Oct 29, 2010

Vacations 2010

Well, over the summer we made a whirlwind tour of Chicago and Washington DC within the same month which was quite exhilarating and exhausting.
Our first stop was "the land of many windmills"...
no, not Holland, but Illinois.
I don't know the whole story on these since we were just passing through, but I guess these are wind powered generators. They went on for miles and miles. It was quite the site.

While in Chicago, we did the many things most people do, but we also like to visit some Holy places to keep things in perspective. The first place we visited was the Saint Jude Shrine.
Other than the "electric candles" this house of worship was awesome. There were a few relics, most importantly a bone of Saint Jude.

Next, we went to the National Shrine of St. Therese. What a wonderful place, with many relics of The Little Flower.
It was also cool to see many pictures of her in her youth as well as her monastic days. The pictures helped bring the realism of the Saint to my mind. A lot of times I believe, many people (especially non-Catholics) think of saints as "folk heros" such as Paul Bunyan or someone not real.
The Saints are definitely real and this special place brings at least one Saint face to face with the unbelieving world.
Many relics of Saint Therese are housed here.

These are just a couple of examples.

....and what trip to Chicago would be complete without a "Chicago style pizza"?

A couple of weeks after Chicago, we visited Washington DC thanks to a generous offer of a free stay at TCU (Catholic University) from a friend of ours who is studying for the Priesthood. I had some reservations about going to DC while America had some of the worst politicians ever elected in power, we went anyway.

Other than one of the ladies in the red jackets at the state capitol, we did not have any issues with the people of the city.
This lady obviously had some issues with children, which as my wife mentioned, could possibly have been a sign that she either had an abortion or at least was pro-choice. (Oh yea, we had our pro-life attire on;)

We made a stay-over in Virginia to visit Seton Home School headquarters, and Christendom College. We had a wonderful time at Seton visiting and talking with the wonderful people there.

Chapel at Christendom College where we went to morning Mass.

............back to DC.......

Of course, we seen all the normal sights, which were magnificent. Some of the structures had large concrete columns and they all had strong foundations. I don't just mean stone foundations; I mean foundations in God. There were references to God everywhere. Our founding fathers were rooted in their faith in God and it is evident everywhere except in the current administration...but that's a rant for another day.

It is hard to believe that a town with this kind of beauty and history can sometimes be so corrupt and Godless.

Probably our favorite place we visited was The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception which was right across the road from where we stayed.

Here's a view from where we were
staying. AWESOME!

The upper church

There are many different and beautiful alters and murals throughout the shrine.

I believe they said there were over 100 different alters throughout the Basilica.

We also visited the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America.
Another awesome place to visit!
Definitely do the tour of the Church and Catacombs if you go.

On our way out of town we stopped by the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center .

There are many different exhibits and interesting photos to see.

It looked like there was a lot of hands on stuff that was either closed or still under construction.
I understand that The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist are set
to buy the Center for their growing community.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI
giving Holy Communion to Pope John Paul II who was Pope at the time.

Wooden replica of Jerusalem

Remember while you are on vacation never forget about God. Sundays (or Saturday) are still Holy Days even when you are away from your parish. It is still a mortal sin to miss Mass if you are able; you can usually find a Mass somewhere even if you have to drive many miles to get to it.
And always take the time for pilgrimages to Catholic sights and places of worship that are on the way or in the area where you are going. It can be a such a Blessing.

No comments: