Bob Loughery and I traveled to Allegan, Michigan on Saturday to attend the wedding of Kelli Aviles and Charles Redman. Kelli was our first twelve-month intern at the parish five years ago. We met up with Rosanna Violi who served as our first Jesuit Volunteer in that same year. Rosanna traveled from Toledo, Ohio for the event. Kelli and Charley were married on the lawn of Kelli’s grandparents farm.
Kelli and Charley continue to dedicate their lives to people surviving urban poverty in downtown Detroit. Kelli and Charley are Executive Directors of Henry Tula House in Detroit. Their hospitality center is on the front line of racial tensions, extreme poverty and hunger, and unending violence. There wedding seemed to be a quiet, romantic respite for them on a hillside on a sunny, humid afternoon.
I admire their lives devoted to the issues of non-violence and social reform. Of course, what I really admire is their relationship to the people who live these issues every day of their lives.
Bob and I were recognized as the two priests from Kelli’s year in Portland by Kelli’s aunt because we were both wearing black pants and black shoes. Rosanna really got a kick out of that as we enjoyed a lot of reminiscing about our days together and catching up on our new lives in Toledo, South Bend and Portland.
I encourage you to check out Kelli and Charley’s hospitality center and support them in prayer for their news lives as husband and wife and their ministry at Henry Tula House in Detroit.
Photo: Former parish staff: Rosanna, Kelli and Fr. Bob