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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Optional Memorial of St. Louis, King of France

Today is the Feast of St. Louis IX, King of France. Celebrating his feast brings back many memories of our 30+ years at St. Louis Catholic Church in Alexandria. We reared our five children in that parish and they all attended the parish school for all or part of their elementary education. I taught 4th grade at the school for a year, an experience that led me to decide to home school. The breakdown of the family was sadly obvious and it seriously impacted the education.  I was the pro-life chairman for about a decade there and had a wonderful group of parishioners supporting the work. We had an activity on the calendar every month and a bulletin notice every week. We wanted people never to forget for a minute the least of God's little ones.

How many wonderful priests I met there! We almost always had a seminarian in the summer and a transitional deacon during his final year before ordination. I began my journey in spiritual direction there as well with a dear priest for whom I continue to pray to this day. I also met a Jesuit, Fr. Robert Bradley, who proved that "faithful, holy Jesuit" is not an oxymoron. He was a great preacher and confessor and gave me some excellent advice about my newsletter. After retirement, he moved to Texas where he offered the traditional Latin Mass every Sunday at a Dallas parish. We visited him occasionally when we drove to Texas to see our son and his family in Austin. He's gone now, but I still ask him for advice and inspiration. I have his picture in my rosary box and love to pray to him and for him.

We moved to the Shenandoah Valley in 2002. It was a hard move because we had so many roots in Alexandria and so many friends. But do you ever leave your past behind? St. Louis continues to be a home away from home, especially the Poor Clare monastery that is within the St. Louis boundaries. They support our apiary with their prayers and we thank them by taking them honey every year. 

What happy memories to sweeten my day.

St. Louis, pray for us.

P.S. Here's a photo of St. Louis Catholic Church today. This renovation happened long after we left. I love it! And I'm sure all our dear friends in Alexandria do as well.



Katie said...

I remember driving by St. Louis, King of France parish as I drove to attend the St. Clare novena at the Poor Clare monastery. Do you remember Mother Miriam? This was in 1991. I was a young married lady going to grad school and just before we started our family. We have an excellent St.Louis, King of France parish in St. Paul: A glorious building. How time flies! God is good! And good is God!


Unknown said...

St King Louis IX is also one of the patrons of Holy Face devotion.

Aqua said...

Been praying for your mother in law. I sincerely hope (pray) she is found, now. If not, I hope she is safe. Either way, I pray you have peace at minimum (in the certainty of God’s omnipotent guiding hand and limitless love for His creation) and joy of reunion at best.