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MR in NY: Hanging out with Lady Liberty

Mary Rose Bacani Valenti

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

maryrose_ny2An Ode to the Lady
Being the Lady who is the Statue of Liberty
Is a very difficult task.
I try to be her, and so does the Basilian seminarian
But we look like we’ve put on a mask.
I must ask her when I next see her
How she can look so calm and demure.
When it’s such a struggle for Canadians like us
To look elegant like her, that’s for sure.
The fun highlight of the day was my picture moments during the Cruise Line around Manhattan with Matthew Durham, the Basilian seminarian, as we tried to look like the Statue of Liberty. Who looks more like her? Take your pick.
On a more serious note, if it is possible to have a better day than yesterday, I’d say we probably did! And we walked a total of maybe 10 miles around the city to get from one location to the next, no kidding:
  • From the Shrine of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton for Mass;
  • To the presentation of Professor Clark on Catholic Social Teaching and Economics;
  • From a brief visit to Ground Zero;
  • To a presentation at St. Vincent’s Medical Center;
  • And finally, from getting a tour of Covenant House;
  • To going on a 2-hour cruise around Manhattan just for fun!
But there are three things I’d like to talk about today and they are these:
  1. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton: Fr. Bob Meyer, today’s Celebrant at Mass, really plugged the saints as people we should be able to relate to. Two things he mentioned about Elizabeth Ann Seton was her struggle with depression (her husband died, she was left alone, etc..) and her economic struggles – no money! And boy does our society struggle with unhappiness and “bankruptcy”! It was fitting that this was followed by an enlightening talk by the economist Prof. Charles Clark from the University of St. John. He spoke about how economics needs ethics. Only an economic system that has as its fundamental vision the dignity of the human person will work out in the end.
  2. I very much enjoyed the presentation by Matt Baney, Administrative Director of Community Medicine at the only Catholic hospital remaining in Manhattan. St. Vincent’s Medical Centre, committed to the poor, needy, and disenfranchised, promotes a Catholic vision of health care, a health care that does not revolve around funding but around the need. They serve the HIV positive community, the homeless, the elderly. They rely on insurance, donations, and fundraising events. Matt Baney says he has the best job in the world, and he sincerely believes it – his passion for what he does really stood out today.
  3. The tour of Covenant House: It was incredible again to see how many young people had not heard of Covenant House, an international agency serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. We got to see the floor that was open to moms and their babies, as well as “Covingdale”, the place that provides the young people who stay at Covenant House professional-looking clothing for their job interviews that Covenant House helps them find. If I only knew about this, I would have sent my old but good clothes to them!
Tomorrow is our LAST full day with three talks focused on AIDS, economy, and the Israel/Palestine conflict. We will also be visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral and attending our formal reception in the evening with the supporters of the Path to Peace Foundation. Stay tuned!

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