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Rayne and New Orleans

Friday night the three of us stayed with the family of a friend Kurt made in the novitiate. Ms. Jenny and Mr. Tim Courville live in a very different culture than the Browns: a cozy house reminiscent of suburban St. Louis, hobbies with motorcycles, sports cars, and trucks. Yet they, too, are steeped in hospitality and welcomed the three of us as members of the family. I'd love to believe these families were representative of the entire region; the weather would be worth the culture.

Before lunch Saturday, Dad took us on a pilgrimage to his hallowed ground: the Savoy Music Center, which every Saturday morning plays stage to a cajun jam session. Lunch followed at Mulate's, with more cajun music. I cannot report that I've learned to love the music, but I have at least found a few tracks on his CDs that I enjoy.

In the evening we arrived at Angelo and Charmaine Rini's in Greta, for more southern hospitality and Ms. Charmaine's crawfish etouffe. Her cooking is another aspect of visiting New Orleans that's worth the journey alone.

Sunday's efforts to find a noon Mass were thwarted by not fruitless. After twice being directed to churches that turned out not to have service that late, we ended up at Immaculate Conception, where we encountered Brother Walter, a Jesuit brother who had spent 23 years at Grand Coteau and was able to share many experiences with Kurt.