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March 10, 2022

Chicago Headlights 2022, Day 4, March 9

by carrollministry

Today started out as most with mass at 6:30am and breakfast to follow. The Holy Cross seminarians and Franciscan sisters and brother all sat down to eat and share stories. I seem to learn something new from each person I encountered which is a beautiful thing. After clean up we all parted into our duties. Some went to the school to clean and others, like myself and Kenna, went to the basement of the convent to clean out the walk-in fridge. What seemed like a boring task turned into amazing conversations with sister Emily and lots of laughs along the way… btw don’t use baking soda to clean steel shelves. Sister Emily told us about her discernment and religious life, which was eye-opening to me as it was all very foreign to me before this trip. After lunch Riley, Ray, Kenna, Conner, Chris (one of the seminarians), Sister Kate, and I went to the Ukrainian village during our break time. We had originally planned to see the Ukrainian Catholic churches nearby. When we got there we were met with locked doors. We went to the Ukrainian museum next door for any sign of help to let us in and we were met with such a loving, welcoming, compassionate presence. The women working there showed us around their museum which was filled with art, culture, and history. Maria, a Ukrainian woman working at the embassy, then kindly walked us over to let us into the church. The church was beyond beautiful. While I’m the Church, Maria described the history of the Ukrainian church in the United States and then we had a moment of silent prayer for peace in Ukraine. One thing she said stood out in particular: Maria then even offered to walk us to the Ukrainian cathedral which is a few blocks away. This was also beyond anything I have ever seen. It was incredibly humbling to pray in a place filled with so much history, culture, and love. The presence of the Lord was so tangible in the Ukrainians we met and the God was clearly in those spaces blessing every single person.

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