Update, Friday, March 17, 2017

We pretty much forgot all about St. Patrick today.

Instead we welcomed Br. Emmanuel’s body back and planted him like a seed next to the chapel he loved so much. We did not advertise and encourage anyone to come due to the conditions of the roads and capricious nature of the construction, but most of our staff and several of our neighbors came, even a handful of kids, Merritt and Alicia’s and their cousin, Katee’s granddaughter Samantha. (I got them to do dishes!) Br. Timothy and Kevin, from our housekeeping staff, both good southern boys, cooked up a picnic type feast for us: fried chicken, deviled eggs, beans, potato salad and cornbread. Fr. Daniel and Br. David came up from San Luis Obispo very early this morning and James came up from San Luis Rey, where he is in school, last night.

We had moved back into choir in chapel starting this morning with Vigils of the Office of the Dead. After several weeks of liturgies in the chapter room, it was a little startling to hear our voices resonating through the rotunda again. We had to re-acclimate ourselves to the space, remember where to sit and when to bow!

Our other guest of honor was Fr. Shane, Emmanuel’s nephew who is a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis, so we had a full choir.

That’s the good news. The more sobering news is that we are undergoing another “hard close” on the road as permanent restoration of the road at Paul’s Slide is scheduled to begin next week. Paul’s Slide is the one just to the south of us; actually it is mostly on our property and only the toe of it is on the highway, which means Caltrans will be working on the bottom of our property that abuts Highway 1. (We had to sign a right of entry.)

What we know so far is that during this construction, residents (and residents only) will have very limited access—possibly a half-hour window in the morning and the evening—but unfortunately no resupply/deliveries, not even the school bus, will be allowed to pass at any time. Work will be performed 24/7 as conditions allow. Nacimiento-Ferguson Road, over the mountain, might be open to the public within days.

Luckily, we got a delivery of fuel and food––and the trucks arrived right at the end of Emmanuel’s funeral! Perfect tribute, two diesel trucks roaring by the chapel. Benedict and Zacchaeus are heading into SLO tomorrow to get all last minuet supplies and the we are on lock down again for a few weeks and, of course, still unable to accept guests. We are certainly hoping to welcome some folks by Holy Week, but more will be revealed!

I am happy to report that we are still fine. This celebration of Emmanuel’s life today was a real shot in the arm. I must say there was and still is a lot of joy around this passing on, the same joy that he carried all the way to the end. We should all aim for that as we strive to be in union with God and take good care of each other. As always, we are grateful for your love, prayers and amazing support.


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