Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 30 - Rest Day in St. Joseph, Missouri

This was the most incredible rest day I have experienced! I got to go with my mom to Clyde, Missouri to stay at the guest house of the monastery (use to be called a convent but now they call it a monastery) where she lived from 19-26 years old. I got to spend time with my namesake, Sister Mary Audrey. The guest house was lovely – with a large room for both myself and my mom and a large living area and kitchen. You could tell the kindness that was put into preparing the place for us – we had fresh linens, homemade soaps, a kitchen stocked with food, and a nice welcome sign – they live by the words of St. Benedict “Let All Guests Be Welcomed As Christ” and I found this message on the walls of buildings and on signs throughout the monastery. Sister Audrey even made me a bunch of really great cookies that I look forward to sharing with my fellow riders at the first sag stop today.

I woke up early on my rest day and spent from 5:30am until about 11:30am with my mom in the guest house just chatting and catching up. I feel blessed to have a mother that is also a great friend. We joined Sister Mary Audrey for prayer time before lunch and then joined all the sisters for lunch. I had lunch with my mom, Sister Audrey, Sister Denise, and Sister Nancy. I was also introduced to all the sisters at lunch and felt warmly welcomed. It was a pleasure to get to spend time and talk with them. Sister Audrey and Sister Denise have known me before I was born and have visited me as a child and I have visited them with my mom as a child. I don’t remember these visits but I know they have been praying for me throughout my life. It was truly a pleasure to spend time with these sisters, who are near and dear my heart. Sister Denise was such a kind woman and I look forward to seeing them again in the near future (she says we have to visit more often… which I intend to do). Sister Nancy is a cyclist also and had done many cycle trips before joining the monastery and Sister Becky was also a cyclist and came over after lunch to chat with us. It was very nice. I felt right at home.

Sister Audrey took me on tours throughout the area. The monastery supports itself by making Altar Breads – 9 million PER MONTH! I got an inside tour of how these altar breads are made – lots of hands at work and custom made machinery. They also make custom soaps and lotions, which I also enjoyed the touring this area. Sister Audrey knows so much about the history of the different buildings and how things have changed over the years. It was fascinating to me and to my mom, who noted how different things are now from when she was there.

Sister Audrey also toured me around the local Abbey, where the monks and a seminary school are located. It was beautiful! We went to their bookshop and got to see their newly renovated Basilica – breathtaking! I enjoyed the welcoming atmosphere and willingness to take me on the tours of various things. I also asked a lot about how Sister Audrey’s convent operates and it was very interesting. I feel that today was filled with a lot of love and knowledge. I feel renovated and ready to continue my ride – I know I have a lot of people praying for me and rooting me on!


Jalyn said...

Sounds like your rest day was just what you needed! The convent looks beautiful. I am glad you got sometime to relax. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Aww ... what a special day! It warmed my heart to read about it. I'm sure your mom enjoyed it as much as you. Thinking of you and continuing to read your blog eVeRyDaY! : )

- Natalie