From Mary Ann Buddenberg Miller: My news is that I/we are expecting a baby in early April! All prayers are much appreciated. All is well, thus far! I am also in the process of being reviewed for associate professorship at Caldwell College. We live in Bloomfield, NJ (northern NJ, bordering Newark and Montclair, for those who know the area . . .) We welcome all UD visitors! Come see us!
From Andrea (Lake) Sexton: Scott and I were unable to attend the
reunion this year. We had hoped to attend and missed seeing our classmates.
Our two eldest daughters, Lauren (19)and Katherine (18) are in college at the
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. This past weekend was "Parent's
weekend" and we went up on Sunday to visit them (It's about a 1 hr & 45 min.
drive from Salem, VA). Our son, Joseph (16) had his high school homecoming
dance on Saturday night. We had to be present to take pictures, issue warnings,
and all that jazz. Our two younger daughters, Claire (14) and Monica (8),
helped us to participate in the above events.
We are at a very, very busy time in our kids lives right now. Our events have taken a back seat to theirs.
Work-wise: Scott is a partner in the law firm Gentry, Locke, Rakes & Moore in Roanoke, Virginia. About 3 years ago, I began practicing law part-time (basically during school hours, 8-3) at a small firm, Warner & Renick in Roanoke.
I hope everyone who attended the Reunion had a great time. We're looking forward to 25. Hopefully, other activities will not prevent our attendance at that time.
From Randy Beeler: Pam ('87) and I are teaching English, Theology, Technical Writing, Latin, and History at St. Joseph Catholic (Secondary) School in Bryan and loving it. Our oldest son, Paul (17), has been accepted for admission to UD in Fall 2006. Our daughter Cesara (15) is a singing-dancing-stage-managing musical theatre fiend in the Theatre Company of Bryan/College Station and she's a student at St. Joseph. Our youngest, Killian, is a 7th-grader at St. Joseph, a bass-playing, mohawk-wearin' freak, and a majorly-good secondbaseman (and rabid Astros and Rangers fan).
From Michele Bregande Roper: A few months ago my brothers' band (Wonderfall, www.wonderfallmusic.com) released their newest CD, and it is going incredibly well -- in fact, some of you may have heard their music if you listen to a college radio station. One of the songs is getting a LOT of play time, and just got selected to be on a MAJOR play list that goes out to big Top 40 radio stations. I am forwarding the e-mail telling about the HitDisc, as it is called, which is including their song called "Not The First" among other big names like Hootie and the Blowfish Van Morrison!! Needles to say, the Bregande family is excited and keeps praying things will continue to go well for the musician branch of the family! Also included is a link to the band's website, where you can listen to some of their music. Definitely listen to "Not The First" which is the up and coming HIT we hope, and you'll hear Joe Bregande on guitar and Dave Bregande's vocals. You can listen to their music or order the CD at CDBaby.com, Awarestore.com, or Apple iTunes.
From Michele Bregande Roper: Greg and I, Gabriel, Benjamin, and our
chaplain Fr. Mark visited St. Peter's Square last night (Saturday
April 2, the vigil for Divine Mercy) in order to say
goodbye to the Holy Father. We drove in to the city
of Rome, and arrived in the square on foot by 8 p.m.
We joined the tens of thousands of other pilgrims in
the amazingly peaceful square, not knowing how much
longer our pope would be with us. We said our
goodbyes by saying some prayers together, throwing
kisses to him through the window, and singing one of
our boys' favorite goodnight songs, "Angels Watching
Over Me". The overall feeling was definitely not one
of sorrow, but of expectation and anticipation, much
more like waiting for a new baby to enter the world.
We all were aware of the Pope's presence directly
above us, through his lighted window, and that he was
still conscious and able to recognize the members of
his household (according to the 7 p.m. report). The
crowds of people present were gracious and courteous,
with great respect for all who wanted to be there.
Aside from audible song and prayer, the area was quite
hushed and subdued, illuminated from the golden light
on the basillica, columns, and fountains. Many people
were holding candles, and the night was incredibly
clear and still. After spending about an hour and a
half saying our goodbyes and basking in the
awe-inspiring atmosphere, we left St. Peter's Square
at about 9:45 pm, not yet knowing that our Holy Father
had died just minutes prior (the announcement came
soon after we were gone). We feel so blessed and
fortunate to have been there at such an historic time.
It was a beautiful, serene, and at times joyous
occasion, being among people singing, praying,
applauding, holding candles, and holding one another.
We all could feel a very special and holy presence in
the square, and will treasure the memory our entire
lives. We plan to return within the next few days to
pay respect to the body of John Paul II as he lies in
state, and then again for the funeral.
More from Michele Bregande Roper in Rome:
UPDATE: Standing in line today (4/6/05)
Today I drove into the city, departing at 3 a.m., to experience history as it happens. I took the old green van we have here on campus, and my entourage included our chaplain Fr. Mark, Angie (a Rome Assistant) and her ever-joyful/ever-praying mother, and Shane, UD alum by a matter of months now playing basketball by night (working toward a career) and nannying the campus kids by day. We stood in line for 6 hours with a million people, but three of us left the line, leaving Angie and her mom to hang fire for us. After 6 hours we weren't even at the halfway mark. (I just spoke with Angie -- it took them a little over twelve hours, a full hour just to move down the aisle in the basilica, during which Angie reports, "I nearly had a mental breakdown at that point from the crush of people and exhaustion.)" My own personal goal was to experience the massive influx of "pilgrims" and am glad I did. It was an extraordinary feeling. I feel I said my goodbyes to the Holy Father on Saturday night, being present in the Piazza with my family on the evening of his death. I do not regret having gone in, and I do not regret having left the line. Now, at last report, the estimate for the line is that it takes about 14 hours to be able to file past Il Papa. We got in the line at 4:05 a.m. with our estimated time of arrival at 6 hours. So, considering that our arrival time doubled and that the crowds are only compounding, what can that really mean for the people who are hearing it's a 12 hour wait? Incomprehensible. I was a part of it and still can't wrap my brain around the phenomenon. It will take time for me to process and assimilate all that is happening here.
All news now says Italian airspace will be closed Thursday and definitely all day Friday. Security has had to be increased WAY above expectations because of the millions of people here, and there will be only military and other surveillance aircraft allowed anywhere NEAR Rome during the funeral and the preparations. I find it difficult to keep on top of the Italian and international press releases here, not only because of having to listen intently to the Italian, but because the news is unable to say much more than how crowded the city is. It's impossible to predict anything, or describe what the city is like. The pictures you see on the news (which we are seeing as well) are only a fraction of the shoulder to shoulder masses of people I experienced this morning. I fear there is going to be a massive crush when the lines are closed on Thursday. I just don't see how a disaster can be avoided at this point -- in fact, Italian security is sending out text messages to EVERY telefonino (cell phone) in Europe to please stop coming, to please don't get in the crowds, and to please try to get away from the city center. There is a real fear of impending disaster -- not terrorist (though that is always a consideration) but just from the crowds. As for terrorism, there are no security checkpoints of any type -- just emergency medical and crowd control. Many people are carrying huge backpacks and bedrolls with them. There is nowhere to rest or go to the bathroom, and NO WAY to determine who has what in their bags. Water checkpoints are offered, and there are porta-potties at very wide intervals. However, the streets are so packed that it is nearly impossible to move by one's own volition. One is carried by the flow, and when we three decided to depart it was a bit of a trial to just get out. It is impossible to turn back. At one point we had to try to forge across the 30 person wide line by racing into the wake of an ambulance. Fr. Mark made it of course (the marathon runner) but Shane and I began to be swallowed up by people pressing madly forward to close to gap after the ambulance passed through. Fr. Mark turned around for us and I could hear him yelling my name to hurry, but he said it was if the Red Sea had parted and then was closing us in before his eyes. We did make it, but not without pleading and pointing towards the other side. Unfathomably, there were quite a number of children in the masses, whose parents I think are, at the very least, entirely irresponsible. Most heartwrenching is to see many elderly and infirmed individuals bearing the torturous crush for what must be a need for any number of graces they think may come if they can file past the body of the pope.
As I write this e-mail, I just got a news flash saying that the wait time in the line is now estimated at 24 hours. The lines are going to be cut off at Piazza San Pietro by 10 pm. for dignitaries and heads of state to be able to pay their last respects. I just called Anne, our Student Life Director who has been in the line now for over 12 hours, and she says that the basilica is finally in view, that they should be through in another 3 hours. I called to tell her the line is going to be halted by 10 pm., but she is going to hang in there, with hopes of being one of the last to be admitted before dignitaries arrive.
To be continued!!
From Andrea (Lake) Sexton and Scott Sexton: Our daughter, Lauren, is in her first year at the University of Virginia.
From Ed Heflin: What's really keeping me busy and awake at night, isnít work; but my youngest son Eddie Jr. Born August 26, 2004, Eddie's got lungs enough to put the early morning roosters out of business. And I'm sure the roosters would complain that even they canít get any sleep anymore ;-0 Eddie Jr's mom, Tanja, is the same gal I've been with for well over 4 yrs. I figure...if she can put up with my shenanigans, there's nothing Eddie Jr could throw at her that would be a problem ;-) And to stay fit, Iíve been playing ice hockey with two different menís leagues in the NY Metro area. Itís a great way to keep fit, but trying to keep up with some of these 20 some year olds can be tiring at times. And when I found the time, I ventured south for scuba diving, like my last dive off the Florida Keys to the Thunderbolt shipwreck Önothing like seeing a huge 9 foot Moray Eel up close and in your face somewhere around 110í below surface or playing tag with an 13í tip-to-tail Spotted Eagle Ray off of St. Johns in the Virgin Islands.
Please submit your news items to Jennifer Muzyka at email@example.com
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