Tuesday, August 18, 2015

12 states, 2700 miles...day 1

With all thanks to God and seven of our favorite Guardian Angels (along with a few assorted Saints) we are safely home A few mishaps but none of them big enough to even begin to outweigh the amazingly blessed journey.

Our first day began around 7 AM, leaving from home (driving through WV...state #2) with a scheduled stop near Columbus, OH. We were originally scheduled to stop at St. Stephen's parish (he is the Patron of deacons) but I felt, for some reason (ahem), I should change that. I settled on St. Mary's parish in the German Village section of the city.

We arrived as the Latin Mass was ending and were greeted by a priest, many seminarians and altar servers, all of whom were posing together and asked me to take their picture. I did and explained to one of the seminarians the purpose for our pilgrimage. He then asked the priest to come and give us a family blessing.
Tiny was in no mood for pictures

Residual incense in a very beautiful space.
I again explained our trip to Father after his blessing.

"We are traveling from Pittsburgh to pray on pilgrimage for a family friend who is being ordained to the transitional diaconate in Rome this October."

"Hmmm...what is the name of that seminarian?"

"His name is Adam..."

"Well, I actually studied with Adam when I was in the seminary in Rome. I know him well."A.H.E.M....yes, Father. Of course you do.

It's even more amazing when you consider that these men, specifically this priest, is not the pastor of the parish...they were merely holding a Latin Mass there that morning. Wow. Just wow.

I had a bit of trepidation heading out alone with my five little people that morning. I knew we would be traveling a long way, much of which was unknown to any of us. Except for a few friendly ports, we would be strangers in a strange land.

Of course, I should know that God has everything in hand and He would make very clear over the next week that we were anything but alone. How good is God? We are so blessed.

We drove on and landed in Indianapolis at Holy Rosary Parish.
Blessed Mother shrine

St. Cecilia window

St. Dominic window

Amazing. A beautiful Resurrection window above the altar (sorry...naughty beam)

They were redoing the organ and it was still beautiful!

The secretary was kind enough to let us in to this wonderful space so that we could say our prayers, take in the atmosphere and move on. So sad to think it's closed most of the day.

We had planned to stop in Illinois at a last parish that day but it wasn't to be. We were all getting tired after almost 10 hours in the car and we needed to settle in. It was for the best since we were able to pick our beds (three queens in one room....college dorm style ;0) ) then head down for some dinner (and three adult beverages...Drury Inn rocks!) then out for some sightseeing.

It turns out that the Museum of Westward Expansion (aka...the Lewis and Clark tribute under the arch) is being renovated so we just crossed the street and spent some time at the Old Courthouse. Plenty of L&C things to read and do and a good leg stretching before heading back to bed.

This place would make anyone patriotic

We have plenty of trail left for another trip!

#2 pointed out that a cross was one of the things L&C took to trade with the Indians...wow, he was paying attention!

Who did what in the Corps. Very cool.

What an amazing start to our incredible journey. We arrived safely and were able to see so many things and meet some wonderful people along the way. I am exhausted but would never trade the last 9 days. (stay tuned...it will take a few days but we will continue our recap asap).

We are blessed.

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