Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fun times with St. Kateri & a lot of rain...

HELLO, you fabulous person, you! I am very glad to be with you again in our happy little life journal universe. My week is rather insanely busy, and thus I really wanted to carve out time to chat with you today. I'm on a search committee at work, and we have candidates coming in for interviews, so I have whole days blocked out with no writing opportunities. Hence, there will be no post tomorrow, I am certain that you are just devastated. ;-) But we have some time together today, and Tea Time on Thursday, so that's a yay, right?

I had a super exciting weekend filled with family and Catholic activities, so let's chronicle, shall we?


This weekend we journeyed by car to the National St. Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine, and to Adirondack State Park. We don't take road trips very often, so the entire family was simmering with excitement. That is, until the kids got to the end of the movie they had packed to watch on the portable DVD player:

"MOOOOOMMMMMMM. Are we there yet?! We've been in the car for 500 hours!"

"Anne, it's been an hour and a half. Buck up."

"I feel car sick!"

"Henry, take a nap."


When we got to the shrine, everyone was anxious to stretch their legs. And the chapel was everything I dreamed it would be:

I love the earthy feel and the Native American art. And immediately to our right, was a stunning representation of the guest of honor:

St. Kateri is incredibly important to me for a number of reasons. She's part of the communion of saints, our family in the faith, and a woman, so I relate to her. But the fact that she was a Mohawk is so personally meaningful to me and my heritage. I felt very close to her, and to my Mohawk ancestry, this weekend. I procured a medal bearing her image and a third class relic from the gift shop, and I've barely taken it off since.

Also featured prominently at St. Kateri's shrine was our good friend, St. Maximilian Kolbe:

We came across him in the chapel, as you see above, but we encountered him again, I'll come back to that. He is Henry's favorite saint, so I was pleased to see him. :) The altar itself featured a gorgeous painting of St. Kateri in prayer:

I could have lingered in that chapel for hours, but I did have my less patient family with me ;-) and so after some exploring and a short spell of prayer, we headed outside:

We walked around and spotted some birds. Anne picked some weeds flowers for other saint statues that we encountered:

More St. Kateri. Hey, it's her shrine, right?
I also forced the kids to pose for a photo with yet another St. Kateri:

They look thrilled.
There was a beautiful outdoor scene of the Stations of the Cross up on a hillside behind the chapel, which the kids delighted in running on. We paused for a short spell in a gazebo at the top. Then we ventured down to the outdoor chapel, named for St. Maximilian Kolbe:

Henry took a vested interest out here, wanting to explore the St. Max literature and statues that abounded. Of course, St. Kateri cannot be left out:

And the kids were happy to cozy up with St. Max and actually look like they tolerate each other sometimes:

After some more exploring, it was time to head back to the car, much to the consternation of our offspring:

"MOOOOOOMMMMM. We've been in the car for DAYS AND DAYS!!"

We only had an hour to go to get to the little motel we booked in the Adirondacks, and I was all energized from my St. Kateri encounter. Mike and I happily chatted about dinner plans. We headed off, feeling sublime.

Then we got lost. :0

And we don't have GPS. But we have Mike, the Map Guy. He figured it out, but it took a little more time than we were originally planning. It didn't help that we were in the middle of the woods and signage was at a premium. We got to the motel, got into our cute little efficiency room (kitchenette!) and contemplated our dinner options. Let's just say that this was a very small town, and there weren't that many. ;-)

"Honey, remember when we were in Niagara-on-the-Lake for our anniversary, and we ate at that little pub? I loved that trip, it was so romantic."

We gazed at each other lovingly. Suddenly, from the bathroom comes a high pitched voice:


See, this is the difference between the romantic interludes and the trips with kids. But oftentimes the romantic interludes *cause* the future trips with kids, so there you have it.

We found a small restaurant that night, and afterward enjoyed our view of the lake from the little back patio on our room:

The kids loved the lakefront. They could stay down there for hours, just playing at the water edge, trying to skip stones. We headed to bed, fairly exhausted.

Saturday morning, we made breakfast, excitedly rented a row boat, and got ready for our adventure. And then...it rained.


As in, it poured. We had to wait it out for a few hours. Thankfully, I had packed Jiffy Pop, which I popped for the kids while they watched a movie. Nothing like being trapped in a tiny room to make everyone want to crawl out of their own skin. We had to be a little creative, but we managed.

Finally, it stopped raining, and we did get out on the boat, plus snuck in a short, albeit wet, hike. We also found the local Catholic parish, and attended the vigil Mass:

"Oh look, VISITORS!!"

In a town as small as this one, new people were definitely noticed.

When we got out of Mass, oh look, IT WAS RAINING AGAIN!! I heated up some soup for dinner and made sandwiches. This is about as Gung Ho About Camping/Roughing It as I like to get. ;-) When it stopped raining, we took the kids up to get ice cream at the restaurant that we had eaten at Friday night, given that there wasn't exactly another dining option. So we made it.

Sunday morning, Mike and I were DYING to get back home and to our usual routine. And to privacy. :0 Though the kids were sorry to see the adventure come to an end:


"Guys. If you want to go on more trips next summer, you're going to have to toughen up!"


How was YOUR weekend, dear reader? Do I have any other St. Kateri fans here?!


  1. My family spent the weekend at friend's cabin (actually a really nice house) in the mountains about an hour from where I live. At one point we reminisced about the various road trips we had been on. Good memories now although I'm sure my brothers and I complained then. Some of the ways my mom came up with to entertain us were creative.

    I've found St. Kateri interesting since reading A Cry of Stone by Michael D. O'Brien. To the best of my memory she isn't a large part of the book but does get mentioned.

  2. Melanie,

    ooooooo, a new book for the librarian! I don't think I've read this one! I will look into it. :0 And that's a really good point about family road trips. I have very happy memories of trips we took when I was a kid, and I'm betting they were a lot less fun for my parents than I realized!

  3. You must have just missed St. Maximilian's relics, which I thought were supposed to be at the shrine over the weekend. I originally thought they were going to be there Friday, and had planned to go on a day trip, but I think it was just 6/11-12.

  4. Fran, you are exactly right! I thought they were going to be there starting Friday as well, but they were not arriving until Saturday. Bummer!


Thank you for commenting! I read and appreciate every single one, and I will respond to each one personally!