at St. Leo’s church and by school bus, traveled at the invitation of 2 nursing care facilities in Crowley to sing from our Germanfest program for the residents. It was just like being back at the nursing home with Grandma Hensgens and Mom saying, ‘Sure my children will sing for the residents!’ Then on to the family and friends-filled-home of Clara Habetz for her 91st birthday party where Tricia and Teemie served coke floats and German songs were sung!! Back in the bus and off to Vermilionville for the Lafayette Public Library’s fundraiser ‘Booktoberfest!’ I sat next to my cousin on the Reiner’s side and she has hair exactly like Constance and could be her twin; other cousin looks like Ione and could be her twin!! Yes, I was on the right bus!  We were introduced as the direct descendants of the original families of Roberts Cove and we couldn’t have been more proud! (The Hensgens family was one of the original eight families from Germany to Acadia Parish!)

+More ‘Sayings and Rememberings of Mom and Dad!’

I love you and offer a daily rosary mentioning each of you by name.  Lead, Kindly Light!



25) Today’s Date:  8 December 2004

To: Family and Friends

From: Anna Bernadette

RE:  1-) Calendar for Events and Remembering &

2-) I Have a Gift for You!

+ December 2004:

8th – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day!

12 – Aunt Bernadette is 57 humbly shared with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the First Anniversary of the CSPH Heritage Center!

16th – Veronica Cherie is 32.

18th – John David, Jr. is 4 years of age.

22nd – Aunt Sharon is 58.

23rd – Christian Joseph will be 14 on Christmas Eve-Eve… (the Christmas Eve-Eve and Eve email next week!)

24th – Uncle Malcolm is 52.

26th – Feast of the Holy Family!

27th -  MawMaw is 83!;  Malcolm and Aunt Ursula will be married 33 years!


+ A gift for you!

 There is now a Web of Gratefulness, my Web Book that is a compilation of written material that has been collected for a time now and, now is the time! I am heartily grateful to Uncle Lee J. for sharing his www.monlezun.com domain (also, with my Medical Resource Book!) and to Keith Coleman, our Webmaster.


Go to www.leadkindlylight.net and take and read and know what I write of for it is mostly a wellspring of remembering and, that you are reverenced! I have written to you often, think and pray for you daily and slowly this has morphed into a body of work that is now all in one place, to include ‘Sayings and Remembrances of Mom and Dad” which together number 299 and with, “I’ve Been Thinking!” is #310 at this moment!   Also, many friends and colleagues will hit this site for their specific hotlink in our collaborative work. It is all added to often, as involvement in many areas, writing, envisioning, reading, remembrances, requests, teaching, thinking, planning are ongoing except when I sleep!


I particularly wanted this site for my nieces and nephews to include the great-nieces and nephews in time. I earnestly and fondly think of them as I gratefully learn more about their foremothers and forefathers especially with my involvement with Roberts Cove and the upcoming Monlezun Reunion 2005. (Aunt Constance is doing an absolutely outstanding and comprehensive job with this Reunion! Our Friday drives to Lake Arthur and Family Choir practice (!) is a learning experience of Monlezun family that are raising-up and emailing to her names, ideas – too exciting! Her Blue Invitation was a beautiful genesis!)


This site has been illuminating and enriching to compile in that my first correspondence to you was in December 2000, one month after Mom died, and the writings and subsequent list has grown to include our Aunts, extended family, friends of old and new and colleagues. These friends and colleagues are now being invited to Germanfest 2005 for a wonderful day all together as they are directed to this Web of Gratefulness, all things family through apostolic action!! Marvelous circle of the wonder of life!

So, go and unwrap your Kindly Gift! Blessed Christmas to you, dear ones.

I love you more than you know! Lead, Kindly Light!




26) 11 February 2005, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes!


From: Anna Bernadette

RE:  Events and Remembrances and Happenings!

(Also, Lisa Monlezun at Christmas Eve left her blank camera case with digital batteries inside on a door knob at Arthur Avenue. If you know of its whereabouts, please call her as she has those tah-tah babies to film!!! Thank you!)


January 2005:

5th ~Gabriel Pierce was 7 years of age; 14th~Uncle Hector and I were married 27 wonderful years!; 15th~Jaime was 39; 20th~Uncle Lee J. was 62 years of age; 25th~Jason was 27; 31st~Benjamin Lee was 24!

February 2005:

1st~Nique was 16 years of age!; Makenzie Lynn was 4; 7th~Veronica Gertrude was 46 years of age!; Uncle Dominique and Aunt Tina were married 25 years, Madison Claire was 14 and Lawrence Joseph and Jolene were married 4 years all on Ash Wednesday!; 16th~Kameron LeRae is 8; 25th~Aunt Ursula is 50(!) and Katherine Anne is 23!

March 2005:

2nd~Jon ‘Dylan’ is 10 years of age; 14th Aunt Anne is 58; 19th – the 24th  Silent Retreat on Arthur Avenue since MawMaw died; 20th~Robert Joseph, Jr. is 38 on Palm Sunday!;

27th is Glorious Easter Sunday!



+ In that I have experienced a cold, a relapse, bronchitis and pneumonia (thank you dear John David for delivering a nebulizer at 11:00 pm!! You have a pink lady whenever you need!) since January 5th, not to mention Antoine’s January tonsillectomy in Monroe, LA and while there, a week of cooking popsicles, ice cream and pudding(!), I have been thinking albeit through a fog of drugs…in the span of one year commencing March 2004 to this month, the Monlezun family in two generations~4 have visited France and the villages and homes of our Basque ancestors; 6 have visited Germany and our Hensgens family members there; 4 have visited, 1 residing for a time in, Holland and visited Monlezun relatives there; 1 to visit Dona Carmen in Puerto Rico; 2 to Cambodia; 1 to Mexico and 2 have traveled to Hawaii! We are a very mobile family! Constant prayers and the home altar votive was lit for you and yours as you traversed The Father’s beautiful and wide world…His Mother held you in Her mantle; all were safe and a bit wiser and grateful for the experiences! (MawMaw would have been right there with each one of them as she was always ready to experience something new! Come to think of it, she was with them.)


+ Aunt Constance is steadily working on our Monlezun Reunion to be held on Arthur Avenue, Saturday April 23, 2005 the day before PawPaw’s 88th birthday – what a present, the best we could do!! She is putting her heart and soul in this blessed project and it will hopefully continue for year’s to come as we gather in gratefulness for those who have gone before, for those gathered and those who will follow.


+ Remember I told you all about the McNeese State University Library Archives and Special Collections Department? Well, in January 2005, I organized for the Archivists to meet in the home of Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc and tell him of the archival way that makes relevant not just preserves. There is now a Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc Special Collections at the MSU library/Archives that is in the process of receiving his manuscripts, correspondence, photograph albums, books, sermons, memorabilia and DVD’s of some of the television interviews we co-anchored for 7 years, ‘In His Image!’ He is thrilled and so am I in that he is part of the history of Louisiana as well, and his work will be in the Library of Congress database for generations to research and enjoy! You too can arrange for a Special Collection, just contact the above archivists!


+ Speaking of history, Aunt Constance and I have finished going through beaucoup boxes of newspaper clippings, correspondence and categorized it into the 2 chests in MawMaw’s room on Arthur Avenue! I carefully gather up a hand-full at a time during my Friday visits, take to Spring Street and input into my Web of Gratefulness- www.leadkindlylight.net, mostly under the first set of hotlinks, for you and yours to have for years to come. I then put it back! Therefore, over time, you can access the website and continue to read of your history as it chronicles so many wonderful events, stories, letters, remembrances…God only knows how much and how long!!! A wonderful sibling wrote, “You have produced a sacred web space for all to read; what a feat, done with boundless energy, dedication, reverence and goodness…So much heritage committed to print of our own family. My family and my family to come thank you for this timeless and timely tenants of truth and trust, toil and triumph. You will, through this body of work, inspire others to read, write and remember and pay it forward!” This is my fervent prayer!


Health, peace and love envelope you and hold you firmly, my dear, dear family! May you have a truly meaningful and holy Lent.


Lead, Kindly Light!

Anna Bernadette, from my Spring Street cloister!


P.S. Uncle Hector is the best and most patient caregiver, chef, meds dispenser and provisions provider (especially chips to cheer) in the whole wide world! 



27) Today’s Date: 27 May 2005


To: The Greater Monlezun Family, Cousins and Friends

From: Anna Bernadette

RE: Events to Celebrate and Remembrances and ON BEING GRATEFUL!


APRIL 2005:

2nd – The death of Pope John Paul, ll in that beautiful cypress casket with a cross and the letter M!

4th – Don Gillett was 40!,19th – Habemus Papum! Pope Benedict XVI, a German!, 23rd – the First Monlezun Family Reunion which was Daddy’s 88th birthday present, 24 April, as well as the milestones of 20 years since Daddy died, 5 for Mom, 40 years Alvin and Veronica became our intercessors and Alvin’s 50th birthday year as well as Uncle Robert’s 60th Year!!!


MAY 2005

5th- Uncle Lee J. and Aunt Anne’s 26th Wedding Anniversary, 13th – Renee was 39 and Rhonda was 34, 16th- Chase Dwight was 12, 24th- Uncle Lee J. graduated from McNeese 40 years ago today, 25th- Aunt Bernadette graduated in the first Class 1965 from Goretti Catholic High School and Mike Bussy, a Craftsman from Lake Arthur, La delivered to Spring Street a utility table which he made using the Goretti gym floor with the blue accents for a top shelf, a lower pine shelf from the Arthur Avenue tree felled in 2003; the legs are maple! What timing – how very beautiful! 26th – Anna Clare was 26, 27th- Uncle Robert was 61 and 40 years for Alvin and Veronica’s celestial intercession.29th – Feast of Corpus Christi with the Mass and procession in Roberts Cove at 9:00 AM! See you there!


JUNE 2005

5th- Sr. Lawrence Habetz’s 50th Anniversary of vowed life as a Carmelite with a Mass and Reception at St. Lawrence Church, Raymond, LA!,18th-Branton Heath is 25, 21st-Anna and Jason are married 2 years, 22nd-Whitney Pierre, lll is 26, 30th – Uncle Vic and Aunt Constance celebrate 32 years of matrimony!



Constance Victoria Monlezun-Darbonne

First Monlezun Family Reunion, 23 April 2005 which she found under her pillow on Arthur Avenue at 5:30 AM!


A Prayer Within Me Joined to You.


This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad!


In gratitude,

I have seen and experienced your love ignited to

Connect us all, from whence we come.


Created in His image and likeness down

Through the ages, we were begotten…

It is now our time to

Be grateful and celebrate in the footsteps of

Those who have gone before,

For our steps intertwine with our ancestors

Whom we can, due to your efforts, now call by name,

Centering back to the palm of His hand Who,

Counted every hair on our head before

We were formed in our mother’s womb!

They have prayed us forward since 1741!

We now become the pray-ers for our own yet to be born.


Family is a gift to be

Nurtured by work, good example and unceasing prayer,

Becoming good and wise stewards of that which has been entrusted to us;

by communicating and protecting,

By study of the steps taken by the ‘grands’,

To insure our freedom, education and faith foundation

To be lived in the daily, day by day, in trust, love and toil.


Merci Beaucoup for exhibiting the grit, tenacity and skill that

Matured your love for your own

Into this day of glory and peace,

Amongst our own!


I have loved you from the first day I held you in my arms.


Lead, Kindly Light!

Anna Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton


+ On this the 40th anniversary of Alvin and Veronica’s death, this was heartedly received by Kay Francis Gautreaux-Dugruise, daughter of Aunt To-To and Uncle Guy…

Dear beloved cousins,

     While this day, May 27, 2005, may be a day of sad remembrances for you, try to envision Alvin and Veronica celebrating this day in Heaven as the day they finally went home, home to Jesus and all of the saints. While their passing, 40 years ago, may have seemed tragic to you, it was anything but for them. I know that they were peacefully enveloped into God's arms surrounded by incredible light and love.

    As you may or may not know, my earliest memory of being on earth, is a sad one. As a two year old, I can still see these two children in one coffin. The little girl is closest to me, her head is to the left, with her brother laid next to her. All of the women are wearing black veils, and there's so much crying. I have never seen so much sadness in my short life.

    As an adult, I look back on that first memory, and it's not sad for me anymore. As a woman of faith, I know that those two precious children were able to meet their maker with all of the innocence that children possess. In glory and splendor they left us all for their one, true home. So, today is a day of celebration for me, as I remember my two little Saints.

Happy Homecoming Alvin and Veronica!



+ What a remembrance, what faith which she possesses in abundance!

+ Steve Marceaux’s book, ‘God’s Gifts’, will be ready in two weeks. What a faith he possesses!

Have a safe and re-created summer! I love you. Lead, Kindly, Light!



28) Today’s Date: 4 July 2005

To: Son, Family and Friends!

From: Anna Bernadette

RE: Events to Celebrate and Happenings!



1st- Uncle Lee J. celebrated 30 years in the healing ministry as a physician! 4th-Steven is 30 today! Blessed Birthday to you, dear one! 10th-Robbie and Lisa are married 15 years!

16th-Abuela Carmen Ponton is 90! 21st-Kade Joel is 36, 23-Aunt Wanda is 59; 24th-Antoine Adolfo is 23! Lisa is 40! Hannah June will be 6; The Hensgens Family Reunion in Rayne, LA/11:00 AM Mass. 25th-Uncle Hector is 69 years young-just look at him! 26th-Feast Day of Sts. Joachim and Anne, maternal grandparents of Jesus! 30th – PawPaw’s 20th anniversary upon entering eternal life! 30th-Hector San Miguel is guest on ‘Lead, Kindly Light’ at 6:30 AM on KPLC!



5th-Joseph Wayne is 21! 7th-Alvin Joseph is 51! 9th-Uncle Charles and Aunt Sharon are married 36 years! 10th-Kade Joel and Jaime are married 9 years; 11th-Sye Joseph is 24; 13th-MawMaw and PawPaw were married 64 years! 16th-Lee and Renee will be married 8 years; 18th-John David is 34; 27th-Suzanne Louise will be a whole 10, the last grandchild leaving the single-digits!!! Poo-Yi-Yi!! Silent Retreat on Arthur Avenue-Healthcare Odyssey;

28th-Uncle Vic rounds out the month at 57!

There are one Spring 2005 and two Summer 2005 college graduates, Katherine Anne, Benjamin Lee and Sye Joseph! Congratulations! That makes ten down and six to go!!



4th-Aunt Ione is 49; 6th-Luke Perry is 2 years of age; 12th-Sarah Elizabeth is 26; 15th-Aunt Constance is 55 and Aunt To-To is 76! 18th-Parris is 13!!; 20th-Uncle Dominique is 45! Sarah and Steven are married 2 years; 23rd-Lee Joseph and Lawrence Joseph will be 36 and 29th-Feast of the 3 Archangels and the 4th, Uncle Charles, will be 59 and holding, holding!!



The Monlezun Family Reunion 2005 DVD and cover letter is in the mail; Aunt Constance and I critically viewed it prior to the mailing and are immensely pleased and in awe of this beautiful work; thank you Aunt Anne for following through with the coordination of this mailing! Leonard Brown did an outstanding job of blending the festivity with majestic music interweaved through the verbiage, priceless footage of food preparation, children, the family singing, presentations, interviews in the front room and b-roll of flags at the cemetery in the beginning and in closing!! After a year of thought and preparation the DVD length- of- the- day is well-worth the memory! The Carnegie Library’s Genealogy section will be presented a copy of the Monlezun Blue Book, the DVD, photographs, newspaper articles and parts of the April 23, 2005 Working Binder for their archival collection. Constance and I have been invited to make a future presentation for the public on ‘How to Plan a Family Reunion!’ My, my… what will we say!


+Steve Marceaux’s book entitled ‘God’s Gifts’ A collection of short stories from the Heart of Cajun Country is in the mail to the nieces and nephew compliments of Uncle Dominique, generous soul he is! It hit the stand July 1, 2005! A copy lives between Alvin and Veronica’s (A/V) picture on Arthur Avenue; their story ‘No Greater Love’ is already reaching my ear. (On 2 July while on Arthur Avenue I made a grateful telephone call to Bill and Mazie for their friendship with Mom and Dad and for their son!)  I wanted to thank Steve in a special way so I sent him a card listing all 54 names and gave him a copy of my Medical Resource Book (MRB); his son was diagnosed with severe RA at 18 months, he is now age 27. Steve’s story on A/V began at the same time CHRISTUS was printing the MRB for publication, print and electronic! God’s gifts are all of us to each other in ways that we can hardly begin to fathom…In His Time!


+ www.leadkindlylight.net is ever-evolving...ENJOY! (A current copy of this site numbering 216 pages lives at the home altar on Arthur Avenue!!)


Web of Gratefulness:

  •  ‘Sayings of Mom and Dad!’ Total 350!

251. ‘Kids’ are baby goats; they are your children, say children not kids!

252. Do you need me to come over there and light a fire under you to get you moving?!

253. If we go, I don’t want to have to watch the clock. There’s nothing worse than going to visit someone and having to be some place at a certain time!

254. Stand up straight and stop biting your nails!

255. You can be anything you think you’re big enough to be!

256. That better not be going in one ear and out the other!

257. You’re right on the money!

258. I’m too pooped to pop!

259. When the going get’s tough, the tough get going!

260. Grab a dictionary and look it up!

  •  ‘Remembrances of Mom and Dad!’ Total 72!
  • ‘Happenings!’  Total 27!
  •  ‘I’ve Been Thinking!’  Total 24!
  •  ‘Songs, Recipes and Prayers!’  Total 25!


What Lives In Our Home of Origin

‘The Red Binder’

‘Room by Room’ Most Recent-The Living Room!

‘Photographs’(Under Construction!)

 Fact Sheets for Monlezun and Hensgens Family Events:

Christmas Eve-Eve and Eve!

Easter Sunday Lunch and Hunt!

Anniversary Tidy-Up Arthur Avenue Day! (Due to the fact that Arthur Avenue is in prime and pristine condition due to the hosting of the MFReunion, there will not be a Anniversary Tidy-Up Day 2005! The flowers are popping and so beautiful-thank you Lisa! I’m on the south side now!!)

‘Monlezun Family Chronicle’ (See www.monlezun.com/constance)

‘Germanfest, Roberts Cove, LA!’


To Teach:

The Silent Retreat Series

Medical Resource Book (see www.monlezun.com or www.stpatrickhospital.org)

Organizational Wheel of Ministry/Wiring Diagrams for Ministry (In Time!)


Heritage Centers and Archival Special Collections 

A Rite/A Worship Aid

Read! Read! Read! (In Process!)

‘Lead, Kindly Light’ Television Segment


I love you more than you know and pray for each one of you at daily Mass.

Lead, Kindly Light!




29.  Today’s Date: 26 October 2005


To: My Son and the Greater Monlezun Family, Cousins, Friends and Strangers-No-Longer!

From: Anna Bernadette

RE: Events to Celebrate and Remembrances; ‘Sayings of Mom and Dad’ and ON BEING GRATEFUL!




1st & 2nd – Germanfest 2005, in the spirit of family and tradition, was held and enjoyed by all especially the many evacuees finding their way to blessed Roberts Cove, LA!

6th-Jolene was 39 years of age; 7th-Our Lady of the Rosary!; 10th – Tina Louise was 44; 19th-Msgr. DeBlanc was 91!!; 23rd-John David and Rhonda were married 6 years; 30th-Kade Joel, ll will be 4 years big!



1st-Cody Lee will be 3 years big on All Saints Day!; 2nd-All Souls Day-MawMaw, PawPaw, Alvin & Veronica, Uncle Alvin, Grandpa & Grandma Monlezuns and Hensgens and the Patriarch, Dominique B. Monlezuns’ graves will sing with new flowers all arrayed.

6th-Uncle Robert and Aunt Wanda celebrate 40 years of the Sacrament of Matrimony!!; 16th- Feast of St. Gertrude!; 24th – Morgan Olivia will be 6 years of age on Thanksgiving Day, thankfully!; 27th – First Sunday of Advent and the airing of Steve Marceaux on Lead, Kindly Light, KPLC from 6:30 am to 7:00 am!! We speak to his book, his inspiration to write of the day Alvin and Veronica journeyed to heaven!; 28th – Five years MawMaw is in heaven interceding with PawPaw for their own on this side of the veil.



8th-Feast of the Immaculate Conception!; 12th – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and I am 58 years of age; 16th-Veronica Cherie is 33!; John David, Jr. is 5; 22nd-Aunt Sharon is 59; 23rd - Christian Joseph is 15 on Christmas Eve-Eve and all grandchildren, spouses and children are welcomed once again to celebrate together on Arthur Avenue the reason for the season! More on this in a future email. 24th-Uncle Malcolm is 53; 27th – MawMaw is 84 and Uncle Malcolm and Aunt Ursula are married 34 years; 30th-Feast of the Holy Family!!!  


+ www.leadkindlylight.net is ever-evolving and indeed is my WebBook...ENJOY! It is for you and yours! Web of Gratefulness:

  • ‘Sayings of Mom and Dad!’ Total 371 to date!!

261. If you don’t know, guess-timate!

262. She would look good even in sack cloth and ashes!

263. Say what you mean and mean what you say!

264. I’m happy to eat whatever is put in front of me; how could I complain as long as it’s cooked and served. I’m happy! I’m grateful!

265. You can talk till you’re blue in the face; just do what I told you to do!


There is a new ‘hit’ listed on the main page entitled ‘Where Are My Keys and Let’s Go!’ You’ll see…!!


Under ‘Photographs’ – Digitals of the ‘walls’ on Arthur Avenue have been graciously and skillfully taken by Ms. Renee to whom I am very grateful. I will soon be adding them as they will go with ‘Room by Room’ and other links! They are beautiful, meaningful and complete the verbiage!


Under ‘Read! Read! Read!’ - mucho input has been done and many wonderful books are listed for your information and from your request of me to share; enjoy for they are life to me.


Many CHRISTUS folk were requested to write of our experiences; I offered up only 2 remembrances of thousands…

‘Rita Remembrances’ at CHRISTUS!
Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton, a Pink Lady who feels privileged to have served alongside such a team which formed as a family in a village called CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital during Hurricane Rita and its aftermath September 23, 2005 through 4 October 2005.

A.)  1:30 a.m. during the storm, I made my way from the Executive offices to a darkened chapel on the 2nd floor. I clicked my flashlight to the Night Prayers in my Breviary and there were the ancient words…”I am with you through storms and strife; I am the Light of the World.” There was utter stillness inside of me, absolute peace and calm as the wind and rain made their mischief in the night. I envisioned the vortex of a hurricane with complete light and calm in the eye. That is the prayer I whispered for all God’s people…true peace He gives no matter the category of intensity if we but keep our eye on Him. On my way to my room there were dear ones attempting to sleep on mattresses in the hallway so as to have moved away from the windows in their rooms. They were exhausted from days of evacuating patients and their loved ones whom they were now separated from in the diaspora. I found myself leaning over them and making the sign of the cross on their foreheads saying ‘All will be well!’ I felt such respect, love and protection toward them; later I learned how Sr. Frederick was blessing those sleeping with holy water before the storm came in. Ah, love incarnate!

B.)  I walked the hospital empty and silent of patients as she was after the stormed passed. I felt sad as I missed the patients, doctors and associates caring for them. I thought of where they all were and if they were faring well. I felt the hospital was sad too for she was barren of that which gives her meaning and life, supporting the healing ministry of Jesus Christ…for I was sick and you visited me, tended me, healed me. I brought Eucharist today on my Thursday rounds and did not take one step or prayer for granted. I wanted to embrace everyone I saw and say, ‘this is ministry, this is where eternal life begins, this is sacrifice which means to do the sacred. Welcome home!’

I had spoken from my post in the administrative offices at St. Patrick Hospital with Aunt Constance, as the storm clouds gathered, as to the whereabouts of my family members and prayed for your calm and focus to do whatever was safe for you. Antoine, Lee J., Constance, Dominique and I were in communication before and right after she blew through and beyond and updates were given on each of you. Uncle Hector stayed with me at St. Pat’s, working on the Water Patrol (!) until he could return to Spring Street that Monday and I remained twelve days and nights working alongside an inspiring team. Upon returning home one day for a few hours, I was treated by Uncle Hector to an MRE (Meals-Ready-To-Eat!), a glass of wine and dessert on the pool porch; a breeze was blowing so I took a nap in the hammock as there were no phones ringing and being answered during eighteen hour days at my post.

I love you more than you know and pray for each one of you at daily Mass.


P.S. – For the second year in a row, my son has been asked to be a sponsor for a friend through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) into the Roman Catholic Church at Easter 2006! I told him how proud I am of him in that no matter where he goes on Saturday night that he attends Mass every, every Sunday, many times as a Eucharistic Minister at his church Jesus Good Shepherd and that is wonderful role-modeling!!! I love it when his friend asks him to ask his Mom for a lead on a saints name!! (Many times he attends Mass with Emily Ortego and other friends then on to Brunch!) He replied, “I have to; I know you will be asking what were the readings and how did Father weave them through his homily!!!” Well, for whatever reason, it is good and right; I have to answer for my son’s religious upbringing when I meet The Father and His Mother in heaven and …!

Lead, Kindly Light!!!