Thursday, November 5, 2009
Reflections on my visit to St. Louis
It is a week since I left St. Louis and its autumnal beauty. The trees were so colorful and I loved just driving around looking at the reds, yellow, and orange leaves as they still clung to the trees. I had forgotten how beautiful this season is in St. Louis. Actually, it was rather misty most days but that was nice, too, as it kept me from being cold. I had my Scottish sweater with me and it was perfect and I never used the gloves I had searched for when packing in Miami!
My week was something of a pilgrimage. It began at St. Charles with prayer in the shrine where St. Philippine Duchesne is buried; then I made a visit to the little room where she lived the last ten years of her life after returning from the Indian mission. Since I went to school at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in St. Charles, I enjoyed just drinking in the wonderful spirit that permeates the whole atmosphere.
Then, of course, I was off to see one of my childhood friends who has always been a good and close friend. She lost her husband in April and this was the first time I had to visit with her. She is a lovely person and coping better than I thought and we still laugh a great deal together. We met three times for visits while I was in St. Louis; I also saw other dear friends and just driving around my hometown brought back many memories. One day I visited the new Provincial Offices, St. Louis University; went to Mass at the New Cathedral (something I did daily while studying for my doctorate), and visited the Society of the Sacred Heart United States' Archives. I found many letters that I had written from Chile in my file there. I also was invited to the area meeting on Sunday and so was able to see most of the rscjs that live in the area. I stayed in a very welcoming community that is almost like a second home since I have been visiting and staying there for the past 23 years! Amazing to think that I have now been 23 years in Miami and am still working at St. Thomas University!!