Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Sisters of the Poor

On this Feast Day of St. Jeanne Jugan, I can't help but think of the Little Sisters of the Poor who come to Nashville every 4 to 6 weeks to shop in our store. They have been coming down from Indiana for years and years and gathering the few things they need in the way of books and cards. And, as many who come to our Bookstore, they always seem to give much more than they receive. As each of my children were born, they would come down and leave a baby blanket that one of their Sisters would make. Those were always my children' favorite blankets, you know, the ones they would love to drag everywhere if I let them. But we had a strict policy that the blankets had to stay at home except for nap time at daycare. Those blankets far outlasted any others we've ever had and I know they brought blessings to each of my children, just as the Little Sisters still do each time they come to the store. Leaving treats at Christmas time, sharing stories or just greetings and a smile, they always seem to give more than they get. May God bless them abundantly for all they do for the elderly and the poor and those of us who just love seeing them come to visit. What an amazing example of God's love!

Little Sisters of the Poor

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Feast of the Assumption - Mary's Continual Grace

On this Feast Day of the Assumption, I am sitting in my little "office" working on (as everyone in the world knows) my book on Marian Shrines. I'm thinking I should be working on Mary's Assumption in honor of the day but if you read yesterday's post, you know I am up North right now.

Mary has a certain little way of just giving me that extra bit of grace to not just persevere but to find joy in the amazing Godincidences she sets before me. I am working on the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wisconsin today. Reading more about the story and putting the finishing touches on our visit to the Shrine. It is a wonderful place and the only "approved by the Church" apparition of Mary in the United States that I know of.

As part of the story goes, in 1871 the Great Peshtigo Fire killed over 1500 people in this area of Wisconsin and threatened the Chapel and Convent and school at the Shrine. Sr. Adele, the visionary, along with all who had come for refuge from the fire, processed around the grounds with the statue of Our Lady and although the fire came right up to the fence, no harm was caused to the Shrine or any of the people there. This procession was the first of many.

"Each year on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, crowds gather (at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help) with the Bishop to celebrate this day in honor of Mary, the Queen of Heaven, with a Rosary Procession and Outdoor Mass."

May Her Graces be showered upon us all on this special Feast Day of Our Lady.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St. Maximilian Kolbe - Marytown

My daughter and I had the extreme pleasure of visiting Marytown on one of our Marian Shrine jaunts through Illinois to Wisconsin. I knew it wasn't necessarily a "Marian Shrine" but I figured it must have something for me since A.....I was literally passing close and could easily stop and B....Maximilian was all about promoting Consecration to Mary.

So, now I am working hard to finish the writing portion of my Marian Shrine book and last night I came upon the folder for Marytown. I opened it and sat and sat and sat. I do that a lot with this project, patiently waiting for the words, the wow, anything. Hummm. Maybe I won't include the Shrine of St. Maximilian Kolbe. But wait, what about Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament?

She is tucked right in the beautiful Perpetual Adoration Chapel which is a wonderful place to visit and to spend time in prayer and meditation.

And still, I sit. Waiting. And. Nothing. So, I think maybe this means I will not use this particular visit in my book. It's fine. There are others, so I set it aside.

This morning I run my daughter to the orthodontist and we make it back in time for Mass before we go to register her for school. I couldn't believe when I opened my Magnificat that today is the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. My heart dropped. I sat still and listened and I read the meditation which was from his writings on prayer. It was clear. His Shrine will be included with his emphasis on promoting Consecration to Mary Immaculate. After all, it's his day and why did I not realize that last night when I was looking for it? I have no idea. But today, I get it. Today there is a clear sign.

Here are more pictures from Marytown in honor of his day. I love this one of St. Francis. Marytown is under the direction of the Conventual Franciscan Friars.

   The Rosary Walk

Our Lady of Fatima

He took the place of a father in the concentration camps when someone had to die in exchange for an escape prisoner. He is the patron saint of drug addicts, prisoners, families and journalists. He has been given the title Apostle of Consecration to Mary. Happy Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Have You Heard of Planes?

The question I have gotten most this week since my daughters and I have been back from our trip is, "Have you heard of planes?" Well, of course we have and believe me I thought about them a lot while I was driving the 5400 miles to Sante Fe, NM to San Francisco, CA and back. But, where is the sense of adventure? Where are the random stops? Where is the further understanding of our great Country? Here is a brief overview of what it looks like to drive instead of fly to CA:


Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Santa Fe, NM

Loreto Chapel, Santa Fe
Miraculous Staircase

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Fe
Oldest Guadalupe Church in U.S.

Prayers for those not with us

Grand Canyon
Pouring Sleet, Clear in 10 Minutes
Happy Birthday to me

Right in the town


Our Lady of Peace
Santa Clara, CA

San Francisco
Crossing a foggy Golden Gate Bridge

Happened in Buck's to eat
Driving down the coast
Woodside, CA

Carmel by the Sea

Los Angeles, CA

Wax Museum

Central Perk
Warner Brothers

Leaving CA

Santa Rosa, NM

A little lunch on Route 66

One Last Stop 
National Shrine of the Infant of Prague
Prague, OK

One last pause

And, back to reality. If you lasted to the end of all of these pictures, I hope we didn't bore you and I hope we've given you a little glance of our adventure. Oh the stories we can tell! It was truly a trip to remember.