Monday, June 2, 2014

May 28 until the 31st... more on the way!!!

We've been on the road and seeing many things - without a real internet connection. So you get several days at once! Keep up the prayers - it has been amazing!!!

May 28

Mary Busse

At the moment, we are in the car driving to our next destination and resting after  amazing and memorable day exploring Niagara Falls and the surrounding state park. After early Mass this morning, (7:00 is definitely early!) we headed to the Falls. It’s been a long day, what with seeing the waterfalls, riding the boat to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls, going on a hike along the river of about 7 miles, and then braving the mist to go on the platform near the foot of the American and Bridal Veil Falls. We just ate a good satisfying supper at the Hard Rock Cafe, with the result that I am getting sleepy, so Goodbye for now and God Bless.

May 29

Greetings! Today was spent at the North American Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville, New York. We arrived for mass around 10am, and stayed until 4pm. We were able to visit everything that was open at the Shrine, and believe me, that’s a lot! If wandering around wasn’t spiritually satisfying, there were several nice areas to plant and pray. The Shrine was surrounded by the mountains for miles, and the blue skies made it evident that the Lord was pleased that we were there! For those of us in the group that were unaware of the North American Martyrs, this was a great opportunity to learn about our first American Saints and see the land that Saint Kateri was born on! After our visit on the holy land, we went on an absolutely beautiful excursion through the Catskill Mountains. 

May 30
Our wonderful experience with the Hawthorne Dominicans began last night when we arrived at Rosary Hill at about 10:45. We were all tired after our day of exploring the North American Martyrs Shrine in Auriesville NY and an unplanned but thoroughly enjoyable scenic route through the Catskills (where some nice people at a small cafe where we made a pit stop filled our water bottles and gave us some free pizza as it was nearing closing time!) When we arrived at the convent, the sisters put us up in their guest house. It was very peaceful, roomy, simple, and quiet. In the morning we woke up and went to Mass in the chapel at The Dominicans did something I had never seen before, and incorporated morning prayer in a really quite ingenious way into the liturgy of the Mass. Afterward, we were able to spend some time in quiet prayer and then Sister Alma Marie, the Novice Mistress for the order, brought us all downstairs to what I believe is normally a meeting room but where the sisters had set up some tables. There we ate breakfast with her, the novices, and the postulants. After a delicious breakfast of pastries and cereal, Sister Alma Marie showed us around Rosary Hill Home, where the sisters care for the poor suffering from incurable cancer. The home and the grounds are both very beautiful, a sort of oasis as the home is very close to New York City.Then we went to say Daytime prayer with the novices, postulants and any other sisters who were not busy with the residents and we did it with the Blessed Sacrament Exposed! We prayed a rosary and then went for a walk with the novitiate (which is the term for both the novices and postulants collectively) and started getting to know them. Then the sisters wanted us to have some experience of what they do everyday with their patients. Some of us simply visited with the residents and others helped the sisters feed the residents their lunch. I talked with the oldest sister in their order, Sister Dominic, who is 96 and approaching 75 years as a professed religious! She was very interesting to listed too, especially as she personally new the co-foundress of their order, Mother Rose, who helped Mother Alphonsa, who was previously Rose Hawthorne Lathrop and is now venerable. Afterwards, we lunched with the novitiate and then we had a little free time. We got started on washing some of our clothes (after this long, they needed it!) and then I had a little time to myself. Next, Sister Alma Marie showed us the community’s vocation video and afterwards we had a question-and-answer session with the novitiate and some of the other sisters. Then it was time for evening prayer, after which Sister Alma Marie showed us their collection of Mother Alphonsa’s (their foudress’s) things, such as a painting she had done as a young woman, her hair that she cut off on entering religious life, original manuscripts of her writings, and one of her habits. Then we had supper, once again with the novitiate, and then headed off to say Night prayer, which all of the sisters attended, and where they chanted the prayers. Afterward, we took a walk with the novitiate and then we hung out with them, eating popcorn (yum!) and talking with them. By the time we were done, it was pretty late so we went back to the guest house to get ready for bed and do some preliminary packing. All in all, we had an awesome day getting to know the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters. 

Mary Busse.

May 31

Greetings to you from the Big Apple! Well, here we are in New York City, and ready to take it on... at 7am. You know, it’s fairly quiet around these parts early in the morning, with the only thing booming being the Dunkin’ Doughnuts and Starbucks that just so happen to be on every single block. The city was a bit of a shock for us Midwestern girls, with all the flashing lights, honking, big buildings and fast walkers, but we had an absolute BLAST! We were hooked up with the tour of tours- we saw that whole city and knew the history of it in a matter of hours, thanks to our wonderful tour guides, and remarkable skills of leaving souvenir shops and restroom breaks as quickly as possible! We not only saw New York from the streets, but also on the water! That’s right, we took a ferry out to the State of Liberty and under all of the bridges. The Lord has blessed us with wonderful weather, every day has been blue skies, except for a bit of our water adventure, which was actually quite amusing! The day ended with mass at Saint Patricks Cathedral, home of Cardinal Dollan and a photo in the heart of the city, Times Square. This evening we will be heading to Connecticut for our next stop!


We have spent June 1st with the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist and June 2nd at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, but we just got in and it's late. More updates later!!!!!