Friday, August 31, 2012

A Day in Chicago {Day 8: Meandering Home}

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle...
Visiting St. John Cantius placed first on our 1-day-in-Chicago-to-do list;  meeting up with a long lost high school friend was a very close second.  Brian, my dear friend from Gig Harbor High School and a current FB and Christmas card friend, caught our online posts as we traveled I90 en route to Notre Dame and emailed an invite to stop off at his place on our way back through Chicago.  Further communications revealed that he lived only a short distance from St. John Cantius, and very near to St. Michael's Church (in Old Town), which he highly recommended we check out, knowing how we love our Churches.
St. Michael Church, Old Town Chicago
Brian served as our personal transportation consultant for the drive into and around the Windy City, with great driving directions and tips for avoiding serious back-ups and finding free parking.  At Brian's suggestion, we met at St. Michael's in Old Town around lunch time.  The glorious artwork was captivating, and reminiscent of Churches we visited in Italy, the high altar and tabernacle were still in place. 

Tim, Zachary and I were all given St. Michael as our middle-name patron, and our family fosters a special devotion to this Archangel, so visiting this place named in his honor had special significance... little did we know HOW special and HOW significant!
Joseph teaches Emmett a new trick at lunch.
After our rendezvous at St. Michael's, we walked a few blocks through beautiful Old Town Chicago to Brian's house, where we met his wife, Kathleen, and sons Emmett and Evan, before venturing on foot to the neighborhood diner for deli sandwiches and milkshakes.  Post lunch festivities included a trip to the North Shore of Lake Michigan, a short walk from their house.  The adults lounged and visited on the sandy shore, and the our boys enjoyed a dip in the lake, while their boys frolicked on the beach.
Peter and Evan's sidewalk races in Old Town Chicago
4 boys on a bridge, heading for the beach
Back to Brian's house for sand-rinsing, Lego sharing, and adult bonding, we found ourselves still in town at 5:30PM when the daily Mass began at St. Michael's in a side chapel.  My new friend, Kathleen, and I speed-walked to Mass, while the men-folk lingered and joined us at the Church for a 6PM farewell gathering.  Barefooted sidewalk races and pinkie toe first aid ensued, and before long we tore ourselves away from our Chicago friends and began another many hours drive west.
Joseph and Peter swimming in Lake Michigan on Chicago's North Shore

  • Tonight's en-route inspirational CD highlighted the spiritual experience of reconnecting with a long-lost friend named Brian, not seen in 27 years...on this day that I reconnected with my friend, Brian, not seen in 27 years; certainly a spiritual experience!
  • On sharing our Chicago stories with Tim's parents, they told us that it was IN ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH in Chicago that they received the inspiration to give their unborn son (Tim) the middle name Michael! Certainly another spiritual experience...
Tim and me on the North Shore
Brian and Kathleen in their own backyard
Our final view as we departed Illinois heading West

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