Thursday, June 25, 2009

I am in awe

Currently, I live across the street from a HUGE nursery. Spring time is the best because of all the blooming flowers! It is an oasis. Going on walks is something I truly enjoy, and walking through and around the nursery makes it even better.

Recently, I was walking by and saw a flower that was totally new to me - never in my life had I seen it and thought I had missed out on a true piece of beauty. I walked into the nursery and described the flower that took my breath away, and they immediately knew what it was - and Allium! (I described it to them as a big purple "dandelion" when they are white and fluffy.)

My mom has quite the green thumb, so I gave her a call to see if these grow in Washington, and THEY DO! You can guess what I will be doing in the fall - - - planting my Allium bulbs (They are a "plant in the Fall, grow in the Spring" flower).

Each night around 8:00 pm when the heat and humidity have almost worn off, I head out for a walk around the nursery and marvel in the beauty of the Allium (and all other flowers, too)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cathedral of St. Paul - New National Shrine

Not that anyone needs another excuse to come to Minnesota - (what many people around here call "God's Country") - but now the Cathedral of St. Paul has been established as a National Shrine!

As the Year of St. Paul draws to a close on June 29, the Cathedral of St. Paul announced its new designation as National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.

The Cathedral is among about 100 U.S. Catholic churches that have been honored with the designation — and it’s the only one dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Divine Worship.

The designation comes from the Holy See and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at the request of Archbishop John Nienstedt.

The title ‘shrine’ recognizes the Cathedral’s national importance and designates it as a pilgrimage destination for groups from across the United States, said Father Joseph Johnson, the Cathedral’s rector.

The Cathedral began the application process when the Year of St. Paul was announced, Father Johnson said. He felt the Cathedral had a particular responsibility to heed the jubilee year’s call to greater devotion to the Apostle Paul.

He also thinks the national shrine designation honors the vision of the Cathedral’s founder, Father Lucien Galtier, the first priest to establish a parish in the area in 1840. Because of his devotion to the saint, he named the log chapel he built after St. Paul, which led to the name of the city. “Father Galtier looked to the person of Paul when he arrived in this wilderness, and it’s interesting that now the universal church has said we’re all going to do that,” Father Johnson said.

Because of the shrine designation, the Cathedral will continue some of the programming it began during the jubilee year, including its First Saturday series, which featured speakers, prayer and reflection. It already offers several weekly tours.The new shrine has also established the Archconfraternity of the Apostle Paul to help people feel connected to the shrine, Father Johnson said.

Members serve as the spiritual apostolate of the National Shrine of the Apostle

Paul in five particular ways:
- Greater devotion to St. Paul and his intercession.
- Study of and reflection on the Pauline epistles in the New Testament.
- Practice of corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
- Commitment to evangelization, especially in everyday encounters
- Connection with the spiritual life at the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.

Last week, as a going away present, my co-workers and I all went on a tour of the Cathedral, something we have "always wanted to do", but never got around to. When you live in a particular city, I have noticed you often don't do the "touristy" things associated with that region. I have been to the Cathedral - perhaps hundreds of time - for Mass or other events, but never had a complete understanding of what each window, or fresco or marble stone meant or came from.

The experience was truly memorable. We spent time in each side chapel honoring the saints and learning about what went into building their chapel. Each marble slab in the side chapels came from the country of origin for the Saint. The stained glass windows and "rose windows" are priceless, yet at the time when the cathedral was constructed, they were a few thousand dollars. Unbelievable.

I will admit that the Connemara Marble from Ireland (the picture in the link does not do it justice) from St. Patrick's side chapel was the most radiant and beautiful of them all.

All in all, I highly recommend an organized tour of the Cathedral, it has given me a much greater and renewed sense of wonder and awe for this building men erected in honor of our good and loving God.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Body of Christ

of Corpus Christi
The Most Holy
Body and Blood of Christ

"The Eucharist is the ‘treasure’ of the Church, the precious heritage that her Lord has left to her. And the Church preserves it with the greatest care, celebrating it daily in holy Mass, adoring it in churches and chapels, administering it to the sick, and as viaticum to those who are on their last journey . . . .
" (
Pope Benedict XVI)

As Cardinal Ratzinger, in his book titled, God Is Near Us,
our future Holy Father wrote:

Communion and adoration do not stand side by side, or even in opposition, but are indivisibly one. For communicating means entering into fellowship. Communicating with Christ means having fellowship with Him.

That is why Communion and contemplation belong together: a person cannot communicate with another person without knowing him. He must be open for him, see him, and hear him. Love or friendship always carries within it an impulse of reverence, of adoration. Communicating with Christ therefore demands that we gaze on Him, allow Him to gaze on us, listen to Him, get to know Him. Adoration is simply the personal aspect of Communion. We cannot communicate sacramentally without doing it personally.

Sacramental Communion becomes empty, and finally a judgment for us, unless it is repeatedly completed by us personally. The saying of the Lord in the book of Revelation is valid not only for the end times: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him and he with Me’ (3:20). This is at the same time a description of the most profound content of Eucharistic piety. True Communion can happen only if we hear the Voice of the Lord, if we answer and open the door. ‘Let us be generous with our time in going to meet Him in adoration and… [let] our adoration never cease’ (Dominicæ Cenæ).

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lexington and Nashville to visit my favorite Sister, Kathy.

Here are some pictures of my trip to see one of my favorite people in the whole world -
Sr. Katherine (soon to receive a new name!)

Bye Bye Kathy!

When you give your life to Jesus, He takes good care of you, check out the castle they live in.

More of the castle ...

And still more....

Marian garden at the cemetery.

More cemetery garden....

Lovely Holy Family statue at the 'vent (that's what I call the convent!)

Hanging out in Kentucky.

Sr. Katherine relearning how to use a cell phone.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Here are my Eight

Tagged by Kristine - this is fun.

8 Things I am looking forward to:

1) Getting married to Joe in 39 days. Enough said!2) Swing dancing for REAL, after 6 weeks - - well, 12 weeks of lessons really, we are dancing at a real swing club! Hope we are as good as we think we are.
3) Monica and Jordan's wedding, which was actually Friday night.
4) Lounging on a rainy day in St. Paul. Feels just like home.
5) Having some of my best "NET" and Minnesota friends come in to town this July to hang out before the wedding. Only a few have ever been to the Pacific Northwest.
6) Organizing our home. I am already looking forward to unpacking (1st I have to pack though) in our home together, finding places for everything, and making our home a warm, peaceful and welcoming place.
7) The feeling of having everything checked off the wedding list - - - - I've got a little ways to go.
8) Having more time in the morning to do things. I am at my best in the morning, and now that the sun is out SO EARLY, I wake up earlier, giving me more time to do all kinds of things around here.

8 Things I did Yesterday:

1) Went to work and covered the front desk for Vicky who was away on the interview weekend.
2) Took a half day at work in order to drive up to Moorhead/Fargo for Monica and Jordan's wedding.
3) Played fun car games and had good conversation for 4 hours in the car on our way to the wedding.
4) Witnessed a beautiful ceremony with lovely music, homily, and people I love.
5) Congratulated Joe on his 1st last day of being a teacher! The kids were so cute when they said goodbye, wanting to take his picture with them, etc. etc.
6) Danced the night away at the reception. I will say we NET folks certainly closed the place down, we decided not to leave until the very LAST song, and we made good on that. 1:00 am came and we danced our way to the van to drive back to St. Paul.
7) Tried to sleep on the 4 hour trip back to St. Paul, switching positions every 5 minutes.
8) Watched the sunrise as we drove down I-94 thinking - "I have been up for 24 hours, Why can't I sleep!!!!!" Needless to say, as soon as my head hit the pillow of my bed, I was OUT - only for 3 hours though. Joe and I had out last NFP class at 10:00 am

8 Things I wish I could Do:

1) I know how to knit, now it is time to crochet
2) Learn how to be a really good gardener
3) Run a marathon without having to do all the training
4) Fly a plane
5) A back flip
6) Focus long enough to have deep meditation during prayer
7) Take a small cat-nap each day around 2:00 pm
8) Focus on one things at once. I am notoriously thinking about the next things that needs to get done . . .

8 Shows I watch: (note: My roomie and I do not have a TV, but I find ways to watch a few things)
1) House - sometimes I don't like the subject matter, but MOST of the time, I LOVE IT!
2) The Little Couple (a new show about little people)
3) John and Kate Plus 8 (but not often)
4) Man verses Wild
5) 24 (It is like a drug)

That's about it.

Now I will tag : Sarah, Laura, Janelle!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Update coming soon on my visit to see Sr. Katherine and all the fun happenings of this week!
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