Whew !!! What a weekend and week of a certain holiday we had!
Sorry folks there are no pictures for this part.
I wasn’t going to write about it at all, but I will do so quickly.
We have been married 16 years since May 16, 1998. One of the officiants in our wedding has since moved to be a helper on the formation team at the St Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. So we went down to visit him and have dinner and get reconnected. He is a good friend of ours and he means a bunch to us because he helped us be husband and wife.
Much of this visit is personal because this Rev helped us get prepped for marriage and all beyond the dress and the flowers back then. But it was nice to get reconnected with a mentor type person who helped the both of us stay positive. Even while we have been busy and life and loss of family and our kids we could not have got in the way, we tried to stay in touch in one way or another.
Everyone should have a support system like this. We have other people, but this is the positive part of it all. Sometimes you have to touch base on the journey and keep going on the way.
Trust me, it is not easy for me to write about this. This was a very personal visit because it concerns the very personal part of our lives on a personal level and as a couple. And there was the fact that neither of us had had a chance to really speak with him since he left and went south to do this other job of helping future priests. Being that he is that positive and inspired us not to be the grinches that stole Tampa Bay — we are smiling now.
And I got a personal view on what prepping for the priesthood is like — through a woman’s eyes. Maybe more on that later and maybe not. I haven’t decided yet and may be a real girl and change my mind. I have to think about that one. Give me a few days.
I didn’t feel left out. That was the funniest part of it all.
I will say this even to the atheists of Florida: standing and sitting in the back of their chapel at their noon time Mass is something to be experienced. I dare you. I dare you to be civil and do it quietly and listen. At least enjoy the music.
In no way would I ever take a picture of it. That would not do any justice. FORGET ABOUT THE FREAKING PICS FOLKS. GO THERE AND GIVE. BUT TAKE IT IN FIRST. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LISTEN TO THE MUSIC AND THE GUYS SINGING. They can sing. It is culture of a future part and current part of the Florida you can hear and not just read in a coffee table book that you buy. The sound is filled with polka dotted sounds and vivid colors that fill your ears with positive light while you see the windows and hear the echoes of Florida’s future positive men who put their lives on the line of light in a dark shadow that despairs. Give them credit — they try and get their butts up every morning to keep trying.
Trust me, no matter whatever they do or will not do or never do or whatever — listen to the culture and sound. This is one part you don’t want to miss.
My location in the back right hand corner in the back is to be shared. Try it some time. It is a part of Florida that they don’t sell on tourist maps, but it is to be experienced.
(The Major Graduate Regional Seminary for the Catholic Church in Florida is in Palm Beach County. Google it. That’s your deal to do. I have to finish writing this. )
IT IS DEEP CULTURAL CATHOLIC FLORIDA BECAUSE EVERY future Florida PRIEST THAT IS GOING TO BE ORDAINED IS IN THE HOUSE WITH YOU AND WHOMEVER YOU HAVE BROUGHT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BELIEVE BUT IT HELPS. There is a positive air in there that permeates the negative and says we can do this and go forward in spite the negative that others have done. They are not perfect but they try and that is to be admired. These guys are doing a positive bottom of the ninth inning Olympics when every other team member is fainting and bailing and cursing the dark. They point to a certain positive there.
Read this fine print: It is to be admired because there are even RAbbis and secular teachers that have been convicted of scandal.
Trust me, even if you don’t believe you feel love there because of the positive verve there.
It is the real Florida in a deeper way that is Catholic and bears the heat between the belief and the life we live here. Trust me on this one: stay here in the heat of any of our summers that go as high as 105 in the humid shade. You’d sing Alleuia when the AC comes on too. And the AC was seriously cold in there. That made the acoustics better and my new scarf designer shawl more useful and comfy.
The Jews and the Methodists have theirs and we have ours. Being from New York and having lived here 40 years, I really appreciated this sound fest as a first stop last Wednesday afternoon when we traveled south.
It was deep Florida in a heart filled way. I am not going to say any more — it is too personal. Ask the Creator if you believe you are connected as well.
I am not talking anymore. Put this on your bucket list of Florida things to experience. Their noon Mass is open to the public. It is worth a visit.
Trust me on this one. Put this on your bucket list of Florida things to experience.
Remember to go there and listen and shut up. Just really listen inside and out. You may hear another echo that teaches you something about who we all are here in Florida above the heat and the darkness.
You may see the light of it all in the diversity of the colored stain glass window tiles there. Florida has many future colors and sounds.
Listen. Don’t forget to listen.