Saturday, June 30, 2012

Padre Pio's Bag

A Lay Dominican, Joyful Marcus, requests any literature that you can spare, so that he can use it to evangelize.  Don't you like how they call each other, "Joyful?"

Padre Pio's Bag came about through the instrumentality of Rev.Father Henry Dinayen, a Diocesan Priest of the Archdiocese of Bamenda in Cameroon.  Inside the Bag, which he handed to one Marcus Kejungki, a finally Professed Lay Dominican of Saint Catherine of Siena Lay Dominican Fraternity  of Bambui / Bamenda, were found  Simple  / Small Prayer Books, Leaflets /  Fliers on our Catholic Faith, Rosaries, Brown Scapulars of Our Lady of Mount Carmel...and other Sacramentals. Marcus was NOT told what to do with these items...Some Youth who have come to me more than once asking a question or two on our Catholic Faith kept coming and I found that  some of these items answered their worries...and I started giving them the Rosaries, Prayer Booklets, Fliers etc and that is it.
A Joyful Friend asked me a question not long ago and it occurred to me that I could decide what should happen to Padre Pio's Bag:
==through It promote a growth of the spirit of Christian Unity around me here in Jakiri in the Diocese of Kumbo where I am resident;
==through It get many Cameroonians around me (starting with the Lay Dominicans around me)  to develop a Culture of Voracious Reading;[ I got 2 copies entitled 'Read Me or Rue It..How To Avoid Purgatory..by Fr.Paul O'Sullivan,o.p.' from the Bag and set them circulating among Saint Jude Apostolate Members of the Diocese of Kumbo...]
Incidentally more questions have been coming up about our Catholic Faith and I see the need to get the Bag 
==to run as Mini Private Library LENDING Christian Literature FREE to the Public around here;
==to run FREE a public Screen allowing exclusively Programmes from EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network); this should be able to disestablish the harm these pornographic film halls are doing around Jakiri Town !
==to link up with EWTN in the USA and Ave Maria Institute in USA and Canada to make an appeal for FLIERS, PAMPHLETS, FOLDERS, LITTLE BOOKLETS etc to use in reaching out FREE with information on our Beautiful Catholic Faith to the Public at large in Jakiri and Beyond.
I thank all@dominicanwitness.com for making these 5 Intentions of Padre Pio's Bag reach all JOYFUL Persons.
We do make appeal to any Catholic Christian who has some Catholic Literature 'idling' around, to not hesitate to forward it to:
:                 Padre Pio's Bag
                  P.O.Box 29 JAKIRI
                  via Bamenda, CAMEROON.
 TELEPHONE: (00237) 9704.1933
                        (00237) 7780.7361
                        (00237) 7422.1170.
E-MAIL:         padrepiosbag@gmail.com
we will be able to make good use of it
Jesus and Mary bless all Joyful People.
Sincerely,
Joyful Marcus of Jesus and Mary, o.p..

Friday, June 29, 2012

Lackadaisical Spirituality

Franklin T.O.P.S. 463
This afternoon I was happy to have maintained my weight.  You see, I kinda/sorta blew it this week.  I was not eating mindfully.  I ate things I shouldn't have over the weekend, and said, "Oh to hell with it!"  Then ate whatever was in sight, for the rest of the week. (Hmmmm, yesterday I posted about cookies...see the pattern?) 

But at "weigh in" today, I turtled.  I remained the same weight as last week.  Go figure?

Not being as bad as I thought I was, I feel very encouraged.  I will be good this week.  I'm resolved!  It's suppose to be a good weekend, so I'm going to take my granddaughter for a walk.  We'll go swimming.  I need to vacuum; every room needs to be cleaned.  So I know I'll be more active than usual.  And if I watch what food I put in my mouth, I should lose.  I bet I do.

Staying upbeat and resolved is also a problem, spiritually.  (I bet you were wondering how I was going to tie in spirituality.)  In fact, the same problems people have with their weight, often mirrors their spiritual weight.  Not making progress, losing, gaining, yo-yo-yoing, giving up, starting over, are spiritual problems.  We can get lazy, like I did, and say, "Oh to hell with it!"  Then God blesses us in that special way that fits each of us, and we resolve to re-establish and fortify our relationship with Him.  

Of course, the resolve yo-yo-yoes--come and goes, but we can't give up.  Our health depends on it.  

Actually, this is another reason I'm glad I'm Catholic.  The past is absolved in the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Imagine being reconciled with God!) and one begins again.  Just like my plans for the weekend.  

Not only will my halo shine brightly; it will fit!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cookies

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox

A woman was waiting at an airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore, to avoid a scene.

She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gutsy "cookie thief" diminished her stock.
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"

With each cookie she took, he took one, too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd do.
With a smile on his face and a nervous laugh,
He took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also rude,
Why, he didn't even show any gratitude!"

She had never known when she had been so galled,
She gathered her belongings and headed for the gate,
Refusing to look back at the "thieving ingrate."

She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise
There was her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!

"If mine are here," she moaned with despair,
Then the others were his and he tried to share!"
Too late to apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Home -- Day Thirteen

                                                 Finally, home where I'm comfortable.
I loved the Beatification and the retreat.  But I hate getting there and traveling home.  I have motion sickness and my ears fill with pressure and sometime the pain is excruciating.  I'll live anywhere.  It's the coming and going that get to me.

I missed my family, my husband's cooking--especially his big breakfasts, my pillow, and Dunkin Donuts.  Europe has to adopt the coffee mug and start importing coffee from South America.  Somebody should also introduce them to cranberry sauce.

What I find as funny, is I'm thinking in French.  I don't even speak it that well, but my mind is translating.  And I keep responding "Ja, Ja, Ja" --- like the Swiss Germans.  

But it's always good to be home.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pilgrilmage -- Day Twelve

We bid a sad goodbye to the sisters and staff at St. Niklausen.  We cast long lingering looks as we passed the Village of Sarnen, Lake Sarnen, and the the Kappell of St. Niklaussen.  Farewell, we'll meet in heaven.  So long, and God bless.

How can  a couple of weeks leave such an impact?  

Deo gratias.

From Sarnen, to Lucern, to Basel, to Paris.  Buses, trains, planes, shuttles, taxis, trolleys, they're all merged together.  I just went where I was told.  I was so sick of all methods of transportation, that I threw away my plans to visit Paris.

I was tired.

Everyone looked like a pick-pocket.

I was going to take a bus tour around Paris and take lots of pictures.  But I just didn't feel like it.  Please; not another bus!  

Besides we were staying at a hotel in the airport; and the airport was about an hour from Paris.  That would have meant getting a taxi or bus to get into the city of Paris, and then find a tour bus.  I just didn't have the energy.  

Hence Day Twelve was nothing: traveling and vegging out.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pilgrimage--Day Eleven

No hiking today.  This was my last full day at St. Niklausen.  I spent the day savoring impressions.  My last lauds with the Dominican Sisters of Bethany, my last Mass with my fellow Pilgrims, my last Eucharist in this chapel, etc.

I did manage to go up on the roof to get some sun.  It was cloudy: when the sun was behind the clouds, it was cold; when the sun was shining brightly, it was hot.  It was also too windy.

Everyone finished their packing and came down to sit in the lobby, to relax and talk.  We were joined by Sister Renata's nephew and wife.  They are theologians.  While we did have an interesting discussion, the talk disturbed me.  I didn't say anything, however.  I just sat there like a dummy.  The nephew has a doctorate in theology.  I guess that made me feel naive.  I hesitated to offer an opposite opinion on what the doctor was saying.  Well, he is the learned expert, and I, well, I'm just an old lady praying on her rosary beads.  Although, most of us in the group are Lay Dominicans, nobody said anything until Paul ventured to speak, "Why do you stay in the Church when you're so negative about it?"  

The theologian had just said that we were not obliged to follow the Pope.  He said that no where does it say that we must follow him.  In the Apostle's Creed, we say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints..."  It doesn't say that we believe in the Pope.  We, people, are the Catholic Church.  

This opinion elicited Paul's comments.  The theologians said that they love the church, that's why they criticize it.  They called it "faithful criticism."

The lady theologian also told us a story that upset me.  I googled it when I got home and I believe that it's true.  Because it's true, I was very saddened.  This new information depressed me because I had always believed that the church operated in the best interests of her faithful.  I had always thought that the church respected women (look at our veneration of Mary).  But it seems that the church shunned the very ones who loved her so much, who trusted so much, who believed so much, who risked everything, to serve the Holy Roman Catholic Church.  

The story we were told began with setting the background.  The lady theologian was working for the diocese and was on a trip to Germany.  She completed her work with the bishop, and he introduced his secretary to her.  The bishop said to sit down with the secretary for awhile, because he has an interesting story.  His story:

The secretary was a married priest with seven children.  It seems that during the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, religion was forbidden.  At this time, the secretary was working in animal husbandry, in an office.  He struck up a conversation and a friendship with the window washer.  They found out that they were both Christians.  They were both Catholics.  

Eventually, the window washer brought the secretary to clandestine Masses.  The Secretary brought his family.  They became involved in the underground Catholic Czech community.

One day as the secretary was waiting for a bus, he was approached by someone involved in the Catholic Czech community, who asked him if he'd be willing to be ordained, as a priest.  "How can this be?" He asked.  "I'm a married man with a family."

"You are exactly what we're looking for."  They reasoned that the communists would never suspect a family man as being a priest; they knew priests were celibates.

The secretary discussed the offer with his family.  It was decided that he would be a priest.  And so he ministered to the Catholic Czechs, during the Communist regime.

When Communism fell, the Catholic Church sat down with the secretary and told him that they would give him a choice: become laicized, or become an Eastern Orthodox priest.  He chose to be laicized.

That's not the end of the story.  And that's not the disturbing part.  There's more to the story.

Remember that the underground Czech Catholic Church approached the secretary because he wouldn't be suspected, as a married family man.  Well they also approached AND ordained women, for the same reason (They wouldn't be suspected.).  Only the women were given the dangerous job of ministering to those incarcerated in women's prisons.

Since there were no religion, there were no chaplains, and therefor no one to administer the sacraments to Catholics.  So the women priests were specifically called to serve in this dangerous ministry.  They had to break the law, be convicted and sentenced to prison, on purpose.  Can you imagine the Czech prisons?  Yet, these women priests knew what they were getting themselves into, and willingly accepted this ministry for God, for country, and the church that they so loved.  Once inside, they could hear confessions, perform Last Rites, baptize, and secretly have Mass.

The difference between the clandestine male priests, and the women priests was that some women priests died in prison.  And they weren't offered the same deal as the secretary.  The women were told to not let the door knob hit them, on the way out.

I checked the story out by "googling" Czechoslovakia Women Priests.  There's a plethora of information: pages of entries.  There's too much factual information for it to be a legend.  There's too many facts that are proven documentary.  There are too many people still alive that swear to the veracity of the facts, of women priests serving in prisons.  Go ahead; do your own research.  Living

Why did the story depress me?  Maybe because I thought the church wouldn't treat people who were trying to serve her, so shabbily.  Maybe because the church says women can not be priests, yet these women were ordained.  Maybe because the church says that she doesn't have the authority to ordain women, yet she did.  Maybe because I want the church to be perfect, like my heavenly father is.

Now that almost a week has past, since I've heard the story of the Czech women priests, I'm not so disheartened.  I recall that the church has ordained cardinals, in secret.  This is because the cardinals lived under repressive conditions that would have put their ministries in jeopardy.  This is called in pectore.  Wikipedia says,

In addition to the named cardinals, the pope may name secret cardinals or cardinals in pectore (Latin for in the breast).
During the Western Schism many cardinals were created by the contending popes. Beginning with the reign of Pope Martin V,[1] cardinals were created without publishing their names until later, termed creati et reservati in pectore.[20]
A cardinal named in pectore is known only to the pope; not even the cardinal so named is necessarily aware of his elevation, and in any event cannot function as a cardinal while his appointment is in pectore. Today, cardinals are named in pectore to protect them or their congregations from reprisals if their identities were known.
If conditions change, so that the pope judges it safe to make the appointment public, he may do so at any time. The cardinal in question then ranks in precedence with those raised to the cardinalate at the time of his in pectore appointment. If a pope dies before revealing the identity of an in pectore cardinal, the cardinalate expires. 

Living under the Czech communist regime certainly would qualify as priests not being able to function as priests.  Hence perhaps some sort of creati et reservati in pectore may have been formulated.  But if it were, then when conditions changed, the ordinatate expired, just as a cardinalate expires.  

The Lord giveth.  The Lord taketh away.  I serve the Lord.  I don't serve myself, so whatever He wills, I will.  And does it really matter whether the world knows, or not?  

God knows.


 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pilgrimage--Day Ten

Kappel St. Niklausen

Four of us decided to hike up to Kappel St. Niklausen.  We were planning to spend the morning and discussed whether or not to picnic.  Since there was always plenty of food, at meal time, I said that I'd buy the picnic and we'd share.  But when I went to pay, I didn't have to; it seems the picnic was in lieu of a lunch.  There was plenty of food for all of us, even though it was a picnic for one.

Wayside Shrine

The day was beautiful and we chose a trail that went the long way around.  Either we didn't go far enough, or we chose the wrong way, but after an hour or so, we gave up, and turned back.  That was fine; the scenery was breath taking.  The company was good.  The weather was cool--perfect for hiking.  We were enjoying our blessings.
      During our stay at St. Niklausen, the Chapel of St. Niklausen's bells always brought us to prayer.  I don't know if they rang every hour, but they did ring the Angelus.
      The Chapel was surprisingly beautiful.  I was surprised because from the outside it looked stark and utilitarian, not ornate in the least.  The ceiling was made up of saints.  There's a beautiful pulpit, one of those architectural marvels in a winding staircase, and of course, a reminder that we are mere mortals.
                                                                                                                                                      




  After a little while, half our group left to go back to a hot lunch.  Sister Pauline and I stayed.  We took pictures and prayed a Dominican Rosary.  When we were hungry we noticed something that should have been evident before.  Our picnic was in Avis' backpack.  And she left before us!
  
     So we headed back.  On the way back, Sister Pauline said that she'd eat the picnic lunch with me, so that I wouldn't be alone.  I was grateful.

But when we got back, she forgot and went inside to eat lunch.  

I looked for Avis, thinking that she owed me; she took my picnic, so she should stay with me, so that I wouldn't be alone.  

I did find her.  She gave me the picnic.  She left me and went inside to eat.

I was miffed, to say the least.

I was angry and hurt.  There I was, left standing on the outside, looking in on everyone laughing and having a good time. Didn't anyone think of me?  

What could I do?  I decided to make the best of it; I really had no choice.  I offered up my hurt feeling as penitential sacrifice and asked God to forgive my anger and resentment.  But still....

I followed a path away from the hotel and sat down on the furthermost bench.  So there I was, alone with God.  

Hmpf!

I can't tell you what happened next.  His grace somehow turned my attitude around.  I don't know how.  All I can tell you is that I sat on that bench, "pissed!"  I got up off that bench with an outlook that was positive, cheerful, optimistic, grateful, and very thankful.  How? Why? 

Before that moment, I was on vacation; after that moment I was on retreat.  God finally got me alone.

The sun was so gentle on my face.  The wind caressed me.  I think I napped.  When the bells from Kappell St. Niklausen tolled, I went inside for some "one on one" with God, in Adoration.

Later that night, when I couldn't sleep, I went outside on my balcony.  I could see the room next door had its lights on--Avis' room.  

I reached over my balcony(risking my life) and tap, tap, tapped on her window.  She got up.  After she asked me if I were crazy, I asked her if she felt like talking. 

We spent a couple of hours giving each other spiritual direction.                ;-)


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pilgrimage--Day Nine

Up early today, June 8, 2012.  We're going to Einsiedeln.  This is a well known pilgrimage shrine, the abbey of Einsiedeln.  It incorporates the relics of St. Meinrad, a black Madonna and a large nativity scene--the Diorama Bethlehem.

We had an early breakfast, and walked down the hill to the bus stop.  We were wondering if it were ever going to come, but then we reasoned, "This is Switzerland.  The bus and train will be on time!"  And it was.  The bus took us to Sarnen, where we got the train.  I think we changed trains again, to get to Lucerne.  One more train to Einsiedeln.

What a pretty town!  Too bad it was raining, but then again, if we weren't touring, we would have been stuck inside the hotel.  Well, maybe not stuck; this is a retreat; we could have always gone to Adoration.

Einsiedein
The shrine looks like an ornate parliament building.  The center edifice is the church of St. Meinrad, the side buildings are some kind of school and a Benedictine Abbey.

We made it for Mass.  The monks sing beautifully.  Even though we don't understand the Swiss German, we understand the Mass.  Jesus is our High Priest, no matter what country we're in and His Presence is there for us in the Mass.

However, unfortunately, no cameras are allowed in the church.  The flash affects the art work.  But pictures would not do justice to this beautiful church, anyway.  And words can't capture the spirit and love that years of prayer have put in this church that's over 1000 years old.  There are many side altars, statues, and pictures.  There's a black Madonna here.  The color is explained by its age, smoke from incense--and probably flash from cameras.  I don't know, however, the color is really shiny.  It looks polished.  The Madonna is ornately dressed and the Baby is too.  It's behind bars, which made me love her all the more.  Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Everything dear and precious was behind bars.  There probably is no other way to protect these treasures from souvenir hunters.

Outside, the church is a fountain with twelve spouts.  Sister Renata told us that when children make their first communion, they go around drinking from each of the twelve spouts.  It was raining, and I didn't want to take the chance of picking up some bacteria from water not chemically treated, so I only drank from one.
Fountain at Einsiedeln with 12 spouts

Drinking from the Fountain
At lunch we encountered an unpleasant waitress.  Most of the problem was communication.  But also, I think that Europeans don't have the same "customer is always right," ethic, that Americans have.  What happened was, as we were walking to our table, we passed by the wait staff folding these pretty, multi-colored flowered napkins.  We stopped and admired them.  We thought we were going to get to use them at our own table, but we were told that they were for supper, not lunch. We understood.  Janice, however, asked if she could have just one--just one, as a souvenir.  The waitress picked up a bunch of them and threw them on our table.

I don't think she understood what we said.

Janice then insisted that she have tomato soup, after we were told that they had no more.  Actually, it was on the menu, but we were told they had none.  Anyway, Janice got her tomato soup.  It's not that Janice is a bold, self-assertive, demanding woman.  She's just impulsive; and goes with whatever enters her mind.

It was in this restaurant, that a fly landed and drowned in Sheila's water.  Back home, we would have gotten a free meal--at the very least!  Here, we were lucky to get another glass of water.  We probably had to pay for it too.  Anyway, the food was good.  The food everywhere was good.

We made it back to St. Niklausen in time for Compline.  It was crowded tonight.  There's a lot of pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella.

*******Back home, I did some research on the Einsiedeln's Black Madonna.  I've learned that there are many such images.  Prejudice and suspicion have historically led to their suppression.  In fact, the Orthodox Church doesn't recognize them.  Some legends say they are pagan goddesses.  This may very well be the case in Einsiedeln.  Some stories say Meinrad carried along a black statue that very well could have been a Christianized black goddess.  After Meinrad's death, 861, a small Benedictine cloister was built at the site of his hermitage, with the Black Madonna inside.  Many blessings occurred at the site.  However, in the 15th century, the chapel was destroyed by fire.  A new icon was built and has become the primary object for veneration in the shrine.  This is the Einsiedeln Black Madonna.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pilgrimage--Day Eight

Corpus Christi is today.  It's June 7, Thursday, and here in Switzerland, we're celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi.  It's a holiday.  Schools and businesses are closed.  Parishes have processions.  Back in the USA, the feast is put off until Sunday.

The Ranft

Sheila & Priscilla hiking

Jakobsweg = Santiago de Compostela
I spent the day hiking.  I hiked down to Niklaus of Flue's hermitage.  He is known affectionately, as Brother Klaus.  He was a successful farmer and was father to a family of ten children.  After receiving a mystical vision, he made arrangements for his family, and left them to become a hermit.  When he left, his older children were adults, and could help with the family.  They were well provided for and kept into contact with Brother Klaus.

It is said that he lived on the Eucharist, alone.  His reputation for wisdom and holiness was famous, and people came from all over to seek his advice.  His Ranft, or sanctuary, is a place of pilgrimage because it is on the path to Jakobsweg, or Santiago de Compostela.  Since his advice saved Switzerland from civil strife, he is considered the patron saint of Switzerland.

His body is interred in the church of St. Niklausen in Sachseln.

Church of St. Niklausen

Sue lit a candle

St. Niklausen

After my hike, I trounced Sister Ann in ping pong.  I have no pictures of that.  It was too horrendous.








Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pilgrimage - Day Seven

St. Dominic & Faith

'Till death do us part
View from my room.

Cross in my room.
This day, June 6, 2012 is a blur.  The night seemed endless.  I tossed and turned all night.  The room is very nice, quiet, and the view--spectacular!  But I was so tired and groggy all day, I stuck around the hotel and just became acclimated to the place.  This statue is near their reception desk.  I napped here and there, all day.  I did my laundry in their laundry room.   There's a washer but no dryer.  So my underwear is hanging all over my room. I attended Lauds, Terce, Sext, Evening Prayer, and Compline.  I also found the Adoration Chapel and spent time with Jesus.  These Dominican Sisters of Bethany are contemplatives and have Adoration 24/7.

Tree Trunk Tabernacle

Adoration
 I read a lot.  My room has a little book that explains the hotel, St. Niklausen, and the sisters.  Here are some quotes:

St. Dominic wanted his fellow brethren to study, to preach, to live in community, to be themselves living symbols of God's mercy, and to be sensitive to any kind of poverty diminishing man's humanity.


The Dominican Sisters of Bethanien are rooted in the tender mercy of God.  The Eucharist and liturgical prayer, contemplation and adoration, are the very core of their lives.


Bethanien is a place where differences of origin, social standing, education, or abilities, are regarded as irrelevant.  What counts for us is simply to say "YES" to one another.


Father Lataste - Founder of our Community
In 1864, a young Dominican priest was giving a retreat in a women's prison.  As a result of his preaching, 400 imprisoned women discovered God's tenderness which offers new chances to anyone at all times. 
    Praying before Jesus, Bread of Life, the inspiration to create a new community came to Father Lataste -- a community of forgiveness, adoration and sisterly love.

Mary Magdalene --  Patroness of our Congregation
Do you believe that God loved Mary Magdalene less because she had sinned?   Father Lataste


Mary Magdalene --  Witness to the Resurrection of Christ


She believed in love.  Touched by Christ's compassion she discarded her dark past and focused her passionate love on Jesus, her Liberator.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pilgrimage--Day Six

We took 5 trains, a bus, and then we walked, in order to get to St. Niklausen, OW, Switzerland, from Besancon, France.

The first thing I noticed, after the spectacular vista, was the smell of manure.  Sister Renata inhaled and said, "Ah, the smell of Swiss air!"

You get use to it.

You really do.

That sound of cow bells is ever constant.  But like, the smell, you get use to it.  You don't even notice it, anymore.

As soon as I got to my room, I fell on my bed and slept until the next morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pilgrimage Day--Day Five

Tabernacle at Roche d'Or
My first thought upon waking was Pere Lataste's Rosary.  I couldn't wait for Morning Prayer.  We prayed in Roche d'Or's Chapel.  After prayer, we took turns holding the beads.  It's a habit rosary, so all of us could hold on to it as we prayed the rosary.  I was blessed enough to pray aloud the fourth decade of the joyful mysteries.  On the last decade, Sheila's voice broke.  I cried, too.  The immensity of the entire weekend hit me.  The history we were holding in our hands.  The blessing of being in Besancon.  The blessings we received all weekend.  Praying in community.  God is so good.


The rest of the day was spent with the Sisters of Bethany in Montferrand, France. Their doorway entrance was covered in bunting, the colors of the diocese of Besancon.

 Inside we met up with our friends, Father Prakash, Sister Hannah, Sister Barbara, and we met new friends.
The Vice-Postulator, Fr. Jean-Marie Gueullette, op met with us, alone.  He told us as a group, how he came to undertake the task of promoting the cause of beatification.  He worked for 20 years.
Cloistered Brother's Portrait

Lataste's Tomb

Mary Magdalene
I visited the new chapel, again, where Fr. Lataste is entombed.  The  chapel is very unique and different.  One wall has a picture of Mary Magdalene.  One corner has self portraits of my "cloistered brothers."  And then, of course, in the center of the floor, is Lataste's tomb.

Mass was celebrated in the sisters' chapel.  Afterwards, we had some refreshments.

There were plenty of opportunities to walk around their beautiful grounds and cemetery.  I took quite a few pictures.

Pere Lataste & prisoners

Mary
Grotto of Mary Magdalene
Cemetery
Sr. Pauline & Fr. Prakash
Faith & Fr. Prakash
Sister Renata & Fr. Prakash










The handsome Dominican friar that everyone wants their picture taken with is Father Prakash Anthony Lohale, op, the Socius of Apostolic Life.