February 08, 2007

Warm People, Cold Everything Else

Sr. Pat and I traveled this past weekend to Wisconsin. Dr. Alexandra Guliano, one of our associates and long-time friend to many of the sisters, invited us to speak at St. Therese's Parish in Milwaukee where she is director. Pat and I tag-teamed a reflection for the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life. It was great to be with the community there. To share pieces of our stories and, in being there, to add new pieces. We were introduced to a number of Milwaukee traditions--fish fry on Friday and ham and rolls after mass. At the "fish fry" on Friday we met a wonderful family, very involved at the parish, and a celebrity, Mike, who just last year won Jeopardy's Tournament of Champions. We were so excited to bring the story of our new friend back home to share with Sr. Paula who loves Jeopardy.

After we finished at the parish, we then traveled north to Oshkosh, WI for a Superbowl party with some of the sisters and associates that live in the north. I was pretty exhausted by then, but was able to make it through the game with my eyes still open. A wonderful crowd and some great Wisconsin cheese.
Monday morning Pat and I had been scheduled to speak at a school where some of our sisters work. Give a little piece on religious life, God's call, etc. as appropriate for pre-K through fifth grade. With the incredibly cold weather, however, school was cancelled. A snow day of sorts for us. Instead we were able to sleep in a little bit, have a slow morning, and even lunch with a couple of Pat's friends in the area before heading to our next destination, the CSJ motherhouse in LaGrange, IL.

For those of you who may not be very familiar with our various congregations, the LaGrange CSJs are well-known for their art--painting, sculpture, music. I think I could have spent a month there just wandering the halls and taking in all of the art. My bedroom was right across the hall from Sr. Mary Southard's studio, so I am hoping maybe some inspiration and ability wore off. Wonderful hospitality.

I can't believe that I am just now getting around to really menioning just how cold it was there. For some of you who have grown up or have spent extended periods of time in the north, I'm probably a wuss. However, it was the coldest place I have ever been. Pat and I kept watching the temperature on the bank clocks as the days progressed: 9 degrees, 4 degrees, 1 degree, -1 degree, -6 degrees. Negative 9 was the lowest temperature I actually saw. However, when I first woke up one morning I think they said it was -13. That is without the windchill! Pat and I took to making sound effects in an effort to keep warm. I think it was helpful. A trip to Target early on to find a couple more long sleeved shirts made for a laugh as the first thing we saw as we shivered through the front door were the swimsuits. Even in the cold, though, we couldn't pass up a trip to the local Milwaukee version of Ted Drewes. I think my feet are starting to finally thaw.



  1. Enjoyed reading about all your recent travels. I have the job of typing the minutes of the last PCCW meeting and your website was in my notes! It was great to see pics of you and Sr. Pat. Lots going on - several parishioners were without power for extended periods following the ice storm of January 12. Take care - God bless all of you in your various ministries - even SuperBowl watching! Love, Anne - St. Joe, Ozark.

  2. I can't believe you were eating ice-cream! Great story. What a gift for the North! So How cold is it today in STL.


  3. Hey, Is that our own St. Pat Quinn from Ozark, MO?
    We're here in St Louis and decided to try and find you, and there you are watching the game. It's good to see you. Hope we get a chance to get in touch with you while we're here. Terry Grimes