It seems as if so much happens between one post and the next. That's probably because it does.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to drive to St. Louis to share my sisters and motherhouse with a wonderful young woman who is discerning religious life. Neither of us arrived early and we had never met in person before, so we spent the first night talking until what was probably too late to be good for either of us. Saturday was filled with time with sisters, a tour of the motherhouse, Eucharist, a great root beer float at Fitz's, a bit of CSJ sightseeing, prayer together, and a movie (to which we both fell asleep on our respective couches). Sunday was more of the same before we parted ways around noon. I took advantage of the short trip to meet up with some of my family for lunch. Although it put me home a bit later, I was very grateful to be with them. Really, the whole weekend was one of gratitude. It was awesome to be able to share faith and discernment with someone so on fire with listening to God. I've really been very conscious lately of my own prayer time and the need for that place and space with God, and weekends like that only reinforce the desire.
Then, Monday, back to work.
The beginning of the week was spent preparing for our church Halloween party on Wednesday night. Our religious education classes have been getting bigger and bigger with 70 or 80 students a week. Well, we had over 130 children at the Halloween party. On one hand, I wonder where they all are every Wednesday. On the other hand, I'm glad they don't all make it every week--I don't know where we would put them. We had apple bobbing, face painting, musical chairs, a haunted house, pizza--the usual. The haunted house was a big hit. Our teens had decorated with spider webs, hanging legs, strobe lights, a fog machine. One room was filled with balloons that a fan blew around. The other room was decorated cemetery style. Out of every nook and cranny jumped the high school students all too ready with a scream for any unsuspecting little one who walked past. I am amazed at how kids like to be scared.
Then today I went on a long bike ride. One of my cross country runners is getting her gold award in Girl Scouts, and as part of that award, she organized a bike ride. I rode with her mom a couple of months ago and she gave me the flier. For those of you who regularly read my blog, I did an entry at that time about the 20-25 mile bike ride I did that day. I haven't ridden since. So, the 27 mile ride today with some major hills was killer. I cannot tell you how good the barbeque lunch tasted as I rode in and dropped my bike. I did manage to come in a good twenty-five minutes ahead of the serious riders who did the 48 mile ride. Thankfully, after another week of rain, the day is perfect, cool and sunny (although I could have done without the head wind on those hills). It will be perfect for trick-or-treaters tonight.
Now off to work on questions for trivia night next weekend. We are trying to do a bit of fundraising for our youth convention in the spring. Our youth group continues to grow, and I know the interest will be more than double what we had last year, which is wonderful. It does mean, however, that we have to find more than double the funds. Our teens have really been fabulous. They are helping to teach religious ed., they sing every week at mass, four or five stayed until Kate and I locked up Wednesday after the party vacuuming, moving chairs, etc. So, I'll do what I can to get them to Jackson. It's a great opportunity for them to celebrate with other Catholic teens. It's hard down here; yet another way in which they are the minority. If you find yourself in the Ripley, MS area next Saturday, stop by. Doors open at 6:00. Ten dollar suggested donation, although no one will be turned away. Let me know in advance and I'll even clean my sheets for you to stay the night.
Have a great week.