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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Going to Visit A Monastery & Taking Prayer Requests!

Sometimes great adventures get proposed over cold adult beverages and 60 cent wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. As Taylor Swift may briefly say, it was just a typical Tuesday night with some guys from my parish, including our Director of Religious Education (DRE) and some visiting seminarians from Albuquerque, NM. 

Towards the end of the night and after the last Thai Curry wing was consumed, our DRE came up to me and my housemate proposing an adventurous idea: a pilgrimage to a Benedictine monastery in Oklahoma. The initial details were basically take a car and drive up, stop 20+ miles away from the monastery, walk the rest of the way, join the monks for their prayer times, stay the night, have a full morning and afternoon of prayer and reflection, then drive back. Oh, and beg for food in order to eat.


...and in my mind I was like..."HEAVEN YEAH!"  My only hesitations in saying yes were some typical annual obligations that fell on this planned weekend of pilgrimage-ing. A week goes by, permissions asked of wives and housemates. It looks like I'm going to be in a car full of other men doing this pilgrimage.

We will leave in the dead of the night (3:30AM) on Friday, drive a long while, stop at a Catholic church in Waggoner, OK mid-morning, then walk all afternoon to the monastery where we hope to have dinner with some friends of the monks at a volunteer fire station. We'll be bringing a large wooden cross to carry with us as we're walking. Then at night, we'll join the monks for Compline (Night Prayer). Saturday will be filled with more Liturgy of the Hours with the monks, times of silence and prayer, a conference/reflection led by our DRE on the Holy Cross (the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is Sunday), hang out with religious sisters, and Mass at some point. Then we return home.

I'm pretty excited. I haven't been on any sort of retreat for my own sake since last year when I went on a silent retreat. I see it as a great opportunity to grow physically and spiritually due to the demands of this pilgrimage. Walking 20+ miles?! In the afternoon in the summer?! I've never done that! And Benedictine monasteries have a certain Catholic cool factor due to the nature of the Benedictine way of life. Challenge accepted.

With all that said, I'll undoubtedly have time to pray. If you would like me to pray for you while I'm on this pilgrimage, please submit your prayer request via the form below.

Thanks and God bless! And please pray for the other men and for me as we go on this pilgrimage that God teaches us what He wants us to know during this time on our pilgrimage. And let's also ask for St. Michael the Archangel's intercession for this time before the pilgrimage because I can already tell that Satan is on the prowl trying to ruin things because he doesn't like this idea at all.

Lastly, please pray for our pilgrimage's general intention (what we'll be praying for during the pilgrimage): for an end to the Black Mass scheduled on September 21 through the victory of the Holy Cross.

- JD

Our Lady of Clear Creek Abby //