Thursday, September 18, 2014

Friday...and the final leg of our journey!

I subscribe to Your Morning Offering from the Catholic Company. It's got a lot of handy information each day but, specifically, it's got a little quote from a Saint or the Bible to begin your day. The choice for September 12th, day three of our journey, seemed especially appropriate:

"Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs."
— St. Francis de Sales

Our guardian angels were all working overtime so far this blessed we were to have them along for the ride!

The night with the Benedictines was cozy and blessed, as I had expected. So cozy, in fact, that I didn't make it up for the 6:30 Mass I had planned to attend. What can I say? I was exhausted and there were many miles ahead. We pushed on about 9.

First up, in case you think all we do is "religious stuff" (I'm answering my 5-y-o), some fun things for the little people. Before heading out of town, we stopped by The Museum of Science and Industry. This place is our Science Center but so much bigger and better. Extra bonus - reciprocal membership - we got in for FREE! Sweet.

 Cheesing outside the museum...the rain actually stopped for about 30 seconds!

Who can resist a 2-year-old with a digestive system?

 Or a little blonde on a big hamster wheel?
 Making some slime.
Baby chicks
 Wisconsin...ride on combine...of course
Recognize that face?

Oh, and because I wanted it soooo badly on the way in...DH bought me my new favorite shirt...
come on...that's hysterical!
We now return you to the pilgrimage...

Just Northwest of Chicago is a town called Wheaton and a bit farther out, a town called Lisle. You probably know little, if anything about these places but they were often discussed in my house growing up. You see, my dad attended St. Procopius College in Lisle, IL (now Benedictine University). He attended with his friend and cousin (or second cousin, I'm bad at that), John, who transferred into the seminary there and became Fr. John. I'm not sure why (ahem...) but while planning our trip, I felt a pretty strong pull to visit Fr. John during our journey through the area.

So, we stopped at St. Mark's church and found Fr. John. We visited for a while and "caught up". The quotes are because, while my dad talked about him often, it was around the time I was 10 and, well, that's a long time ago. It was more learning about than catching up.

Fr. John celebrated a special anniversary of ordination this year - his SIXTIETH! He has been a priest for 60 years! We spoke about all the changes during that time and he assured us that his time in college and seminary were the happiest of his life. Wow. What an amazing man. Oh, Holy Spirit Alert, he also let us know he was retiring and would be moving back home to Northeast PA....wait for it... NEXT WEEK. Yeah, I love me some Holy Spirit. What an amazingly blessed visit.

Oh, Fr. John is a very big guy.

Since it was on the way, I wanted our kids to see the place where their grandfather went to college so many years ago. My dad was a chemist and loved his science. It was his vocation (the one that earned him money, at least). So, when he was killed in a terrible car accident, my mom thought it would be best to contribute some of the settlement to fund a laboratory in his name. It was nice that they could see tangible evidence of my dad's involvement at the school. It was even nicer to talk to the scientist who works in the lab next door, who told us how appreciative the new faculty member is for my dad's lab. Who knows? One of our kids may work there one day.

More rain so we decided to end our visits and move on...

We drove and talked and I prayed that we would have good weather for Sweet T's big day. Little by little we made it through the last two hours and when we arrived at our Wisconsin home, a little before dusk, God had a smile just for us. We are so blessed.

1 comment:

  1. Fun! We have to get ourselves to that Science Center. Too bad you all didn't have time for the Children's Museum on *this* trip, but it's a good one, too (and also hosts a kid-sized hamster wheel :^P