Feast Day Party - A Trip to a Very Catholic Restaurant

The hostess' desk upon entering St. Gabriel's Bistro
The hostess' desk upon entering St. Gabriel's Bistro

This year Sr. Mary Veronica’s feast day celebration was not just any celebration. No, this year (initially unbeknownst to her) she had special reservations at St. Gabriel’s Bistro, a fancy restaurant which was open for a total of only a couple hours, just for the occasion! Yes, St. Gabriel’s Bistro existed at 272 Novitiate Corridor, St. Joseph Monastery on Thursday, January 12, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm, in honor of Sr. Mary Veronica’s feast day. There are truly few who can say that they’ve had a restaurant open for them alone.

As our long-time blog readers probably know, and so that I don’t completely confuse any new readers we may have, our novitiate hosts a celebration every year on or around the novice directress’ feast day, in appreciation for all that she does. This year our novitiate – made up of Postulant Ruth and Novices Sr. Frances Marie and Sr. Maria Faustina – decided to transform the novitiate recreation room into a fancy bistro named after the novitiate’s patron, St. Gabriel Possenti of the Sorrowful Virgin (for more information on St. Gabriel, check out his information page on our website: http://www.passionistnuns.org/Saints/GabrielCP/index.htm).

A display honoring St. Gabriel
A display honoring St. Gabriel

That Thursday Mother John Mary accompanied her to the Bistro and they were seated at their table by one of the three eager “waitresses,” who looked strangely like Ruth, Sr. Frances Marie, and Sr. Maria Faustina, and only appeared in their absence! Light instrumental background music was playing throughout the bistro as the guests dined.

The 3 "waitresses" pose with their aprons and name tags
The 3 "waitresses" pose with their aprons and name tags

Drinks, which included an array of hot beverages such as Christmas tea, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider, were served first. The guests were able to snack on orange slices and assorted nuts as they looked over the menu. The soup of the day, which happened to be Creamy Tomato, was served as well. Options for the main course included Ham & Cheese, Grilled Cheese, and Grilled PB & J finger sandwiches.

stgabrielsbistromenublog2017
stgabrielsbistromenublog2017

Once the food was served, the three novitiate members came back from… well, wherever they were all this time… and were happily able to join Sr. Mary Veronica and Mother John Mary at the table for a light afternoon meal, before which Mother John Mary led all in a prayer.

Sr. Frances Marie enjoys her hot beverage
Sr. Frances Marie enjoys her hot beverage
Postulant Ruth eagerly awaits the main course after finishing her Creamy Tomato soup.
Postulant Ruth eagerly awaits the main course after finishing her Creamy Tomato soup.
Sr. Maria Faustina caught in the middle of enjoying some orange slices. The finger sandwiches can be seen in the foreground
Sr. Maria Faustina caught in the middle of enjoying some orange slices. The finger sandwiches can be seen in the foreground

After the main course, the novitiate asked to be excused and it was just a few minutes later that the three waitresses came back to serve dessert, which was an assortment of walnut balls and baklava. The waitresses departed and thankfully the novitiate was able to make it back to the table before all the dessert was gone. But the excitement wasn’t over yet…

It was just then that Postulant Ruth, Sr. Frances Marie, and Sr. Marie Faustina announced that they had prepared something special for entertainment… Irish dancing! Postulant Ruth, who has done Irish dancing for many years, had taught Sr. Frances Marie and Sr. Maria Faustina an Irish dance which they performed to music for Sr. Mary Veronica and Mother John Mary.

Beginning the dance (Irish music playing in background).
Beginning the dance (Irish music playing in background).
passionistirishdancingblog2017
passionistirishdancingblog2017
passionistirishdancingiiblog2017
passionistirishdancingiiblog2017

The rest of the afternoon was spent thanking Sr. Mary Veronica for her generous and loving service as novice directress and enjoying one another’s company. St. Gabriel’s Bistro may have been open only a couple hours, but it was a great success. At one point Mother John Mary remarked on how many candles and statues and pictures of saints there were (so unusual for a bistro) to which one of the “waitresses” simply responded, “It’s a very Catholic restaurant!”

Postulant Ruth, Sr. Maria Faustina, Sr. Mary Veronica, and Sr. Frances Marie at the end of a joyful afternoon.
Postulant Ruth, Sr. Maria Faustina, Sr. Mary Veronica, and Sr. Frances Marie at the end of a joyful afternoon.

Additional photos of the Bistro