I am happy to tell you that the baby whom his mother — my niece
Kathleen — referred to as Tiberius Vladimir during her pregnancy was
born between 2 and 3 a.m. on October 29. Now that he has left the
comfort of his mother’s womb and is visible to the world, he is known
as Kevin James.
The little one is healthy as can be and has absolutely enchanted his
mother and dad. He had a similar effect on me when I saw him at St.
Peter’s Hospital late on Thursday afternoon. Mark and Kathleen very
generously let me hold Kevin for quite a while. It was a moment that
I’ll remember for a long time.
Kathleen and Kevin are home now, and Kathleen is recovering nicely.
My sister is lending a hand while Kathleen gets fully back on her
I should tell you that I came closest to guessing Kevin’s day of
birth and so won the family pool. Not only do I share in the joy of his
arrival, but also I am $16 richer for it.
Thanks very much for your prayers for Kathleen and her beautiful new
baby, and for your interest in their well-being.
There was a second purpose to that trip to Albany: to participate in
a Friday celebration in honor of Bishop Hubbard’s 65th birthday. It was
a joyful gathering of friends, many of whom I have known for years. If
Howard minded turning 65, he certainly didn’t show it. He went through
the evening gracefully and in peaceful spirit.
The rest of the weekend was most enjoyable. On Saturday morning I
went to the new motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph for the solemn
dedication of their new chapel. I have always loved the Rite of
Dedication. I find it to be a rich source of meditation on our faith
and, especially, on the relationships to Christ and one another we live
out. And, I am always pleased to celebrate the rite with people who
have never experienced it before. For many who participated on
Saturday, it was a first-time experience.
The day was a special moment of celebration for our sisters and for
all those who so generously supported them in making this dream become
A celebration of a different, but no less joyful kind, occupied the
evening hours. I refer to a celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary
celebration of Mary Ellen and Tom Maguire. Mary Ellen and Tom have been
good friends for a long time, and I was deeply pleased when their
children invited me to join the party.
I want to tell you that the Maguire kids are a spirited group who
filled the evening with fun and good humor, and loving and deeply
respectful tributes to their mother and dad. To be with them was to be
with a group who clearly worked very hard together to be family, but
who made it look so easy. I thank all of the Maguires even as I
congratulate Mary Ellen and Tom and wish them many more happy years
On Sunday, I visited the Catholic community at Cornell University.
There were three parts to this delightful evening — Sunday liturgy
with the community, a reception following the Mass and a supper with
several faculty members and Father Bob Smith, chaplain to the
I loved every piece of it; it would be difficult not to enjoy the
company of such gifted, faithful, and searching young people. They
brought a spirit of prayerful reverence to worship and a joyful spirit
to the conversation that followed.
My one regret about the evening is that I could not stay longer at
supper. At the table were — among other very interesting people — a
theoretical physicist, a theologian, a medical doctor, a law school
professor, a historian, a professor of evolutionary biology and a
director of alumni relations.
You can believe, I am sure, that I had a good deal to think about
and much for which to be grateful as I drove home at the end of the
Peace to all.