Sunday, March 22, 2015

Since every trip we take is a pilgrimage...

I didn't plan this one either but it seems like when we just ride out the storm, something usually turns up. I am grateful for the opportunities we had this trip.

If you've been following along, you know we've had the stomach flu something fierce around here...I had my ER visit and then it was quiet for 4 days then, it wasn't. The two older boys got it on Tuesday, Blondie had it 18 or so hours later and we left Catechesis early Thursday night because #1 was feeling so badly. We made it a mile down the road before she half-filled the bucket, handed it to me (after we pulled over) and said, "I threw up my dinner." I had to laugh. The poor thing is earnest even when she's sick. Oh, muffin started that night too.

So, our Homewood Suites reservation went from 7 people to three then, Friday morning, I noticed #2 wasn't eating..."What's wrong?" Him, crying, " I can't tell you or you won't let me go." You are correct my friend...all I need is to be emptying buckets the whole way across the turnpike. By then, DH was also sick. Quickly, so as to not breathe any more illness, middle child hopped in the car, I canceled St. Vincent that afternoon and we headed East.

A microphone would have been helpful...we had to shout the rosary to hear one another. Yes, I had to take the van with only one kid because it was SNOWING and that, ironically, is the vehicle with the best tires. On the first day of spring. Oh, and I heard it was lovely here that afternoon. Well, we drove through 5 hours of slush just before the final hour of this...
It was a mess. Still, we pushed on. When I have a friend (or several) ask for prayers just before we leave, I kind of figure it's going to be that kind of trip. Thankfully I'm becoming smart enough to pray and offer up more than I used to (although when we got to the highway in Philly and people were driving through this and texting, I was testy...I admit it.)

We finally found the hotel and got checked in (they gave us the smaller room rate for a mid-size room after hearing our flu story) relaxed a bit then headed back out into the storm. I really wanted to go to confession but hadn't managed what with changing sheets, buckets and so on all week. There were two parishes that had Friday night confession listed in Philly so I picked the closer one. Ahem. It would seem that confession was slated in the big book for Saturday. I didn't know so off we went.

We went to Our Lady of Fatima in Bensalem, PA.
This is the website picture (it wasn't sunny and you couldn't see the grass). I guess it's the main church. I don't know because all the signs led us to the "chapel" which looked like this...

Think cozy and paneled classroom (the light reflection is the casino across the street). I was impressed with the sheer number of statues they had and the monstrance that was contained in a glass case above the altar. DH says it's one of the first Philly parishes that had perpetual adoration. So, we knelt down and prayed a bit.

It was eventually clear that no one was coming for confession (priest-wise at least; there were about 10 people in the pews/chairs). There was a lot of Spanish coming from out in the hall then the cutest little nun came in and asked #3 if he wanted to hold a candle (to which he burrowed under my arm - we have very shy children at times) so she smiled and moved on. It then became clear that we would be participating in Stations of the Cross (Hooray! Since we didn't get to go yet that day and it's a Friday must during Lent,) We were going to say them in the hotel before bed. This was so much better.

It was better because, as sister announced, the odd number Stations would be read in English and the even would be read in SPANISH they also prayed the Our Father and Hail Mary after each Station. That was so unbelievably cool. After, #3 turns to me and says, "we need to learn some prayers in Spanish!". Thank you, Holy Spirit, for this wonderful detour and the chance to see how other Catholics celebrate Lent.

We left, hit Giant for some takeout mac n cheese then snuggled in our beds and watched a Food Network marathon. Yes, #3 loves cooking shows. Yes, this makes him even more my favorite ;0)

Holy Spirit inspired pilgrimage continued tomorrow...the big event!

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