I returned from my Midwestern trek on December 30th - just in time for our community retreat day of prayer for peace. It was a wonderful trip. Having lived in the Midwest for three years, I anticipated a warm welcome and some hearty fare. I was right on both counts.
I traveled with Mary Clark, who will enter this monastery on February 8th. It is customary to "meet the family" at some point in the discernment process as things get mutually serious. We spent two and a half days in the car and two and a half days with her kin. The travel was uneventful - praise GOD. The visit was worth every mile of road.
I stayed near Mary's sister's home in Henderson, KY. Pat is a gracious hostess and a wonderful mother. I'm still seeing the faces of her children - Tracy and Miriam - and wondering if they'll be too grown up to want to hang around with Sister Vicki if ever I'm passing through. (And, Aunt Mary, of course.)
Mary surprised us all with an outing to a wonderful German restaurant in historic downtown Evansville, IN. It's just 20 minutes over the state line. I haven't had real German food like that since Helmer's in Hoboken, NJ.
Our second day was spent across another state line. We spent all of the Feast of the Holy Family in Mount Carmel, IL. It takes about an hour to get to "Me-Maw's" house. Mrs. Mary Diebler invited us all to Sunday Eucharist at the parish our Mary grew up in. Then, she took the whole family to the K of C Hall for Sunday dinner. After an afternoon of visiting (people in the Midwest still know how to visit), we ordered a pizza for supper and then said our goodbyes.
It was an important day for all of us, I think. Hopefully, Mary's family has a better sense of who we are.this visit will hold everyone until there can be another such reunion. Mary's life is about to shift. But, with GOD's grace, and the prayers of all who love her, she will stay the course. I will remember this family visit for a very long time The Diebler family has blessed me...with their faith, their hope and their love.
It's good to be back. Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki