St. Patrick’s Day has long been a favorite day in the American communities of our Belgium-founded congregation, perhaps in some small way as a tribute to the Irishwoman who allegedly provided the watermelon to the Founder and our pioneer Brothers in Louisville in August, 1854 as their first meal, according to Brother Julian’s account in Men and Deeds. (Or not.) This year, however, the Brothers at Xaverian House had another reason to celebrate: Nurse Robin Rowell completed on March 17 twenty years of dedicated service to the Brothers here and throughout the United States!
To call Robin’s service as one of “twenty years” can be deceiving. Whereas most professionals celebrating such anniversaries have done so during something like a five day, forty hour week, providing health care to many Brothers over these years has often included early morning, late evening and weekend hours at their bedsides, in emergency rooms, in nursing homes and hospice centers, not to mention the “free time” during which she is frequently researching, thinking or just worrying about how to provide one of our Brothers the best possible care. In 1997, when Brother Sebastian Barresi, after consultation with a team of health care providers, religious women and men, offered Robin the new position of nurse at Xaverian House, he probably had no idea of the blessings that would come to our Brothers over these twenty years from the hands and heart of Robin Rowell, R.N.