Can you believe it's Holy Week? We've reached the end of Lent already! And what a beautiful journey it's been. As Julia hinted, last weekend was a busy one for us. Sr. Laura and Julia had an exhibit at the Archdiocesan Men's Conference; Sr. Carmen and I had one at the Homeschoolers' Conference; and Alina and the others sisters manned the fort in the bookcenter! We were all able to make it home for our Faith and Film Night that evening.
Then on Sunday, we helped at a youth rally organized by the Archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry. It was beautiful to celebrate Palm Sunday Mass with the many young people who attended.
The week proceeded as normal...apostolically, we are preparing for our exhibit at the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) in Indianapolis next week. Sr. Jerome, Sr. Laura, Julia, and I will be going and meeting Sr. Laura Rosemarie, who is driving from Chicago. We'll drive there and set up on Monday and Julia and I will drive back on Thursday (Sr. Jerome and Sr. Laura will stay through the weekend to do a parish exhibit). So we've been packing boxes and stuffing flyers and of course praying for all the people who will be there! It will be a new experience for Julia and me because it's a national exhibit. It will be bigger and busier than the other exhibits that we've done. I'm looking forward to meeting the people and seeing how our mission can fulfill so many important needs.
We've been blessed to celebrate the Easter Triduum in all of its richness. We watched Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" on Wednesday evening to set the tone for our reflections. On Thursday morning, Sr. Caritas, Sr. Laura, Alina, and I went to the Chrism Mass at the cathedral. It was really beautiful to all the priests processing in and renewing their commitment to priestly service. After the bookcenter closed Thursday evening, we had an Hour of Adoration together, and after supper, we went to the Mass of the Lord's Supper at St. Peter's. The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper is my favorite Mass all year. It always makes me reflect on what a great gift we have in the Eucharist -- the total self-gift of Jesus to us.
On Good Friday we had a retreat day. Several of us went to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville, Illinois to spend the day. They had a beautiful outdoor Stations of the Cross (and probably at least a couple hundred people were there!). Their Good Friday Commemoration of the Lord's Passion was also very moving. On Friday evening, we split up to experience a couple different services: Sr. Jerome and Julia went to St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral for a burial service for Jesus, and Sr. Laura, Sr. Carmen, Alina, and I went to the Benedictine monastery for Tenebrae.
Holy Saturday always has that sense of anticipation for me -- anticipation of the resurrection and the unbounded joy that comes with it. I pray that you have a very blessed Easter and know the risen Lord in a new way this year. As always, feel free to leave us comments or prayer requests! God bless you!