Monday, August 27, 2012

Meandering Home {Day 7: South Bend to Chicago}

Peter receives an exuberant greeting from the hounds at Uncle Wayne's house.
The sting of leaving Zachary at Notre Dame {at 2:22PM} was eased by divine grace, and by the fact that we had a dinner engagement in Chicago with Tim's uncle and cousin that evening.  Treated to deep dish Chicago-style pizza, we enjoyed the chance to visit with Wayne and Stacy and meet their (growing) menagerie of furry friends.  Checking into our hotel after the family reunion, we were assigned to room 222.
Cousin Stacy, Uncle Wayne, Tim and Bridget
A long desired wish to visit St. John Cantius Church in Chicago, put a family pilgrimage at the top of our to-do list during our short stay in the Windy City.  We navigated toll roads and one way streets to the Church, and upon entering were surprised to find the entire nave filled with scaffolding and drop cloths. We knew that extensive renovations were happening at St. John Cantius, but had no idea that the place was actually off limits to visitors that day.  We walked along the outside isle, taking in the beauty amidst the construction chaos.  A quick call to the main office filled in a few blanks:
"Hello, St. John Cantius."
"Hello, we are visiting from Washington State and made a special stop to visit the Church. Father Phillips told us that one of the Brothers could show us around the Church today."
(Pause) "The Church is closed today and tomorrow, the only days it's not open to the public during the construction project.  Can you come back another day?"
"No, we are only in town today."
(Pause) "Where are you?"
"We are in the Church, near the baptismal font.  The doors were open... the construction crew must have been on a break because we didn't see anyone when we arrived."
"Stay right there.  I will be right over."
St. John Cantius, under renovation
Not even a minute after we were given instructions to stay put, a construction worker some 30+ feet above us on a scaffolding platform yelled down,
"Hey!  Get out of here!  There's no one allowed in here today!" 
"But Father told us to wait right here.  He's on his way over to see us."
(Pause) "OK... Well then could you unplug that extension cord and unwind it from the base of the pillar?"
Main altar at St. John Cantius, during renovations Aug. 2012
Brother Matthew arrived shortly thereafter, a pleasant, peaceful young man in his fifth year (of eleven) of formation for the priesthood in the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius.  Well informed and entirely welcoming despite the scheduled building closure, Brother Matthew visited with us, answering our many questions and sharing the mission and charism of St. John Cantius.  Amazing renewals are happening in our Holy Catholic Church, and the Restoration of the Sacred at St. John Cantius offers a glimpse of the tremendous, heavenly beauty of our prayer and worship, rediscovered and restored.

Brother Matthew with Joseph and Peter at St. John Cantius, Chicago
Restoring the sacred, St. John Cantius is filled with beautiful works of art.
Like most religious orders, St. John Cantius' priests and brothers welcome prayer requests and have an online prayer request form, through which prayers can be requested from anyone, anywhere. 

1 comment:

Crystal in Lynden said...

Room 222! How neat!
Your hard work is never forgotten.