An Evening to Remember
On a beautiful summer’s evening in the leafy upmarket suburb of Lake Forest – one hour outside Chicago. The Weber family hosted the most amazing party in their Italianesque style mansion in order to raise funds for Vincentian Ministries in Africa and India. My cousin Tony invited me along and gave me a few pages to read relating to the night, who would be there, the auction to fundraise, etc.
To be honest, I was reading a good book and wasn’t too interested in the pages Tony had given me! Anyway I did begin to read them and in doing so spotted the work “Vincentian”. Of course all the antennae shot up from the head, I dumped the book and began reading furiously. “Hang on: I thought, these were “mine” in Dunmanway for twenty five years of my life – what is this I’m going to? Tony’s wife Kathy was in Los Angeles so wasn’t able to join us.
On the day I got “dolled up to the nines”. Now I live in a lovely house, thank God here in Cork but this, this was on another level. Organised by the parish members of St Patrick’s Church in Lake Forest, the night was one to remember.
The entire house of marble, an amazing buffet was served and of course the wine. I wasn’t shy about telling anyone who would listen, especially the Superior General Rev. Father Tomaz Mavric of my experience with the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. I became a mini celebrity in my own right as I was the only one who had worked with the Vincentians. Fr O’Donnell knows you well Sr Clare. Anyway buffet over, a walk in the garden with a beautiful shrine to our Lady. Then off to the cinema, I joke not! To see fabulous videos of the Vincentian work in India and Africa.
On to the auction. One hundred and fifty thousand dollars raised in less than an hour, me looking gobsmacked!! One fella paid $60,000 for a diamond necklace as a birthday present for the girlfriend with him. Anyway “the cause is mighty” and people were very generous in contributing. My cousin Tony did also, I asked him to buy me the Diamonds. He said “no”.
Anyway, I had a great chat with the Provincial and his sister. Father Tomaz, a lovely man, a visionary and gentle, which bodes well for the Vincentian community around the world.
And finally a personal thank you to the sisters from me, for all you’ve done.