December 31, 2002

31 December 2002

Bonjour everyone from New Orleans. I said farewell to Chicago with my hat, scarf and gloves and I have hit the French Quarter of this city wearing summer gear. Don't get me wrong. Chicago is a beautiful city but I don't go the cold too much.

The Marists have made me very welcome. They have a lovely home in the Garden District which is not far from the city. I have been riding the street car into the city everyday. I have done all the touristy things: enjoyed coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde, steamed down the mighty Mississippi on a paddle steamer, had a buggy ride with Toulouse the mule around the French Quarter and joined nearly the whole population of New Orleans down Bourbon St. It is so good to be able to walk everywhere. The Quarter suits human dimensions.

Mario, a Marist from the community here, drove me out to a place called Convent where the Marists first began here in the States. It is out in the country beside the Mississippi. The Church of St Michaels is just below the levy. One of the original Marists professed with Fr Colin is buried in the cemetry.

I attended Mass in the historic St Louis Cathedral. A very beautiful Church built around the late 1700's. After mass, I enjoyed Coffee and donuts with Ed(Marist, New Oleans and Charlie( Marist, Atlanta).

The music in this city is electric. I spent a whole morning and some of the afternoon listening to outdoor blues- buskers are not your average variety around here. Who knows my next album may have a blues or jazz influence.

This afternoon I head for Orlando via Houston. A bit of a round trip. However, I leave with some very fond memories of this place.

Thanks to Fr Ed and the Marists of New Orleans for their kindness and hospitality.