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Friday, December 7, 2018

The Winter Festival

This has been a fascinating week. With an earlier trip to Tower Hill Botanical Gardens with a small group of alumni, we were able to see some beautiful Christmas light displays inside the building and in the exterior gardens.

I also spent time with the Ignatian Volunteer Corp, which is a group of aged 55+ volunteers who work in apostolate for disenfranchised people. We meet in Providence, Rhode Island and we were the largest group assembled yet. We finished the book “God Isn’t Finished with me Yet,” which is about Ignatian Spirituality for the mature years. The conversations were fascinating and the reflection of people’s experiences of looking toward a time of diminishment, death, and legacy were quite insightful.

Earlier today we had a luncheon for the Retired Teachers and Staff, which was quite festive. The mass was quite meaningful as well. Nearly every Advent mass is special.

So, I’m down of SoWa, which means South of Washington Street. The art studios are right next to the old Boston College and Boston College High School, not far from the Cathedral. It is the second weekend of the Winter Festival. Last year, the festival was one night and this year it is spread over two weekends. The cold weather is forcing everyone inside.

I am meeting the nicest people. Some see the SJ on my paintings and ask if I am a Jesuit. Some say, “I went to BC or BC High.” Tonight I met people from Jesuit schools across the country, including Loyola Chicago and Creighton University.

Many will have conversations about the priesthood and art, which they find fascinating. They have read my bio outside of the room and then it gives them something to ask me when they come inside the studio. I want to paint or draw tonight, but a number of people are stopping by for conversations or viewing. This is also the First Friday, which Bostonians know to be the night to attend SoWa.

The winter festival has a thousand crafters in the Makerspace exhibit and there is an large heated tent with food and alcohol stations, plus other pop up events. People seem happy, and I like happy people.

The artist community is quite supportive. I have some good friends who were very excited to show me their new pieces of work and they came by to wish me luck during the event.

All in all, it is a good start.

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