Last week I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Fairfield (PA) Carmel for a daily mass. It was nothing short of heaven on earth. I am used to visiting a Carmel closer to home and expected to see the customary cloister grill along the back or side wall of the sanctuary. However, at Fairfield the nuns are using a temporary space in a barn while their new home is constructed. As such, the cloister sits above the chapel and a large square in the ceiling is the wrought iron grate. Hearing their beautiful voices wafting down over the Holy Sacrifice as they chanted gave me a glimpse of what the angels must sound like as they perceive Our Lord in the Sacrifice. I will return (perhaps tomorrow)
Today my son and I joined up with the final leg of the Pilgrimage for Restoration. We met other Sunday-only pilgrims at the visitor center parking lot at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, NY, where we were bussed out to the meeting point. Not only did I run into many friends – this trad world is indeed a small world – I had a wonderful encounter with a woman on the shuttle. She’s from Philadelphia. I told her I was married there. She knows people who went to my wife’s Alma Mater. I mentioned my recent trip to the Carmel. She knows the caretaker.
Then I brought up the fact that a “friend” of mine who happens to run the St. Luke’s Gallery (and absolutely click that link) had mentioned the same caretaker to me last week. Here’s that story…
The curator of St. Luke’s Gallery had reached out to yours truly a while ago about a post I had written. Although we have not met in person we struck up a friendship via email. Last week I asked him about the Mass times at the Carmel. He responded, “The nuns don’t observe daylight savings time so the mass is an hour later than what you’d heard.” And that, my friends, is the most alpha nun statement of all time.
“We simply don’t do daylight savings time.”
But within minutes, my new friend had whipped out her phone and dialed my other new friend at the Gallery. She handed me the phone and said, “It’s him. Say hi!” And so I sheepishly said, “Hello? It’s Harvey. Happy Sunday!” And we shared a good laugh. I love this guy’s work, by the way, if I hadn’t mentioned that. All of this by way of mentioning a few things.
1) Trad-land is a wonderful place filled with amazing and faithful (and lively) people. 600 of us gathered to walk across the Catskill Mountains to pray for restoration. The solemn high Mass at the conclusion was stunning.
2) The Fairfield Carmel needs your financial help to build their new home. Click this link to buy a hoodie and help them out. I hear it’s only on until the 27th of September.
3) Carmelite nuns are boss.
4) Do not ever be discouraged. If you had seen what I saw this afternoon… Looking out over the Mohawk Valley, I saw brigade after brigade of families – dads and sons, moms and older siblings pushing strollers, even more senior members of our tribe – joyfully walking, praying, singing. Even if we are only a remnant, what a remnant! And…
5) If one more person today had asked me, “So, you’re from Texas? Do you go to Taylor Marshall’s parish?!” I was about tor reply, “Perhaps… or perhaps he goes to my parish.”
Now go click those links and help out some fellow trads.
St. Isaac Jogues, pray for us!