Showing Up At Bishop Maginn

The quiet corner in Sue Silverstein’s art room, watched over by Mother Mary.

I was all ready to get to my studio and work on my “Hope” potholders yesterday morning.  But something was nagging at me.  Last week when Jon and I went to Bishop Maginn one of the girls from my sewing class, remarked that I hadn’t been there in a while.

It was true.  When the school got the news that they were closing everyone there needed time to adjust to it.  Then other things kept us from visiting as regularly as we had been.

When Jon said he was going to talk to the Prom Committee, at first I didn’t think there was a need for me to be there too.  But then I thought about Madeline who lived at The Mansion and died in January at the age of 99.  The last time I saw her, even though she was fading, she still thanked me as she always did for coming to the Mansion to visit.  She always said how much it meant that we kept coming back.  As if it was the consistency of the same people showing up, not so much what we did,  that really mattered.

When Jon told Sue I was coming with him she said that Jazmine had been asking about me and would be glad to know I’d be there.

If I needed any assurance that I had made the right decision about going, I got it from Sue in those few words.

The very animated Prom Committee

Once at Bishop Maginnm Sue’s artroom was as busy as ever.  The prom committee sat at one of the big round tables, trading ideas and researching the things they might need or wanted to do for the prom, on their smartphones.

Once again I got to see how well the kids all worked together.  Everyone listened to each other, they were thoughtful and kind.   They had already decided on a Casino theme which actually works more like an arcade than a casino. They’ll have games and win prizes.  Sue said the parents were looking forward to making the food as they did for last year’s prom.

They’ll set up a tent in the gym to make the space more intimate and easier to decorate.  While we were there they came up with the idea of having a table with board games and getting an App that allows them to each record the prom in their own way. (I’m not sure how that works, but they all seemed to know about it).

The mood of the school had recovered since they learned of the closing.  Sue said the prom is a big part of keeping the students engaged and excited to be there for the rest of the year.  They even postponed it till June to help keep everyone engaged and their spirits up.

It seems a prom was just what they needed.   

Before the committee gathered, I got to reconnect with some of the students from my sewing class. Jazmine and I had a nice conversation about her plans after school and I got to see Paris again for the first time since February.

There was a group of students sitting in what Sue calls the quiet corner.  It’s where Mother Mary hangs, and it seemed to me, a high school version of a grotto.

I never got to my studio yesterday, we stayed at Bishop Maginn longer than usual.   I didn’t teach sewing but as with the Mansion,  it felt good and seemed to be helpful just to show up.

2 thoughts on “Showing Up At Bishop Maginn

  1. I miss Madeline, seeing her picture and reading about her. I always thought what a hoot it would be to have her as a next door neighbor, singing show tunes and laughing. It’s a tribute to Jon’s writing and photography that he brought her so vividly to life for all of us.

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