Before we left, when people were asking me about the trip and we got to this point, it usually passed by quickly as "we're going to visit some interesting museums along the way." I just knew, spouting, "We're taking the kids to see the National Museum of Funeral History!" might get more comments than I was prepared to defend. Now that I have the pictures, you'll understand why it was a must-see.
I love our country! I love the topography change driving through the mid-west and heading south. I love the differences in the people all across the land. I love that in a little suburb outside a major Texas city, you can visit the Vatican! We learned about what happens when a pope dies and how a person becomes a Saint. In this case, St. Pope JP II and St. Pope John XIII...double bonus! Oh, there was also a fantastic exhibit on presidential funerals...what an amazing place!
|Tiny one was a little freaked out by all the popes hanging around ;0)|
|In case, like me, you get confused about the color|
|They had all the Papal Crests!|
|Seal the apartment and break the ring.|
|The pope gets three coffins|
|This was a running list of all the Saints|
|President Lincoln's funeral procession.|
I am grateful for stumbling on that museum. It has been around for 25 years now and, if you ever get to the Houston area, you should go. History, Religion, Geography, all sorts of good things to see and learn! (Just steer clear of the "celebrity" section...kind of sad and odd - and the Day of the Dead if you have little ones who scare easily.)
Once again, our itinerary did not hold to reality (can you see why we never go on actual, packaged pilgrimages?) but no matter, we pulled into Houston after Mass had ended and had a nice opportunity to walk around slowly without disturbing anyone.
I read that Houston has a very large Vietnamese community and the bulletin, showing two of the weekend Masses in Vietnamese (and one in Spanish) certainly bears that out. I was just excited to be in a place, so far from home, led by His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Pittsburgh-native :0)
This stop - The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. (Co-Cathedral meaning one Archdiocese, in this case Galveston-Houston, has two Cathedrals...the other, St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica in Galveston...which we somehow missed seeing but, you know, I'm not perfect).
|This was a really amazing structure. No way to capture it all in one photo.|
|Beautiful Holy Door. Blessed to witness so many pilgrims kneeling to pray before entering.|
|Walking in, the Crucified Jesus|
|Walking out...the Resurrected Jesus|
|St. Elizabeth Ann Seton! Patron of all homeschool moms :0)|
|Huge, amazing Stations|
|The dome was simple and beautiful. Twelve windows: one for each apostle with the Holy Spirit in the middle.|
|I love this - young St. Joseph!|
We stayed in another house and I am happy. The kids needed to spread out. I'm also happy that it was built around the time our own home was so it was a bit of familiarity for the ones who were homesick at this point. Creaky floors= home ;0) It was also a few minutes away from the long awaited moment...the Gulf! I have to laugh, not packing suits for the girls (because it was November!) - I should have known that wouldn't stop them. What a blessing to have a night and morning to spend splashing, drawing, kite-flying, watching (the dolphins and pelicans) and just being together. So blessed.
|Beautiful old home|
|Lots of space to do family stuff ;0) (no idea what was happening in this picture!)|
|I love watching the joy of children|
|He never goes to a beach without his kite!|
|Fully clothed? Must be Northerners ;0)|
|Jumping waves with some of my favorite people!|
Come back...next, we take part of the Texas highway system that doesn't involve a road (!) as we work our way to New Orleans.