Saturday, August 27, 2011

Senior Moments at the Motherhouse, Part 2

Last week's Jubilee celebration is still on my mind, even though all of the guests are gone, and only a few hardy flowers remain from the huge arrangements that filled the chapel and refectory (dining room).

One of the Diamond Jubilarians, Sr Mary Paula, is noted throughout the province for her epic poems, usually set to the rhythm and rhyme pattern of "The Ballad of the Green Beret."

At breakfast the morning of the celebration, Sr Mary Paula sighed that she had not written a poem for the feast, and didn't see how it would be possible to get one ready. I took the hint.

In chapel before supper, I brought the matter to Jesus. "We need to write a poem for Sr Mary Paula and Sr Louise. It has to be to 'The Ballad of the Green Beret.' And supper is in 15 minutes."
I found one of the print-outs of the special Jubilee morning prayers in the pews: paper--a good start. Then I started writing, every so often asking Jesus for a rhyming word. I was able to sing the completed work at supper. Sr Mary Paula was so delighted, she kept asking me for a copy  (even though the only one I had was on the back of the morning prayer handout). Well, it's typed up now, so you can share it, too. Sing it yourself, to the tune of "The Ballad of the Green Beret"--except for the one verse in italics, which goes to a more pious melody (the name of which I do not know, but it is an old Latin hymn tune).
Blessings on your 60th Jubilee!

Sixty years of Pauline Life
Years of mission, joys and strife.
How could anyone be bored
In the service of the Lord?

Hearing Primo Maestro's* voice
Surely made your hearts rejoice
as he urged fidelity
to the life that you would lead.

Adoration by the hour
Is your constant source of power,
Font of grace that won't run dry,
but still increases, by and by.

In the spirit of St. Paul,
You, dear sisters, gave your all
to spread God's kingdom everywhere
through the Gospel you did share.

So, dear Sisters, on this date
as we join to celebrate,
God's great generosity,
may he bless both you and me.

*"Primo Maestro" may sound like a brand of spaghetti sauce, but it means "first master/ first teacher" (as in "first violin": not in order of time, but in order of precedence). It was the title given to the Founder by the bishop who approved "St Pauls," and was modeled on the Dominican title  "Master General."  Our Diamond Jubilarians met the Founder (and went to confession to him) on several occasions.

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