I should preface this by saying our journey was, mostly, to pray for the upcoming ordinations of the priests and deacons in our diocese. In a few weeks, they will undertake this momentous transformation (little boy talks as if a magic wand is involved...God has all sorts of great things up His sleeve!). We wanted to visit some churches, say some prayers, and hopefully gather some graces for their upcoming vows.
Friday was originally planned as a two-church/Holy-Door-visit-then-straight-to-the-hotel. It was, at least, until I realized how close it is to Canada! So, the 12 hours went something like this:
Leave early when DH headed to work for a meeting, drive North for three hours, land in Buffalo
The Cathedral of St. Joseph
It had a Holy Door that was, again, unlike the others (I think this is becoming my favorite part). There was a beautiful painting of Jesus on one side of the door that, upon further reflection, was even more interesting.
I couldn't find an exact explanation but it seems that it was decoupage of the order of the Mass and some hymns that were then painted over. So beautiful. So meaningful.
The organ was also pretty special
Way to represent, Philly! Woot, woot! Read all about it HERE
Of course, it is a Cathedral so we have no end of fun looking at the Cathedra and comparing the Coats of Arms.
If only I had my nice camera (in the trunk) and not my crummy phone. Oh well.
We were off again, heading to a basilica this time, because I had switched the order and gone the wrong place first. We were hoping to catch Mass before heading North, and so we did. A lot more as well. It's almost like we were supposed to be here for an extended time, like Mass, oh, and Exposition and Adoration. Ahem.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Victory
Driving up, on a normal (if kind of bad-neighborhood-ish) city street, suddenly you see this ginormous copper dome with 18-foot-high angels! at the corners.
From the parking lot, half a block away. This is the BACK. The front is just, well...
We walked around the front to come in through the Holy Door (I know you can only accrue one indulgence a day but, since all my good works go to Our Lady to distribute, I'll let her figure it out). Even on any-normal-non-Jubilee-year-day it would be a kind of life-altering experience.
Again, crummy camera but, wow. I've never been to Rome but I'm guessing all the churches are like this. I walked in, sat down, and just wept. It was that overwhelming. The beauty, majesty and holiness were...well, you can look at it HERE but, truthfully, if you are anywhere near Buffalo, you should just go yourself.
After Mass (Communion was fun...trying to explain who gets the Eucharist and who doesn't...why can't these kids be different sizes?), Exposition and Adoration, we begrudgingly got into the car to carry on our trip.
You know this part of the trip already:
|The Peace Bridge from Buffalo|
|Little man was suspicious the entire time|
|Unless he was all-out ornery|
|Did you know Niagara Falls is actually three waterfalls? I didn't.|
|Blondie said, "that's God making that happen!" Amen, sister.|
As we worked our way back to the car, #1 declared, "well, that was way better than the Corn Palace!" Lol. I agree.
Transitioning back to the US (via the Rainbow Bridge this time) we were held up, but not in a bad way. My apologies to the cars waiting behind us. It seems the sweet New York border guard was enamored with a certain little boy in our back seat. She even called over the guard from the next lane, insisting he "check out this little boy...he's so cute!". Oh well, he is, no need to make an international incident over it ;0)
Once everyone agreed to the adorableness of our little man, we headed southwest, all the way to Albany (almost) to have some sleep and prepare for Saturday. We had crossed some Holy thresholds and hopefully gathered some graces today but Saturday, well, it was the best day yet.
Stay tuned. (we're currently in an original Batman phase but I'll spare you...)
We are blessed.