Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Notes from Kerhonkson

There are so many people I wish were here with me at the CL Northeast Family Vacation. The list includes members of my family, my School of Community back home in Beverly, and regional CL friends like Vincent Hammer and Matt LeBlanc, who couldn’t make it. A concert of classical music in honor of Father Julián Carrón has just concluded, and I am dashing down some notes before a long, hard sleep. More tomorrow, I hope.

The Vacation includes members of Communion and Liberation, and their families, from New England, and the New York, Philadelphia, and Washington areas. Over 180 adults and 140 children are gathered in a cavernous old Borscht-Belt-era hotel, the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson (pictured above).

On Sunday evening after our arrival, we witnessed a mind-blowing audiovisual presentation on the Hubble Space Telescope by astrophysicist Massimo Roberto.

During the day Monday, there were outdoor games for adults and children together, with swimming, picnic . . . the usual family-vacation activities.

Monday before dinner, there were two presentations. The first, by a young painter and art historian, Anna Vitts, was on the Hudson Valley School of painting, by the likes of Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, and Albert Bierstadt. Church’s “Niagara Falls,” 1857, is shown here. I have always loved these large-scale, majestic paintings inspired by the wilderness of the 19th-century United States.

The second presentation was on poet Walt Whitman. It was offered by a certain Catholic blogger and his friends. I hope to post more on this experience soon.

Monday evening, a panel of five gave witnesses, with particular emphasis on how power in the workplace reduces their experience.

Today, we took a very long hike from one lake with an Indian name to another, then back again. Sorry, I am cooked after two intense days, and “Indian name” is the best I can do. There were at least 125 people along on this hike, half of them children. The final stretch of the inbound journey was walked in total silence, even by the children, and we were asked to reflect on what unifies us.

There are at least four children here with Down syndrome, which is perhaps the most remarkable bullet point of all.

Tonight, after the arrival among us of Father Carrón, CL musician Chris Vath and a sister violinist-cellist team offered a sizzling program of classical music in Carrón’s honor, with several standing ovations and encores.

I know this post should express more wonder, but right now all I feel is exhaustion. I wish you were here. Hasta mañana.


  1. WOW! it is great to have the Notes from Kerhonkson. This will be very much user-full. And hope to get the more further note of it...

  2. About time! I have been waiting for this post! But seriously, thanks so much for being the eyes and ears for those of us who didn't make it....


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