Friday, August 28, 2015

12 States, 2700 miles...Day 6

Filled with joy that our family was reunited, we enjoyed a nice dinner and lots of stories of our travels thus far. After a good night's sleep (a two-bedroom suite - woo hoo!) we headed East after breakfast.

A little over an hour (and hundreds of wind turbines later) we arrived in Lacrosse, Wisconsin...more specifically, The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our friends recommended it highly and it was worth the stop. This Shrine was a labor of love of Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke. If you know anything about the good Cardinal, you know what you might expect. It was such a blessed experience to share with my family. We will definitely be back.

You enter into a mini-pilgrimage as you walk to the top of the hill, where the Shrine Church is located and along the way you encounter so many amazing sights.  
1st stop - Our Mother of Good Counsel votive chapel

Beautiful images of Our Lady in her various titles

Lighting a candle for our favorite (and all) seminarians

A bit farther up, St. Kateri Tekakwitha is waiting. #1 told me that Tekakwitha means "one who puts things in order"...good to know for anyone who might be struggling a bit with OCD ;0)

St. Joseph the Worker. Beautiful image of father instructing Son.

Just before you reach the Shrine Church, you encounter the Memorial to the Unborn  The statues in this area are heartbreakingly beautiful and the memorial itself is so shows so much hope that people would take the time and effort to remember their children here, in the loving gaze of Our Mother.
Our Lady cradling the little ones
St. Michael, protecting

Yes, there is a moral law! Killing is wrong and all life is precious!

My heart aches

We arrived in time to take advantage of the Sacrament of Penance (not that it would went almost the whole way through Mass. I don't like that.) then walked around a bit before Mass began. The Church, the paintings along the walls, all amazing. (look at the website...I didn't want to be disruptive)

See the closed gates?
The best part, by far, was Communion. It was announced that the tradition is to receive Communion on the tongue while kneeling at the altar rail. This wasn't Extraordinary Form, BTW, just their practice. So, you can forget about the priest turning back to the East making the congregation sit up and pay attention (really...does someone think that will help at this point in time with the majority of the people in the pew?) the thing that will make each Communicant understand the gravity of what is happening is the simple practice of kneeling at the altar rail and receiving on your tongue from a priest. Wow. There was total silence in my brain. It was so clear that it was an exceptionally serious and important thing. I vote for that to come back at any church that still has an altar rail. Ahem ;0)

Not going to happen, I realize, even though I will be praying for the miracle. It's a bit of the constant pull I feel for Latin Mass. Not so much that I'm actually going. I also feel like we need to stay here and help when and how we can. Thankfully there are many ways to help others when we willingly offer up our challenges.

We were supposed to move on to the Wisconsin shrine of St. Philomena which is actually listed on the "welcome to Briggsville" sign but, alas, we couldn't find it via GPS...I think Satan was jamming it up a bit. So, we headed to Madison, checked in and prepared for our wonderful reunion that was to follow on Sunday. Finally, our destination!

We are blessed.

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