• January 13, 2012

A better setting than the ball-dropping one?

by Guilherm Martinez
In many ways, this was a tra­di­tional New Year’s Eve cel­e­bra­tion. Kids were playing, joyful con­ver­sa­tions and laughs res­onated across the halls, songs and gui­tars echoed from the base­ment and people were bustling in the kitchen. Old and new friends had gath­ered at a packed Heart’s Home in Brooklyn to cel­e­brate the New Year.

Taking turns toasting to 2011, we shared with the group what we were thankful for. Whether it was new encoun­ters, estab­lished friend­ships, family, the com­ple­tion of a pro­ject, faith, love or beauty that had res­onated with us, it was most uplifting to hear that so many paths had been changed for the better despite the hard­ships. And little by little, as each one added his own touch, we all started to envi­sion a year to come with increased hope.

After a fab­u­lous meal at a most joyful table, that I am sure required many hours of prepa­ra­tion, one of the high­lights of the evening was a tra­di­tion of New Year’s Eve at Heart’s Home. We each drew a quote that was to accom­pany and enlighten us throughout the coming year. There was great ten­sion and laughter as each expected to be handed his most cher­ished saint. But in the end all were pleased to share their new-found wisdom with the group.

As we awaited mid­night, we prayed and sang in the taste­fully dec­o­rated chapel that had been set up in the base­ment to wel­come all. After ado­ra­tion and mass, Fr. Paul’s homely was con­cluded with the noise of fire­crackers and cars honking out­side. We then greeted one another with the abso­lute con­vic­tion that we were wel­coming 2012 in the best set­ting there was: among true friends in Christ.

Guilhem Martinez

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