March 3, 2019
How good and pleasant it is when
Brothers dwell together as one.
—Psalm 133, 1
The Trumpet sounds: Let the 50th Year be hallowed–JUBILEE!
It’s the last Sunday before Lent, and our Chapel has been carefully prepared for our big Celebration today, our 50th Anniversary Day. By 3:30, residents and visitors are beginning to arrive and by 4 pm our Sacred Heart Chapel is pretty much filled and Jim McCarthy asks us to stand and greet our Presider, Father Jim Schultz and open our hymnals to Come Let Us Worship the Lord. From the first reading from Leviticus 25, 8-12, we hear: Count seven times seven years, a total of forty-nine years. Then on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement, send someone to blow a trumpet throughout the whole land… set the fiftieth year apart and proclaim freedom to all the inhabitants of the land… the whole year shall be sacred for you… And so the theme for this 50th Anniversary Year of Unity Acres is one of Jubilee. For here at the Acres men come and can leave behind their addiction to alcohol and drugs and are set free. As in our closing song Jubilee, Jubilee, Jesus is our Jubilee. Debts forgiven, slaves set free. Jesus is our Jubilee. And in the second reading from Hebrews 12, 18-24: the people have come to Mount Zion and to the City of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem… to the joyful gathering of God’s first born, whose names are written in heaven… to Jesus, who arranged the new Covenant. The Gospel from Matthew 14 begins with Jesus leaving in a boat to a lonely place to be alone after hearing of John the Baptist’s death but people followed Him by land and when He saw them, His heart was filled with pity for them and He healed the sick. And then when it became late, He took five loaves and two fish and giving thanks to God, blessed and broke the loaves and gave them to the Disciples to distribute to the crowd and after everyone ate and had enough, twelve baskets were left over. The food that comes into Unity Acres Dining Room feeds our multitude as Bob Angel used to say. Gary Christie who left us for his heavenly reward in January fed thousands during his seventeen years in our kitchen. And as Psalm 122 responds I rejoiced when they said, let us go to the House of the Lord. Our men and ourselves rejoice as we have come to Unity Acres, a house of the Lord.
Following Mass, our visitors and residents proceed to the Dining Room in the Star Building where Roger and the kitchen staff has prepared a beautiful meal. The Dining Room is soon filled with a happy, noisy crowd. The tables have been set with green napkins and gold-foil covered treats at each place setting. After everyone has found a place to sit, Father Schultz says the grace in which we all join. Roger serves the baked ziti and bread. John T. serves the green salads, Al L. and Billy C. serve iced tea and water, while Tom W. is keeping control of the kitchen. After everyone has been served dinner, John and Billy serve Mary’s freshly baked apple pie — with ice cream, and lemon pie with whipped cream. From the compliments received it would appear that the meal has been a great success. It’s worth noting that this was Roger’s first big event since Gary’s unexpected death. Roger and Gary were great friends, and they worked together frequently in the kitchen.
Our sincere thanks to all present for taking past part in our celebration–It was great seeing you here! And a big thanks especially to Father Schultz for leading us at Mass and in our prayer on our Jubilee day.
February 10, 2019
To all these qualities add love, which binds all
things together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of God control your hearts,
the peace into which you were all
called in one body. And be thankful.
—Colossians 3, 4-15
In a little less than three weeks, on the first Sunday in March, we commemorate the anniversary of Unity Acres’ founding. This year it’s our Jubilee Year—50 years from the day on March 3, 1969, when Father Ray McVey, accompanied by 5 very trusting men, made the big move from Huron Street on the West-side of Syracuse to the old and abandoned TB Sanitarium in rural Northern Oswego County, in snowy Orwell.
As we prepare for the upcoming celebrations—a liturgy here on March 3, our Fund-raiser dinner in Syracuse in May, our annual picnic in August—I also want to reflect a little on our experiences of the last several weeks and months—both joyful and very sad experiences.
Since the October Newsletter there are many that we should recognize and thank. The Hermann Family, our neighbors from across the road came over on Halloween to greet the men as they gathered for supper. These good folks have been doing this for years. The entire family, Grandma, Grandpa (Betty & Albert) plus daughters, sons-in-law and children in their Halloween garb, come with Halloween treats for the men. What a beautiful way to train children to be kind to others. We wish God’s healing blessings on Albert and Betty and the whole family.
On November 10th, a Saturday, we buried the ashes of Dave Wood, who had died in Syracuse early in 2018. Dave Pasinski, one of our board members, presided at the burial. Dave had stayed with us at the Acres, off and on, for many years, and during his stays very willingly pitched in in the kitchen—always glad to help. He’d been living for quite a few years in Eastwood, and died at the old James Square, after a brief illness. Rest in Peace, Dave.
At the end of the graveside service, and in honor of the many veterans buried in our cemetery, Dave’s friend Richard recited the John McRae poem, In Flanders Fields. The following morning, in chapel, and as part of our Veteran’s Day (Armistice Day—Remembrance Day) observance, we again recited In Flanders Fields, and prayed for peace in our troubled world.
Our last newsletter was dated in October, and of course, since that date, we celebrated the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with a lot of help from friends, supporters and donors whose gifts of food and presents helped to make our celebrations happy ones. Christ Our Light parish in Pulaski, once again, provided for the men’s annual Christmas party in early December, and several parishioners attended the party to serve, and ‘to be one with us’ that day. The dinner was a roast beef—done to perfection.
Similarly, we have received from various donors and friends many, many food donations including countless loaves of bread, canned goods, cookies and Christmas gifts organized through the Agape Fellowship Church in Lafargeville; turkeys, hams and many other food items through Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Baldwinsville; wrapped Christmas presents from Cortland; more such gifts from the Elks Club in Oswego; a delivery of turkeys and other food items received through the Lowville VFW; bags of Christmas presents from Saint Mary’s in Skaneateles; cooked dinners sent over from Saint James’ Church in Pulaski; warm socks from Saint Leo-St Ann in Holland Patent; fresh produce and dairy through the regular food-give-away at the Sandy Creek United Methodist Church… It’s been like Christmas and Epiphany all rolled into one: bearing gifts they traverse afar. This is by no means an exhaustive list—we just want to acknowledge the generosity we receive so regularly from so many, and to express our gratitude.
And we thank the many people who responded so generously to our fall fund raiser letter in November, and to all who sent monetary gifts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Seasons. Your gifts are greatly appreciated.
As we do every year, we distribute presents to the men, after enjoying what has become for us the traditional evening Christmas Eve meal: Spaghetti and Meatballs. During the day, as the meal is being prepared, the presents are arranged around a Christmas tree which has been set up in the middle of the dining room; after everyone has eaten, each man receives a large bag of gifts, and smaller bag full of various snacks.
Christmas morning arrived cold and bright, with fresh snow, clear skies, and a nearly full moon hanging low in the western sky. Our dinner was served at noon: Turkey with all the trimmings—delicious! And after everyone had eaten, there were still other presents to be distributed to the men. And again, on New Year’s, still another feast.
Our celebrations were happy ones, but tinged with sadness at the absence of Father Jones, and also in the absence of Mary-Agnes Roy, our long-time organist. During these past weeks the reading from 1st Corinthians 12 has reminded us that we are many parts of one body….that if one part suffers, all suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy. So it is with our little Community here at Unity Acres: we have been saddened and concerned at the sudden, traumatic and very serious illness that struck Steve Fleming, only a few weeks ago [thanks be to God, he is doing very well now, settled back home with family in Saratoga County]. And about Rick Husner who is suffering from a serious chronic condition, and is now in an assisted living facility outside Rochester.
Joe Cardone who died on Christmas Eve in Oswego. He had been a resident for many years at the Pontiac Nursing Home – he was admitted there perhaps ten years or more ago. Joe will be buried at our Saint Martin de Porres in the spring. Father Schultz from Christ Our Light Parish in Pulaski kindly agreed to celebrate Joe’s funeral mass. Few of the men currently at the Acres knew Joe, but we managed to share some happy memories at the calling hours at Summerville Funeral Home in Sandy Creek with some staff members from the Nursing Home and … I remember Joe as a happy man, who liked to laugh.
We have suffered much this past year at the loss of Father Jones and Mary Agnes Roy, but God does provide. We acknowledge our Frank Ellinger who now leads us every Sunday morning in a beautiful Liturgy of the Word with Eucharist. On the morning of Thanksgiving day we presented Frank with a plaque with the words, ‘In appreciation for your outstanding achievement and spiritual devotion in his service.’ ‘Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven’ [Matt 5,12].
When the composition of this present newsletter had begun, in late January, on the 27th, in the first draft Peg referred to that Sunday’s reading from Nehemiah: ‘Do not be saddened this day…’. And we have been trying to take this word to heart.
But another heavy concern was then troubling also our hearts. Gary Christie, known to many of you our readers, and to most visitors to Unity Acres, had been taken by ambulance early on the morning of January 7 to Oswego Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery before being transferred to Saint Joe’s. Gary received excellent care while at Saint Joe’s, but was critically ill, and we were warned that recovery was unlikely. Gary died peacefully during the late evening of Tuesday January 29. Steve, Loretta, and Roger were with Gary throughout that last day, and were able to say a last good-bye to him, and pray over him as he was dying.
Gary has been part of the Acres since first settling here in 2002, after the death of his mother with whom he had been living in Presidential Plaza in Syracuse. During his first few years at the Acres, Gary learned to cook, learning much from Doug Stevenson, who was then ‘in charge’ of the kitchen. After Doug’s leaving the Acres, Gary gradually [probably not so gradually] became the long-time head of the kitchen. Other cooks have come and gone during the last 15 or more years, but Gary has been the one who would reliably take charge and show up. [I’m trying not to say he was the one left holding the bag, but often enough that’s more or less how it’s been.] Roger & Steve tried to spend as much time as possible at the hospital, and were frequently accompanied by Loretta, and by Bill Kimball who did most of the driving back and forth. We are thankful to the men, who in Gary’s absence, have stepped up and have continued to provide nourishing meals for everyone here.
Father Schultz from Christ Our Light again kindly agreed to celebrate the funeral mass. The readings were chosen with special care: From Isaiah 25, ‘On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide all peoples, a feast of rich food’ … From Matthew 25, ‘For I was hungry, and you gave me food…’ These readings from the Scriptures exemplify the kind of man Gary was and the life he led, and we can be confident that Gary, with his servant’s heart, has been met with these words: ‘Come you who were blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom…’
In the spring, Gary’s body will be taken to Assumption Cemetery, to be buried in the family plot, next to his mother.
We thank you for all your help and appreciate your prayers for those who are struggling, for those who have died, and for those who mourn. Again we quote Ezra the Priest from Nehemiah, ‘Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength’ and so in this year 2019, our fiftieth year, our Jubilee year, we will rejoice in the Lord who is our strength.
Peg McCarthy, Steve Dickhout
October 16, 2018
Let your mercy come to me, O Lord,
salvation in accord with your promise
—Psalm 119, 41
The month of October sneaked up on us and now we are nearly in the middle of this colorful month, such a beautiful time of year. Labor Day marks the end of the State Fair and pretty much the end of the summer with children returning to school. Before we know it, the leaves are turning, the air is refreshingly cooler and the fisher men and women are gathering in the river and streams of Pulaski. The stores, motels and businesses all welcome those who come with their reels and poles and waders with hopes of taking home their quota of salmon. Fall is definitely in the air.
Here at Unity Acres, there is the scurrying and getting ready for colder weather. The boilers were attended to by our Bear Foote this week-end and we are feeling the welcome warmth of these furnaces. Soon the plastic will be surrounding the porches of A Building and the Bricks Coffee Shop. Mark and Roger have been busy with another mowing and Jerry continues his painting of the porch and ramp of the Annex. The air conditioner and fans have been removed from the Chapel and hot soup greets us at lunchtime in the dining room. Days are getting shorter and before long daylight saving time will make its exit for another year as we begin to hear words like “lake effect”! Also looking forward to Loretta’s return after a much deserved “sabbatical”.
We were treated to a Bar B Que by the Camden Knights of Columbus two weeks ago along with a trio who entertained us during the meal and beyond. They promise to return for another concert. They played blue grass with Guitar, Bass and Dobro. They were good! Both the meal and the music were enjoyed by all.
Later this month we are expecting a group from St. Mary’s Parish in Oswego to put on a hearty luncheon for us and these folks are very much appreciated, we’re not sure but believe they are the Confirmation class of that parish. Will report at a later date.
Tuesday, October 23 will mark Father Jones’ birthday. He would have been 84 this year and to mark the event, we hope to celebrate Mass at four o’clock that day. After Mass, Father’s Jones’ photo will be added to our ‘memorial’ gallery of photos of Father Ray McVey, Kate Stanton, Bill Spurrier (Brother Marcellus) and Carol Guthrie. Father McVey and Kate founded and led Unity Acres from its inception in 1969 until their deaths six months apart in 1995. Carol and Bill were part of the leadership at the Acres in 1991 when Father Jones’ (and Peg’s and Steve’s) involvement first began, and continued here for many years afterward—Carol served at the Acres until poor health gradually forced her retirement during the early 2000s, Bill served until his sudden death in 2008. Their photos grace the entrance way to our main building, B Building which houses the Chapel, Sacristy, Office, Phone Room, Dormitory and many resident rooms. The photos surround the words IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH, which has been the motto of Unity Acres all these years. Above all hangs a crucifix, which signiﬁes our faith in Christ as our Savior and Brother.
As we stumble along without Father Jones, we are blessed with our longtime resident Frank Ellinger who has been Sacristan and Altar Server for all these years since joining our Community in 1979 along with Brother Marcellus and Bob Angel. Frank leads us every week in a beautiful Liturgy of the Word with Eucharist. Occasionally we have a priest to celebrate Mass and consecrate our hosts. Thank you Frank. You are a true blessing to us.
September 9, 2018
Here we are three weeks since our Annual Unity Acres Outdoor Mass and Picnic. This year marked a difficult one for us as it was the first one in many years without our beloved Chaplain, Father Robert Jones. Father Jones had been with us since the fall of 1991 and shared in the annual picnic beginning the summer of 1992 when the ‘Torch’ was passed from Father Raymond McVey.
Father McVey’s retirement from Unity Acres was of short duration – only six months. He returned to the Acres in January of 1993, but his health failed in March 1995 and he passed on from his illness shortly thereafter on April 21 of that same year. And so Father Jones had been our Chaplain ever since, until his passing on July 22, 2018. It is difficult and painful carrying on without him.
This year we were privileged to have our dear friend from the days of St. Francis Farm in the 90’s, Father Tom McNamara, O.F.M.Cap. to preside at our Mass. Father Tom was well received and all enjoyed his homily urging us to not be afraid to get our hands dirty and stepping out of our comfort zone and to take the road less traveled. Father is a Franciscan, Capuchin priest and pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in New York City. He has a longtime association with Unity Acres and St. Francis Farm and had a close friendship with Father Jones, Father Moritz Fuchs and Father Ted Sizing. The Mass and Picnic this year was held on August 19 which was Father Ted’s birthday and the 2nd month anniversary of Father Fuchs’ death. It was in Loving Memory of Father Jones and included tributes to Fathers Sizing and Fuchs.
Our Director Steve Dickhout welcomed all to this annual occasion and explained to those who had not heard, that Father Jones had passed on after having been in Seneca Hill Manor for four months after a fall and subsequent cerebral hemorrhage. Also that we usually would have had our beloved long time organist Mary Agnes Alrutz-Roy leading us in a gathering song, but that Mary Agnes had just died in St. Ann’s Rehab Facility in Rochester after months of struggling with a brain tumor.
Following the theme of this year, our Mass opened with Jim & Deirdre McCarthy leading us in Dan Schutte’s “If the Lord does not build a house, then in vain do the builders labor”. We pray that our house here at Unity Acres has been built by The Lord and The Lord will keep us going for many years to come.
The first reading delivered by Steve was from the Prophet Isaiah, Chapter 25, Verses 6,7-9, “On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples. On this mountain, He will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over all nations; He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces….” This reading from Isaiah speaks to us especially at this time of grief on our part.
IF TODAY YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS from Psalm 95 we answer Jim during the Responsorial… “we are the people He shepherds, the flock He guides. Let us sing joyfully to the Lord, let us come into His presence with thanksgiving….”
And again following our theme for the year, the 2nd Reading done by Bill Kimball was from 1st Peter, Chapter 2, Verses 5-8, “And now you have become living building stones for God’s use in building His house… see I am sending Christ to be the carefully chosen, precious cornerstone of my church, and I will never disappoint those who trust in Him.” We pray that we don’t reject Him, “The same stone that was rejected by the builders that became the Cornerstone, the most honored and important part of the building.”
ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA ―A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John, Chapter 21, Verses 1-18. “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus asked Peter ‘Do you really love me’, ‘Lord you know I love you, and Jesus answered ‘Feed my Sheep’”― three times Jesus asked Peter, and three times Jesus said to Peter, ‘Feed my lambs, feed my sheep’. The Gospel started out with the disciples fishing to no avail until Jesus instructed them to cast their nets over the right side and their nets were full and then they ate breakfast with Jesus. This Gospel passage ends with words that have struck a prophetic message to Father Jones, ‘Amen I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go were you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.’ Father Jones lived these words of Scripture in his final illness and has now been released from that suffering.
During the Offertory, Carey Landry’s beautiful song Do You Really Love Me repeated beautifully in song the dialogue between Jesus and Peter and the final verse asks all of us “Do you really love me, Jesus said to me, Yes we really love you, we will follow you. Then feed my sheep He said, My people feed my sheep.” These words speak to you and me. We must follow Jesus and on the way tend to and feed His sheep, our fellow people.
The Mass progresses through the Prayer of the Faithful and the powerful words of the Canon and then all join hands in the Lord’s Prayer and finally proceed to receive the Bread of Life, the Body & Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, left for us as an eternal covenant. Strains of Weston Priory’s Come to Me fill our campus as the faithful receive this living bread, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy burdened, and I shall give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you’ll find rest for your souls. Yes my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” These words and this song were favorites of Father Jones, words that sustained him through life and are printed on his prayer card.
Before closing and after the Communion Song, we all join with Jim & Deirdre in another of Father’s and that is the Garden Song by David Mallett and was sung as a special tribute to Father and all our gardeners, Fr. Fuchs, St. Francis Farm, Frs. Ted and Tom and our Henry. “Inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow… someone bless these seeds I sow, someone keep them warm below, ’till the rain comes tumbling down.”
Father Tom leads us in the Closing Prayers of this holy Mass and time devoted to Father Jones with Fathers Fuchs and Sizing also in our hearts and we then join in Padre’s theme song: “SMILE, DON’T YOU KNOW GOD LOVES YOU, COME TO THINK OF IT I LOVE YOU TOO, TAKE THE TIME TO SMILE AT SOMEONE AND BEFORE YOU’RE THROUGH, SOMEONE WILL BE SMILING BACK AT YOU.”
We will try to keep smiling, Padre. It’s not easy but we must remember the words of the 2nd verse, “Do you ever feel that you are all alone? Remember God’s love for you is strong, and soon your heart will sing this happy song”.
And now the Assembly moves over to the STAR Building where a picnic feast of Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Salads, beans, corn, fresh tomatoes from our garden along with scrumptious desserts and plenty of soda await the hungry crowd. All of this lovingly prepared and arranged by our kitchen crew along with Loretta and Mary, and helping to serve were Helen, Joan, Kathy and Bill, Gary, Roger, John, Tom, Al, and Lou.
A video presentation rolls on in the Pool Room arranged by photographer Bob W. along with Bear Foote. Also collages of photos and articles grace the dining room, reminding us of times past.
We try to visit with each guest but the time goes by so fast that before we know it people are heading for their vehicles and our annual outdoor Mass and Picnic are history for another year. We thank all of you that are such faithful followers and supporters of Unity Acres. We are planning and looking forward to the 50th Anniversary next Spring.
God Bless you.
August 1, 2018
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”—Matthew, 11, 28-30
Many of you will have perhaps already learned of our sad news concerning Father Jones. Father Jones died early on the morning of Sunday, July 22, at the Manor at Seneca Hill Nursing Home, in Oswego. He had been admitted to the Manor subsequent to a fall during the morning of Palm Sunday. Peg maintained a continuous watch over Father’s progress, and we continued to hope that he might be well enough and strong enough to return to the Acres, until Father’s health took a sudden turn for the worse on Friday the 20th. During the day Saturday, Father’s sick-bed was attended by friends and family. During the late evening of Saturday through Sunday morning, Peg, Loretta, and Steve sat vigil with Father Jones until his death at 3.35am, while Bear kept watch over the Acres.
The following days are a bit of blur, as plans for liturgies and arrangements were made: calling hours and the Vigil for Priests at Saint Lucy’s, funeral mass at Unity Acres, and burial at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Dewitt. We are so grateful to everyone who attended the services both here and in Syracuse: your presence was a consolation! And we regret the oversights we made in failing to call or email people whom we should have contacted.
The vigil and funeral mass were intended to give honor and recognition to Father Jones for his 58 years of service as a priest, and for his long-time service at Unity Acres which began in 1991. In keeping with Father’s sunny disposition, there was laughter, as well as tears, the sharing of anecdotes, and an account of the origins of Dr. Gootch’s (in)famous ‘Binomial Theory.’
During the graveside service, Father Jones was laid to rest next to the graves of his mother and father and his well-loved brother Don. A small container of soil from our Saint Martin de Porres Cemetery had been fetched and emptied onto the casket and into the grave, so that a part of Unity Acres could be made part of Father Jones’ final resting place.
Father Bob: May the angels greet you, and bring you to that place of rest and refreshment, where Lazarus is poor no longer. Rest in Peace.
Steve for the UNITY ACRES COMMUNITY
June 27, 2018
Our last newsletter was dated February 25, and in that letter we talked about various building projects past, present, and future, with the promise to provide more details in the coming months, both in the newsletters and on the projects tab.
Also, we announced the time and the place of the then-upcoming annual ‘friend-raiser’ dinner: April 19 at All Saints Parish in Syracuse ― with the theme, You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house. We had in mind when settling on that theme that we would be devoting our time and resources during the spring to the completion of certain necessary repairs to the ‘Brick Building.’
We were also then preparing a quiet commemoration of Unity Acres’ 49th anniversary on March 3rd, with the intent of a more extensive celebration of our 50th anniversary during 2019.
Subsequent to our last mailings, though, and early in the morning of Palm Sunday, Father Jones suffered a fall in his room, which led to a 911 call, transportation by ambulance to Oswego Hospital, and from there to the ICU at University Hospital in Syracuse where remained until the Wednesday of Holy Week. Then followed an admission to the Manor at Seneca Hill Nursing Home in Oswego for rehabilitation. He was close to the point of discharge from the Manor, until a set-back on April 4 necessitated Father’s being re-admitted to Oswego Hospital until the following Monday. He returned to the Manor, where he has been ever since, working hard at PT, OT and Speech Therapy. During all this time, Peg McCarthy has been an unwavering support and advocate for Father Jones, while Debbie Carnes has increased her availability and presence here at the Acres – thanks Deb!
Father has been able to take a few day-passes from the Manor, including two visits to the Acres, and a few other social occasions. As of today’s date, we anticipate (and are looking forward to) Father’s return to the Acres in July. The last three months have taken a great toll on him, and on Peg, and on our little community at large as well. Father’s daily presence here (and Peg’s) have been greatly missed so we will be glad to have him home soon.
Our annual celebration of Unity Acres took place as scheduled with Dave Pasinski as our Em-Cee and principle organizer, with Nick Orth of Friends of Dorothy as our caterer, and Father Fred Daley and the people of All Saints as our hosts. It was a great pleasure to spend time with and share a meal with caring and generous supporters; to have a few moments to share memories and hopes for the future, to remember those who have come before us and those of our men we’ve lost during the last year.
Honorees for the evening were Mike and Elaine Crough, and Loretta Dickhout (my mother). Mike and Elaine have been involved with the Acres for many years, with Elaine serving currently as a member of our board and Mike as our former president, and ‘smart lawyer-friend’ who guided Unity Acres through the process of incorporation in 1999-2000. My mother shared her story of first visiting Unity Acres with her friend JoAnne, during the early 1970s, never supposing that she would be as deeply involved here as she has over years since ‘retiring’.
Elaine, Mike and Loretta received as a token of the appreciation of the evening’s organizers beautiful plaques each inscribed with a message of love and gratitude, and each bearing a photo of the ‘Stone Chapel’.
Later that evening, Bear Foote, who had been on duty at the Acres, and therefore absent from the dinner, received a similar plaque in recognition of his service to the Unity Acres community.
KATE STANTON: HONORED AT ST. LUCY’S
Around the same time as arrangements were being made for the dinner at All Saints, we learned from Dave that Kate Stanton was to be honored by Saint Lucy’s Church in Syracuse. Her photo would be added to Saint Lucy’s ‘Path of the Peacemakers’ – this honor coincided closely with what would have been Kate’s 100th birthday on April 24 this year.
Kate has been part of the story of Unity Acres from the very early days in the late 1960s, joining with Father McVey, Father Ted Sizing, Frank Woolever and many others in the first efforts to acquire the old TB Sanitarium property in Orwell which we have occupied since March 3, 1969. Kate spent the next 25 years of her life dealing with endless problems, bringing order out of chaos, begging, organizing, praying, until the day of her death on October 21, 1995. How appropriate that Kate would be remembered at Saint Lucy’s—a church she loved so well. Thank-you, Saint Lucy’s!