In the course of just four days' time I will have made a sort of tour of Illinois, with stops in various places for ocassions both joyous and heart-wrenching.
Saturday morning several of us from the Liturgical Institute visited the Newberry Library in Chicago. We were shown a few treasures of the library: medieval liturgical texts (pictures will be up in the next couple of days).
From the Newberry Library I hopped in my car and made four hour the drive to Springfield. Once the post-ordination duties were seen to on Sunday, drove two hours to Effingham to collect my mail from the last two weeks. Today I drove from Effingham to Quincy, a four hour trip.
I have returned to Hobbiton - which at the moment feels quite a lot like Mordor - for the final Mass to be celebrated in my home church of St. John the Baptist.
His Excellency, Bishop Lucas, will be the presiding celebrant of this last Mass to be concelebrated by priests of the area Tuesday evening at 6:30 (a last Mass at St. Boniface church will celebrated by Bishop Lucas on Thursday evening at 6:30). I will be on hand to serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Some time in the near future, as I understand it, my home church (with the rectory and school) will be placed on the market.
This evening I was able to have supper with my brother's family at one of my favorite restaurants. All three of us had a fried catfish with lattice fries (Quincyans will, no doubt, immediately know where we ate). My nephew Matthew is doing well and is beginning to walk. He can take, I believe, five steps in a row now. He will be one year old next month. Our waitress kept calling him "precious;" I think she's right.
I beg your prayers throughout these next several hours. I will be in special need of them tomorrow evening.