53 years ago this was the christian brothers novitiate

Fifty-three years ago – Saturday, June 29, 1968 – six of us – Nelson P, Jimmy C, Ray St G, Mario Z, Brother Phillip P, Brother Lucian R – traveled from Scarborough, Ontario to Narragansett, Rhode Island, to the Christian Brothers’ Novitiate. Nelson, Jimmy, Ray and I were beginning our path to becoming Christian Brothers.

I’ve trying to piece together some of the events I remember from that long-ago:

  • We stopped in Providence; it was late afternoon, and the place was a ghost-town.
  • After a light, early dinner, we got back on the road and I remember seeing an exit-sign pointing us towards Scarborough (we had left Scarborough, Ontario that morning and here was another Scarborough).
  • By the time we got to where we were going, it was dark and I really couldn’t see the place or the grounds we pulled into.
  • That evening, I remember that Brother Frank, a Canadian Novice who was finishing his year and returning to Canada, showed me to my room. It was on the top floor, at the end of the hallway on the west side of the dormitory (in the above image, the dormitory is the black roofed building and my room/cell would have faced what is today a volleyball court)
  • Brother Frank, he was a kid not much older than me, told me that he was on morning duty and that he would knock on my door in the morning to get me up for Lauds. (I had no idea what he was talking about.)

The Saturday arrival makes sense, because Bobby, who remembers much from that time, was saying that he and the other guys from Mater Christi High School in Queens also arrived on the 29th.