From The Editor’s Desk
Holy Family Monastery
303 Tunxis Rd.
West Hartford, CT 06107
It has been a long time since I was in touch with you for which I apologize. I hope that this letterhead will give you my current address and this letter will explain why it has been so long.
Since last February I have been residing at Foley Hall, here in West Hartford. My secretary recently brought my computer to me from Union City, NJ and hooked it up so that I can now get and send e-mail and write letters.
Foley Hall is an addition to the original Holy Family Monastery, and was constructed in 1967 to be a seminary for our college-level kids. It functioned as a seminary for one year and then in the aftermath of Vatican II, when the bottom fell out of the “vocation” bucket, it went through several reincarnations in various roles. It is located adjacent to, and is connected by, a long walkway to the monastery where we take our meals.
About 1988 the first floor was converted into an infirmary for the sick and disabled – there were nurses, RN’s & LPN’s, orderlies, nurses aides, about a dozen fully equipped hospital type rooms, etc., etc. I was sent there after my original heart bypass in 1990 and the care was great. Also, one was “at home” with one’s brethren which made a difference. Unfortunately, the State of Connecticut made us close it down after several years; apparently we were providing a higher level of care than we were licensed to provide. And, wouldn’t you know – the bureaucrat who closed us was an ex-nun! Anyway, the facilities are still here and we have contracted with the Franciscan Sisters (“Franciscan Home Care”) to come in three or four days a week and look after the lame, the halt, the deaf and the (almost) blind. It is not as nice as it used to be but it is adequate and Sisters Marsha and Jilda, RN do a great job. I also received PT from one of their employees. Anyway that’s the story of Foley Hall.
Now let me bore you with an account of what has happened to me over the past seven months – a gripping and heart-wrenching tale! I left Union City on January 4 to have an operation (restore circulation to my right leg) at NYU Medical Center in Manhattan. I haven’t been home since. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I was told I have been permanently reassigned here to West Hartford. (Oh – just to add to the joy, while I was in the operating room, someone stole my wallet!). After leaving the NYU hospital I was sent to Castle Hill Rehab Hospital in Union City where I stayed for a month to convalesce. While I was there it became apparent that, in spite of the physical therapy I was getting, I wouldn’t be able to handle the three flights of stairs I would face at home when I left Rehab.
My superior, Victor Hoagland, recommended that I be sent to Foley Hall. I arrived here on Feb. 6th. All went well for about a month. Franciscan Home Care provided more PT and I was hobbling around fairly well with a cane until it was discovered that I had gangrene on my right foot. Back into the Hospital (St. Francis, in Hartford) on April 24th for another operation, subsequent to which I spent another month in “The Reservoir” a very nice local Rehab hospital. ( It’s called “The Reservoir” because it shares a park with the West Hartford Municipal Reservoir – lovely setting.) The “Reservoir ” is a really neat place – only institution I have ever been in where I actually put on weight during my stay!
I was back in Foley Hall by May 29th but my long medical Odyssey was not over. Shortly after my return I began retaining fluid at an alarming rate – my legs began to take on the dimensions of tree trunks. Back into St. Francis’ on June 12th where they pumped me out and eventually inserted a pacemaker. It seems that my heart, while pumping steadily, was not pumping fast enough, so the fluid was not clearing the heart chambers but was backing up into my system. Anyway, this pacemaker is the latest word in those devices, and is in the final stages of experimentation and testing. And I can receive 98 channels on it! In color!!
Just to add to the joy, I developed shingles about 3 or 4 days ago. They are rather painful and hardly any fun. I think the Lord finally decided to let me earn the title of “Passionist”.
I expect that, by now, I have exhausted you with my tale – a tale second only to the “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” in hard luck stories. I apologize for the long hiatus since you last heard from me – but believe me, as I hope you can see, I have been occupied and even preoccupied! I leave on August 1 for our Retreat House on Shelter Island, NY, a glorious place, right smack on the water. I’ll be there for a month. God bless you all.
Morgan Hanlon CP