We crossed the Mississippi. I write with great claim to victory but all I did was cross the bridge in the RV and wait for Fern to do the work and pedal across the river! We have been joined by nephew Gregory for a couple of weeks. Anyone wanting to join this effort is very welcome! Gregory came with his electric wheel and battery and attached it to my bike and is riding this along. Clever use of technology. He comes from Austin where Tesla just opened a factory, so he has electric motors on his mind.
The warm reception here at St. Mary’s Cathedral was very much appreciated and gives courage to go forward. The manner of stitching our own effort into the fabric of the Diocesan or Parish vocations intentions are precisely what happened here. To the Dioceses and parishes along the route we welcome using this opportunity of our biking through as a literal vehicle to convey the message or rather to make the message specific to your needs. We are just biking through. The Diocese or parish can land the message into the heart of the faith community. And in this case we hope we can help in the message of: holiness, intentionality and witness that the Diocese is conveying to the community.
The homily that was given by the pastor of St. Mary’s was a wonderful message that landed our effort right into the faith community: vocations start at the family. Our message and intention have been the same as well from the beginning. For that reason, our prayer card contains a simple addition to the traditional grace before meals: and from our bounty (our table) let us offer to you the vocations to serve your Holy Catholic Church. Vocations are fostered around the dinner table. Without positive family life centered around faith in a solid way, there can be no solid vocations to the consecrated life.
Father Allen, the pastor of the Cathedral parish also brought in the importance of the consecrated life by recognizing the spiritual presence of our Carmelite spiritual director, Fr. Steven, ODC from Tucson. He mentioned the importance of the evangelical counsels, that is the vowed life of poverty, chastity, and obedience as vital to the effort to increase vocations. Please pray for the priests in our Carmelite community in Tucson who because of lack of vocations are obliged to leave that parish they have been serving since 1917.
We are here for a little rest and will continue our progress north and west. We are 25% of the way to Oregon. We will bike through Missouri for the next two weeks with main stops in Jefferson City and then Benedictine Abbey in Conception Junction. Missouri is a special state for me as this is where my paternal family roots harken. In fact, we will bike through Jefferson City which is where my grandmother is from and where my Dad spent part of his life helping in the haberdashery in the 1930s.
A special thanks to Sarah Pittman and the staff and Bishop Rice who received us so well.