WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
I have the unusual distinction of being a member of both the class of 1968 and 1969, and since my 25th reunion with ’69, I have attended all the intervening reunions. I was not going to miss the opportunity of going to my 50th twice.
I found them very different experiences. I knew more people in ’68, and although I may be wrong, it seemed to me that 1968 may have had slightly better treatment in terms of schedules or facilities. ’69 was very well-organized; there were regular weekly reminders for months before the reunion, stories from classmates, contributions to the class blog, and the organizers put out a reunion book, with mini bios of members, stories from our time, a very impressive publication – and our registration packet included a map of the campus from 1965 when the class started. Little touches that were fun.
Because of the screening of the Hesburgh movie on Saturday night, the class dinner for ’69 was tightly scheduled so it ended pretty much on schedule, by ’68 standards very early. The university organization was, as it always is, impeccable. I had the same feeling with the lectures and seminars this year that I did last year, that most were way too academic and for me at least, did not hold a lot of interest.
But the key for any reunion is people – meeting old friends, reconnecting with friends made during earlier reunions, and just meeting “new” people whose paths had not crossed before and discovering just how much we had in common. I can’t put a finger on it, but the character – the personality – of the two years is markedly different. Although we shared the campus for three years, the focal points were very different, the memories decidedly different, the reactions to things.
I had a great time at each of my 50th reunions – and now, of course, we can go back whenever we can go back. Of course my assignments as a Jesuit determine availability – and budget – but I know I will be back to reunite with the Great 68 – and the fine 69 – which rhymes with wine – and as always, if anyone is coming to Jordan before the next reunion, stop in. We even have guest rooms for men. And a great hotel two doors away.
Not sure if this is the kind of thing you had in mind – it isn’t what I thought I’d write and words did not come But just in case – here is something completely different.
Fr. John Sheehan is back in Amman, Jordan, after a flying trip to attend his SECOND 50th reunion, this time with the class of ’69. (Those who don’t know WHY he is in both classes should ask around, it’s a great story.) To celebrate his return he will be offering a solo concert in October; his first concert last year got national attention and great reviews in the national English-language newspaper. He reports the usual schedule of activities for a parish priest covering three different churches, including an upcoming pilgrimage trip to Malta, publishing a calendar and teaching several classes each week. But there is always time to host visitors and go to some of the wonderful places in Jordan – so any classmates coming to the REAL Holy Land, be sure and look him up. The Jesuit Center even has guest rooms (for men) and if you’re traveling with a wife or girl friend, there is a great hotel two doors away. You would be MOST welcome.
The second is probably the better piece. I’ve included a couple of pictures from the first concert in case they’re looking for filler. And one visiting the son of Tom Holstein who I believe was ’68 – gone to God – Tom’s son is my godson, and I met HIS first born son on this trip – the 4th generation of the family I have known. Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJPastor – Sacred Heart Parish
The English Language Church in Amman
Cell: 079 013-8985 (in Jordan)GMT +3The Jesuit Center, PO Box 212074, Amman 11121, Jordan.
Packages: The Jesuit Center – LATIN CHURCH, PO Box 212074, Amman 11121, Jordan.
Fedex: The Jesuit Center – LATIN CHURCH, 43 Al-Razi Street, Jabal Hussein, Amman, Jordan.