“I’ve Been Thinking…”
My mother died on Thursday November 28, 2000. It was the same year my only child graduated from high school and left for college; it was to become the time that my Mom and I would really ‘hit the road’ with my husband waiting to hear of our adventures!
I felt compelled to write.
I had begun tah-tahing my ancestral home of origin January 2001 and, to date, is where I spend one full day a week. It is a little slice of heaven for within her resides fifty-nine years of paper, photos, memorabilia, artifacts…a true ‘Special Collection!’
This tending has grown to website links, and lo and behold, a natural ‘Genealogy Family Heritage Sequence’ in a print and electronic venue…it is all there!
This beautiful, holy ground is where I think, read, pray, discern, sort and write utilizing my laptop and a scanner which looks right at home among the treasures of old!
It is where I was formed and much flows into an ‘inward repose of the mind!’ Time there is peaceful and transforming and it is all in this Web of Gratefulness for so many others!
The following musings rise up, and now through my daily work, has gone out as real-time and electronic thoughts, data tracking and encounters!
It is what it is today and ‘In His Time’ will be what it will be!
I enjoy and reverence it all… it all is… for His honor and glory!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón, eldest daughter, fourth child of ten children.
3 October 1995
Dear Family-Team-Support-Members of Germanfest 1995,
Cheers, Gracias, Congratulations and Danke!! What a successful first! That you for precious time spent on sacred ground celebrating our ancestral heritage.
I am so proud of the Team Support Members who gave their all in thousands of hours of love put into hard work. And the Fathers smiled on you for the rains went elsewhere not to dampen your cheerful hearts. It was the most organized, efficient, beautiful, delicious and joyful celebration that we have attended wherever we have lived!! And we have enjoyed many!
The anticipation began to build when we where detoured from going the ‘old way’ and followed the many cars to a wonderful huge field; I seriously looked for a hay wagon for the commute to the big white tent! The ‘forever view’ to me were the red balloons on the graves across from the church which signaled my heart that I was on holy ground of those who have gone before and that all was well. The mural-cut-outs were a pure delight, the ribboned rice sheaves and costumed-smiling attendants, the pilgrimage chapel standing as a sentinel by the old oak tree was a wonderful sight to behold, all with polka music wafting the open air! The folklore hall was my favorite. I felt such pride upon entering the beautifully decorated space with my thirteen year old son and seeing all the photos, my grandparents including, the exact one which hangs in his room. Boy, was he impressed!
The sense of pride is deep and steady; it always has been for my mother, Anna Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun, has always shared ‘the stories’ of her beloved Roberts Cove days with her family, relatives and friends. To share such a day with my husband and son was truly gratifying for the circle comes full and the story lives on.
Thank you for your great gift!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Hector, Antoine and Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
I have some stirrings as to ‘Family, Ministries and Arthur Avenue- In -General and am in a writing way as ‘My Book’ outline begins to grow in me!! (How about ‘A Monastic Wife’ for a title!!! You should hear Lee J’s book title!!)
Humbly and with deep respect, as your caretaker of Arthur Avenue’ sister, sister-in-law, aunt and pink lady commits herself to the greater Lee Joseph and Anna Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun Family. Your trust in me will not be in vain or taken lightly for I have not been idle in my grieving and growing as a faith-filled person. I am grateful to Lee J. and Dominique for asking.
Since January 2001 with my siblings blessing, Silent Retreats that had been held on Spring Street for 10 years were moved to Arthur Avenue as that is where the core of a Silent Retreat Day was taught, modeled and deeply instilled in me. To date 101 family members, and friends that were once strangers, who have let Arthur Avenue happen to them and have fallen in love with a family in its’ home where ten children shared sacred space being formed and transformed by the love and intense toil of a father and mother who centered on their God whom they called Father and with whom they now abide. These Retreats are a living memorial legacy to our parents. (Our parents historically opened their door to all who wished to enter, with food, song, respect and openness in seeking knowledge, the best of blending Basque French and German heritage!)
As for me, Arthur Avenue is and continues to evolve in the process of becoming a beacon of refuge, hallowed ground to think and make sense of things. Choices for family members and strangers who become journeying partners when, once there for the Silent Retreat Series, have experienced a way to discern what I teach which is:
The dailiness of prayer, a faith foundation between you, The Father and His Mother, studying one’s faith so as to love and serve our own and others... a concentric circle, if you will,
1- Faith, Spouse – falling in love again, the operation of the home, schedules, filing, menu planning, finances and retreats together, discussion of loved ones – their needs and wants...
2- Each child, their peer group, school, activities/schedules, faith formation, family trips...
3- One’s outside the home calling in life, job or career, ongoing education...
4- Extended family, church parish, community, region, one’s state and the world.
This ‘Series’ has been incorporated in my life over a 20-year time frame in spiritual direction, scripture and theological based 3 year education curriculum and internship at Trinity College/DC, ongoing study, reading, journaling, travel and mentors with whom I’ve sought wise counsel. In turn, I have been invited to speak to these ways on my four Diocesan Television segments including the present, “Lead, Kindly Light” since retiring in Lake Charles in 1988. (This is for those who ask what is she doing, when that ‘Silent Retreat in Progress’ sign is planted in the front yard on ‘Series’ day)!
I am so grateful to have access to our home of origin where the fruit trees are now planted (!), a working home for you, yours and others,
Silent Retreat Series held once a month,
The Lake Arthur Guest Lecture Series with dinner for all attending family members on Arthur Avenue every three months,
Family events are planned, enjoyed, evaluated and made even better for the next time:
§ Christmas Eve-Eve/ family hayride/ food/ music/ Santa Claus/ Holy Mass together,
§ Easter Sunday lunch and ‘The Hunt’ where certain people hide eggs in their mouth!
§ ‘Anniversary Tidy-up Arthur Avenue Day’ where the next generation saw us perspire outside in work clothes and were in awe!
As our family has reformed and transformed through the maze of loss, sorrow, lonesomeness and profound grief, so to have a clearer vision of who we are is emerging and it is revealing. We’ve never been adults before without our Mother, who died and took all of our secrets and instruction with her, so we’re learning as we grow. All she uttered was, “Y’all have fun!!”
As I elder in place and reclaim physical health, my lonesomeness for Mom and Dad and all those I love that have gone before, I do so by feeling stronger and focused in my commitment to all 52+ family members, by living our heritage of faith, family, recommitment to my sacrament of matrimony, and serving my church and community hence making the world a more hospitable place of truth to discern and live in His will.
We have banded together for 14 intense months of handing- Mom- up and the subsequent business of being family. Now what we do with where we were raised, how we were raised each in our own way, and how we find our way is by God’s grace and hard work with those with whom we shared womb, our spouses, children and now those tah-tah babies, friends and colleagues. The world is in need of all good things inside all good people who take the high road, some just waiting to be asked to serve.
We as a family are being tracked! Those who know any or all of us watch, look, listen, inquire, learn and come to know in their heart of hearts that, who we are and from whence we come, is important to us. It is to be cherished, all of it, for steel is forged in fire, beauty we behold in our children and nature and work we embrace because we love it, invest in it, let it implode in us as we build for the next generation. We can’t love or work hard enough. We are a passionate people all 52 of us and we stick together, an admonishment of yonder years. Be it hard or be it soft times, we hold on, think, seek wise counsel, laugh and love. We learned it around that table. (Story - the father of Lake Charles, LA, Mayor Randy Roach, sat around our table as he was visiting Daddy one day. He went home, called the Crowley-table-maker & ordered one, but not the lazy-susan, for his family was not as large! This is the same Mayor who said that whenever there is an event of an important nature for an important reason, a Monlezun is always present!)
We live the legacy and contribute to it every day that we get out of bed in the morning; we are to guard it, to be humble servants, moral, generous, guarding our hearts and minds hence our tongue for we are what we think about. We are to act and not react only, to know that we are part of a link in a very long rosary of foremothers and forefathers, to discern in prayer our connection with The Father Who gives us daily our marching orders and to never stop reading, learning and educating ourselves to the world in which we live and into which our children’s children will serve. We will not just live, we will choose to thrive and flourish in abundance and make a difference for we cannot fail to be who we were created to be in His Image and Likeness. We have a reason, wise men and women still seek Him not resting until they rest in Him.
Lead, Kindly Light! Anna/Aunt Bernadette
I invite you to write your stirrings, awakenings, discernments....
(It is a privileged to don Mom’s pink lady top and serve as a Minister of Holy Communion at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital singing ‘O Lord I Am Not Worthy’ to the wonderful cradle Catholics; soon will add the CHRISTUS Marketing Department as a pink lady to the day. I often meet Lake Arthur/Jennings people whom, when I tell them of Mom’s pink top, hug it again!
2. Epiphany 2003
As I ponder this day of old when Three Wise Men knelt at a lowly manger in homage to the Child Son of God, my thoughts are of you. This is the day of the manifestation of the
Incarnate Word of God and that He is here to stay! His love is complete, forever and unconditional. We have read the resume of The Lord for ions and I thought of the resumes that I have written for a few of you as you were aired on my television segment over a 13 year span. I was so proud to write those as I am now to share the latest one of our youngest brother and his spouse that will hang on “The Business of Family Wall” at The Office in Lake Charles.
A NATURAL - BORN BUSINESSMAN!
Lee Joseph, Sr. and Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun of Lake Arthur, LA had nine children, five boys, four girls and prayed for their tenth receiving their ‘little blessing’ on September 20, 1960! Dominique Joseph Monlezun, the sixth son with the middle name of Joseph, was a natural businessman from an early age in that, anything his siblings had to sell for school or organizational fund-raisers, he sold, and sold everything! Lee, Sr. built ten businesses in the town of Lake Arthur and Dominique was his shadow learning how to service customers by doing until it became as natural as his instinct for business and expansion. His father ran the businesses while his mother born and raised in Roberts Cove, LA ran a faith-filled, efficient and loving home filled with music and children until her death on November 28, 2000. Dominique married Tina King-Monlezun, a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner from Welsh, LA in 1980 and upon the sudden death of his beloved father on May 31, 1985, they purchased The Lee J. Monlezun, Interests, Inc. from his family and now have their own ‘many interests’. Three children were born to this vibrant couple, Dominique Joseph, Jr., Christian Joseph and Suzanne Louise Monlezun. The Dominique J. Monlezun, Interests, Inc. now owns and does business as The Lake Arthur Butane Company , 801 Hwy 26 and 1227 Ryan Street in Lake Charles, LA as of September 2002 , Tiger Mart Convenience Store in Lake Arthur and The Lake Arthur Health Clinic, L.L.C. with their dedicated and enthusiastic staff that number twenty-two. Dominique and his eldest brother Lee J. Monlezun, Jr., M.D of Lake Charles, LA recently became co-owners of their home of origin in Lake Arthur, LA where the larger Monlezun Family numbering fifty-two gather for special family events. Dominique and Tina emulate by their chosen professions that the combination of vocation and avocation make for the happiest of professions serving family, customers and patients with professional and caring service to all who enter any of their many doors.
3. In 2002-2003, I gave as gift to my siblings, their spouses, nieces and nephews a monetary donation card which read:
Their birth date
In Celebration of Your ___Wedding Anniversary.
In gratefulness for this occasion,
A donation has been made to the
Lee Joseph, Jr. and Dominique Joseph Monlezun, L.L.C. for the
Lee Joseph and Anna Gertrude Hensgens-Monlezun Family home...
For related events in the spirit of hospitality to
Family, friends and strangers who gather there to,
1- Celebrate family gatherings at,
‘Anniversary Tidy-up Arthur Avenue Day’,
‘Christmas Eve Eve ’ for the Grandchildren and their Families and
Christmas Eve for all complete with the
Family Hayride, Santa Claus and the culmination of Holy Mass.
As well as,
27 December when still more come to gather round the table for Mom’s Birthday
and all the home is put in order!
2. Attend Silent Retreats (My sisters, sister-in-laws, nieces, great-niece, Hensgens and Monlezun cousins have attended as the story is handed down!) as well as,
Along with the Sibling/ Spouses Monthly Dinners and the
Family Website (under construction!)…
Our Family is forming and transforming
our way of being family in this world, at this time in history.
I pray our parents, foremothers and forefathers continue to light our paths
as we reverence them by good example in faith, family, study and work.
We are grateful for your life and love.
We love you.
Lead, Kindly Light! Always!
Hector Rafael, Anna Bernadette & Antoine Adolfo
4. Winter 2002. While thinking and doing the publicity Fact Sheet for the Lake Arthur Health Clinic Guest Lecture Series with Lee J’s presenting and Charles and Constance booked for later dates, it was late in the evening and I couldn’t hold myself back…I guess I’m just plain proud of you…! Read on…!
A Medical/Business Family Co-Presents,
You are invited to...gather your medical papers and learn how to put together your Medical Resource Book as a way to assist you with managing and monitoring information while in your present state of wellness or with a disorder.
In addition to the Medical Resource Book presentation you are invited to select one of the below Monlezun Family Presenters for your specific need:
Lee Joseph Monlezun, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Will speak to the topic,
Menopause and Hormones
...certified in Gynecology, Infertility with Assisted Reproductive Technology, Hormone Replacement Therapy and Hormone Management of Menopause for Prevention of Osteoporosis, Heart Disease and Alzheimer’s. And/Or,
Charles Joseph Monlezun, M.S.W., M. Sc., D. P. H.
Will speak to the topic,
The Many Faces of Health: Taking Care of Yourself! And/Or
Constance Monlezun-Darbonne, R.N., M.P.H., C.F.N.P.
Will speak to the topic,
Serving Your Eldering Parent To The Best Of Your Ability! And/Or,
Robert Joseph Monlezun, Owner ~ ‘R & W Consultants’
Will speak to the topics,
Constructing, Marketing and Transportation in the Oil Business!
I Can Do Anything On A Computer But Offer It A Smoke!
I Was Home The Longest So I Know The Most! And/Or,
Malcolm Joseph Monlezun, C.R.N.A.
Will speak to the topics,
When to/How to Execute the Best Procedure! What Coin Collection? Vehicles! I Don’t Drive Vehicles, I Borrow Them! And/Or,
Ione Marie Monlezun-Broussard, Management Consultant/Speaker
Will speak to the topics,
How One Enters To Exit The Maze of Healthcare! What Day Is This and What Airport Is This Anyway? And/Or,
Dominique Joseph Monlezun, Entrepreneur
Will speak to the topics,
From Propane to Pizza to Pots to Patients – How To Thrive In Business! One Day I Shall Sail Again! If I Buy That Truck Now, I Can Then Save For Another Business Another Day! And/Or,
Anne Gillett-Monlezun, Businesswoman!
Will speak to the topics,
From Dance with The Children, Lords and Ladies, Mardi Gras Par Excellence, Dolls Dressed to the Hilt, Restaurateur to The Home Kitchen with the Grandchildren! As Mom Would Say, What Can’t She Do?! And/Or,
Wanda Womack-Monlezun, Homemaker!
Will speak to the topics,
The First In-Law in the Monlezun Family – So I Can Tell You Anything!- How To Pass On My Mother’s Ability to Cook Like A Professional! Who Said Alaska is Far and Cold, I Absolutely Love It! I Love Flowers and They Love Me! And/Or,
Sharon LeBleu-Monlezun, B.C.S.W.
Will speak to the topic,
Adoptions – What Is The Information! How to Gather 60 People for a Family Picture! We Wouldn’t Have Photos that Clutch the Heart if it Wasn’t for Aunt Sharon Who is Always There To Click! She Blends Pastels and Textured Clothing Better Than Anyone! And/Or,
Colonel (Retired) Hector Rafael Ponton, B.A., M.P.A.
Will Speak to the topics,
I Abide with Anna Bernadette and I’m Tired! I Miss My Mother-In-Law! I’m Retired So This Must Be Louisiana! I Golf and Sail then I Sail and Golf! What Don’t You Understand About This Retirement Plan?! And/Or,
Victor Wayne Darbonne, B.S.
Will speak to the topics,
How To Teach 200 Family Members To Play the Guitar! I Can Buy Groceries in Bulk as Well as Mr. Monlezun Could! If You See Me on Sale Road, Blow and Wave, Everyone Else Does! I Live Therefore I’m Heading For Galveston! And/Or,
Ursula Daigle-Monlezun, Homemaker
Will Speak to the topics,
I Do All The Work All The Time AND Order The Monlezun Information Sheet to Boot! How to Not Eat Potato Chips and Thrive! This Woman Can Write Verbiage That Tugs at Your Heart and Enhances Life with Light and Faithfulness!
Tina King-Monlezun, M.Sc., C.F.N.P.
Will speak to the topics,
So You Want To Open Your Very Own Rural Health Clinic!!!
When There is Time, I Will Write My Memoirs for I Am Married to the Youngest Monlezun! How I Prayed Thousands of Rosaries Commuting Between Lake Arthur and Lake Charles!
Question and answer session to follow presentations. Inquire at your own risk!
At the close of a great day of sharing information, you’ll be treated to the ‘Monlezun Family Singers’ performance with video order form available for your families video library to be enjoyed for years to come!!
There is no fee for these ministries, for to whom much is given, much is given away!
Mom and Dad said so!
5. August Hebert worked for Daddy for many years and was the employee that moved over when my youngest brother Dominique bought the business. August & Joyce Hebert were honorees at ‘Talen’s Employee Night’ 10 October 2003, Unity Center, Lake Arthur, LA. I was asked by Dominique to speak for he had a scheduling conflict. He and Tina purchased a handsome Bulova for August and I included a gift and a jar of Lee J.’s honey for Ms. Joyce!
Thank you for the privilege of an invitation to this wonderful night in order to speak a few words about my families’ gratitude to August and his wife, Joyce.
He has exhibited loyalty and consistency to duty with first my dad, Lee J. Monlezun, Sr. then Dominique and presently Talen’s Marine and Fuel, Inc.. Dominique was less than 10 years of age when August first came to work showing up in a cowboy hat & boots as he began working on a truck. After dad’s sudden death in 1985, he was a companion to my family, as we would just wander around the office…he knew our loss and he shadowed us as only a friend can do. He has stuck and has successfully emulated that flexibility under different management styles is necessary in life. When Dominique & Tina bought the business that same year, he remained and continues to this day at 306 3rd street, sacred ground to us filled with good memories of being with my dad, brothers and the men. I know how to shift a 2 speed axle on a F600!! I love still the fuel and propane trucks!
August has shown in joy and tragedy that he is a caring and compassionate man, patient and teaches solid lessons…Dominique remembers his first job with August; he back-talked August who, never missing a beat, proceeded to pitch a crescent wrench at him and said, ‘just do your job!’ Dominique did and has never forgotten both lessons! This is the same man who helped him take the black wreath down off the front door of the office in 1985; a loyal friend first, a powerful influence in the life of a young man-they have a special bond!
Dad taught us to work harder, be on the job earlier and stay later; August was there at 7:00 am every morning, every day ready to work.
We are grateful to Ms. Joyce for many a time in the middle of a cold winters night, August was called out on a propane delivery. She knew the risks of the job and I’m sure prayed his safe return. She is an abiding presence.
In conclusion, You always had a kind word for us, humorous too and were a steady presence in our lives, you shadowed our Dad and watched out for Dominique and that makes you more than a disciple to us! It makes you real and forever a part of our formative years, our bank of memories. We love and respect you and Ms. Joyce. Thank you!
Sincerely, The Entire Monlezun Family, all 54 of us!
6. Culture consists of the rituals that bond us as family then community and stories that communicate the important things in life. We have each been blessed with a share in the same spirit even as we have gifts that differ. We are the product of mainly three cultures, German, Swede (Louisa Thomasine Peterson-Monlezun) and French Basque. We originated from one Communion, in that our Hensgens and Monlezun foremothers and forefathers on both sides, traced back to 1300, are Roman Catholic! Recognizing our source of strength, this faith foundation, is the bedrock of our formation then transformation into whom we are in the process of evolving. Roots move us and nourish us to be knowledgeable and proud of our faith which affords a life lived with an active faith and hope not fear, never fear or despair, but fidelity, excellence and stewardship of all that we have been given, for we indeed stand on the shoulders of giants. We do not ever arrive where we are by ourselves; fervent prayer since 1300 have been prayed forward just for you. Therefore, to be filled with gratefulness and a firm sense of responsibility to pray others forward is necessary albeit humbling! We are as one very large orchestra with a score, in our time – practice, tuned instruments, blend, descant, following the harmony line as we sing the language of the heart, with more practice, as The Father conducts and Our Blessed Mother lays out the music. And such a sound! We just have to trust!
7. January 20, 2003 Lee Joseph Monlezun, Jr. at Sixty Years of Age.
It is good that you were born eldest.
As first-born you,
first received their
first fruit from
their combined tree of families.
Your fidelity and wisdom
is apparent in
all that you embrace,
education, wife, family,
and choosing medicine
to serve, heal, strive for and
succeed in alleviating pain, soothing anxious hearts,
handing life to waiting and yearning arms.
We with our arms and hearts embrace you and in gratefulness thank you for
emulating all that is good, worthy, noble and true,
faith, family and work.
You are a good and faithful servant and brother.
You have our love and respect.
Lead, Kindly Light!
8. A request was made to get thee to the Archival Room, research and write a few words for the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Open House for various departments that have moved into the former and now refurbished convent, so I did!
“Words for the Open House in Former Convent” 20 September 2004
The mission of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word began in 1866 when three young sisters from France arrived in Galveston, Texas and, responding to the needs of the time, found themselves moving east in the early 1900’s dedicating St. Patrick Hospital on March 17. 1908. The beautiful chapel and convent its sacred grounds with gardens and statues were dedicated in 1948.
Hundreds of sisters have lived within these walls especially praying for and serving the patients and families, doctors, administration and associates that continue to this day. When the sisters retire, many transferred to the Villa de Matel Center in Houston, but their mission doesn’t stop with retirement, it continues in a more profound way through their prayerful support of those who are still active.
This first floor held reception rooms, guest bedrooms, a large sewing and ironing room, the dining room and large tiled kitchen. The second floor were their private rooms with shared baths, a library, general meeting and television room, outdoor ‘rooms’, and the entrance to the balcony in the chapel where the sisters could make a visit and pray the rosary or just sit in reflection in the presence of Our Lord anytime day or night!
Many of you, Associates of the hospital, have spoken of your appreciation of the light, the wonderful large windows, the atmosphere of peace, quiet and all of this have put smiles on your delightful faces. This is hallowed and holy ground where women lived in community who journeyed many miles from their families and friends in order to make incarnate their ‘yes’ to The Father and His Mother and give everything they have in serving others. They kept their word and we are grateful for their light in our present lives. We are humbled to occupy this space in this time and will continue the tradition to serve in this noble profession of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ for He indeed Leads Kindly!
Thank you for another opportunity to serve. Bernadette, Pink Lady!
9. Blessed Twenty, Young Man! (Antoine, Our Son 2002!)
We couldn’t be more proud of you and love you unconditionally.
We have so enjoyed securing your first apartment, as it is our call as Parental Units to provide with love and means for your safe launch by the grace of The Father and His Mother!
Continue to develop your faith, character, compassionate nature, love of the less fortunate, kind ways of tongue for speaking and action for good. You have the bloodline from three sides, Spanish Basque, French Basque and German! The Trinitarian three have planted your sense of humor, tenacity and grit to get the job done to the best of your ability, humility, being and doing good because it is the right thing to do. (Not to mention your tall good looks!) Always choose the high road praying for God’s grace and guidance for His will to be your will every day that you wake.
We acquired and furnished your Churchhill location in order for you to think, study, some recreation (!), rest, envision and plan your days hence life, wisely. You have shown us that you can be selective with your invitees for the old adage is true, “show me who you run with and I’ll tell you what you are!” Your friends influence your choices in
becoming a better person. Seek wise counsel. A well ordered space is in good form for an ordered and active mind. So live and enjoy your second home in this your twentieth year and work to make this world a more hospitable and loving place. You are on the right track.
I was reading a “German Proverbs” book Aunt Constance purchased while in Texas Hill Country recently and wanted to share some of our favorites…food for thought while in your new Nituzi!
+ A poor person isn’t he who has little, but he who needs a lot.
+ Be silent, or say something better than silence.
+ Not every ass has long ears!
+ Happy is the one who forgets what cannot be changed.
+ A penny’s worth of cheerfulness can dispel a pound of problems.
+ Instead of complaining that the rosebud is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses!
+ He who wants to warn himself in old age must build a fireplace in his youth.
+ God blesses the seeking rather than the finding.
+ God gives, but man must open his hand!
You’re launched at twenty…you have a fully inspected boat, a global map, experience in tacking and with The Father’s Light your course will be made known to you later when you become a sojourner on your very own journey of life. This world can be a beautiful place. We know, and believe in you!
Lead, Kindly Light! We love you more than life itself! Mama and Dad
10. TO OUR SON ON HIS TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY!
Age Twenty-one! An adult in the eyes of the world and an outstanding and ‘lovin lovin’ son in the eyes of your parents!
You are a man and have the good heart, developing mind and beautiful soul interfaced with your adult status. Decisions are now yours along with the inherent responsibility of those decisions. It’s simple, you are what you treasure in your heart and you are the company you keep! You’ve done very well in both of these areas.
You are a joy to us and we are so very proud of you and your accomplishments. We love you and will always be here for you; we will support you in every way and will always be in your corner.
We miss you down here (!) but know that you are happy and have made a life for yourself and that makes us happy. Our many waking thoughts are of you but we try to give you all the space you need to flourish and grow in the palm of The Father’s hand
where we placed you when you drove away for college. He knows your hearts desire and aspirations. In that you are close to MawMaw, continue to pray to her and Sts. Anthony and Joseph as they have guided you and kept you safe from harm, not to mention your Guardian Angels!
+Live wholeheartedly, be surprised and awed by all good things, give thanks and praise – then you will discover the fullness of your life.
+Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down!
+Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not: remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.
+The soul like the body lives on what it feeds on.
+Learn from everything you do. There is no bad experience.
+One can accomplish great success if he doesn’t care who gets the credit.
+When the well’s dry we know the worth of water.
+To pour benefits to the common good is divine.
Lead, Kindly Light and God Blesses. All our love,
DAD and MAMA
11. I recently walked into Arthur Avenue on a Friday and there they were. Perched high all around the kitchen hanging on the vine were lemons, kumquarts, oranges and satsumas galore! A beautiful, fruitful-orange-sight indeed! I called and thanked Lee Joseph for Constance Victoria and I did not hesitant to eat of the fruit; Lee J. shared the knowledge, “I always cut the first fruit of my crop and bring it home!” Now isn’t this wonderful, thoughtful and gratefully right?! I’m going to really hoe harder around those fruit-trees-on-the-beeline now!
12. I received an email from a friend and Silent Retreat attendee requesting quiet time as she had some challenges and wanted to come and rest in them on Arthur Avenue. She was invited and as she walked in exclaimed, “There is such peace here and hope; I feel the spirit of your parents and all the children here and here is where I wanted to be and figure things out!”
13. Constance Victoria is so rightly named! Just about from Donald Dupont’s home place to the Berkens, she teaches me all-things-duck-and-land! She knows when the fields are being readied for whatever crop, about the irrigation and when the men are in the fields doing their certain magic at certain times of the year. Then comes the verbiage on ducks, geese and all things on a wing and a prayer…couldn’t help myself! She informed me last week in December 2004 that ducks are not stupid! “How is that,” I asked really trying to pay attention serious-like. “Well’ she said ‘due to global warning they do not have to go the extra mile and therefore, put down in MS, AL or NYC (!) wherever their flight plan is that is programmed in their primordial DNA/genotype from the very first ducks, two of them I presume.” I AM big-time paraphrasing! She pays attention as her patients explain this stuff and this is the part where she is like Grandma Victoria; it is of the land. She continues with how the creatures-on-wing are in the field about 7:00 am, so I’m wide awake, and driving, while she points to the field and sure-r-nuf, there those suckers sit. Looked like what the church looked like filled with folk for penance service during Lent, in the old days! THEY WAIT till those primordial hunters who rise before dawn in the bleak cold dark morning trekking through mud and uneven earth to sit in a blind – duh and sip coffee with one hand, the other on the cold weapon of choice and watch the dark sky with lazy eyes, THEY WAIT TIL THEY GO HOME. The hunters have heard, they have shot and go to work, period. Once they load up, trek back to the trucks that need a truck-wash, load the one-of-a-kind canines, throw everything in the back and truck on down the road; the ducks, geese and their relatives all fly in and feast in peace! The hunters bring the game home and, for the most part, the women do not clean this-gumbo-on-the-wing anymore! Yes-s! I did listen and learn; it’s just that this ride reminded me of my propane deliveries with Daddy and he explained the same things about the same place in the road! All I wanted to talk about was Donald! He also was a primordial hunter! But, that’s another story…!
14. Christian Joseph, our 14 year old nephew, had a very special birthday present given to him this year of 2004. Constance Victoria, his Godmother, arranged for him to journey to the Lake Charles Skateboard Center to witness the exhibition of three national skateboard champions, that is, idols! In that I was driving the Friday vehicle, I got to hear all things skateboard which is a foreign language but his excitement was contagious. I handed him my personal card with email address and, in that he wants to start the first skateboard club at his high school next year, I suggested that when he meets the idols, give them the card with his name written on it for their consultations and that I would send him any e-messages. Sounded like a plan. He was so in awe of these guys but I assured him of what PawPaw would say, “Christian, those guys put their pants on the same way you do, one leg at a time!”
We arrived at the Center that was a tad more noisy than my study and while Constance was paying the entrance fee, I found the security guard, chatted and asked where were these idols; he pointed to the exist door. Aunt Constance grabbed Christian who was a bit wide-eyed and I lead the way to the door as on mission which ‘they/idols’ were pounding on to enter but no one could hear them!! We charged the door and there they were…I didn’t know who to look for as the eldest of the three is all of 17 but they were holding skateboards, a dead give-away so the Aunts did their thing. “Hi! This is our nephew Christian who is a wonderful skateboarder and he would like to meet you!” Christian, wide-eyed put his hand out and all three shook it and the last one, of whose heels I was on as I told of my nephews plans for a school club and he said, ‘I’ll think about that and talk to him later!!’ He did and there is for all times a photo of Christian proudly standing between his idols wearing the T-shirt that one of them gave him. Too-o cool!! And, they signed his cap! Aunt Constance knows, she was there at 10:00 pm to gather him up to
pend the night at her home where no one slept! I didn’t either, too much excitement in my ringing ears (!) so I decided to write a Skateboards’ Prayer for Christian’s Birthday Binder that should be of assistance as he makes plans for his club! Happy Birthday, dear nephew!
To: My Nephew, Christian Joseph, age 13!
From: Aunt Bernadette, age 56!
A Wish for Skateboarders!
Father, You created the abilities of speed and balance!
We who love the sport of skateboarding,
be with us as we practice
kickflips, grinds, ollies and railslide.
We know it is more than
having the right board, deck, trucks or bearings.
Is it not to the point to
distribute our weight on the wheels and
roll toward where You want us to go?
That is for later, when we’re older.
Now, we just want to have fun!
Life is that way, isn’t it, for You
created us in Your Image and Likeness
and we attempt to exhibit that on our Boards.
May we strive to do our best in the
Spirit of the Sport for it can be
Poetry in Motion!
Hold us safely in the palm of Your hand.
To compete forms us in character, sportsmanship
and style. May we always include others
offering them an opportunity to
form friendships and feel
the Joy of the Board!
We are excited that our sport will
be an Olympic sport in 2008!
Be with all of us who are practicing!
Lead, Kindly Light! Amen!
Notation: Two friends at Family Choir practice read the prayer as they have skateboarding sons. They loved it and wanted copies; they also asked if I would write one for soccer and basketball!?!
15. This wonderful card came across my desk and now lives on Arthur Avenue next to the picture of Veronica Gertrude who was named after MawMaw’s maternal grandmother Veronika Knoben-Reiners from Germany…
‘St. Veronica, Model of Compassion, Birthplace: Jerusalem, Feast Day: 12 July
One of the most enduring and inspiring stories of a saint is that of Veronica. Little is known about her life, but she lived at the same time of Jesus and was present during his trials on Good Friday.
While Jesus carried the cross, he was shouted at and spit upon by a furious, almost uncontrollable crowd; his face was covered in sweat, blood and mud, and he was having difficulty remaining on his feet. Watching Jesus fall was so painful for Veronica that she stepped out of the angry throng, despite the risk to her own life. With true compassion, she knelt in front of Jesus and used her veil to gently wipe his face clean. This simple act of kindness still resonates all over the world. In fact, the event is commemorated on the sixth station of the cross.
After soldiers pushed her away, Veronica went home and discovered that Christ’s face was imprinted on her veil. It is believed Veronica later traveled to Rome, leaving the veil in the care of Pope Clement I and his successors. Her name is said to have come from the words vera icon (true image), which is what the veil was called.
Prayer said during Stations of the Cross: Jesus, may the contemplation of Your sufferings move me with the greatest compassion, make me hate my sins, and kindle in my heart a more fervent love for You. Imprint Your image on my mind so that I may never forget what my sins have done to You. Guide me that I may one day be transformed intoYour likeness. My beloved Jesus, grant that I may never cease to love You, and do with me as You will.
In Their Footsteps: The anxiety St. Veronica must have felt when she stepped out of the raging crowd is not unfamiliar today. How many times have we been afraid to standup against the mainstream way of thinking, even when we know it would be the right thing to do? Like Veronica, we are all human – and we can all learn from her act of kindness. An action that honors St. Veronica doesn’t have to be grandiose, or done in front of a crowd. It can be something as simple as encouraging you children to go against group pressure and befriend a classmate whom other kids tease. St. Veronica’s show of compassion as simple, but it was incredibly powerful. Yours can be, too!’
16. Mom and Dad had a ‘Book of Catholic Names for Your Children’ which lived above their bed! I used to flip through it in that it was so interesting to read the explanation of the origin of the names. Folk have told me that Bernadette is a beautiful but different name…I know immediately if they are Catholic or not; many are familiar with the film ‘The Song of Bernadette’…Jennifer Jones et al!! I tell them that my mother read the book about St. Bernadette when she was very young and said, ‘that a child named Bernadette of all the children in the world at that time must have been very special to the Blessed Mother for her to have appeared to this child. When I have a daughter, I’m going to name her Bernadette!’ I would hear her repeat this phrase over the year’s right up until the time of her ‘birthday trips’ the last five years of her life and I never tired of hearing it! I am humbled to carry the name of my maternal grandmother, Anna, and that of a little saint from France, the home soil of my paternal lineage. She would also share with my siblings from whence their names originated. A saint, the book by Franz Werfel that I know she read and was inspired, a classic film – all as guideposts to live the example; I pray to my patron St. Bernadette Soubirous daily! And, one day I will make a pilgrimage to her convent in Nevers, France where her incorrupt body lies and then to Lourdes; kneel at the grotto in thanksgiving to my dear parents and for my life, sorrows and joy, offer your petitions, dear ones, and chant Ave, Ave, Ave Maria! Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!!
17. A long time ago, at nineteen years of age, I was engaged to be married. His name was Donald Paul Dupont and he was nineteen also. We were childhood sweethearts and knew each other all our lives. His father was a rice farmer and when he ordered fuel, I would ride with the men in my father’s fuel truck, spot Donald on a combine in the field and the driver would stop; I would run across the highway, jump the ditches, walk the levees and make my way to him, mud and all! Sometimes he would let me steer but not always! In 1965 six months after my ten- year- old brother and six- year- old sister drowned and I was attending McNeese State University, Donald drove to Lake Charles on a Sunday night and proposed marriage in our home on Arlington Drive with members of my family present! Mom and Dad were thrilled for our plans were that we would finish college, move onto the Dupont home place as his parents were moving into town to eventually live where Jackie, Donald’s sister had lived. Six months before the children drowned, Jackie, age twenty-eight, died of cancer of the throat leaving a loving husband and 2 very young sons. We talked into the night of our loss, planning our lives and family…eleven children, one more than my parents. And, Donald was all for it!
At 1:30 am Daddy came into the living room and said, “Son, you’re not married yet and it is late; you have the rest of your lives to talk!” Donald left saying that he would buy my engagement ring the next afternoon on his way to football practice. The next day on his way to football practice, he was hit by a mud truck; the poor driver just didn’t see him. Donald’s car flew into a deep ditch at the entrance to Morgan Shores near Lake Arthur, not even a mile from his home. His leg was broken and mangled under the steering column; he was unconscious. His cousins and my brother, Robert were at the scene and helped extricate him from his silver car. They rushed him to the Jennings American Legion Hospital but Dr. Harold Sabatier said to immediately get him to St. Elizabeth’s in Beaumont, TX. And, they did. Mom and Dad received the call and as I was in class; they waited. Upon receiving the news that he was unconscious, Daddy offered to drive me the next day to Beaumont but that it didn’t look good.
Mr. and Mrs. Dupont took care of their last remaining child at home, twenty-four hours a day for four years; after a while I would go just on the weekends. It took him four years to go from moving his little finger to opening his eyes and looking like he would sit up and talk to you. We just knew he would awaken; I waited for that phone call. It took him the next four years to return to his initial state of no movement. I kept a journal and would read to him about who was getting married, that a man had walked on the moon, who was having children and how I was going to be a farmer’s wife and couldn’t wait to bake bread like my grandmother and mother a gaggle of our children like my mother before me. Life was stilted, out of order and I was lost in a darkened mist and beyond grief. After four years, he was transferred to Hammond State School where he died on December 30, 1973 after eight years in a coma. We were twenty-six. A year later, I met Hector Rafael and life began; there was hope and Light. Indeed, Mom…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
18. One very memorable day many years ago when I was single, working with a plentiful salary, an expense account and benefits and knew better, Daddy called me into his office and said, “Bernadette, you have a very good and solid income but you are living above your means, high on the hog, and there is no call for that. You are too young. So hand over that credit card!” I was obviously too honest the weekend before in answering his questions about how my finances were doing! He swung around in his chair, hit the adding machine, figured it up and continued… ‘You will live on $6.00 a day until you pay off that balance by this date and you will never get in this shape again. Do you understand?! It hurts me too to see this; if you don’t learn anything else from me, you will learn this!’ “Yes Sir!” I mumbled, so stunned I couldn’t move! I knew the interest payments were high but not that high!! He then proceeded to pull out a pair of scissors and cut the lovely but dangerous thing in half and pitched both pieces into the trashcan! I thought that I would die for a lot of reasons, mostly that he was hurt by my actions but at this moment, really, really die! Alas and once again, he was so right and I was so humbled; I wept but learned! He gave me a hug and I left the office, lip down to the floor - a stunner of a day! I lived on $6.00 a day until I paid the balance as was printed on the ticket from that adding machine (and was taped on my mirror), which didn’t take long at that rate! If it wouldn’t have been for dinner alternately at family and friends, I would have starved to death in a very miserable state indeed! I was so proud to call him when the load was off my back, all paid up and thanked him profusely for that awful day! I think of him every time I see a five and a one! Anything over that amount is a lot of money! (Debit cards are better than sliced bread)!
19. Then, I marry a wonderful man whose first question to me upon discussing the purchase of a lovely wool rug while on our honeymoon in a quaint shop in San Jose, Costa Rica, “Do you want it or do you need it?” I knew Daddy had sent this jewel and that he was with us forever and ever!! We exited the beautiful store, I would return later for the rug for there were so many unique indigenous items to want and, while standing on a crowded street corner, I felt a slight lean from someone but in that I couldn’t move, didn’t think anything of it. Back in our room, I discovered that my wallet was missing which held my ID’s, cash, checkbook, ‘a credit card!’ but more importantly, pictures of my family. I wailed and said, “they took my family and Alvin and Veronica’s pictures!’ Hector said, “Stay here, stay put. I will go and search for them. I am so very sorry. That blankity-blank made my wife cry on our honeymoon!” He was gone quite a while for he walked many a street looking in the gutter for my wallet with the precious pictures knowing the rest was gone. He returned looking so very sad and I said, “I realized while you were gone that I don’t even have a dime to call my Daddy! I have no ID, money and I can’t speak Spanish, know no one and not even exactly sure where I am!!” My dearest replied, “Now you are most certainly mine! You don’t need anyone else. I will take care of you for the rest of our lives!” And to this day, I have needed or wanted for nothing, nor, has our son! That is why I call him Héctor, the Protector! But I still miss those pictures! (And, by the way, my credit card was hit that same day within minutes by someone at Sears that wore a size eight, over one hundred and twenty-five dollars of size eights!!)
20. Within the first few months of our marriage, we drove from Pennsylvania to Panama, Central America; 7,500 miles in two months! Hector was scheduled for a two week orientation in the Canal Zone preparing for our first assignment in San Jose, Costa Rica. What lovely people and beautiful country! However, within the first few months in country, thieves broke into our beautiful home through the front door in broad daylight. I was attending Spanish class at the U.S. Embassy and we had not as yet hired a live-in maid as everyone had advised us to do ASAP. They took every piece of genuine jewelry, a loaded handgun and were in the process of lifting the electronics which were disconnected and strewn across the floor… they had obviously left in a hurry! As I arrived home coming over the hill in our white Datsun 280Z, which did stand out a bit …I saw that the front door was ajar and upon entering with my heart in my throat saw the pieces of wood lying in our foyer. At that moment, the drapery man arrived as I had ordered living room drapes for our new home, so I grabbed his toolbox, opened it, grabbed a hammer, pushed him in front of me and began calling out to the miscreants to come out with their hands in the air!! In English! I pushed the drapery man in front of me, of course, whose face was a bit pallid in color, saw the discombobulated electronics, went up the stairs and saw all of the costume jewelry spread out on the bed, our pillowcases were gone used as a foil for the stolen stash. I phoned Héctor who shakily asked where was I calling from and deliberately and firmly told me to exit the home and move up the street as he had remembered the gun. His exact words were, “Sweetheart they may still be in the house and saw you coming, so quietly but rapidly please get out now! I am on my way!” I did as I was told, alone, for the drapery man was long gone with his hammer!
Minutes later, my new husband arrived in tow with local police, flashing lights; men swarmed everywhere and began asking questions which I attempted to answer in my 6-weeks-in-Spanish-class verbiage!! Héctor reported the stolen loaded weapon which I had plum forgot we had along with the fact it lived next to his side of the bed right across from where the jewelry had lived and where I had been! I could have caught them red-handed and died as a new bride!!
After a time, Héctor, who had always lived like a monastic, handed me an insurance check and said, “Get on a plane to Panama, go to the jeweler the military officers wives frequent and replace what we lost!” I did as I was told but a funny thing happened on the way to the gem man. I felt empty thinking about replacements and when I saw the lovelies laid out in front of me, I felt nothing. My mother had given me an ebony locket on a gold chain with a cross on top and it was from Germany as gift from her mother; it held the oval picture of my mother and I each with big smiles on our faces taken on one of our wonderful days together while preparing for my wedding! I returned to Héctor, handed him the largesse and said, “It was meant to be. I am alive although may not have been because I was shocked and, feeling violated, went about checking on ‘things’ in our new and first home! I will accept as pure gift whatever you give me in our future together because then it will mean something to me, however, I am not interested in acquiring anymore things for the sake of acquiring.” It was a sad day for Héctor but, strangely so, not for me. I felt liberated and to this day, I feel the same. I wear all-the-days my wedding ring and a ‘marriage medal’ around my neck from Italy given to me by Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc who married us. It is enough and perfect! Except for the locket and my mother’s smiling face…
21. Today’s Date: 2 January 2006
To: My Son and the Greater Monlezun Family, Cousins, Friends and Strangers-No-Longer!
From: Anna Bernadette (www.leadkindlylight.net > ‘I’ve Been Thinking”)
RE: A-Christmas and 2005- Compendium!
+ Incredibly so throughout this very meaningful 2005 Christmas Season, wonderful alumnae/friends from the Silent Retreats would burst forth, “I thought of your family home in Lake Arthur during the Hurricane; tell me the homes alright and did your family celebrate all together at Christmas like you had told us you do?!!’ People know and care and ask and there are always positive responses from me! I was so pleased and happy to say that ‘she’ not only stands, but glows! I shared with them our hayride especially Handels ‘Halleluiah Chorus’ in four parts while at Grandpa/ma Monlezuns’ house and Santa Claus (what a Santa/proud of you Santa!) and song and laughter and family near and far together!! (Uncle Lee J. was so pleased to hear of this spontaneous stop, tour and song; he is also a steward (owns the home) of tradition by honoring that which was built reverencing the past by enjoying the present for the future is already here. We are our ancestors!) Your Aunts Anna Bernadette, Constance Victoria and Ione Marie walked out of that home together with smiles on our faces and gratefulness in our hearts. The words of Fr. Joe McGrath in his first homily after Hurricane Rita were in my heart, “He makes all things new again!” The truest Spirit of Christmas indeed!
~ I began 2005 by surfing the Net for Monlezuns anywhere ‘out there’ (Daddy always said if it’s spelled the same, we’re related!!) so as to be able to summarize that search (whom/where) on the video taken at our wonderful and meaningful Monlezun Family Reunion April 23, 2005. It was a birthday gift to our father! What a glorious reunion day which reverberates in my heart and soul to this very moment! (We have the Hensgens Family Reunion rotation in 2007!!!)
~ In June 2006 Steve Marceaux, a family friend of old, authors and publishes a wonderful book, “God’s Gifts A Collection of Stories from the Heart of Cajun Country” which he says, “set a chain of events in motion for the Monlezun family and myself that I truly believe was not of us.” (You can purchase the book at Crossroads or Lake Arthur Butane Co. in Lake Charles/Lake Charles!) A religious from Roberts Cove called the morning of my television interview with Steve and was so touched by his words and wanted to know if the book was anywhere in Lafayette for purchasing for her Christmas list!!!
~Then the dual calamities of Mother Nature came ashore with a vengeance and her debris is still being sorted in many peoples’ lives however, sixteen Health and Family Services/Louisiana Recovery meetings later, I am witnessing good people doing great things for all God’s people.
~ My first soprano association with the Louisiana Choral Foundation, Masterworks Choral Christmas performance in December was a true, true highlight. What a group, how awesome the conductor and accompanists! An invitation was extended to meet with the board for a little brain-storming and I can’t wait. (See “Where Are My Keys and Let’s Go’ on my website for our Spring Concert schedule!)
~ Uncle Hector and I were in Lake Arthur on 23 December 2005 for the funeral of an old friend who had spent Hurricane Katrina at St. Patrick Hospital; I was able to walk his wife to her car, the last patient to leave in front of Hurricane Rita! Upon entering Arthur Avenue post-funeral, there were the first ones, Antoine and Katherine Anne’s smiling faces around the Christmas tree with decorations all about! Thank you for the coordination for getting it all up for couldn’t you just see the little ones and their little faces going for that old- old- ‘Velveteen- Rabbit’- worn-Santa Claus?!! The special ornaments will be found for next year! Thank you Uncle Dominique for the pizza, beverages as the house was lit, warm and welcoming…for the gumbo/trimmings and hayride on Christmas Eve. You go the extra mile every time!
~Miss Renee and I journeyed on Mom’s eighty-fourth birthday post-Christmas for the Christmas clean-up detail! She brought a cake and with a single candle we sang Happy Birthday and she spoke a spontaneous prayer of gratefulness for our mother and our sacred ground. Miss Renee’s parents and brother, wife (our cousin) and three children lost everything in Grand Chenier to Rita, two slabs remain of their homes side-by-side. It was comforting for her to gather up the decorations and sit in front of our tree complete with music! Others who have lost will come and pray find respite, solace and courage. She put the first pictures on Arthur Avenue through a scanner into a database and poof- there they were on the monitor, forever ours!! I’d encourage Miss Renee if I were you, she has a lot of work ahead of her!!
+ I haven’t been able to write of Hurricanes Katrina/Rita for I continue to serve in the Department of Coordinated Care at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital as ‘Network Resource Coordinator’ to our Twin Hurricane patients who are in very great need of community services. What a privilege to serve in yet another worthwhile capacity in Mom’s pink top as a Pink Lady, five years April 24, 2006! My December interview on Lead, Kindly Light’ diocesan television was Christmas morning with Mayor Randy
Roach and in speaking about Rita and the subsequent positive actions by so many people, he summarized by saying, “...Through faith God works in us and through us God works in the world, and I have seen God at work in the world and He is very busy. He doesn't sleep and He cares for people in very intimate personal ways... He walks among us and is still very much alive in the midst of all that we have gone through and all that we will continue to go through as we recover...It's appropriate to look at what has happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Rita and you see a reflection of the image of God. You see His strength, His caring, His perseverance, His wisdom. He is almost everywhere in this recovery process..."
Blessed New Year! I pray for you each of you by name in ‘the pit’ (in front of the Tabernacle in the side chapel!) on my way to Holy Mass! You are loved more than you know and remembered in unfathomable ways! ‘In His time…He makes all things beautiful in His time. Lord, please show me every day, as You’re teaching me your way that You do just what You say…in Your Time!’
Christmas Eve 2006 on Arthur Avenue is less than a year away! Can’t wait!
Lead, Kindly Light!
22. Commodore Sheron Faulk 15 July 2005
Lake Charles Yacht Club
Lake Charles, LA 70602
Dear Madame Commodore,
The purpose of this letter is to highlight for your consideration the details of a sailing incident that to my mind should result in the recognition and commendation of some of the involved protagonists.
On Saturday July 2, 2005 the Lake Charles Yacht Club (LCYC) held its Independence Day Regatta involving a large number of boats and their crews in the waters of the city’s lake. Just as the Regatta was concluded and before all of the boats could return to shore a most violent and sudden wind front came through overtaking the fleet and capsizing or damaging a number of the participating boats. Some of the more affected boats were a Flying Scott with Andy Buller at the helm, Mike Petry in his Stilleto, Michael Olivier (one of those two guys from Lafayette) in his Mariner 19 and yours truly in my trusty “Puffer”. Andy was the first one down and as I heard afterward, Charlie McAlister who had managed to make the safety of the beach (he’s always ahead of most everybody else, he has a fast boat) rendered invaluable assistance in the righting and recovery of the boat. He even dove for the mast without a life jacket! Mike Petry made it in safely with the help of Buffy on board, and Gary Duplechin who fended off at the slip since he was coming in hot. Mike found out the following day that he had damaged his centerboard apparently when the wind first hit him. Mike from Lafayette with wife ‘Hope’ embracing the front stay while trying to bring down the jib, himself at the main sail which wouldn’t
come down either, and no one at the helm, had the whirling around of their lives! She told me afterwards there was a lot of praying going on in that boat. In my case, by the time I went down I was already exhausted since we had run three long races one after the other, The knock down was instantaneous, I’ve never experienced in my extensive history of dunking, anything so sudden and definitive. It was like WHAM and right then and there down I went, giggling. I surfaced relieved that I was all in one piece, swam to the boat and was catching my breath and assessing the situation when out of nowhere there is a Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Unit on station right next to me. This is where the praise and commendations start.
The two crew members were most skilled and professional in their handling of their boat and the situation. After ascertaining that I was alright, they initially backed off when I told them that as soon as the wind calmed down I would right my boat and go in to shore. They kept their station however and when thunder and lightning picked up, they approached me again and stated in no uncertain tone and terms, “Sir, we want you in our boat, right now!” As a former soldier I recognize an order when I hear one. I found myself in their boat rather quickly and heading for shore leaving the “Puffer” behind.
At this time and next to be commended appears Charlie Buller who had been running the Regatta with his wife “Lisa” and his brother and sister-in-law from his power boat. Also on board were two youngsters, Hunter Curphy and John Kalna, Jr. whom he had retrieved from Andy Bullers’ capsized Flying Scott. I was next on this agenda so he motored on out to the Puffer to discover I was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately before Charlie had a chance to panic at my disappearance, the W/F Agents took me back to the boat much to his relief, I think. I was about to join the Puffer in the water, exhausted as I was after my ordeal, but Charlie had the W/F Agents transfer me to his boat and jumped in to right the Puffer himself with the help of the two youngsters on board. He was either trying to show off for Lisa or allowing for my advancing age. I’m working on my 70th starting this month! The Puffer was by then full of water inside the hull and could be barely kept afloat. So with Charlie and the boys in the water keeping it on course and with his brother at the helm of the power boat, the Puffer was towed to the beach. Enroute Ms. Lisa put a band aid on a small face laceration I had sustained somewhere along the line. (I think she is a better Doctor than Charlie!)
So ended the excitement and to quote Shakespeare; “all is well that ends well”. I feel strongly however and would suggest and recommend to you as our exalted leader, that the W/F Agents and, our own Charlie Buller and Charlie McAlister should be somehow recognized for their commendable and exemplary actions during this most challenging episode. They all put themselves in harms way to assist others and although fortunately no personal injuries were sustained by anyone the entire episode was fraught with danger. Heaving and lurching boats in high winds with churning propellers and in close proximity to each other and to people in the water, is a most scary and potentially disastrous proposition.
The W/F personnel involved were LT. Jesse Savoie who was directing the operations by radio from his beach office as well as Sgt. David Liles and Cadet Justin Sonnier aboard the units patrol/rescue craft. I leave the mode of recognition to your more enlightened discretion but feel that as a minimum we could present them with a letter of
recommendation and appreciation and/or have them as guests at our next clubs’ social gathering. In the two Charlie’s case, Buller and McAlister, coverage in our monthly letter or perhaps an appropriate presentation at the time of our award’s banquet. I stand ready to assist as you may direct.
Héctor R. Pontón
(A most grateful sailor)
23. Héctor and I feel very blessed and are grateful to have many friends and family members in many places across many miles. Our paths have crisscrossed during the most wonderful of times. We have felt and heard of their thoughts and prayers over the years but especially this past hurricane season which hit particularly close to home! We have not been as faithful in our correspondence as we would like to have been and so this year we wrote a letter as well as enclosed a sheet of photos. (I pointed out that Antoine is the young one of the three exhibiting that definite Latin look!!!)
Dear Family, Amigas y Amigos! 2006
In gratefulness, we write to you of our love and esteem even though distance and years have weaved their magic in the midst of us. We think of you this New Year with renewed wishes for your well being and that peace reigns in your hearts and home! Thank you for your correspondence, friendship and faithfulness to us over the years.
We re- fired to Southwest Louisiana seventeen years ago to raise our only child, Antoine and raised he is! He will be graduating this very year from the University of Louisiana Monroe in the Department of Mass Communications with a Minor in Psychology. He is muy ‘guapo’, has the personality of his father (!) and is a Sunday communicant/ Minister of Holy Communion which pleases his mother to no end! He is a sailor extraordinaire and has spent his summers at east coast sailing camps as a sailing instructor and counselor.
Hurricane Rita/September 2005 found Hector and I hunkered down on the fourth floor of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital where I serve as a ‘Pink Lady’ and where I worked pre- and post-Rita up to eighteen hour days for twelve straight days and nights while Hector returned to our domicile three days after the storm. (I had occupied a side desk in Administration for three weeks post-Hurricane Katrina/August 2005 searching the missing-families-link on the internet for our patients from the New Orleans area and at
that same desk began answering the never-ending telephone calls in the command center during the evacuation for Rita and beyond)! Hector, The Protector began the clean-up around our home, and received a phone call from Antoine informing him that CNN was showing among more devastating footage, our sailboat and others on the railroad tracks?!! Héctor’s two sailboats, two of some fifty-plus (the smaller 12-foot dinghy has recently been replaced!) were carried by the surge and deposited on the railroad track north of the Yacht Club! Héctor retrieved MRE’s, water and bags of ice from the wonderful National Guard and awaited the return of family and neighbors whom he helped in recovery. Our street is finally debris-free, damaged trees have been felled and I was so very happy to hear the street sweeper; blue tarp covered the damaged shingles on our roof which was in keeping with many as our little city resembles a blue patch work quilt from the air! My extended family faired well, however, we have family and friends from lower Cameron Parish who have only a slab and tumbled bricks left; there is no wood in sight. With such devastation, we sometimes journey to a little chapel the closest to their homes on The Ridge and cantor Sunday Mass singing the old songs with much gusto! I was requested to write a memory of the storm and it was printed in the hospital newsletter ~ “1:30 a.m. during the storm, I made my way from the Executive Offices to a darkened chapel on the 2nd floor. I clicked my flashlight to the Night Prayers in my Breviary and there were the ancient words “I am with you through storms and strife; I am the Light of the World.” There was utter stillness inside of me, absolute peace and calm as the wind and rain turned havoc into destruction in the night. I envisioned the vortex of a hurricane with complete light and calm in the eye. That is the prayer I whispered for all God’s people…true peace He gives no matter the category of intensity if we but keep our eye on Him. On my way to my room there were dear ones attempting to sleep on mattresses in the hallway so as to have moved away from the windows in their rooms. They were exhausted from days of evacuating patients and their loved ones whom they were now separated from in the diaspora. I found myself leaning over them and making the sign of the cross on their foreheads saying ‘All will be well!’ I felt such respect, love and protection toward them; later I learned how Sr. Frederick was blessing those sleeping with holy water before the storm came in. Ah, love incarnate!”
I humbly serve on a ‘Long- Term Rebuilding Southwest Louisiana Task Force’ for my hospital as Volunteer with the Department of Coordinated Care and the challenges are great but the spirit and will is intact – committed people going about the serious task of re-structuring parishes one family at a time!
Hector recently returned from Puerto Rico where he visited his ‘Mami’ who at age ninety-one continues to prepare his favorite dishes and gaze upon him; like I gaze upon Antoine! He and his siblings have begun the privileged work for her care and safety as she elders in her home and, as her condition dictates, the necessary steps. Antoine is watching and listening to the process…I wonder why?! His father will be seventy July 2006 and his mother is eleven years younger as his father had planned, marrying a younger woman! We are in excellent health to date and couldn’t be more grateful!
Héctor is a part-time translator/interpreter in the judicial system and if Antoine happens to call for his father I sometime have to tell him that he is in jail! He finds the work at civil, federal court and offices of attorneys interesting, as he would have upon retirement applied for Law School at our local university if this area of study would have been available. He has homework and with his trusty No. 2 and paper gets to work! Golf with dear friends takes precedence at least twice a week. O, the stories they tell as they walk the course! They are a wonderful group to behold, close and caring about each other. It is wonderful to see. He is a good friend to many and they reciprocate in their esteem and respect for him. He will sail again!
This is my sixteenth year with Catholic television and my segment entitled ‘Lead, Kindly Light!’ I facilitate a Silent Retreat Series teaching the Dailiness of Prayer, Ordering the Home and Time Management with a Christian Perspective. In 2001, I moved the Retreat day to our family home of origin forty-five minutes from here. We have kept the home intact in the family and as the caretaker; I journey there often to tah-tah, read, think and pull weeds! I gave my son and extended family a unique gift Christmas 2004 and would like to share it with you. It is my ‘Web of Gratefulness ~a website honoring our parents and has expanded to include my other work. Mom died in 2000 and I began to write of their ‘Sayings/Happenings/I’ve Been Thinking! It has grown into a web-book and there you will see what Héctor’s wife does with her time!! Enjoy! Enjoy! (You are especially invited to read ‘Medical Resource Book’ which is gift for you! I teach her through my hospital and this has been a very rewarding ministry!)
I must conclude this epistle but it has been awhile since we visited! I proposed to Héctor a plan…returning to his military assignments in the order of his assignments which number seventeen! He asked how often and I said whenever we can commencing this Fall 2006 which, best I can calculate, he will be ninety-two when we finish!!! Who knows, you may be hearing from us in the future before ninety-two! We’ll have to retire first!
Fond memories of golden time spent in your company are the best of memories. Thank you for your enduring friendship by post, prayer and calls! Know we pray for you daily.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Héctor Rafael, Anna Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo Ponton
24. Until recently this was the main page of my website…a new one is in place!
Anna Bernadette’s Blending of Faith, Family and Action!
Dear Son, Family, Friends and Strangers-No-Longer!
www.leadkindlylight.net is a myriad of all good things conceived and written in pure love and delight, for I cannot not be grateful for life and time, while I have it, to grow into all He created me to be or I will have a lot to answer for when I meet my Maker! Most of the time, this includes thoughts of you and yours. I cannot stop the sayings, remembrances and creative thoughts from taking up residence in my bank of rich memories. They then grow into, to date, creative outlets for The Silent Retreat Series, Teaching, Archival Work and Interviewing Material for a certain diocesan television segment called ‘Lead, Kindly Light!’ The richness of remembrances, will, love and fire are fanned within my ‘domestic church’ and in apostolic action which means this Web of Gratefulness is ever-evolving! I give this experiential knowledge away for I want everyone to win as information becomes knowledge becomes wisdom which is priceless! It was emulated to me therefore you are invited to pray this compendium forward!
Web of Gratefulness:
“What Is Reverenced In Our Home of Origin”
‘The Red Binder!’
‘Photographs!’ (Under Construction!)
Fact Sheets for Monlezun Family Events:
o Easter Sunday Lunch and Hunt!
o Anniversary Tidy-Up Arthur Avenue Day!
o Christmas Eve!
‘Monlezun Family Chronicle!’ (See www.monlezun.com/constance)
I am very grateful to my husband, Col. (Ret) Héctor Rafael, who affords me the time and space to let it all happen in that, upon leaving his home in Puerto Rico at age nineteen, he also has felt the acute separation from family at various times and applauds this way of archiving memories. He has achieved fulfillment in an enriched life of travel, life-long learning and command. He is thoroughly supportive and offers the utmost of encouraging words! His respect and love for my parents run deep and wide.
I love and respect him truly.
25. Dear Family, This is the idea…I recently read an article in the AARP Bulletin April 2006 entitled ‘So You Want to Be a Jock!!!” and I am intrigued not to mention incredulous as well as tired saying to myself, ‘could it be!?!’ All these thoughts … does it mean that I, like the 51 year old female of the article that runs and wins 100-mile endurance races, am thinking that this too could be me at age 58?!!! She moved up to actual triathlons! No way, right? And why would I want to do such a thing!! I love BBQ Ruffles potato chips and left the competitive spirit at Goretti High School on the basketball court (as All District Guard in my senior year if I may recall that physical feat and this is the time to recall!) I really wouldn’t have to give up the chips in that I don’t have a Training Coach to demand such an action. How do I begin besides s-l-o-w-l-y! Maybe this…morning Mass then slow walking in this the springtime of my life; I mean of the year! But I wouldn’t have had a breakfast of eggs, potatoes, ham/bacon, toast, fruit, coffee/orange juice! My, my, what a conundrum! What to do? While you are discerning this mountain for me that really doesn’t have to be climbed, I could do the following: Begin after Monday morning Mass circling the church with a short walk and my Walkman playing Fr. David Reid’s Trinity College tapes explaining the loveliness of the liturgy! Yes, that is it … that would get me started! What do you think?! Be gentle in discerning the very important next step toward triathlons? I’ll be walking with Fr. David and awaiting your suggestion!!
This is what happens when I break from reading something beside websites on Pandemics!
26. Antoine A. Pontón
English IV 2nd Hour
March 2, 2000
i call the grandfather
i call the grandfather
come back to me
they say you have two
but when I never knew one
i lost the other too.
come back to me grandfather one
i know so much about you through the eyes of others
you were great you were loving
show me the ways that you were so caring.
come back to me grandfather two
i knew you better than one
even though I never spoke to you in my tongue
towards the end you said you did not know me
but I knew you loved me.
grandfathers come back to me
teach me your trades of love and wisdom
play with me like you did when I do not remember
come back to me.
27. The saga of my dear Medical Resource Book…
January 28, 2004
Spondylitis Association of America
14827 Ventura Blvd., Ste. 222
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Dear Ms. Bruckel,
On September 29, 1994, our only child at age twelve was diagnosed with Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis (JAS). It changed our world. On the return drive from Texas Children’s in Houston, my husband and I wept as Antoine slept in the back seat. Then, clutching the J.A.S. brochure, I charged by first learning to spell the name of this uninvited darkness that catapulted its way into the center of our family that sad and frightening day. In his first reaction to this diagnosis, my dear physician brother’s wise words ring true today, “Sis, do not let this disease be the center of your family, grow around it!” And, that is what we’ve done. Suffering is indeed redemptive when you think of others.
In your hands is my Medical Resource Book (MRB) which grew from that first informative bit of literature and is yours as gift. Please feel free to use in whatever fashion you may find practical and useful to others. I have shared the M.R.B. with numerous family and friends, as I have slowly discerned the decision to teach it, with the blessing of our son. He recently turned twenty-one, and I handed him his M.R.B. for monitoring his condition while on meds and as he seeks a local Rheumatologist and Multispecialty Team to begin their walk in the world of Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S.) and its myriad of challenges.
Thank you, your team support members and cast of thousands for the courage to seek through information and a daily focus in order to find a cure for this indiscriminating disease.
Lead, Kindly Light!
P.S. I have read every word and kept every issue of ‘Spondylitis Plus’ since Winter 1993. Thank you for ‘empowering those affected to live life to the fullest.’
27- A) January 29, 2004
President and CEO
CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital
524 South Ryan Street
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70601
Dear Mrs. Jones,
I haven’t received any more invitations to organize closets in Administration and that’s good – the order must be working!! I enjoyed being with the people with whom you have surrounded yourself – a grand team indeed!
I respectfully request a meeting with you to present a way to ‘teach the teachers’ at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital so that they might assist patients and/or family members with managing or monitoring one’s health information in the form of this Medical Resource Book (M.R.B.) which you hold in your hand! Koni Bridges and Sandra Semien are familiar with the Book and they and others in the healthcare profession have been supportive in suggesting different ways of sharing this book…could-it-be…with the Departments of Coordinator Care, Geri-psych, Home Care Regional Cancer and Heart Centers, Rehab and School Based Health Centers?
Please peruse for I am seeking direction from you as to the best way to continue to share my M.R.B. with my beloved CHRISTUS in a more concerted organized manner. As background information, attached are invitations sent to just four of the groups to whom the Book has been presented. Since February 1999, I have given ninety-eight M.R.B.’s to family and friends, sitting with many of them and incorporating their personal health folder into one MRB! Gratifying as well as redemptive work for a Pink Lady, indeed!!
I look forward to hearing from you.
CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Eucharistic Minister, Auxiliary in the Department of Marketing and our Heritage Center!
P.S. I have organized a ‘Healthcare/Referral Directory’ so that knowledge of available
resources in our community can be utilized by CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital
Departments of Access Center, Coordinated Care and Geri-psych! I have also
given the Directory to the Louisiana Rural Health Access Program Coordinator for
use in Imperial Calcasieu Parish, Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and to
the Volunteer Center of SWLA. To date and beyond, the Binder is being
integrated into their 211/310info.org database where it will be tracked in order to be
kept current! (This Directory was the original Creative Network Resource List 1995- present date (CNRL) that I placed on my website in 2006 for Hurricane/Influenza information!)
Ms. Jones welcomed the Medical Resource Book within three days (!), sent me to the Department of Marketing for it to be professionally printed, be placed on the CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital website (www.christusstpatrick.org) and to be taught ASAP to all the support groups of CSPH! The M.R.B. has gone out into the vineyard funded by CSPH, at no cost to the public. I will not copyright her for she belongs to anyone that needs her and pray it bring them order and hope! Redemptive suffering assuaged indeed!!!
Thank you Ms. Jones for your trust and wise counsel!
27- B) CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital Department of Marketing
To: Lady Karen for your perusal and input por favor!
From: Bernadette (Constance Monlezun Darbonne & Renee Reina, Co-Presenters)
RE: “Teach the Facilitators” the Medical Resource Book Workshop...for 12 CSPH Support Group Facilitators and then progressing to their individual groups for a presentation. I will call these 12 people to invite, answer their questions while explaining this workshop prior to sending them a Fact Sheet for their mailing list. Having trained the facilitators, they will be invited to assist their support group attendees at the task tables to put together medical binders and be there for them to track information and render assistance forever!! In working with just the facilitators, we can fine tune the M.R.B. over time and be muy ready for the Patient Portal!!
(I would like to begin calling the 12 tomorrow while at Marketing. Thank you!)
How: Supplies needed (13) and to gather-up by …:
27-C) Example of making it all work and it does!!
Example 1- Dear Ones,
Attached is a Medical Resource Book Fact Sheet that might assist you in explaining to your support group who and what is a-comin! Will this work? Please email me by August 22 so that I can prepare the Books. Thank you!
To: _________________ Support Group
Have you been bombarded with information, over-whelmed with paper- prescriptions, test results, notes, limited time during the doctor’s visit to get answers (9-14minutes) or there are multiple health providers who might be managing a piece of the disorder?
What: An Invitation – Time spent in organizing your Medical Resource Book (MRB)...pages of information ready to receive your medical folder and any papers in your possession that tracks your health from any healthcare practitioner.
“The Medical Resource Book (M.R.B.) was compiled as a way to assist you with managing and monitoring information for any disorder you or a loved one might experience.
I have found that organizing information received from different sources has helped empower people in choosing proactive management of your disorder with the help of health care providers and I sincerely pray this for you.”
What: A 40-minute presentation with Q/A of ‘A PERSONAL MEDICAL RESOURCE BOOK’
...pages of information ready to receive your medical folder and any papers in your possession that tracks your health from any healthcare practitioner.
From: Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton
How: For Organizing Your M.R.B.: + What To Bring:
o Your medical folder from home/any papers on your health, for example – a list of your medications, healthcare providers names and numbers, schedule for appointments, test results, notes, articles, etc...
o Post-Its (Small)
+ Mrs. Ponton will present the M.R.B. and immediately following her presentation, those who brought their personal medical papers are invited to join her and a co-presenter at a task table where they will assist you in incorporating your papers into your Medical Resource Book!
Contact _______________to R.S.V.P... hand-outs will be prepared for you.
All information shared is strictly confidential.
There is no fee.
27- D) Example 2 - May 2005 (52-65 students) – Spring and Fall semesters M.R.B. (inserts and tabs) to McNeese State University Junior 2nd semester clinical nursing students ‘Wellness’ course; Room 103, 45 minute presentation.
“There are 126 schools in the country that teach you how to be a physician but not one to teach you how to be a patient.” United Health Foundation Ad 2004!
Our only child at age 12 was diagnosed with J.A.S. a rare form of children’s arthritis, no cause no cure, my husband is a cancer survivor and my mother succumbed to cancer in November 2000 after 14 months of family handing her up! I had begun to track medical information and in 2001 took my Mom’s pink top out of her closet as she had worn it for 26 years of serving others and got to work as a Pink Lady at CSPH…the CEO and President, Ellen Jones, readily understood the helpful potential of the M.R.B. which has grown to what you will receive today, 12 years later and ongoing.
I am grateful to your Dean, Dr. Peggy Wolf, Katrina Carter, Assistant Professor College of Nursing and Valerie Waldmeier, N.P. Graduate Department, Nurse Practitioners’ Adult Health Course for this invitation to present this true labor of love as well as it wholelistically assuaging as redemptive suffering.
The M.R.B. is either for a state of wellness, or, as I have read, the ‘worried well’ people who are already health conscious and are involved in health promotion activities, the chronic non-participants called to modify behavior and/or for a disorder.
Hand-out inserts and tabs…Begin…
+In taking baby steps to begin to use this M.R.B., start this on five patients with your own method sheet in charts. It is especially helpful with the ‘History and Physical’
(H & P).
+ To schedule a personal M.R.B. session bringing your medical papers from home for you or a loved one, call 491-7505 at CSPH.
+1000 pieces of fact – they leave with a picture a framework in which to work, to believe, to sustain hope! …And it all continues…
28. Loretta Findley is my special friend from CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. We hunkered down together in the Executive Offices before, during and after Hurricane Rita along with Lila Hicks spending many intense days and nights together answering the never ending phone calls and responding to all that was requested of us with resolve on our faces and concern in our hearts! Loretta is a published poet and I called her with a precious request. Would she compose a poem for our son in celebration of his college graduation day if I sent her verbiage about him? (I assured her I could give her some idea of who he is and where he comes from in addition to what she already knew of Antoine!!!) She writes of our exact heartfelt sentiments for our dear son, frames the poem as her pure gift and it will be read this very Saturday at his graduation reception! True friends are indeed God’s special treasure.
Antoine Adolfo Pontón
Our God is an awesome God!
He hands to us the ability, humility and grace to carry out his job,
But the most awesome experience he so graciously handed to us,
Is the day he gave a small life in which to us he chose to entrust,
So July 24, 1982 was our most awesome day,
When this tiny small babe in our arms was laid,
No greater blessing did our Lord place on our hearts,
Than you our dear Antoine who in our lives created a spark.
And as you grew many heads stop to turn,
And many lessons from you we had to learn!
For there were many adventures like the Circus Ms. Renee will attest,
And those are days that in our minds will forever rest,
And it is the way you fill the air with laughter with all you meet,
Your joy, your compassion, your curiosity is truly a treat,
And the way you embrace your family and church,
You were brought into this world to soothe and nurture.
Being from Spanish Basque, French Basque and German descent,
You encompass in your life many wonderful and great accents,
And with those attributes come your humor, your tenacity and your agility,
But the most precious to us is your wonderful humility,
And no prouder parents could we be than to have you for our son,
You are our first, our last, “Our Number One”!
And in heaven today, we know your grandparents hold their heads proud,
Because of the person you are, they know you are under God’s awesome shroud.
So now Antoine, twenty-three years later as we stand here today,
This, your special graduation day!
No matter where your life leads or what avenues you take,
Our love, our dedication, and devotion to you no one will ever shake,
For we stand with our hearts bursting with pride,
Thank you our Antoine, “for taking us on this absolutely wonderful ride”,
For you have grown into an unbelievable remarkable man,
Forever tucked away gently within God’s precious hands.
Mom & Dad
May 20, 2006
29) I love this … printed in the St. Patrick Chapel bulletin, Sweetlake, LA 25 June 2006… “Just up the road from my home is a field with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down but has made a good home for him. If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her. As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him. And he will listen for her bell and walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell!”
30) A BOOKLET WAS COMPILED FOR MY 30TH HIGH SCHOOL CLASS REUNION HELD IN LAKE ARTHUR, LOUISIANA ON NOVEMBER 24, 1995. THE TWENTY GRADUATES IN THE FIRST GRADUATION CLASS OF GORETTI HIGH SCHOOL 1965 WERE REQUESTED TO RESPOND TO A BOOKLET SUMMARY OF ‘WHERE ARE THEY NOW’ AND MORE!!! So I did!
GORETTI HIGH SCHOOL CLASS, MAY OF 1965
DATE: November 24, 1995
NAME: Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton
SPOUSE: Col. (Ret.) Héctor R. Ponton
OCCUPATION: He golfs in the morning and sails in the afternoon!
CHILD: Antoine A. Ponton, age 13, 8th grade, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Elementary School, Lake Charles, LA
FAVORITE ACTIVITIES-HOBBIES: Being with Héctor and Antoine and on the computer networking with global church ministry as well as the Family Choir, Our Lady Queen of Heaven parish, producing two diocesan television segments and hosting Silent Retreats in my home.
FUTURE PLANS: To continue supporting my husband and son, enjoying my mother and extended family, serving in church ministry and eventually more travel – I want to see the Himalayas!
MOST MEMORABLE SCHOOL EVENT: Chipping bricks on the school grounds knowing that we were saving labor costs which were being applied to the specially made dye for the brilliant Blessed- Mother- blue in our class ring!
GENERAL INFORMATION: Where have you been in the world of ours? There were various career titles captured until marriage in 1978 to Héctor Ponton, U.S. Army Officer from Puerto Rico. Assignments took us to Fort Bragg, North Carolina; San Jose, Costa Rica; Bogotá, Colombia, South America; Denver, Colorado; Springfield, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Héctor retired August 1988 and our son began the first grade in September 1988!
MILESTONES IN YOUR LIFE: While in Washington, D.C. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to enroll in a program at Trinity College called Education for Parish Service (E.P.S.). The purpose of this program is to enable Catholic laymen and women to contribute more effectively to the work of evangelization by providing opportunities for spiritual development, high level instruction in theology, scripture, church history and methodology. After this two year life-changing (on-going) odyssey, I stayed on a third year at the invitation of Sr. Joan Bland, SND as Communications Coordinator as this course of study is operating on two continents. Presently, I am involved in church ministry at a parish and diocesan level as well as in Cyberspace being electronically faithful through an Education for Parish Service Computer Network! Antoine graduates from high school in the year 2000, the New Millennium!
IF I COULD GO BACK, WOULD I CHANGE ANYTHING? God, yes! I would have chosen to study more foreign languages and paid better attention in World Geography class! That all nine of my siblings would have lived…that the Paul Dupont family would not have had to suffer so.
MISSING THE OLD DAYS? There is so much in this beautiful God-created world…never look back but only live one day at a time by loving and serving others beginning in one’s own home.
MOST MEMORABLE EVENT? The night of our high school graduation, processing into the gym, the moon was full and brightly shining through the top row of windows. Sister Yvonne, Donald, Mom and Daddy, my siblings, all the people I dearly loved were in that room and the world stood still for that moment in time…There was so much hope…
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? I am living it…I met and married in my season, I had a son and am a very happy and contented wife, mother, daughter and sibling. My involvement in the church and its work is a constant source of fulfillment and satisfaction. I can only hope that it is of spiritual benefit to others and that the Good Lord sees it with good eyes!
31) Dear Abuela, my mother-in-law and Family! July 11, 2006
Feliz Cumpleano to you at ninety-one years young! My! My! What wisdom the years bring and what gift to us you are. Cú so enjoys his phone calls to you; just hearing your voice brings joy to his face! May you have a blessed birthday in thanksgiving to your dear parents for giving you life and a solid up-bringing.
Cú‘s sailboat, Gulf Wind, is nearing the end of its repairs and cannot be soon enough for him. He will be so happy to see her sails full and enjoy the great outdoors on the water. It brings him such enjoyment! While at the Yacht Club he helps so many people with a myriad of details, the rebuilding of the club building and encouraging others not to mention shooting the breeze! Hurricane Ritas’ effects continue to be visible in many areas in the south.
Antoine Adolfo is having a great summer teaching sailing cada morning and afternoon to all age boys. He loves the sport and is certified in many water crafts.
We will be with him soon for his grand birthday, twenty-four on the twenty-fourth of July! With Cú’s 70th the very next day, it will be a grand-old time! A couple friend of Antoine’s, whose birthday for the lady is the twenty-third of July, has insisted on sharing her party with Antoine and Cú in their lovely beach home not far from Antoine’s sailing camp!! Antoine knows their daughter and has prepared gumbo, tostones and other cosas for them on his time off so they are delighted to reciprocate…I am thrilled! He is just like
you, Abuela and his father…loves to cook and gather round him friends and strangers-no-longer! He is also networking the markets around the Carolina’s, an area he loves; so far so good! He does possess mucho charm and charisma just like his you-know-who!!!
I keep a steady studied pace of serving others. The television program, hospital work, post-hurricane meetings serving the Special Needs patients for our hospital, reading, thinking, planning, website, parents’ home visits and upkeep, facilitating Silent Retreats, Masterworks Chorale rehearsals and performances…all is well and thriving. Daily Mass is a source of strength, direction and marching orders for the day (!) as I lift up Cú, Antoine, You and the Pontón family, my extended family, the sick, the lonely, the anxious, the concerned, the struggling ones, the desirous ones…placing us all in the mantle of the Blessed Mother as she intercedes for us with Her Son…She usually is successful for He loves Her above all! He can’t tell Her no!
When you pray your rosary, offer a decade for us as we pray for you. I send you my love and esteem through your son daily. He thinks of you and yours often.
Te adoro! Lead, Kindly Light and Happy, Blessed Birthday to you!
Héctor Rafael, Anna Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo, the Sailor!
32. 8 August 2006
Dear Wanda, my most senior sister-in-law!
Thank you for the delicious Sunday meal complete with dancing children with their center of attention - Kade Joel, ll complete with a doo!!!! What an affectionate child! He’s pending the night at your house tonight!
Robert Joseph was missed … loved sitting at table with your family. All are so congenial, loving, funny and caring individuals. You did a wonderful job in raising-up your sons and The Father will not be outdone in your generosity and sacrifice! Jamie is a delight; that smile could light up a stadium! I know Lisa slept that night as she finished the ‘make- hay- while- the- sun- shines- while- the- child’s- away- thang!’
Please thank Kade and Jamie for coming to my rescue after your call for assisting the Aunt sitting in her car named ‘Tah-Tah-Tah’ in the woods with map in hand and no right road!! It is the most beautiful countryside and I understand fully your choice of location to create home! All of you have landed in God’s country!
Thank you for your generous meal, heart and most of all love exhibited to me over the years. I love you.
Lead, Kindly Light!
33. July 25, 2006!
To my Husband at Seventy Years young!
It only seems like yesterday…that in 1975 your soldiers and I celebrated YOUR thirty-ninth birthday while at
Fort Polk, LA! That was Our first birthday together!
I have experienced your love for many years now and it only seems like yesterday that you began your journey of loving us, your son and I! Thank you for your years of exceptional care and serving us, your family on each side, your friends, colleagues and your country. You are my steady inspiration which catapults the constant line-up of ministries on the launching pad in my study in the home that you have secured for us! You are my stalwart, my heart, faithful companion and our protector!
‘If the spark be so bright what must be the flame!’ You are that ever burning flame, our fire that feeds, draws us close and illuminates all that the Father teaches and emulates through you. Thank you for saying ‘fiat’ to He and His Blessed Mother! Thank you for your living faith!
Antoine has observed your self-denial of things and the daily fulfilling of your duties all while radiating joy, movement while whistling, expressions of peace and fulfillment; the serving of your loved ones first which makes you happy and gives you immense satisfaction.
We can only say ‘thank God you are ours’ and today we celebrate in humble prayer and gratitude to The Father for the gift of Antoine’s earthly father and my husband Héctor Rafael!
‘GULF WIND’ WILL NEED A MOTOR SOON AND WHEN THAT TIME ARRIVES, LOOK UNDER YOUR PILLOW!!!
Lead, Kindly Light! Love,
Anna Bernadette, Wife and Antoine Adolfo,
The Magnificent, Your Favorite Son!
34. My sister Constance Victoria is quite the poet! She cleverly weaves words, tune … well, just read on…it is a riot!!! She sang it in the restaurant parking lot after the birthday dinner and French dancing; I with Hector, Vic with Constance, Hector with Constance, Vic with Bernadette and Constance with Bernadette with the biggest smiles on our faces!!! Memorable night indeed!!!
Hector’s Song On His 70th Birthday
(To the tune of ‘TO ALL THE GIRLS I”VE LOVED BEFORE’)
To all the year’s that’s gone before
Seems they have flown right out the door
I knew it’d come along
This seventy ere long
This Colonel hasn’t fought this war before.
To all the days so full of life
I share it with my favorite wife
And magnificent Antoine
Port, Starboard he brings it on
To make my days a richer life.
The winds of change are always blowing
I blame it for shooting over par
My golfing buddies are still crowing
When we get back to the bar.
More birthdays I do hope to seize
They say that I look fifty-three
Set sail ore waves that crest
Wayward Amigos I help best
Too bad I can’t charge attorney fees!
To all the years that’s gone before
Let’s skip this one, than ask for more;
It’s just a state of mine
It’s good I’m feeling fine
‘Cause I have years to go signor!
Can’t remember whom I’ve loved before!
July 25, 2006
35. Date: 28 November 2006
From: Bernadette Monlezun-Pontón
To: Gini Taylor (CSPH)
Randy Roach, Mayor City of Lake Charles
Sandy Gay (Diocese of Lake Charles)
Penny Haxthausen (Calcasieu Parish School Board)
Dinah Landry (Cameron Parish Council on Aging/Community /Action, Inc.)
Beverly McCormick (Volunteer Center of SWLA)
Catherine Thomas (United Way)
Joy Griggs (DHH-Office of Public Health/SWLA Mutual Aid Association)
David Duplechain (Family & Youth Counseling Center)
Eva Williams (FEMA)
Re: With Gratitude!
I’m in my pink top and back on the hospital floors at St. Pat’s bringing Holy Communion to our patients! (Thank you for your continued invitations to meetings pursuant to your wonderful organizations where you serve and make a difference!)
As an auxilian of CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, I offered my services post-Katrina/Rita to the Director, Department of Coordinated Care and was sent to work with the team for our Special Needs Patients. I placed on my website under the link ‘Hurricane Wiring Diagram’ whatever I learned while attending forty-five meetings, September 3, 2005 to August 21, 2006. Gratefully I will be ‘retiring’ this link Thursday 30 November 2006 and have returned to my study and a myriad of binders!!
I was so very inspired by what I witnessed in each of you…your dedication, heart, abilities, grit and determination to keep showing up for a compendium of purposes; stabilizing, gathering the intelligence and people, having a plan, and executing that plan day in day out in those trying days of relief and recovery which continues for many who have lost so much. I pray unceasingly.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve with you in this area which is our home!
Lead, Kindly Light!
36. Dear Lee Joseph and Dominique Joseph, February 12, 2007
Thank you for your kindness and gratefulness in exhibiting your appreciation in my caring for, seven years last month, and offering to others a retreat in silence, our home of origin, a place of respite for others. It is truly exactly where I am suppose to be and, am able to do and, because I am invited to teach, ironically, the ‘Spirituality of the Home’ at this time in many lives! He works kindly but in paradoxical ways indeed! Thank you for supporting this ministry for you two are always there with me and are acknowledged in my introduction for the day!
It was an elegant and delicious meal with you and Tina and the perfect seats to enjoy the man who mimics Hectór! Thank you for inviting us to enjoy a grand evening at table; the first course, roses and the píece de résistance, Julio Iglesius crooning “For All the Girls I’ve Loved Before!” Héctor kept a totally straight face!
It was a particular delight to meet up with Bob and Sarah Jones! He was genuinely happy to see you again, Dominique, and to meet Tina! He always said that you were the most natural businessman that he had ever met!! Now he knows about the commerce of ‘holy cards’ salesmanship at the church door!!!
In appreciation from your eldest brother-in-law and his wife, the ‘second most religious person in the family’ as Lee J. inscribed in my book ‘John Paul II!’
Lead, Kindly Light! Anna Bernadette and Héctor Rafael
37. June 2007 was Miss Renee’s ‘Meaux Family Reunion!’ I spent a little time arranging a ‘Heritage Room’ in her residence and the beginnings of a website link as gift to her family which is my family as we are related through the Nunez line through the Monlezun/Miller/Broussard line! The ‘Title’ is something she is deciding on, as you can read!!! This is her ‘Main Page’ as gift.
There are no heirlooms in Cameron Parish! Stunning statement isn’t it?!
I am a descendant of the Meaux/Nunez and Reina/Leona lineage. My mother and father are Joseph Camile (J.C.) and Madge Aline Meaux-Reina. My brothers, sister and in-laws are Ro Risa/Jimmy, Joey/Dinah Sue and Johnny/Chantal and I have seven wonderful nieces and nephews.
My ancestors survived Hurricane Audrey the devastating hurricane of 1957 that took 500 lives, homes, livestock and…heirlooms. My parents and family survived Hurricane Rita in 2005 but she took our homes of origin. I have become my ancestors! I conjure up the
image of a bridge, one built of love and reverence of those who have gone before, those who are with us and those who will come after us. I and mine are the living heirlooms of memory, recollections, stories and numbers of the diasporic folk that were part of the village that raised me up and who influenced my formation and transformation! My mother gathered their phone numbers at Mass after the Storm 2005 at church, the one that had no walls or pews, only the kneelers remained! I now have a profound insight into the universal meaning and core of my faith…this is the ‘body of Christ’!
I remember and, this ‘site of gratefulness’ is my love and respect toward my people in verbiage, records, photos, data and history.
Meaux/Nunez Family Genealogy/Data!
Reina/Leone Family Genealogy/Data!
Our History! Photographs! Necrology!
Family Reunions ~ Whom! Where!
Recipes and Prayers!
Sayings and Stories!
There are many lovely souls that have embraced this e-composite dream that remembrance is a very strong force, stronger than the angry giant that invaded our homeland but never our spirit and faith. She invaded but cannot stay. This land is mine the earth of my forefathers and foremothers! They have prayed me forward since all the way to eternal life in The Light!
“We walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a
stormless eternity awaits us.” Amen!
A grateful appreciation to my family who have been an inspiration to me as they move forward in faith, hope and courage to transform into this
new direction in each of their lives.
A special thank you to my dear friend and cousin Bernadette Monlezun-Pontón who has taught and inspired me to embrace reverencing all things particularly those people who have lit the path that we now trod.
Lead, Kindly Light!
38. Isn’t this interesting reading?!...
07.23.2007 - Seventeenth Year - Num. 136
SUMMARY: JULY 21-23
VATICAN CITY, JUL 21, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, at the end of a concert of mountain choirs offered in his honor by the diocese of Belluno-Feltre at the castle of Mirabello (Italy), the Holy Father gave a short address.
"Song is an expression of love", the Holy Father said, citing St. Augustine. " I have heard this great love for the earth (...) that the Lord has given us in your songs. In this thanksgiving, in this love for the earth, there is also present and resounding our love for the Creator, the love of God who has given us this land, this life of joy (...) that we see even more clearly in light of our faith, which tells us that God loves us."
"The popular culture evident in such an elevated form is a joy of our European identity that we should cultivate and promote (...) Training in song, in choral singing, is not only an exercise of external hearing and the voice; it is also an education of the inner hearing, of the heart's hearing, an exercise and training in life and peace. In order to sing together it is necessary to pay attention to the other (...) to the totality that we call music and culture and, in this way, singing in a choir is an education in life and peace. It is a walking together."
The Holy Father then commented on the words of the bishop of Belluno-Feltre who had recalled that 90 years ago the area's mountain regions were a site of the First World War. "Let us give thanks to God for the peace of our Europe today," concluded Benedict XVI, "and do everything in our power to make peace grow in us and in our world."
AC/CHORAL CONCERT/MIRABELLO VIS 070723 (300)
39. I recently came across this letter to my beloved family in Puerto Rico…
A) Dear Abuela and Family, December 2005
Antoine Adolfo and I have sent our hearts with Cú to embrace and kiss you with love and longing. You are my mother on this side of heaven and God is good to have given you to
me and a wonderful loving grandmother to Antoine Adolfo. I pray for you daily and serve The Father with the spirit and care that abides in you.
Antoine Adolfo is preparing for his fall finals and is in good form for a May 2006 graduation. He is excited about his first professional interview with a corporate insurance company owned by Irish Catholics!! Therefore this month, God to whom I am fervently praying, is Irish! He is happy, healthy and so very ready to graduate and see the world!
My family is well and thriving paying bills and raising children mostly graduate and post-graduate ‘children!’ Christmas 2004 I gave them all a special gift, a website entitled a ‘Web of Gratefulness’ from their eldest sister with the last name of Ponton.! Please enjoy yourself clicking around www.leadkindlylight.net. It has become a Web-book!
I continue to volunteer at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital as a Eucharistic Minister, coordinate the displays in our Heritage Center, teach the Medical Resource Book and work with the Coordinated Care department in discharge planning for our patients and family. I love it all!
My Silent Retreats continue at the home of my parents where I continue to journey once a week with my sister, Constance, who is a healthcare practitioner in Lake Arthur. I tah-tah in the house, read, think and pull weeds! My television segments number around 400 interviews in only 16 years now and that seems impossible. Cú has watched every one and that is amazing! We have been ‘retired’ 17 years and still only 57!!!!
All of the above would not be possible without the support of your wonderful son, the one who married a gringa! His love and encouragement is unceasing even when the floors may not get vacuumed or the dust gathers (where or where does it come from and never goes away!)…he just smiles and says, “Uh, maybe a little less discerning and more …whatever is what is in order?!!!” And of course I hop to it! I sometimes clean when he is at the golf course, sailing or translating! His poor Yacht Club is leaning and the sailboats are all askew but the people remain and they will rebuild her and boats will return and grace the water with their sails full and flowing. (He will tell you about enduring Hurricane Rita!) His golf game is played with his dear friends in that sport as they remain close and caring about each other. It is wonderful to see. He is a good friend to many and they reciprocate in their esteem and respect for him. They are praying for you and yours this minute!
Enjoy each other, I send you my best in your loving son.
Lead, Kindly Light! Te adoro! Anna Bernadette Monlezun dé Ponton!
40. April 2007 of Holy Week!
I received a call from our cousin Sr. Lawrence while in the airport in Raleigh, NC (!) inquiring about Arthur Avenue and its availability for a retreat/meeting site for she and 4 of the Governing Council of her Order. She said she was thinking about going to Aunt Gert’s and Uncle Lee’s home! I told her that I am the Caretaker and that LJM and DJM own our home of origin. Upon discussion with DJM the below was sent. The Council meets and decides on the location at a later date! She will have just been there for the Hensgens Reunion! She replied this morning that the offer looks great to her and is grateful for the generosity of the offer!
Date: April 2007, Blessed Holy Week!
To: Sr. Lawrence, O.Carm., the second eldest living granddaughter!
From: Anna Bernadette, the third eldest living granddaughter!
RE/Whom: Fact Sheet/Arthur Avenue for a 6-day retreat/meeting (What a privilege!)
When: The home is reserved for you and yours … June 2007! There is no fee.
Where: The directions are…
There will be a ‘Silent Retreat in Progress’ sign out front which I use for my Silent Retreat days and it works! No visitors! It will be up and operating!
How: (4 a-c’s in the home and a fan in every room). The original parts of the home are 103 years old!
A. First food! DJM, upon hearing of your inquiry has instructed me to, in total excitement and gratitude!...
1. Call for the best plate lunches in town and your daily meals are to be delivered from start to finish!
2. The refrigerator will be filled with your request as to munchies and necessities for your dietary needs! Ice in the freezer! Beverages will be in place; tell me what you like.
We would like for you to tell us of your needs so that they can be tended!
B. Sleeping arrangements:
1. King size bed in Mom and Dad’s room under the ‘Hensgens
Wall!’ with adjacent full bath. The bed has 2 separate mattresses but one set of sheets!
3. A double bed in the front bedroom with an adjacent ½ bath.
4. The front room will have a new brick red (!) sofa sleeper soon; can use adjacent bath. (Just in time I heard of this sofa offer from a friend of a friend and now the Sisters can all spread out!)
5. Upstairs, a full bed using the downstairs bathrooms. I am bringing back DJM’s room for usage as “Rev. Mother’s Room!” The upstairs kitchen is now a cozy library with spiritual and theology books of mine and from Fr. Donald Pelous!! What goes around, comes around! The white porch room is a sitting/reading room with a rocker and memorabilia upon which to gaze and smile in delight! Vóila…Rev. Mothers’ Suite!
C. We have kitchen, bath and bed linens for your use, placing all in the washer upon the culmination of your stay and I will tend them. We have pillows if you don’t mind feathers!!
A. There is a ‘Red Binder’ on the operation of the home on the telephone table and/or DJM and I’s cell phone numbers will be available for anything that you might need…just dial! Also available a phone line hook-up for your laptops!
B. There is a CD/audiocassette player in the living room for your usage and a selection of meditative music! There will be a monitor and DVD set-up for your use in the back room.
C. There is a canopy over the swing outside with tables and chairs set-up and another concrete table with an umbrella attached. Yard will be mowed and edged as the flowers are beautiful and beckoning!
P.S. The lake and a boardwalk over the water is at the end of Arthur Avenue! Mom and Dad’s bicycles will await you but you must take turns!! The Mass schedule will be on the telephone table.
Thank you for asking and hope this email begins to answer any questions that you might have. You will see all at the Hensgens Reunion! See you soon!
(They did say ‘yes’ and had a restful marvelous stay! A beautiful icon entitled ‘Mother of Tenderness’ painted by an O. Carm. artist and was left on the kitchen table as gift; now framed and welcomes all as She hangs in the living room center stage awaiting their arrival for next years retreat/meeting location! Yes, they will be returning and possibly, throughout the year!!)
41. On October 27, 2007 in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI attended a concert in his honor, during which the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir played the BEETHOVEN’S 9TH SYMPHONY. At the end of he concert the Holy Father remarked how BEETHOVEN had composed his final symphony in 1824, following a period of isolation and difficulty ‘which threatened to suffocate his artistic creativity.” Yet he “surprised the public with a composition that broke with the traditional structure of the symphony” rising at the end “in an extraordinary finale of optimism and joy.”
“This overwhelming sentiment of joy, “the Pope said, “is not something light and superficial; it is a sensation achieved through struggle” because “silent solitude…had taught BEETHOVEN a new way of listening that went well beyond a simple capacity to experience in his imagination the sound of notes read or written.” His was akin to “the perceptivity given as a gift by God to people who obtain the grace of interior or exterior liberation.” “God - sometimes through periods of interior emptiness and isolation- wishes to make us attentive and capable of ‘feeling’ His silent presence, not only ‘over the canopy of stars’ but also in the most intimate recesses of our soul. There burns the spark of divine love that can free us to be what we truly are.”
Vatican Information Services
42. REDISCOVER THE BEAUTY AND PROFUNDITY OF CHRISTIAN HOPE
VATICAN CITY, DEC 1, 2007 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. today, the Pope presided at the celebration of the first Vespers of the first Sunday of Advent.
At the start of his homily, the Holy Father recalled how "Advent is the time of hope par excellence" and how Christians, "as they prepare to celebrate the great feast of the birth of Christ the Savior, revitalize their expectation of His glorious return at the end of time."
"It was to the subject of hope," he said," that I dedicated my second Encyclical, which was published yesterday. And today I am happy to present it ideally to the entire Church on this first Sunday of Advent so that, while preparing for Christmas, the community and the individual faithful may read and meditate upon it, and so rediscover the beauty and profundity of Christian hope."
After underlining how "true and certain hope is founded on faith in God-Love, the merciful Father," Benedict XVI made it clear that Advent is a "propitious time for the rediscovery of hope, a hope that is not vague and illusory but sure and trustworthy because 'anchored' in Christ, God-made-man and rock of our salvation."
In his Letter to them, St. Paul reminds the Ephesians "that before embracing faith in Christ they had no hope and were 'without God in the world'," said the Pope. "This expression seems more valid than ever," he added, "because of the paganism of our own day. In particular we may refer it to contemporary nihilism which corrodes hope in man's heart, causing him to think that emptiness reigns within him and around him: emptiness before birth, emptiness after death. The truth is that without God, hope fades."
"What is at stake," he said, "is the relationship between existence in the here and now, and what we call the 'beyond:' this is not a place in which we will 'end up' after death, but rather the reality of God, the fullness of life to which each human being is, so to say, reaching out. To this expectation of mankind God responded in Christ with the gift of hope.
"Man," the Pope added, "is the only creature who is free to say yes or no to eternity, in other words to God. Human beings can extinguish hope in themselves, eliminating God from their lives. ... God knows man's heart. He knows that those who refuse Him have not known His true face, and for this reason He never ceases to knock at our door like a humble pilgrim seeking welcome. This is why the Lord grants new time to humanity: so that everyone may come to know Him! And this too is the significance of a new liturgical year that begins: it is a gift of God Who wishes once more to reveal Himself in the mystery of Christ, through the Word and the Sacraments."
Benedict XVI highlighted how "God loves us and for this reason expects us to return to Him, to open our hearts to His love, to put our hand in His and remember that we are His children. This expectation of God's always precedes our own hope, just as His love always reaches us first."
"All human beings are called to hope, thus responding to God's expectation in them," the Pope concluded. "Hope is indelibly written in man's heart because God our Father is life, and we were made for eternal and blessed life."
HML/VESPERS:ADVENT/... VIS 071203 (590)
43. On the Diocese of Lake Charles television segment ‘Lead, Kindly Light’ …
Airing Date: May 27, 2007…
I want to highlight two 2007 St. Louis Catholic High School graduates, this month Dominique Joseph Monlezun, Jr. from Our Lady Immaculate Elementary School in Jennings, LA and next month, Katie Prejean from Our Lady Queen of Heaven Elementary School in Lake Charles, LA.
Dominique Joseph Monlezun, Jr. is an outstanding and cherished young man in many ways indeed! He is the eldest child, first son of Dominique Joseph and Tina King-Monlezun of Lake Arthur, LA. He is a recent graduate of St. Louis Catholic High School in Lake Charles; his elementary school is Our Lady Immaculate School in Jennings, LA.. Nique will be in the freshman class attending Tulane University in New Orleans this fall 2007. His high school ministries and leadership thrusts were many and varied…to name a few… president of the Key Club and its service projects, Our Lady Help of Christians Retreat Team (Jennings) in leadership and talks blending spiritual truths and life experiences to youth, Diocesan CORE Team, St. Louis Swim Captain, member of the Soccer Team and served on the Student Council as Senator. His home parish is Our Lady of the Lake in LA where he was liturgical guitarist and an altar server along with his brother Christian Joseph and sister, Suzanne Louise! Nique is my nephew, the 16th grandchild of my parents and I am so very proud of him! Welcome! How do you think your upbringing formed your character and subsequently who you are in the process of becoming?
2. Of your recent years of schooling and a few more to go, what do you find most rewarding about the learning process?
3. In thinking of others you organized 40 people from St. Louis Catholic and Sulphur to travel to Cameron to clear hurricane debris from homes. What did that experience mean to you and the other members of your team?
4. You have worked as Office Assistant in your father’s business, Lake Arthur Butane Company, and in your mother’s Lake Arthur Health Clinic in Lake Arthur…what about working with your father and mother did you most enjoy and what did you learn?!
1.You have two specific goals: to graduate from Tulane University with a Double Major in English and Spanish/ Minor in Philosophy or Theology and either… enter seminary and study for the priesthood or ….attend medical school. Firstly pos- seminary training and ordination where whom would you like to serve? And concurrently, post-medical school where would you like to serve and in what specialty?
2. What was some of the best advice that you have received from special mentors?
3. If you could share with youth any message of hope and love, what would it be?
4. How grateful are you for your parents, siblings and those that are praying you into adulthood growing in His image and likeness?
Will you return to LKL for updates…?
44. My sister Constance Victoria, the other ‘Cajun Girl’, is closest to me in age in a family of ten children, consequently, we have many memories of our young lives together on Arthur Avenue! And, older lives together! She is the cleverest of song writers and with her especially long memory…well, enjoy what can happen when it’s Birthday Time…!!!
Bernadette’s 60th Birthday Song
(Sung to the French ditty “Chante, Chante”)
Bette is 60. “Could it be” a decade song?
Bette is 60. Everybody sing along.
Celebrate with potato chips and no bra on.
Tuddle ludle lay. Tuddle luddle lu.
Makes doll, Mary Lee, 60 too.
Tuddle ludle lu. Tuddle ludle lay.
Sing “Happy Birthday”.
Meeting Eddie down the ally or riding ol’ Dolly.
Heaving basketballs across the court to ol’ Prissy.
Lee and Gert’s first daughter wore the crown of the “Boat Queen”.
On stage in Vegas, she made the go-go scene.
Bette is 60, singing with her pink top on.
FM DJ didn’t need her make-up on.
Took a bullet to her rear, but didn’t keep her down for long.
Tuddle ludle lay. Tuddle ludle lu.
All those gifts from Aunt To-To!
Benedictine Rules! It’s OK to play!
Sing “Happy Birthday!”
Later got her Colonel, watched him trade boots for deck shoes.
Once she fell asleep on stage, but now Leads Kindly Light From the Pew.
Binders everywhere, but gets Antoine on the phone.
He got her to drink blessed bear, in Raleigh, not in Rome.
Bette is 60. Tooley would be proud of her.
Choral high E’s, but Aunt Tick-a-Tick sure suits her.
Pool porch catches heck when she’s a journaler.
Keyboard gets hot. Web of Lots and Lots!
It’s for sure she doesn’t click to shop!
This Frenchy German says, “Heritage ain’t passé”.
Bette, Happy Birthday!!
45. For Christmas 2007 my wonderful son gave me a priceless gift…the main page of my www.leadkindlylight.net website! He thought of this treasure and created it along with a friend who is a graphic designer in Raleigh, NC. This is the main page prior to the gift.
Anna Bernadette’s Blending of Faith, Family and Action!
Dear Son, OSB/SNDdeN, Extended Family, Friends and Strangers-No-Longer!
www.leadkindlylight.net is a myriad of all good things conceived and written in pure love. Its genesis of writings since the death of my last parent, my mother in November 2000 was for our son and has evolved into a teaching component that is now being shared with him, religious orders, extended family, friends and strangers-no-longer. You never know!!!
The Web of Gratefulnesslink is where she has always been, first-up for I love the challenge of being electronically faithful to our son (!) and cannot stop the sayings, remembrances and creative thoughts from taking up residence in my heart’s bank of rich memories. The richness of grateful remembrance, will, fire of love and conviction are fanned within my home, my ‘domestic church’ and, in apostolic action which means this ‘Web of Gratefulness’ and ‘To Teach’ are ever-evolving! I give this experiential knowledge away for I want everyone to win as information becomes knowledge becomes wisdom which is priceless! It was emulated to me therefore you are invited to pray this compendium forward!
Web of Gratefulness:
I am very grateful to my husband Col. (Ret) Héctor Rafael Pontón who affords me the time and space to let it all happen! He applauds this way of teaching and archiving memories in that his respect and admiration for my parents run deep and wide; he loves our son more than life itself! Héctor has achieved fulfillment in an enriched life of travel, life-long learning and command. He is thoroughly supportive and offers the utmost of encouraging words! I love and respect him truly.
LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT!
46…Another wonderful gift from an irreplaceable Webmaster!
To Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
Happy New Year!
01 January 2008
www.leadkindlylight.net 550 pages to Date!
Web of Gratefulness:
(‘Reiners Family Genealogy ~ 1846 to present year!’)
4. ‘Germanfest/German Heritage Museum/
(The Germany Connection from the Westphalia Region
to Roberts Cove, LA!’)
8. ‘Medical Resource Book!’
Graphic Website Main Page 1
Photograph (Web of Gratefulness/Room by Room) 1
46A) 8 July 2008 … A Birthday Letter to my Mother-in-Law in Puerto Rico!
Blessed Birthday to you dear Abuela!
Thank you Adolfo Nieves Figueroa and Faustina Negron Rivera for raising you up in the way you should go so that when you are a mature branch you will not depart from The Father’s design for you!
Cú enjoys his conversations with you on Sunday evenings and rests knowing that you are cared for and, with your dear sister, living your days with rhythm, balance and memories in security and safety! Gracias á Dios! We are so very grateful.
Antoine Adolfo is enjoying the environs of Raleigh, North Carolina in his work, home, friends and the beach for sailing whenever he can get away! Thank God for cell phones as I can hear his voice whenever I speak his name into the phone!! He is healthy, happy and is getting a new longer bed this week in that he is too long for his other one…5’11” and holding, I hope!!! Antoine looks like his father in the face and actions, as he is muy guapo and cool (!), but his mother’s resemblance in the rest of him is evident! He is thick like the German side!!! (His paternal and maternal lineage is Basque Spanish, Basque French and German!!!)
I continue to interview on Catholic television, 18 years this year, track family lineage on the computer, volunteer as a Minister of Holy Communion at our Catholic hospital, tend my home of origin spending every Friday there (45 minutes away) and while there read, write, make order (!), pull weeds, water, swing, eat the best plate lunches and contemplate my gratefulness to those who have gone before and how to tend those that are here and yet to be born!!!
Cú and I recently attended the Patriot’s Ball; and he looked so snappy in his dress white uniform complete with medals. We dined and danced and visited with friends and he toasted the Army! I thought of you missing him after saying goodbye all those years ago as well as the subsequent years of distance. I thought of how much he has missed in the growing and maturing years with his family but most of all with you. He does love you so; we have your pictures all around and we bless you daily. Heaven will be a beautiful and just place of light as all will be made right; it is there that we will speak the same language and the papas fritas will taste like heaven because we will be there and… all will be well!!!
Be well, happy and know we think of you unceasingly and pray for you the same.
Lead, Kindly Light! Happy, happy Birthday!
Cú, Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo
47. Too-o Wonderful!!
To: Lheller@americanpress.com August 2008
Subject: Upcoming Retro Page article on the Volkswagen Beetle
My first automobile was an Indigo Blue 1958-59 Export Model Volkswagen Beetle. The export designation meant it had all around safety glass, sealed beam head lights and electrical directional signals. I purchased it in Giessen, Germany while on assignment there as a newly minted US Army 2nd Lieutenant. The purchase price was $1,125. I drove it while in Germany for two years and had it shipped to the United States upon being reassigned to Fort Lewis, Washington in 1961. Shipment was from the Bremerhaven port of embarkation in Germany to the US Army military terminal in Bayonne, New Jersey. I drove it from New Jersey to Washington state across the northern tier of states in the middle of the winter without any problems as the Beetle was renowned for its swiftness in snow as a rear engine vehicle.
After two years in Washington, in 1963, I was next reassigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for training at the Special Warfare Center in preparation for a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam. I again drove my trusty Beetle, coast to coast, this time across the center tier of states without any trouble or mechanical difficulties. It should be noted that Beetles of my year model did not have gas gauges or a heater other than the engine. Instead they had a spare one gallon tank which you switched on manually or by clicking with your right foot a lever that sat to the right of the accelerator pedal. This gave you an extra 30 plus miles to find a gas station if you had used all the gas in your main tank.
After completing the military assistance training advisors course at Fort Bragg I was ready for shipment. I was to report to Travis Air Force Base in California, the port of embarkation from where I would travel by air to Vietnam. Once again, for the third time, I had to drive my Beetle back to the West Coast this time across the southern tier of states. Intentionally I was trying to see as much of the country as I could and was enjoying the travel thanks to the dependability and reliability of my trusty chariot.
My story ends as I arrive in San Francisco, stop at the first used car lot I see, and tell one of the salesmen there that I wanted to sell my Beetle. His eyes lit up, said he had to take it for a test drive to which I immediately agreed. Upon returning he offered me $1,175 for the car which I gladly accepted since I would be getting $50 more than I had paid for it five years earlier. I could have done much better had I known that Volkswagens had become very popular second cars in the US, particularly in California, and therefore were commanding a hefty price.
So sadly my Beetle and I parted company and I have often wondered who bought it, what trips he went on, what use he made of it and what was its final demise.
When I returned from Vietnam a year later I found myself wishing I had held on to my beloved Beetle!
Hectór R. Pontón
Colonel of Infantry US Army (Retired)
1st LT. Hector R. Pontón
U. S. Army, Infantry
2nd Battle Group, 39th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division
Fort Lewis, Washington 1962
National Catholic Reporter January 25, 2009
“Stay close to the Mass. That’s what will prepare you and see you through. For if every day you are at the altar, if every day you are about the suffering and death of the Lord, then one day, when suffering shall appear in your life, you will greet him like an old friend, for you have seen him every day. Then you will be able to say to him, ‘Friend, I have been expecting you!’ The liturgy was the real work, and Fr. Richard knew that it was the best preparation for dealing with the reality of the fallen world around us. Once asked the secret of his remarkable productivity, he responded: “I say my morning prayers before I read the morning newspaper.” Encountering the enduring reality allows one to master the passing reality.”
49. To My Husband, Hector From Your Wife Christmas 2002
My life began the Day I met you.
This becomes more evident
With each passing year.
The Father prepared us
For each other,
And from our fertile soil
Of life and experience
We bore Him a child,
Which we have gradually
Raised and given back to Him.
For, we have grown in
His love, for each other.
And through love and life
Have come to realize
Our child is a Man-child, is
Our only begotten son,
Whom, we pray, will continue
To abide in Him and
Whose light shines, kindly.
We are His Trinity in whom the Father gives the ocean of Himself.
50. 29 March 2006
Resolve Marine Group
Post Office Box 165485
2550 Eisenhower Blvd, Suite 204
Port Everglades, FL 33316
Subject: Appreciation & Commendation
Reference: Salvage Work; Mr. Tim McKinnis & Crew
I write as a member of the Lake Charles Yacht Club to highlight the superb work performed by the referenced crew post Hurricane Rita in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The sailboat fleet in our club was almost totally decimated by the storm surge caused by the hurricane. It ended up against a railroad embankment where it languished virtually unreachable until the RMG “Cavalry” arrived on the scene. While only a small number of boats survived the onslaught, your recovery crew in its salvage & clearing effort made it possible that they would be spared to hopefully one day sail again. I was one so lucky a boat owner. The boats that did not survive were removed in a most expeditious and efficient manner. Whenever possible and present, their owners were given the opportunity to remove cherished and expensive items and or hardware from their boats prior to disposal. The club grounds were thoroughly policed from debris and other impedimenta as well as cleaned up after the churning of the grounds in the recovery effort. Mr. McKinnis and all members of his crew were helpful, accommodating, professional and efficient. We most heartily and sincerely appreciate and applaud their work.
I ask they be so informed.
“A Grateful Sailor”
51) 2 April 2009
Greetings and Blessed Easter to you and yours from your gringa daughter!! I miss you so in our lives; in heaven we will have the longest conversation on record in one language and all will be known!
Your son, my #1 husband Cú, continues to be the world’s greatest husband, father, son, brother, friend, brother-in-law, Interpreter, provider, my secure harbor in this beautiful world God has created! He is so very steady in his dailiness of caring and securing the home front! Yes, he peels my fruit cup every morning and eats the pit!! And, being the good wife, I let him! He is doing a lot of work with the genes from you! He looks exactly like you from the neck up and like Manolo from the neck down!! He works in the Federal court system as Interpreter/Translator. He is professional and a natural at the job; the Judges and attorneys love him. You should see how spiffy he looks in his suits, handsome as ever!
Antoine Adolfo is the light of our lives and is doing beautifully in Raleigh, North Carolina making his way in this world. He has a good job, many friends and his social calendar is full. I have contacts there looking for a good Roman Catholic young lady for him so the bases are covered!
While visiting him recently all I could do is stare at him and smile! He looks and acts so much like his father whom I didn’t know at that age, thank God! Your grandson does not slow down and is quite the charmer, mover and shaker! In his sincerity he takes care of his responsibilities and friends. I sat with him with his Cathedral choir for Sunday Mass and watched him sing ~ he has a great baritone voice just like his father!!! We strolled through the N.C. Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, “muchos” restaurants and visited a ‘Planned Retirement Community’ for when the grandchildren arrive!! I have the sales lady looking for that good Catholic girl, then the children, then I’ll consider signing the dotted line on a residence!!!!! She will earn her commission!! She is Episcopalian at that!!
I never stop…so much good work to do and good people to teach and assist! I’m in my 19th year of Catholic television broadcasting, 25th year of Facilitating Silent Retreats, teaching the utilization of a personal Medical Resource Book, Masterworks Chorale singing away/four concerts a year, Heritage Tours at my ancestral home of origin and tremendous work in genealogy family heritage sequencing of data, photographs, artifacts, memorabilia to name a few involvements.
We love you! We know you are cared for totally by your dear sister Teresa to whom we are eternally grateful. We send you both our eternal prayer for your health and happiness in these years of the glow! You are deserving of this time of grateful being, thinking and heartfelt prayer for your family on this side and to those who have gone before!
Blessed Easter season all the year long!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna Bernadette Monlezun de Pontón
51A) 31 August 2009…My husband packs to visit with his mother at age ninety-four in Puerto Rico….I wrote to her and her sister who cares for her daily as they reside together.
Dearest Mamí y TT Theresa,
I heartily give you my husband of thirty-one years, my heart and soul, to visit with you! He thinks of you everyday and prays for you every night that you remain in good health, good heart, mind and spiritually whole. Our son, Antoine Adolfo, is offered up to the Lord daily in the same vein; that The Father use him in service for others and that he always come to know, love and serve Him in this world so as to be happy with him in the next!
Your grenga is content, healthy, desirous to serve in The Father’s will and way! Your son and nephew completes me and our sacrament of matrimony is fulfilled by his love, protection and care as he sustains my son and I. You raised a wonderful son who is loved and respected by many people.
In heaven we will thrive into eternity in the Light of the Father sitting next to each other catching up on our lives lived for others, our cares and challenges, our children and all will be known in an instant. And, language will not be needed! Just love reigns!
Have faith of the saints in heaven and on earth, relish your memories of all good things, people and events in your life that make you happy, continue to show us how to elder gracefully and in gratefulness.
Thank you, dear TT Theresa, for the care with which you tend your sister, my suegra, the mother of my husband, the grandmother of my son. God will not be outdone in your generosity! I am eternally grateful to your family for sharing their mother. Mil gracias.
Love and tenderness from La Casa de Pontón in Louisiana.
You have my heart…
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun de Pontón
51B) 31 August 2009…And, to my wonderful brother-in-law, Cano!
Thank you for the care, love and tending of my mother-in-law and the only surviving beloved grandparent of my son. You are a heart with a good man built around that beating center. You have our respect, love and support all the days of your life.
Cú always loves visiting with you by phone and now in person. Thank you for his care, transportation, feeding and sheltering!! He is a stalwart husband, provider and soul-mate always thinking and doing for others so indeed he deserves this little time in the presence of his dear brother! One day we will circle that island of yours and take in all the sights and sounds of that precious place of your birth and dance the night away. I have the book, map and guide!! How much in a hurry should we be?!
I am so happy that your grandchildren have you as a grandfather even though their Spanish is a bit like your brother!!!! O, the waters that divide!! I smile to think of you enjoying their every move and nod.
I dream of going to northern Basque Spain in three years to track the PONTON heritage having Antoine Adolfo join me for his thirtieth birthday!!! It is his name by birth which is sacred to me and mine by the sacrament of matrimony which I honor and carry proudly!
I love you my brother and pray for you daily. So does your dear brother Hectór Rafael.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun de Pontón
52) 2 April 2009 Ainsley DeSonier is Christ in His ‘Ainsley Way!’
My sister Constance told me of Ainsley birth while living far away in another country! She told me of the angel that was born into the DeSonier family and how hearts were open and profound love was sown.
Upon retirement from the military and returning to Lake Charles, we met “The Queen” as she was gracious in greeting us from her chariot!
Over the ensuing years every Monday night at Family Choir rehearsal for years she would maneuver her chariot next to me in the pew, want to hold the music and insisted on singing soprano. I hear her voice! She has perfect rhythm you know as her percussion sounds keep us on the beat! She grows impatient if we talk too much in the pew and insist we pay attention to the Director at which time we comply. One does not argue with Ains!
Her ‘Ainsley Way’ is the way of The Father in our lives. The sound of the cleansing of her air tube reminds me of the Father getting our attention and that it is time to pray. I interviewed Dale and Ainsley on my Catholic Sunday morning television program and was told of the multiple night feedings over the many years of her full life and it reminds me of The Faithful Father getting our attention and that it is time for our eternal Eucharist, the Bread of Life. Also hearing Ains and her percussion sounds beating out the rhythm…I am your God and Ainsley is My creation; she is perfect in My sight.
The people whose lives she has touched as The Father’s emissary of love, faithfulness, joy, commitment, and tender understanding is nothing short of phenomenal; that she is the greatest among us. He speaks to us through Ains, in the enthusiastic wave or her hands, that smile that lights up the sky, her wardrobe that never ceases to bring joy and smiles, and that she is always among us, the quiet that speaks volumes and resonates as a pebble hitting the water; the ripples go forever.
So does my love and respect for this Lady ‘Ains’, her parents and family!
They have my undying love and respect.
Blessed 30th Birthday Dear One!
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
53) TO: Rev. Richard Uche Aduikwu & Stephanie Rodrigue
FROM: Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton,
RE/WHY: “Sunday, September 2009, marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike making landfall and “spreading chaos and disaster”, and severely damaging our churches, homes, schools and communities, as they were in the process of being repaired or rebuilt from Hurricane Rita.” SHJ Bulletin 4 September 2009
WHEN/WHERE: Sunday 13 September 2009, 10:30 a.m. Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Creole, LA
1) The Liturgical Music ‘Team’:
Coordinator & Cantor ~ Bernadette Monlezun-Ponton
Co-Cantor ~ Constance Monlezun Darbonne
Keyboard ~ Eva Bellomo
Detail Process Person ~ Renee Reina
(Arriving at SHJ at 9:15 a.m. Sunday morning to set up in the choir loft prior to Rosary.)
Eva…When appropriate ‘On This Day, O Beautiful Mother’ for background…Mass of Creation
Entrance Song: You Are Mine (Music Issue p. 475)
Greeting and Sprinkling with Holy Water: 'Bless This Church O Lord We Pray'/Acappella
Gloria not cantored…
LITURGY OF THE WORD
Responsorial Psalm: Shelter Me O God (p. 478)
‘The sheep of my flock’ says the Lord
‘Hearing my voice, they will listen,
They will follow me, for I know them
They are mine.’
LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST
Preparation of the Gifts ~ Be Not Afraid (p. 434)
Preface ~ Rev. Uche chants
Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus!
The Great Amen
The Lord’s Prayer ~ Recited
Sign of Peace
Communion Song ~ Surely the Presence
Communion Meditation ~ Ave Maria
Invitation to Prayer
Recessional Song ~ City of God (p. 378)
Lead, Kindly Light!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve!
53 A) 14 September 2009 Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross
Dear Ones All!
Thank you for your gifts which joined in praising The Father in Gratefulness for the laying down of destructive tempest to date. In paraphrasing Fr. Uche …“to be vigilant is a constant reminder of our mortality on this side for eternity in heaven. And, “we can either drag our cross or carry our cross!” Amen! Merci Beaucoup Father for your vocation!
Stephanie’s invitation to minister in music and song emanates from her heart which was made to serve. The sanctuary was perfect and absolutely beautiful with a perfect focus from the choir loft in which to cantor to the organ’s celestial cords.
Every word of every song was selected with the people in mind while Eva and Constance brought the angels round and down into every heart present gently laying them in the palm of The Father’s hand and into the mantle of our Blessed Mother. This was the first organ sounds since Hurricane Rita. Mercy!
Eva’s niece was kind enough to company her to SHJ in plenty of time to help cart the organ upstairs as Eva reviewed every song and entrance prior to the Rosary. Merci!
Renee and her mother Madge Reina, tah-tahed us tending to the details and introductions as always. Merci! Ms. Madge, Fr. Uche and Stephanie were later interviewed by KPLC as to the profound meaning of Sunday’s Liturgy, the tenacity of the people and ongoing recovery from the storms. They were so very steady and articulate.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve! You have my respect and admiration.
Lead, Kindly Light! Bernadette Monlezun-Pontón
54) September 2009 Blessed 59th Birthday Dear Constance Victoria!
September 2009 Blessed 30th Birthday Dear Sarah Elizabeth!
As You Celebrate Your Birthday…
What could be wished for you to make this
birthday extra special? A little more health
or wealth or joy or peace? Or maybe more
hours in each day? You have so many
blessings and the treasure chest of wonder
God has given you overflows into the lives
So, what can others wish for you
that would be meaningful? How about
a prayer and a hope? A prayer that God
will give you even more gifts to bless your
life, and a hope that in God you will find
a richer faith, eternal refreshment and
overwhelming joy. In other words, a
birthday filled with all the blessings God
has for you because you are special to
him and He loves you.
I will offer 59 morning Masses beginning this morning for your intentions spoken and unspoken!
(I will offer 31 morning Masses for your intentions spoken and unspoken....one to grow on!)
We love you... Lead, Kindly Light!
Hectór Rafael, Anna Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo
FLAG FOLDING CEREMONY
The flag folding ceremony described by the Uniformed Services is a dramatic and uplifting way to honor the flag on special days, like Memorial Day or Veterans Day and is sometimes used at retirement ceremonies. Here is a typical sequence of the reading: (Begin reading as Honor Guard or Flag Detail is coming forward).
The flag folding ceremony represents the same religious principles on which our country was originally founded. The portion of the flag denoting honor is the canton of blue containing the stars representing the states our veterans served in uniform. The canton field of blue dresses from left to right and is inverted when draped as a pall on a casket of a veteran who has served our country in uniform.
In the Armed Forces of the United States, at the ceremony of retreat the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s honored dead. The next morning it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.
(Wait for the Honor Guard of Flag Detail to unravel and fold the flag into a quarter fold—resume reading when Honor Guard is standing ready.)
The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for his divine guidance.
The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
The sixth fold is for where out hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they are found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother’s day.
The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for him, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The twelfth fold, the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the son, and Holy Ghost.
When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”
(Wait for the Honor Guard of Flag Detail to inspect the flag—after the inspection, resume reading.)
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today.
THE FLAG FOLDING CEREMONY ABOVE IS FROM THE US AIR FORCE ACADEMY.
56) Dearest family and friends,
As you know, we will soon be moving to Lake Charles where David has already begun youth ministry for the parish of Our Lady Queen of Heaven. One of the first items on the agenda is for him to attend a retreat called ACTS. It is September 24th through 27th, 2009. One of the surprises that come with the retreat is that David will be receiving letters- letters from people that he knows and loves... allow this piece of an email that I received to explain:
"These Letters provide an opportunity for those family members, co-workers, friends or lost acquaintances to write David about the laughter, love and joy that he has brought. It is everyone’s time to raise him up and shower him with love. It is time to make note of his qualities that make you love him. It is time to celebrate and remind him of the gifts he bears. As he reads your words it will be his time to ponder the mystery of that love. It will be his time to feel most appreciated. "
I am requesting that, if you can find the time, to please write David and let this be an opportunity to tell him about what his life has brought to you.
Lastly --> IT IS A SECRET TO DAVID <--
Thank you so much for you love and support during this time of transition for us.
God Bless you! If you have any questions, please let me know! Kate Dawson
15 September 2009 Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows!
Your Mother-in-laws Fifty-ninth Birthday!!
David Charles Dawson ~ Earthly Father of John Paul and Baby Dawson and Husband to Katherine Anne Darbonne-Dawson ~
We are grateful to God that we were able to visit with your family in Brevard, NC and sit next to you at table!
Wonderful memories of the mountains and ice cream in its’ glorious clear air!
WELCOME to Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish! She will be a better place for you having served. We pray you all the faithfulness in the world as the word success is in The Father’s hands! St. Jane de Chantel said, “Nothing so impedes perfection in a vocation as wishing for another!” As you teach and do the ‘children’ will follow.
The dailiness of prayer before the house rises in supplication for your marching orders from The Father is what I teach; to listen! I know you have a listening ear, heart and mind when it is set to His will and way and that you and Katherine Anne can accomplish anything. Just look at the recent home dance!
It’s the daily emptying of oneself in order for one to be filled with Spirit for all of those divine interruptions! You know of this emptying, this listening, this gospel living in simplicity!
We will be with you boots on the ground in prayer, supplication, fasting and penance, Adoration, daily Mass and work in the Kingdom on this side.
The formation of these young people is where He wants you for now; just for this time, you have your divine assignment. Then their transformation in His time through you will be all to His honor and glory! He will not be outdone in your faithfulness.
Look what I found…I try to be Electronically Faithful!!....
Dear David Charles, Katherine Anne and Baby Dawson!
(www.leadkindlylight.net click 'Remembrances' #42 & 43!)
Blessing Prayer for a Mother With Child!
O Lord of All Life, hear our prayer as we ask Your blessing upon Your daughter, Katherine Anne, who has been given the marvelous gift of life to bear within her body. Bless ‘Baby Dawson’s’ father, David Charles as he companions this new mother through these months of life and that he continue by Your grace to care, protect and love the mother for all their days to come…the greatest gift to his child. They in turn will shepherd this child to heaven.
We rejoice in this gift and pray that this child, alive within her, may soon join us in the light of day. May this child be healthy of body, mind, soul and spirit. May both this child, now hidden from our eyes, and the mother be under Your divine care.
May the Mother of our Lord, Mary, all the saints, and all holy women and holy mothers of past ages be with you.
May the gentle spirits of sun, wind and rain, the promise of spring, and the beauty of flowers be your constant companions for this is the month of May, the month of our Blessed Mother.
May Her strength help you to carry this child so that when that hour, hidden from the beginning of time, finally arrives, this child of God may come forth into the world wrapped in love, joy and peace.
May the blessing of God, compassionate as a Mother, of God the Son and the Holy Spirit rest upon you and upon the child and her grandparents, Victor Wayne and Constance Victoria and David Charles, Sr. and Lisa Marie! Amen+
Lead, Kindly Light!
Uncle Hectór Rafael, Aunt Anna Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo
12 August 2008
On The Birth of Your Child...John Paul Dawson
Tiny toes and a little nose is only a small portion of the glorious gift of God you hold in your arms. The miracle of birth causes us to kneel in awe and humbleness as we see the evidence of God’s love and care. You hold a new life, and you will experience many new beginnings.
The one you hold will ask of you one thing only – all the love you can give. Enjoy God’s precious gift. Enjoy each precious moment. For children grow fast.
Treasure the time and trust God for guidance and direction. May the Lord of Life fill you with a new spirit of hope and dedication in which His love may be realized in your parenting.
Welcome, Dear Child of God...to your
WELCOME DAWSON FAMILY TO LAKE CHARLES
WHERE HE LEADS KINDLY! Aunt Bette and ‘Men’
+++Today’s Date: 6 October 2009
TO: The Germanfest Association & Grand Hensgens/Reiners [H/R] Families
FROM: Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
It was a blessed weekend experiencing all in reverence and thanksgiving to our ancestors in setting us squarely on the path to eternal life through the active incarnating of the Sacraments and gospel living through our faith foundation, nobility of work and daily prayin' for the families!!
Upon early arrival in Roberts Cove a visit was made to the church and in the cemetery standing at the flags waving on the graves of my great-grandparents on both sides in thanksgiving then headed to the H/R table to set up the electronics to do heritage!! And, we did as many young adult relatives came by for the laptops, scanners, printer, digital cameras were blazing! They were able to see their names in the Family Tree Maker program…O, the comments about what they remember from their elders and so proud!!! We will be printing more H/R family trees next year!
We scanned in pictures and data from forms filled out while answering questions, visiting, eating! …enjoying being with all.
Sunday found us celebrating the loveliest of Masses which is the very best way to begin Germanfest Sunday by lifting your solemn voice amongst all in choral unison and thanksgiving as one Body of Christ under the Big Tent rain or shine!!
Saturday and Sunday in the Folklore Tent Philip Fabacher, MD presented a thorough and fascinating ‘History of Roberts Cove!’ Following he, I began my Presentation ‘How to Compile a Family Heritage Sequence: Gather! Preserve! Make Relevant! Sustain!’by observing that the Benediction Chapel under the oaks to the south where in 1980 six thousand descendants of the 41 original German immigrants gathered to celebrate, St. Leo IV church behind me to the west, the cemetery across the way to the north and the German Heritage Museum to the east completed the heritage circle as arms that embrace all those who visit for this is holy ground.
…from the slides…The ‘library’ upstairs is the former kitchenette of my parents first shared space after marriage. My desk sits where their kitchen table sat and where they dreamed their first dreams together! My father breathed his last in the Girl’s Room which is now the German Heritage Room and is where I sleep as in the beginning! Music in the Front Room which is where my parents sang their first songs around the old piano and songs were taught to the children. In the Living Room at Christmas the tree sits in front of the 150 year old bench made by my Basque French great-grandfather, Dominique…
My electronic Web of Gratefulness emerges and I act from the heart!
I pray you peace and encourage you to link with the hand of your ancestors by prayer, thought, study or travel to their original land for your descendants. It is a way that makes infinite sense…”we drink from wells we did not dig. We sit by fires we did not light!” Live in a state of gratefulness, be watchful and wakeful, joy-filled reach out and serve with the gifts you have been given throughout the stages of your life. St. Jane de Chantel wrote, “Nothing so impedes perfection in a vocation as wishing for another.” Compilation of heritage is mine and I thank you for listening.
To cap it all off, Clarence Aloysius Berken was named by the International Rice Association ‘Farmer of the Year 2009!’ He will be aired on my diocesan television segment ‘Lead, Kindly Light’ Sunday at 6:30 am November 8, 2009! This segment is on the diocesan website www.lcdiocese.org!
Lead, Kindly Light!
ALLUS AUS LIEBE ZU GOTT! ALL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!
57. 6 April 2010 Easter Wednesday
Dear Mami, TT Theresa and Families Todos!!
Greetings from your Pontón family in Louisiana!
We pray you good health, happiness, faith and time enough to enjoy those you love!
Your grandson, Antoine Adolfo, is as wonderful and guapo as can be; is working which is always good (!) in Marketing and Events Coordinator for Downtown Raleigh, NC, is healthy with a gym membership, has many friends, drives a safe and blessed vehicle (!), resides in a safe and beautiful new condo in downtown with the photograph of his Abuela/s and parents at his home altar in his kitchen! I wrote a prayer for this new home (below) having moved him in February 2010 past and blessed with holy water the portal of each room! Cú will be visiting him for Father’s Day weekend ~ we’re taking turns! Antoine sang The Easter Triduum as a baritone as a three year member of the downtown Sacred Heart Cathedral Choir. He rehearses every Wednesday night! Isn’t that wonderful; he not only looks like his father but sings beautifully like him also!
He so enjoyed his trip to Australia November 2009 with friends and this year’s trip will be to the British Virgin Islands the day after your birthday Abuela! They are renting a sailboat of which Antoine will Captain!! (He will be 28 on the 24th of July and your son will be 74 on the 25th! I am now drawing Social Security as of this year!!) Antoine is so excited planning this trip; he has been able to enjoy an annual adventure once a year since college graduation. I will be in fervent prayer and you may join me, por favor!!
Your wonderful son continues to be the best husband and father this side of heaven. You raised a saint!! He continues to enjoy interpreting in the judicial system, weekly golf and sailing every chance available. He prepares fruit cups, frittatas, sopas, Cubanos, tostones, dishes con arroz y pollo/cerdo!! He is a delicious cook (!) just like you and learned your culinary art well. And, he cleans as he goes!! I make sure that he has everything he needs to do the best job possible!
He looks forward to talking with you every Sunday and more! He loves hearing your voice and kidding around with you!
Your gringa never stops! I am celebrating my 20th year in Catholic television, facilitate Silent Retreats in my ancestral home 45-minutes away as well as give Heritage Tours in the home for adults and 4th graders teaching ‘Why Heritage Matters!’ The inside of my Homemaker card is the main page of website and the 17 links that takes tending! Tracking family data is an area I love and soon will begin the Ponton tracking from Spain to PR! This will be the last family lineage line of 6 that I have done! I have just returned from a Benedictine Oblate Spiritual Day in Arkansas where I was invited to be the main speaker!! These are the Sisters who taught me in grammar and high school and I was thrilled to begin by encouraging them to take good notes as there would be a test after the talk!!! I spoke on the Dailiness of Prayer, Ordering the Home and Time Management with a Christian Perspective!!
Abuela, we love you and know that you are well cared for by your dear sister to whom we are so very grateful. That makes us happy. In heaven we will visit in the same language and will know all that has happened! The fact that we love much pleases The Father and our parents who have gone before us. We are doing as we were taught to the best of our ability. The Father knows the heart and blesses the efforts. Continue to pray of me as I pray for you.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Hector Rafael, your adoring son, Anna Bernadette and Antoine Adolfo, your children who love you.
57-a) 7 February 2010 Raleigh, NC
Father! Bless this new home that safely embraces our dear son Antoine.
Thank you for its roof and walls that will shelter him, its portals blessing everyone whose feet trod within, who enter and bless them as they leave going out into the world. Thank you for a protected place for his vehicle, a fireplace that will keep him warm and illuminating your love and wisdom for him, food stored for his body and good reading and technology for his mind, and plenty of light that will remind him that You are The Light for his world.
May Antoine’s home continue to be a safe haven for those who are troubled, sorrow-filled, feeling lost and forgotten that he may bring your love and compassion, Father, to those who find their way to him. Let him be your hands, your voice, your heart and ears for careful listening and tough love. Give others the ability to be grateful for that which they have experienced in your servant, Antoine and the desire to pray it forward.
Thank you for our Hectór who is always there for our son in every way; it will always be so for he truly loves him more than life itself. Thank you for Ms. Renee, our faithful friend, our true treasure who holds our hearts of gratefulness!
Thank you for Antoine’s health so that he may labor toward his goals in life. Continue to give him the desire to know Your will and way for him in this life so that he will be perfected to dwell with You in the next.
Thank you for his faithfulness in the practice of his Roman Catholic faith especially in this world of strife and false teachings which surround him on every side. Give him Your guidance as You abide in him for You are the way to eternal life. Amen!
“Bless this house, O Lord we pray
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout
Keeping want and trouble out.
Bless the roof and beams so tall
Let thy peace lie over all.
Bless us all that we may be
Ever open to joy and love.
Bless these windows shining bright
Letting in God’s heavenly light.
Bless our son who dwells within
Keep him pure and free from sin.
Bless us all that we may be fit O Lord to dwell with thee.
Bless us all that one day we may dwell O Lord with thee.”
58) 5 October 2010 Dear Ones ~ Germanfest Folk Singers and Musicians!
What glorious and lovely days indeed! Thank you for your heart, voice, being and soul in the two performances during Germanfest 2010!! The ancestors were rewarded for delivering your Novena straight to The Father Himself…they heard your singing at the top of your voices all the way to heaven! It was beautiful, exuberant, full, lively, on key and in rhythm! You should be especially proud of yourselves. And, you held your books up and never stopped smiling and enjoying the words you were praying forward for all…we are truly the Body of Christ making joyful sounds unto the Lord! You evidenced that this weekend past!
I appreciate Josie and Rusty’s work in organizing all for all! It is an annual pilgrimage toward the first and subsequent rehearsals plus the performances.
Renee and I visited with Joseph and Anna Kormesser after our last Sunday rehearsal. They were in fine spirits and were praying for us as we pray for them. I sang the ‘Benediction Song’ to the tune of Edelweiss and, well, his face was angelic as he is Austrian/American you know!!
It was wonderful seeing Blaise and Bernardine Leonards in the audience right up front and center singing and smiling and weeping with joy. We pray them forward appreciating their years of membership and heart for all things of their beloved Cove. Vincent Zaunbrecher, you gave your all our So Ein Tag with ne’er a blink but steady as she goes!!
Now we sing songs of prayer for them and all who need our one-voice-supplications as they face medical challenges known and unknown.
Thank you Simone and musicians for your fine rhythm and smiles! You fill us out albeit in a tight space! Simone, thank God your hand is being seen by an orthopedic surgeon and pray all will go well before, during and post-surgery Tuesday 26 October. You were beaming as you enjoyed your ‘family’ while holding us in rhythmic focus.
I continue to direct through the night in my sleep as I loved every minute …and, love each of you my Greater Family! Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our precious Roberts Cove Germanfest 2010.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Ponton, Anna 'Gertrude' Hensgens-Monlezuns' Daughter!!
59) A Wonderful Letter…enjoy the first small step…
To: firstname.lastname@example.org 19 October 2010
Dear Mrs. Monlezun-Ponton,
My husband and I attended this year's Germanfest and greatly enjoyed your presentation. I thank you for sharing your story and for the specific information on organizing and preserving the treasures. I am the daughter of a teacher and forester, wife of an engineer, and mother of university science majors, so you know our household loves specifics! My husband and I are both eldest children, and so have been "passed" the boxes of memorabilia. I was feeling quite overwhelmed, to say the least. "Just begin. Fan it out before you and it will begin to speak to you." Encouraged by your words, inspired and touched by your spirit, (exhale) I have begun.
Just today, I discovered this online resource. You may already know of it, but I wanted to share:
This site has many PDF files one can download or print. The documents are short articles (Conserve O Grams) about caring for treasures, published by the National Park Service, and intended for museums. There are details about tending to treasured furniture, papers, photos, taxidermy, archival cds....even about purchasing a proper vacuum cleaner!
I think it might make a good addition to the flyer you distribute after your presentation.
I was especially encouraged by your statement to begin where you are. Currently working on our own photo albums and personal documents (we are recent empty-nesters) for our children, little by little, I will venture into the real past. But, I have begun!
Preserve the past. Pray them forward. What a blessing you and your cousin are to your family! Thank you for sharing.
Outline of Presentation…
“A Family Heritage Sequence!”
Gathered Electronic and Print Data
is organized and scanned into a Sequence:
Death Card, Gravestone.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
60) 7 April 2010
Dear Mr. J.C. and Ms. Madge Reina and family,
Thank you for our memorable Easter time with you and yours! Once again we are at home with your wonderful hospitality, generosity in food, fellowship, your most delicious and perfect lemon pie and family camaraderie!
We knew Antoine was with friends round a table happy and content to share this joyful season with others which made our day all the more meaningful for we could concentrate on you and the Reina clan in happiness and contentment indeed!
Your one-pot-culinary-specialty is too-o good especially the thickest of gravies over even more pasta and potatoes and sausage, etc…!! And, as you noticed we really take our time with every bite!
Mr. J.C.’s Palm- Cross- On- Mat is with the others in my five-piece-collection and is perfect! I simply love them and see them daily.
Express our thanks to RoRisa for our ‘basket’ of goodies especially noting that she got my entire name on one egg! That is a sweet gesture…I love seeing the baskets all in a row. I’m taking the moss to Arthur Avenue for hanging on the swing porch! Also, I very much enjoyed visiting with Jimmy.
Hector cherishes his time with Mr. Reina showing him all growing things in the great outdoors on The Ridge.
You touched my heart with your beautiful words for your ‘fifth daughter.’ I am overcome. I want to be the youngest daughter for once and, yes, will serve the oldest four!! Boy, are the other two sorry they missed the moment and the news!!! I will also work consistently for years to be the Reina size; wish me luck!!
But most of all I want to pray, endure and thrive like you as the lady you are.
We love you…Lead, Kindly Light!
Hector Rafael and Anna Bernadette
P.S. Found a sweater for my eldest sister yesterday!!!
61) Look what I found through my mail slot!!! An invitation from my 15 year old niece, the 18th of 18 grandchildren the fifth of five nieces! I just love this!
Dear Aunt Bet (November 2010)
I am very excited to be in the midst of St. Louis High School. My classes are challenging yet exciting. I have been told that it is important to get involved, and I feel that I have taken that advice well. I remember when I was in the 3rd grade, and you played football with my class. You will forever be known as “Football Grandma.” I have grown up quite a bit lately, and I feel that you have contributed to that. You have taught be to put complete trust in God and love him fully. Thank you for this lesson. Finally, I invite you to Grandparents Day at St. Louis. I would love for you to share this exciting day with me!
P.S. This invitation is open to Aunt Renee (Reina) and Aunt Anne (Fautt) as well. I love you and admire you greatly.
62) …everyone wins!!
OUR LADY QUEEN OF HEAVEN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ~ PONTÓN LIBRARY DONATION FORM!
Librarian: Lady Jackie Bohdan…contact information
Donor/s Giving the Gift: Col. (Ret) and Mrs. Hector R. Pontón & Son
In the Name of :
Contact Information/Person/s Receiving Gift Donation Information:
Books or Materials that are needed _______
A Specific Book or Electronic Item _____
63. 20 June 2011
Greetings to the Pontón Women in Casa de Pontón from Familia de Pontón de Louisiana!
My heart is moved in gratefulness to you, Tanya, who has ‘stepped up to the plate’ to care for my suegra! I am deeply grateful as I remember the care my mother received as she was able to rest against the tender heart of The Father in complete freedom with little cares of her own as she had indeed earned it!
Your Uncle Cú smiles now after speaking with you and his dear mother knowing all is well and that she is happy in her little casa. Thank you. In that Cú is happy makes me very happy for he continues to be my light and heart as I respect and love him completely and deeply…32 years after you and your dear mother attended our wedding!!
I am very grateful to TT Teresa and her family members for their love and care of Mámí as they were together in their little mountain town of origin with the house of their parents within the shadow of their rooms. That is sacred ground.
I am so very grateful to your Tio Cano for his consistent, never-wavering, steadfast boots-on-the-ground support of my suegra! I am in awe of his goodness, humor, and grit to stay the course as a true and good son. I am honored to carry the same name as he!
I am thankful to your Tio Ramon for the years he helped Mámí while residing with her. He carried many a package to the post office for us wherever we were residing as a remembrance of home, from Mámí! I thank the Good Lord that he is cared for in a home by others who are there to serve; that his needs are met as he finds peace of heart, mind and soul as he, as we all, prepare each in own time to meet our God one day in His time. I pray for all who are in the caring profession.
I also know that your dear mother, Seffyn, stands ready to step in and share the load when you need and that is also an answered prayer. I smile in thanksgiving to think of the generations of which Cú has fondly spoken; Seffyn as the third generation, you as the fourth, Amanda as the fifth and the baby as the sixth! That is how the children learn to care for their own, by loving emulation.
I pray to Blessed Charlie Rodriguez of Caguas, PR for all of you, Uncles Cano and Ramon and their families that all know and live the faith of our forefathers/mothers. I am so happy Seffyn attended Catholic school for I know the sacrifice that it took for her foundational education. You are reaping the benefits of that foundation for The Father is never out done in your ministry of serving your own first.
Mil gracias for all you do and know that 24 hours a day Mámí is in our hearts and on our minds which means you and yours as well.
Lead, Kindly Light!
Anna ‘Bernadette’ Monlezun-Pontón
64. From: Stratford/Parkinson
Subject: A New Year's Greeting from the Parkinson/Stratford
Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 7:41 PM
Dear Friends and family,
Thank you for sharing your holiday letters and cards with us. We love seeing the pictures and stories of your lives. One letter we received this year contained a quote which encapsulated much of what we feel but do not always express:
"True friendships are lasting because true love is eternal. A friendship in which heart speaks to heart is a gift from God and no gift that comes from God is temporary or occasional." (Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love) (Thank you, Melissa)\
Our thought is that physical space does not separate the conversations of the heart. When you think of us, we hear it.
Always, Chuck and Suzanne
64-A) Dear Ones!
Greetings from South Louisiana!!
Blessed New Year! Merci Beaucoup for the wonderful update; beautiful and full-of-life family indeed!
Antoine is residing in Raleigh, NC and loves the environs very much...is an Associate Agent with Nationwide and networks in his sleep! Tis a natural I think!! He sails the Outer Banks every chance he gets and skis the mts. every chance he gets; many friends with requisite homes east and west so life is full and good indeed! He has gathered 9 friends for his 30th Bday in July and will Captain the leased sailboat in the British Virgin Islands which he did two years ago but this time only guys..."the girls whinned too much and brought hairdryers!!!!!!!!" He is unattached at this time for he was attached for 8 mos. which did not fly!! He said he will split the years between his parents' ages at the time of their marriage (30 and 41...do the math!!) Check him out ...he looks just like his father!
Hector translates part-time in the judicial system (federal and district court), sails, plays golf and at 75 is in tiptop shape, gracias a Dios! He talks with his 96 year old Mom every week in Puerto Rico!!
His wife stays as involved as ever www.leadkindlylight.net and click away especially 'Arthur Avenue' click 'The Front Room' where our relatives photos are on the Broussard/Miller Family Wall to include you, your Mom and Claire!!! If you all ever come this far south the house is yours and you may read the labels till your hearts content!!! Anne Fautt visits often as we run the roads often. I truly love her; she is a hoot, an elegant, classy hoot!!! She is a short walk from Arthur Avenue. You can see more pics that could hang over your bed like you had in D.C.!!!!
I am very involved in 'Heritage and Archival Special Collections' and make a PowerPoint presentation to Genealogical and Historical Library groups entitled "A Family Heritage Sequence" for all to be able to see what can be done with all that old stuff!...continue to travel to L.A. every Friday for 12 years now making order, teaching 4th grade classes about 'The Spirituality and Work of Heritage", retreating to read, write and think!! Also, facilitate Silent Retreats there and host "Arthur Avenue Heritage Tours!"
So this is a skip across the lives of we three as we celebrate 34 years of blissful matrimony this Saturday and thank God that we are healthy, AAP is contented in his life of serving others and that you 4 are finding your path & stride in a 'new nest' in that health and happiness has solidly visited you and abides in you.
SUZANNE LOUISE MONLEZUN,
THIRD OF THREE CHILDREN, BORN TO
DOMINIQUE JOSEPH AND TINA LOUISE KING-MONLEZUN
Dear One, 6 March 2012
The Father and His Blessed Mother are so pleased with you! They will continue to form you, bless you, abide in you and love you into the child of God that you are growing up to be for the world to know! And that is good for ‘to know Him is to love Him is to serve Him in this world and be happy with Him in the next!’
I am so humbled and privileged to be in your life and marvel at your developing into a beautiful young lady inside and out…by His love and grace! He is so very pleased with you and so is MawMaw and PawPaw Monlezun and King!
You were raised right and I am grateful to your dear parents and brothers that have firmly formed the Body of Christ in your hearts and home.
These are the words of a song sung at my Confirmation taught by the ‘Good Benedictine Goretti Sisters!’ I have hummed it throughout my life and will teach it to you!!
I’m a soldier in Christ’s army
Confirmation made it so.
As a soldier in Christ’s army
I’ll profess my faith wherever I go.
No, the devil shall not harm me
I’m the captain of my soul.
I’m a soldier in Christ’s army
Marching to my heavenly goal,
I’m a soldier in Christ’s army
Marching to my heavenly goal!
See you at MawMaw’s house for I want to hear about everything that you want to tell me…as always and forever!! The summer is on its way and there is work to be done and many books to read about your profession of faith!!
I love you more than life itself.
LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT!
Aunt Bette, Uncle Héctor and Antoine!!