I know this post is very VERY late but a lot has been going on and given my CPAC 2017 trip is in 10 days it’s a good preview of the type of interviews etc you might see.
The next day we were up very VERY early as a new batch of pilgrims were due at St. Bernard’s monastery so we departed right after breakfast and said our goodbyes to the monks. Our old bus driver was doing good as we headed back to Castle Miguel and Mother Angelica’s monastery.
As before I spent a majority of my time holding religious items, rosaries, medals etc, to Mother Angelica’s tomb and praying a hail mary. These would be given away to people by WQPH once we got back up north. While others took free time to visit other locations at the site.
Around noontime we were back on the bus for a special lunch, we were off to Stonebridge Farms which while primarily a wedding venue opens it’s restaurant which offers a gigantic buffet of southern food one day a week.
I interviewed one of the family members who work there
We spent quite a while there, with a party as large as ours it took some time. I took advantage of it setting up my laptop in a corner to charge my laptop and try to upload some of the stuff I shot while we were eating.
When we got back to Mother Angelica’s monastery we had more free time in the area, here is a quick overview of the area
One of the things we got a glimpse of were the visitor rooms where the cloistered nuns on very rare occasions will receive visitors. basically there is a metal grille and seats on opposite sides one on the nuns side and one on the public side where people can see each other and speak.
One of the things that was really impressive to me was the Priest’s retreat building. Normally a group like ourselves would not have access but our two priests were staying there and it was decided that we would have our daily mass in the chapel of the retreat building around 5 pm.
Our guide Micha who had led us through the Eucharistic Center talked about what he described as a “man cave for religious” a statement that was highly accurate
To say the altar was impressive is the understatement of the year
It was quite a place for a mass and to participate as the congregation for a mass in that location was for me one of the highlights of the trip. When the mass was over we headed back to the main reception area at Casa Miguel where we were celebrating the birthday of our lady. (Because I needed to use the facilities I actually missed the bus and had to leg it back) there was a rosary made of cupcakes and a cake and we gathered together before a planned evening procession.
The procession itself was to a grotto and prayer area behind the Eucharistic center. It became very much a candlelight procession as we didn’t get to it till after dark. This complicated things a bit as we had a lot of elderly people and the path was a bit hard for them at the end of a day. However we said our prayers and prayed our Rosary with Gusto
That ended the day, there had been alternative lodging for us who had been staying at St. Benedict’s abbey. I and a fellow member of my Knight’s of Columbus council ended up in the furnished basement of one of the guest cabins that one of the other pilgrims had rented right down the street from Casa Miguel. It is a very convenient place for pilgrims and one of the only times on such a trip that I didn’t sleep in a consecrated place. But Jeff was an interesting and excellent roommate and while I knew of him from council meetings we had a chance to talk and occasionally saw each other at daily mass we had the chance to actually get to chat before hitting the sack for our final half day before flying out.