We survived the trek to Chicago and back with two kids and one mother-in-law!!
Drove into Chicago on Sunday for Mass at St. John Cantius. The church is incredible, more beautiful than I expected! I tried to take some pictures, but it is very dark inside, and there was a baptism taking place, so I got one exterior shot and this interior shot that is just barely visible! Pretty disappointing because the interior reminded me of churches in Italy (the parish roots are Polish) with decoration and ornamentation in every nook and cranny...very, very beautiful. (NB: Revised pic. Thanks Ray for the incredible lightening job!! Between you and Vincenzo, I can really hoke up pics and you guys can work wonders with them!!)
After Mass, we visited with Ma Beck (Cathy) and got to meet Mary, who is even more precious in person. My son, who is not really interested in babies, was quite taken by Mary and kept trying to get her attention and tickle her.
The parish festival was wonderful and the weather was perfect. I just wish my MIL had spent the day with the kids so I could've visited with Ma Beck some instead of being distracted and pulled in several directions at once!
Ironically, while I was at St. John Cantius in Chicago, I received an e-mail asking me to join a novena to St. Monica, mentioning that St. John Cantius "sells some stuff on this novena." Well, that's kind of an understatement as this novena is said regularly by the parish organization, St. Monica Sodality. How cool is that! Guess I'm not the only one who is a fan of St. Monica.
Driving in Chicago was not nearly as bad as I expected, but the roads are atrocious.
Six Flags was fun, but my son who is hardly ever sick, had a cough as soon as we left for Chicago and developed a pretty good fever immediately upon arrival to the park. But, as usual, his fever broke after an hour or so and he was able to enjoy the rest of the day, albeit a bit subdued. And, it was quite hot and lots of sun. I got sun burned on my nose and the kids said I looked like Rudolph. We were at the park all day, leaving shortly before the park closed...way longer than I thought all of us could muster!
Below is a pic of the kids in their regalia. They are wearing their Batman capes and my MIL took them to a shop in the park that had so much Scooby Doo stuff I thought the kids' heads would explode. She told them they could pick one item and my daughter chose this stylish Scooby purse and my son picked the cheapest little Spiderman figure he could find! I think the store made him OD on Scooby...but he loves Spiderman too (notice his Spiderman shirt...the crown is from Vacation Bible School that he had to bring with him).
Next year we are talking about going to the Dells...we'll see if we can recover from this trip first however!
"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together." ~Benedict XVI
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Fides et Ratio Encyclical
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.
Thank you everyone that voted for the Kneeler at the Cannonball awards!!
Words of Father Corapi, for all my politician friends and relatives and those who vote for them
"Catholic office holders, whether presidents, senators, congress men or women, or judges at any level must adhere to Catholic teaching or run the risk of separating themselves from the Body of Christ. In such egregious and chronic cases of gross moral evil such as instituting and perpetuating abortion and the structures of sin that surround it, it is quite probable that such Catholic officials are excommunicated in virtue of the acts themselves. A latae sententiae (automatic) excommunication is likely triggered when they vote for laws, funding, and structures that enable and perpetuate such obvious and egregious evil (Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 1364,1398; Canon 1329, par. #2). They are in turn forbidden from approaching the sacraments as the result (Cf. Catechism of Catholic Church #1463)."
"It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications whatever. Why? For the simple reason that the Church holds these things to be intrinsically evil. They are evil in themselves, and no circumstances or subjective conditions can ever change that."