Agape House, one of five L’Arche Cleveland homes, has a bond of friendship with St. Ignatius High School, a local Jesuit high school for boys. Just having arrived as a new live-in assistant, I saw everyone interacting at Agape on one of St. Ignatius’ monthly visits. The high school boys set up long tables here in the living room and served dinner for all. The students engaged the Core Members and were very present to them. One young man played guitar and sang his original songs and the Core Members were delighted.
Now that Core Members are staying home from work & programs, I know we at Agape aren’t the only people who miss connections to friends outside the home. Our friends at St. Ignatius remain constant.
One afternoon they asked us to open the garage so they could deliver a non-contact dinner. But the letters that followed have been the really sustaining form of friendship.
Individuals from St. Ignatius have been writing detailed letters to our individual Agape Core Members, sharing about their lives without school & work and each includes their picture. I don’t think they can really know how well received their thoughtfulness is. Its been fun to see how ready each Core Members is to write back. Our walks to the mailbox make it an event.
A St. Ignatius friend generously enclosed a chocolate cake recipe in his last letter. Stephanie mixed it up herself for her 6th L’Arche anniversary 4/30.
As an assistant for nearly five years, I’m so grateful to L’Arche for providing the precious lessons I am learning about life and love. And how inspiring to witness the effect young people’s enduring kindness has on all of us. We will get through being stuck at home, and we will remember how our friends made us feel.
In the midst of the pandemic, the St. Ignatius students have still made it clear that they’ve been thinking and praying about us at L’Arche Cleveland. They all recorded a special message for our community and shared it with us through YouTube. Check out the video below!