Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Degrees of Separation

Today after Mass, I had an experience of how, in New Orleans, the usual six degrees of separation are compressed to, well, immediacy! Mom and I went to St. Christopher's, and as we left Church, the gentleman who had been in the pew in front of us introduced himself: "Ray Fagot." (That's pronounced Fah-go, though it turns out that the man's son changed his name to Faugeaux after being tortured throughout his Marine career).
Mom heard the name and went into concordance mode, repeating, "Fagot... Hmm, do we know you from Loyola, or maybe from Jesuit High?" Both. Turns out that Mr. Fagot was in my Dad's high school class, and had been one of the trusty friends teenaged Jim had turned to to clue him in on the little catch-words and other social changes that had taken place during his year in the monastery (at age 14!). And Mr. Fagot knew my Mom's family, too, from Loyola University.
Ray lost his home and most of his possessions in Katrina. He sold what remained and now (at age 79) he does mission work in the Dominican Republic with the Missionhurst community. In New Orleans, he lives in a rectory. Like St. Paul, he can say "We have nothing, but everything is ours!"

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