I was lucky to spend this past weekend with an old Marquette friend at the country place near Augusta Maine, of Joe O’Donnell ’66 and his wife, Jet. Joe and I met in 1967 through our mutual Marquette friend. They had been roommates together in a study abroad program in Paris during the 1964-65 academic year. Tom introduced us in 1967, when Joe was doing graduate studies at Clark University and I was starting my Ph.D. program at Harvard. On that occasion, Joe brought us over to Holy Cross for Mass. It was my first visit to this campus; and I little dreamed that the future would bring me back for decades of my life.
Joe and I have been in contact only infrequently over the years. He’s been busy with his law practice in Augusta and with his family. So it was great to get together again, catch up, enjoy some Maine seafood, and appreciate generous hospitality. The weekend passed quickly with loads of conversation during a Saturday walk through the surrounding area and a trip to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland. That museum is an old favorite of mine, with many paintings from the three generations of Wyeths in addition to permanent and temporary exhibits. Sunday afternoon, we walked through picturesque Wiscasset and then stopped at the art museum at Bowdoin College, where a severe storm lengthened our visit by an additional quarter hour.
Sunday morning, I concelebrated Mass in Gardiner at St. Joseph’s Church. Missing our campus bell as I do, I was delighted to hear the bell ringing just as we were beginning our worship. Father Frank Morin provided a warm and fraternal welcome. Once again, the feeling of being in church to pray with others was like a homecoming.
Reconnecting: it’s one of the blessings that gets stronger as we add years to our lives. With more memories and experiences, there’s more to talk about, to appreciate, to bring perspective to, to laugh about. Reconnecting this weekend brought a Marquette grad together with a counterpart from Holy Cross and a third parcipant (yours truly) who has a connection with both. Long live these connections, and the summer months that provide opportunity to keep them alive.