Yesterday was the craziest day we've had for awhile, in terms of driving and being places at certain times. I think my hair may have turned pure white overnight, but I haven't looked in the mirror yet.
Anyway, yesterday was our ARCHES meeting for October. Megan was the day's chairman, which meant that she had to be there early to prepare to get the meeting started, which is not as easy as it sounds, particularly if you are as nervous as she was. This month's event was the Living Rosary Around the World and it is the ARCHES geography project, and a very fine one it is.
We had to be at the retreat house in Indianapolis where we hold our meetings at 8:45, which meant that we had to be there at 8:40 because Meelyn and I are such nervous nellies. The retreat house is on 52nd Street or something like that, so it is a good bit from our house, a solid forty minute drive at least. And that's not really counting morning rush hour traffic.
On a Monday.
Our angels must have been watching over us because the trip there was fast and easy. We got to the retreat house and immediately went to get Meelyn sorted out, a simple task, thanks to the efficiency of the ARCHES director. Meelyn looked very competent and lovely as she stood before the large group with the mircophone in her hand. I knew she was nervous, but I don't think anyone else would have known.
After the prayer and pledge leaders had been called forward to do their thing, she got the day's journalist, photographer and timer taken care of, and then it was time to go back upstairs for Mass.
On this particular ARCHES day, the girls and I weren't going to be able to stay to participate in the living rosary, which also meant that we didn't have their projects to bring along with us. The reason for this is that we had to attend a funeral Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Carmel at 11:00. We were going to pick up our friends Katie and Rebecca along the way and then plan was that we would get to the church at about 10:40, allowing us to go in and find a seat and compose ourselves in prayer.
Well, you can probably guess how that went, right?
The ARCHES Mass ran over quite a bit. Usually, daily masses last about 25 minutes. This one, because Fr. Bob Robeson was asking questions of the children during his homily, must have lasted about forty-five minutes, from all I can gather. It was so cute and funny, that homily, that I didn't really register the passing of time, mostly because of things like this:
FR. BOB: What is one of the most important gift parents can give a child in a family?
CHILD [raising hand excitedly]: Faith in Jesus as their savior?
FR. BOB: Oh, absolutely. You are right. That is the number one most important thing. Faith in Jesus is an awesome gift that can grow over the years! Great answer! Anyone else?.....I see a lot of hands.....What about you?
CHILD #2 [little first grade boy]: Toys?
FR. BOB [chuckling]: Well, it is nice to have toys, but in some parts of the world, parents can't afford to give their children any toys at all since the countries they live in are very poor. But they can still give their children some gifts! Anyone else?...How about you?
CHILD #3 [another young one]: Mother's milk?
FR. BOB [spluttering a little bit, trying not to laugh]: Oh, yes! That is very important for a child's nutrition, isn't it? So yes, that is probably one of the most important gifts parents can give to their children.
The assembled mothers all giggled and elbowed each other. Father Bob is a brave, brave man for opening up the floor like that. You just never know what you're going to get.
When Mass was over, Meelyn and Aisling came to the back of the chapel where I was sitting and I said, all unaware, "Well, we'd better be moving along. What time is it?"
Meelyn got our her cell phone and looked at the clock. "Ummm...it is 10:19."
"Ten nineteen!" I said with a little scream. "We have to be in Carmel in nine minutes to pick up Katie and Rebecca!"
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