March 25, 2007 is a day that will always mean a lot to my family. It was on this day one year ago that we stepped foot in one of the most peaceful and beautiful places we have ever seen. Through a divinely inspired series of events we ended up down at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama where Mother Angelica lives. We attended Sunday morning mass at the Shrine and from the first moment we stepped foot into the chapel we were stunned. We were amazed at how a chapel full of kids could be so incredibly quiet. It was like a spell came over all of us. We went back that evening for Benediction and the priest who gave the homily was incredible. The next morning it was up early again for the investiture ceremony of the now Sister Mary Cecilia of Jeus, Crown of Virgins. Wow, what a name. I have never seen a ceremony so lovely. It was a short visit, but we were hooked. It took us six months to get back down there again, but it was worth the wait. We got to meet a number of families that have moved down there to be near the Shrine. It is a strange phenomenon. Large, homeschooling families from around the country are leaving their homes, families, and in some cases their jobs, to move down to be near the Shrine. Most of them had never even dreamed of living in Alabama before. We have felt the same call, but as of yet, have not been able to bring it to fruition. So, for the time being, we are forced to visit and to long to be back there again. Why am I talking about this? Because if you have never been there before and have some spare time on your hands, I highly recommend a pilgrimage to the Shrine. You will not regret everything you might have to go through to get there. It may even be one of those life changing events.
In keeping with this religious theme, it was brought to my attention that the "Institute for Religious Life" is having their FREE session (for the youth ages 13-30) on Saturday, March 29th at Mundelein Seminary, in Libertyville, IL. Cardinal George is saying Mass at 4pm. It's a lovely day with male and female religious in habits from all over the country. For more information, check out the link here.