My parents and I moved out to Lac Misere farm. This was one of the many small farms that made up the larger Summers farm at that time. We lived a simple country life in part and continued our town lives in other ways. Then Mom and Dad each took jobs teaching English at Catholic Schools run by the Marist Missionaries in the Tonga Islands on the island of Tongatapu. While they taught there I attended Tonga Side School which was the only English language school in the Kingdom and was also a school which catered to the kingdom’s elite.
We left Tonga and moved to American Samoa. Mom and Dad were in ministry with Youth With A Mission. Then they moved to New Mexico and spent some few weeks in the Checkerboard Missions out of Thoreau, New Mexico among the Navajo people. Then we went back to Abbeville, Louisiana where my sister Sarah was born. I returned to Abbeville’s Mount Carmel Elementary School before her May birthday and after we traveled a bit throughout the country. Then El Paso, Texas where my parents worked as house parents for a high school ministry called La Cueva del Oso. They also worked in other ministries. I participated in a new school called the Lord’s School and sponsored by the Jesuit minstry called Our Lady’s Youth Center which oversaw all the other ministries they were involved in throughout the area.
Later, we went down to Cuernavaca Mexico and I attended IDEAL (Institutuo De Estudios America Latina) for a brief period. Then we went back to Abbeville and to several other places before going to Colombia. There I was involved in agrarian training and formation programs offered by El Camino Community in Santander del Sur near Barbarosa. My sister Susanna was born there.
We went back to Louisiana. Then we went to Mexico City, later to San Pedro Atzcopzaltongo -Villa Nicolas Romero, also to Saltillo, Coahuila and surrounding areas. We participated in a house of prayer and study in Puebla, Mexico when John Paul II made his historic first papal visit there. These all formed part of my Mexican adolescence. My third sister was born in Abbeville and Mary Magdalen was young as we made a few trips and pilgrimages around the country and continent. In Louisiana in 1980 I attended and completed a course in Evangelization and was commisssioned a Lay Evangelist of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana.
Then we went to New Zealand. I worked out with the great Samoan shotputter Henry Smith. My Dad and I played music at the Catholic Church in Titahi Bay and I attended a secondary school called Viard College in Porirua. I led the Maranatha Youth Group. All of this was in the region centered around the southern tip of the North Island where the capital of Wellington is located. I also served an infromal apprenticeship to master craftsman and contractor Bert Farquarh of Titahi Bay. When I left New Zealand it would be to go the Philippines. The RPI is a note of its own. The trip through Australia on the way there would belong to our time in New Zealand in my mind.
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