Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lithuanian Franciscans


This weekend I was in Kennebunk, ME for a meeting. It was held at the Franciscan Guest House on the grounds of St. Anthony's Monastery. The place was beautiful. The weather was beautiful. I was blessed in so many ways, even though a proposal I put forth was shot down. But I refuse to be down about it. The good outweighs the bad.

I renewed many friendships. I made new friends. And my socks were knocked off by a coincidence. I knew nothing about this place. It is run by Franciscans from Lithuania. Guess what. I'm half Lithuanian.

Who knew?

I was so blessed by seeing facial similarities, bone structures, a language (which I don't speak) I haven't seen in years. I just felt the presence of my mother and grandparents and other relatives all around me. And this the Feast of All Souls. Wow! Lord, thank you for all my Lithuanian relatives. Have mercy on them and give them my love.

The blessings continued. It was 60 degrees. In Maine! In November! So I went for a walk around the place. I saw a Lithuanian Wayside Cross, which looks nothing like a cross. That's the picture, above.

I saw this sculpture that I saw at the World's Fair when I was a senior in high school. It was designed by Vytautas Kazimieras Joynas. It represented the Church Militant (us), the Church Suffering (purgatory), and the Church Triumphant (heaven).

There were many other shrines, sculptures, monuments and a scenic view of the Kennebunk River. The blessings continue.

Naturally, there's a gift shop. In the Icon area I was specifically looking for the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. We're talking about Icons in my Arise Together in Christ group. We're just interested in them; it has nothing to do with our faith sharing program. But I was telling the group about the sandal falling of Jesus' foot, in that icon. I've been looking for that picture to show the group. And I did find a holy card of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, but the sandal falling isn't distinct. I was telling my friends about it and we looked all over the gift shop and didn't find anything better.

We went to brunch. While eating, a lady came over to me and said, "I overheard your conversation in the gift shop. I found this and am giving it to you." It was a 2" x 4" icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and the first thing one notices is the sandle trailing off Jesus' foot.

She turned around and left. I called after her, "Please stay and eat with us." She rushed away, shaking her head "no". I didn't see her again.

I am so unworthy of God's benevolence towards me.

I'm awed.

3 comments:

Marie Cecile said...

I'm so glad that the weekend in Maine went very well for you and that you were blessed in many ways. I am so very happy about that.

Faith said...

It didn't go all perfectly. Fr. Tom's Kids fell flat. It had competition from the Provincial. She proposed a Province-wide Apostolate (That's what I was hoping for Fr. Tom's Kids) the Provincial's project is called Murphy's Milk Money and she's asking for one dollar a person. I was asking for $75 a month to support a kid from Fr. Tom's Kids.
See why my project couldn't even compete.

Marie Cecile said...

Who knows what might happen down the road, some things just don't happen the way we would like. Perhaps that's why on another level you received blessings in another way. After all it's God's way not ours.