2005 Note Ron Syewart (Bedford Visit)
Note from Ronald Stewart (2005)

I live in Bedford, MA. Following an update notice you sent out last
fall, I visited the former novitiate property in late December to take
some updated pictures which I will send you. It is now the occasional
Retreat center for the Daughters of St Paul, but in December was a
sorry, shuttered sight.

The original buildings in Maryknoll's day were replaced with a brick
and mortar building by the Daughters, except for the old farm house
nearest to Dudley Road. That had been rented to a family who has since
moved out so there is no one on the premise at this time. 

I walked the grounds and it seems a number of the original statuary
remains, although sadly abandoned. Tough site when I know many hours
of devotional prayer were spent at each one during Maryknoll's time,
and later I am sure by the Daughters. I imagined beautifully cared for
gardens and paths all around them and throughout the wooden area of
the property, most likely kept beautiful by the brothers, and today,
all overground and abandoned.

I said the Our Father stopping to reflect at one of the discolored
statues and couldn't make out who, Jesus, Joseph, an apostle, a
mystery saint?  I thought of all those who had walked those grounds
with vibrant youthful energy and optimism for what they hoped to
become, and now have lived their lives.

A few remain in the twilight of their days, most have died somewhere
throughout the world as missioners, as laymen, but all spent a
formative year at this place, on these grounds. May God, who so loves
us all, embrace each of them into his Kingdom.  O, Tempus fugit!

Ron Stewart