Basta

No, it isn't what you might be thinking it is, for it is a simple, direct and polite word to say that I had had enough. I had been at the headquarters of our great congregation and had spent eighteen beautiful years there visiting many of the interesting places of our Marist Institute. I had visited so many foreign countries and even more of our many Marist foreign missions the world over that it was time to say enough. Even if Rome is still called the Eternal City, it did not mean that life here was eternal. And so I was ready to say “basta” at the close of our General Chapter of 1976. Eighteen years in Rome had been great, and enough is enough. I was reminded of the story of a tourist who kept confusing “basta” with “pasta.” When he was in a restaurant a waiter finally had to tell him in English that maybe he meant basta, which means enough, instead of pasta, which meant he wanted more pasta! The tourist finally agreed with the waiter and then said, “Grazie!” Oh yes; live and learn!

While I had had eighteen wonderful years in Rome, and had a much greater esteem for our work as a religious family dedicated to so many mission fields, I was ready indeed to enjoy some rest on vacation with my family. I might even finally get the OK to go to serve in one of our own missions. This had been my request in 1943 when my Provincial called me to Poughkeepsie and said, “This is your mission, do it!”

My new Provincial told me that the Provincial Council wanted me to take charge of selling our house and property in Tyngsboro. It had been a Juniorate for many years, and then had been the Novitiate with a great farm, and finally was a community of retired Brothers. The property was just too much work for them to be able to carry on. It was a beautiful area with farmland and fine recreational facilities, but it was kept up by about eight retired Brothers in all. I was also to find them a proper home so these Marists could live together as a family.

After quite a bit of work and searching we found that Wang, a lively computer company, needed a place and would be glad to purchase our house and property. I was assigned to this task upon returning from Rome in early October and after a visit to my family and relatives, I reported to Tyngsboro for this task. After a lot of searching, we found a proper rest home and residence for our retired Marists of Tyngshoro, and they moved to the new place in South Lawrence at Leeds Terrace at the end of June 1976. I was again made boss, but this time of a group of oldies set in their ways and needing some TLC.