A few days ago the Church celebrated the feast of Saint Isidore, Patron of Farmers. The Mass starts as we pray, Lord God, all creation is yours, and you call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us. May the example of St. Isidore urge us to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of humankind. In the Gospel of Matthew we are directed to be good stewards of our land and resources. And here at the Acres on this exceptionally beautiful day, sunny, pleasantly warm and blue sky, I hear the sounds of the men working on the lawns while preparations are being made to ready the garden for sowing seeds to grow our vegetables. The men in the kitchen are preparing supper for us —can you imagine cooking meals for 77—79 people!! Talk about sharing food with the hungry! This being done three times a day, seven days a week! We give thanks for God’s many blessings on us here in our little community.
A month ago we celebrated 41 years of life here at Unity Acres with a delightful dinner at Le Moyne Manor in Liverpool. Nearly three hundred supporters of this Community founded by Father Ray McVey gathered to celebrate Father Ray’s and Kate Stanton’s lives as well as Carol and Jerry Berrigan who have been a part of this ministry since its start. We are grateful to many for their parts in arranging this most enjoyable evening. Le Moyne Manor was chosen for this special occasion because of its ministry under Father Peter Young of the Albany Diocese who saw a need among addicted inmates who had no support system when released and started support programs throughout New York State from Brooklyn to Buffalo —THE, Treatment, Housing & Employment, the Employment being at Le Moyne Manor. Father Young as our keynote speakermade us aware of the needs out there and what has been done so far to meet them. So many thanks are in order to those who worked so hard to make this dinner such a wonderful celebration. Kris and Dan you did it again. Dick Ford, you provided us with lovely piano music. And our several women came through again with week after week of planning and mailings. Too many names to mention but you know who you are and how much we appreciate and love you. Also to Bob for his handcrafted prizes. And to Le Moyne Manor and its many workers, we say thank–you for a delicious meal and for your hard work in serving three hundred diners. We also note here that nearly thirty of us from the Acres again enjoyed our bus trip to the dinner with our very able driver Cindy of the Sandy Creek School District!
In our April Newsletter, Father Jones began to describe the transformation taking place in our Sacred Heart Chapel here at the Acres. On February 3, the day after Father’s 50th Anniversary of Ordination, several of our men began the work of renovating our beloved Chapel. This project included removing old wall paper, painting the walls, woodwork and ceilings, taking up the pews and bringing them over to the ‘A’ Building work shop, removing the dark stain and refinishing them in their natural wood grain, repairing the floors and installing new floor tiles and now about to reinstall the rest of the pews in the north section of the Chapel, the south section having been ready for Palm Sunday and Easter. Ten men took on this project and we are so very proud of them and appreciative of their most professional work. Like the workers in the vineyards (Mt.20), some of these men put in many more hours than others, but this was a cooperative effort with many hands doing much work. The men are proud of their work, as well they should be. They have been a blessing to the Chapel and we pray the Chapel has been a blessing to them.