Day 1 in Browning
When I woke up on Sunday morning to head for the headlights trip to Browning, I realized that suddenly my break was going to get very different. I had played sports in Browning before, but I was still very nervous to experience the Blackfeet culture in a way that the trip would lead me to experience them. As we were riding in the car I felt so nervous and I was wondering if the other volunteers were feeling the same way. I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
As we pulled into Browning, I felt familiar going down some of the roads, but I still felt uncomfortable because I was unsure of what would happen that day. The first thing that we did was go to mass at Little Flower Parish. We were immediately welcomed into the church and offered seats in the balcony of the church. During mass, I noticed a few things that were different than what I am used to at Carroll and my own hometown parish.
The first thing that I noticed was that the people said prayers much slower than I am used to saying them. Whenever I had to resay a line, I thought to myself “Do I really say prayers that fast?”. It made me reflect on the fact that I know how to rattle off prayers quickly without very much meaning, but slowing down can help to make prayers feel more meaningful and intentional. In addition to the prayers, I also noticed that the people in Little Flower Parish are very much connected, like a large family. When they would say the Our Father prayer, they would hold hands so that all of the rows would be connected, and I am just used to seeing people in mass hold hands only in their rows. This helped me to reflect on how we are really all a family, and we should treat one another as true brothers and sisters like I saw in the Little Flower Parish.
After mass, we went to the mission and then decided to hike a sacred buffalo jump. When I got to the top of the buffalo jump, I thought that the site was beautiful in a unique way. I thought that it was beautiful because as soon as I started to look at the view I felt a great calm inside of me that made the silence on the top of the buffalo jump very comforting.
When we arrived at the mission, I felt that all of the nervous feelings that I had before were gone. To finish off the day, we had dinner at Brother Dale’s house and got to know everyone in the group. I am so excited to see where this trip takes all of us!