Michael and I know Fr. Luke from camp, but as the Lord would have it, we became friends with Luke's community here in Houston after we moved here. Our very first friend here in Houston, Christine, is dear friends with Luke. I remember coming to Houston four years ago and not knowing anyone, and then meeting Christine (who worked with Michael), and finding out she was good friends with Luke, and suddenly feeling like God was gently confirming again that we were supposed to be here.
I don't know how our friend Kate did it after everything her family has had going on over the past couple of weeks, but she actually beat me to blogging about the wonderful weekend our families just spent together. Bravo, sweet friend--I don't know how you do it, except for the grace of God (which you would quickly remind be about!:)
The ordination was at the beautiful Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart here in Houston. My friend Alyson joked the day before that it would be me (mother of two), her (mother of two), and Kate (mother of three) holding fussing babies in the back the entire time. That's not exactly what happened. When Michael and I and the kids arrived at the cathedral, we quickly spotted Kate and her family, ran into Alyson and her family, and suddenly I found us all marching to a front of the cathedral in a corner off to the side...with a perfect view of the altar.
And a perfect view from the altar (which was filled with dozens of clergy and an archbishop or two) to our squirming, offspring-filled corner.
I started inwardly sweating in anxiety at this point, since Gabriel has been
a troll somewhat challenging this week in general, and pitched the worst temper tantrum of his life at daily mass the day before.
But I was too chicken to grab Michael and beg him to find us a spot near the back of the church where I could suffer with Gabriel through the 2 1/2 ordination mass at least close to some kind of exit.
So, in that front corner of the cathedral, three young families watch a dear friend enter into the holy priesthood. It was a beautiful mass, and much more beautiful to me because I had such a close view of the events at the altar, and also because Gabriel and Faith were relative angels, along with our friends' children.
Angels relative to the fact that the ordination was 2 1/2 hours long, I guess. I did have two trips to the back with fussing children, and an exhausted-refusing-to-nap Faith cried big crocodile tears through the entire communion line. But relatively...they were wonderful. I knew the graces I received from that horrible time with Gabe at mass the day before had to go toward something. :)
I love Kate's description of our little corner that day:
Between 3 families, there were 7 babies (3 who were nursing), about 15 books, 4 sippy cups, 2 bottles, 1 toothbrush, 2 sqeaky toys, 1 train, 1 magnadoodle, and 1 glorious container of cheerios.OK, now for the pictures I suppose. Kate does a better job of describing the weekend anyway. :)
"Our" corner of the cathedral for the ordination. This picture is minus one mom, two dads, one baby, and one toddler.
Fr. Luke is the priest right in the middle of the two candles on the right-hand side of the picture.
The Grifkas, Fr. Luke, the Francos, and the Dawsons
My husband's solution to keeping a crawling baby in check. Nice.
Our new friend, Justin, and David Dawson with his son Jacob. Justin is a seminarian at St. Mary's here in Houston.
Gabriel was on the move so much this weekend that this is the best shot I could get of him...
This is my friend Alyson's little boy. Gabriel would probably promise to potty train himself if we bought him a John Deere truck like this...
Faith in a crate.
Barbecueing at the Grifkas on Saturday