Fall has come to the Mary Theotokos Retreat Center and even though we are about a week away from peak colors, the display has been breathtaking. That would explain the recent visits from people with out-of- state plates, "leaf peeping" all around the lake. So we are assured our "hospitality ministry" is doing well and offering a conversation, a cup of coffee and a bit of nosh to the random pilgrim.
But aside from the visits there has been a departure or two.
Father Ignatius has finished his retreat and has left to return to his Parish in Ohio. I can't tell you what a blessing it was to have him here. DAILY Divine Liturgy, so many wonderful conversations about the faith and state of the church. A wonderful addition to the place. I am glad he will be coming back soon. Until then ,we will be arranging for a Mass schedule as time permits.
But before he left we had a Memorial Mass for Father Von Faur who built and created this Retreat Center. It was a beautiful service where many who knew the Father personally were able to share some thoughts and memories about how the Father impacted their life and how they came to know this center.
It was a really cloudy day, but during the service the sun broke through the clouds. As it broke through the clouds it was at such an angle that suddenly, through the incense smoke, a shaft of bright light came through the window in the roof of the church and shown a blinding light on the picture of Father Von Faur that was placed on a stand before the altar.
Now I know that many of my friends who read this will say, "there he goes again!" But I'm not going anywhere, I am just telling you what happened and what I saw. I am not making any interpretations on this event, although you know what I am thinking. But still, it happened and it happened almost as if on cue during the memorial service as we spoke of Father Von Faur. No mater how you look at it, it was a chin dropping moment for us all.
Here are some of the people who spoke that day.
The next day, Father Ignatius or "Brother Iggy" as we called him, blessed gallons of Holy Water for us and then preceded to bless the house. The entire house! Every room, hallway, nook and cranny.
He was a man on a mission, with a Aspergilla.
(Look that one up, I had to.)
"Bro Iggy" you are missed, your love and joy made this a happy place indeed. See you soon!
Fall also means canning and harvesting.
But some of the zucchini here are so big they have a mind of their own. We have enormous pumpkins and squash and many other veggies. Here is just a sample of the size of the situation. After a few pictures the kids weren't smiling so much as they were sweating, trying to hold these up.
There are two other things getting big.
In a few more weeks these oinkers will be taking another journey, to the great big mud pit in the sky.
Perhaps you would like to stop by and have some bacon?
But Fall is not all about departures, there is also an arrival. The Fall colors; and this year has been one of the best I can remember for dazzling foliage.
So as Fall moves through we start thinking about preparing for winter.
We hope you will stop by, to do some "leaf peeping" or maybe to have your own "poustinia" or a retreat, or a simply a cup of coffee and a story, and maybe even a pork chop or two.
Blessings of the season on your and yours
Mary Theotkos Retreat Center