Friday we really started to head west and got as far as Akron, OH. Our directions told us which entrance to go in and then pull up in front of the mansion. Of course our GPS put us in a different entrance and as we are passing some large houses we tried to determine which one was the mansion...until we saw the actual mansion. It is a beautiful place built in the early part of the 20th century by a rubber baron. The sisters acquired it some years later and in the 50's added on to it but the original house still maintains the look it had from the beginning. As with all our other visits we were given a tour, learned some history, and shared a meal with the sisters. From there we went to a smaller (though still large enough for servants quarters) house where we stayed the night. We ended the evening having a little fun playing a game. The next morning we had a wonderful breakfast (everyone in the house likes to cook!) and said goodbye to our last Dominican stop.
|Our Lady of the Elms|
|The main hall|
|Front door (wanted to make sure to get the Peace sign in there)|
So from Our Lady of the Elms we went to St. Mary of the Woods. This is the motherhouse for the Providence sisters. We are currently in the ICN (Inter-Congregational Novitiate) program with their two novices. As with all of the other stops we were taken on a tour (as much the grounds as the buildings which was nice after so much driving), given a little history, and met sisters. I have to say, their heritage space was pretty impressive; I guess it helps to have a saint on the property. We then had a nice relaxing evening of supper with the novices and a movie. This morning (Sun) Quincy and I went in different directions to help us re-energize before we jump back into our weekly routine. She went on a hike and had a bigger tour of the farm and I slept in. After Mass we headed home.
|The first stop in their new home. The priest's house/chapel.|
|The French part of the journey|
|Not sure which door is the front door but this is the one that is used the most.|
|Watch out! She spits.|
This was an amazing trip! We couldn't have packed more in if we tried. Now I understand why the very first year of the CDN, this trip took over a month. We got a lot of good pictures, learned a ton about the histories of the various congregations, and most importantly we met so many sisters. This has been a great experience of meeting the greater family. We loved every minute of it!
I, and I know I can speak for Quincy here too, am grateful for the wonderful hospitality, the warm welcomes, and the eagerness to tell stories and answer questions. We are thankful for the sisters (and others) who took time out of their day to show us around and those who came to meet us, and also for the flexibility when some of the plans were up in the air until the last minute. Everything went smoothly, including the driving and the weather; it was as if we had people praying for us along the way...thank you all for that. As much as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity we do hope that we can make it back and visit (for maybe longer stays) sometime.
Please continue to pray for us as we pray for you,
|It might be cloudy but it was still a welcome sight.|