Alas, today was our last full day in Philadelphia. We have a pretty big schedule tomorrow but we are leaving right after we serve the meal. Our day began as it always does, with Mass at 8:30am. The celebrant was Fr. Steve Patti, OFM, a native of Burlington, MA. Fr. Steve is rather new here but is being transferred to a Franciscan parish in North Carolina later this summer.
On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays the only meal the inn serves is lunch from 11:30am-1:00pm. So the work is truncated and you have to get it done quickly. As such, there aren't desserts other than cookies and the only bread is whatever is left over from the day before. I went out on pick-ups with Fr. Steve and one of our students and when we returned we had a little break before the meal. We all have different jobs during the meal - serving, dishing out the food, table setter, bussing tables, dishes, or passing out bags in the yard. There are 12 tables of 4 in the dining room and you work hard. So far I have been a setter, bussed tables, and dished out the food. Bussing keeps you especially
After we cleaned up, we had the afternoon free. Traditionally on Fridays we go into the city to see some of the sights. We went to Independence National Historical Park where we saw the Liberty Bell (from the outside, the line to get it was too long), the outside of Independence Hall, some original 18th and 19th century art at the Second Bank of the United States, the Reading Terminal Market, the Love sculpture, and the pool at JFK Plaza. The kids weren't as in to the historical stuff as I was but that always seems to be the case!
We then headed back to the house and noticed that the train we were on was going to bypass our station as they normally do during rush hour. So we got off at the station before and waited for the next train…until we realized the train we would need to catch wouldn't stop at that station! We looked up the distance on our phone and it was only 1/2 mile walk back to our house so we decided to walk back. I had some extra tokens and Bro. Xavier was outside so I gave him the rest. We were chatting for a bit and he showed me the inside of the friary across the street. They combined two row houses to make the friary and did some beautiful interior work, it's a real oasis for the friars.
Tonight I am driving one student to the airport as she needs to get back early (another student left this morning as he too needed to leave early) and we will take the rest of the kids for some fun at Dave and Buster's.
This time tomorrow we will almost be home. Darn.