Saturday, November 11, 2006

Discovering Gold in the Country

by Steve Ray on November 11, 2006

Right now I am sitting in Chicago's O'Hare Airport writing this on my handheld while waiting for my plane back home.

Last night I drove through a thundering lighting storm, road construction and Friday rush hour traffic in the dark from O'Hare Airport out to the farm country in Illinois. It took hours!

I finally arrived in Newark Illinois for a late dinner, at the Bilot's – my host's home-schooling family farmhouse. Sitting around the big country family table with mom, dad, grandpa and the ten kids was a true joy. Then we drove down rain-soaked dirt roads for my talk on Mary in the evening. But I was pleased that my talk was not in front of a large audience, but in a large country home with three homeschooling families gathered with a lot of the young people. And as a homeschooling family ourselves, such families are very close to my heart.

Then this morning I arrived in at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Seneca Illinois. It is one of those beautiful old churches that past generations built in honor of our Lord. The priest met me — and to my delight I found out he was a best friend of my own dear bishop Carl Mengeling. They have been friends since Minor Seminary almost sixty years ago.

And to my even further delight, the talks I was giving were to honor the 50th anniversary of Msgr. Raymond Boyle and the 150th anniversary of St. Patrick Church.

I had a delightful time with these wonderful folks — the future and hope of the Church in America. Msgr. Boyle was marvelous — I loved this genuine man serving our Lord with such love and devotion. I could not say enough good things about the priesthood and his devotion to the Church. I loved this man and his love for the Church.

The people that attended my talks were sincere and gunuine. It was a great joy to be with them and I pray that God will bless their large families and their beautiful parish out in the farmlands. I also pray for God's special blessing on Msgr. Boyle on his 50th anniversary to the priesthood. (By the way, I was one year old when he was ordained!!)

And finally, thanks to Laura Bilot and all the homeschooling families that invited me to share in their joyous community and the important anniversaries.

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