From August 9 to 15, thirty-five SDBs and fourteen Salesian Lay Missioners were on retreat at Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw, N.Y. (street address Stony Point).
More on the SLMs in a forthcoming post, as well as on the SDB religious professions that sandwiched the retreat in more posts.
It's been customary for years beyond reckoning that on the last evening of the retreat there be a good meal and some entertainment. In recent years (going back at least 10 years), when the SLMs have been on the same retreat as SDBs in August, they've participated in the entertainment as well as the meal (and all the other meals--the purpose of the simultaneous retreats being that the 2 groups get acquainted and especially that the SLMs soak in some Salesian family spirit).
So this year's retreat ending heard a lot of song and saw a lot of dancing.
There were Fr. Tri Nguyen and Fr. Dominic Tran singing "You Can't Get to Heaven":
and Bro. Adam Dupre singing a song written by the late Fr. Del Labonte:
and Bros. Steve Eguino and Steve DeMaio doing some religious rapping, eventually backed by Bro. Lenny Carlino on the guitar:
and Fr. Javier Aracil, who can play classical guitar, rendering (instead) "Sixteen Tons":
Then it was the SLMs' turn, and they presented a song they'd put together to express something about their week:
Fr. Steve Ryan and Adam Rudin, the SLM director, followed with a song that's been sung on many an SDB retreat, especially by the late Fr. Gus Kita:
SLMs Colleen Quigley, Catherine McNeal, and Cara Weidinger brought up 2 ukuleles and an ipad to present a song (and I can't tell you what it was called because I'm not quite "with it" with youth music):
Someone tried to cajole SLM Mike Gordon into doing some juggling, but he demurred. Instead, he recited a brief German poem with some dramatic gestures. Unfortunately, the photographer wasn't as good as Mike's German.
Fr. Dennis Hartigan, "the youngest Salesian in the U.S. and Canada" (by profession, but he doesn't say that out loud, and it will no longer be true after tomorrow, August 16), came forward to thank the retreat preacher, Fr. Frank Molony, SDB. He began, however, by roasting him and his conferences (and himself to some extent for having missed 2 of the conferences); then he got to the genuine thanks.
Fr. Frank responded by expressing his appreciation for the SDBs in any part of the world he's gone to, certainly including this province (where he lived in Washington for about 7 years:
Bro. Rafael Vargas then got drafted to do some breakdancing:
which was followed by several of the SLMs taking to the floor to show some different kinds of moves alongside Bro. Rafi:
In turn, that led to more contemporary youth group dancing, which even the observers (such as your humble blogger) enjoyed:
That ended the dinner entertainment. But there were still an evening of retreat for both groups, and on Saturday morning the closing Mass on the solemnity of the Assumption.