06 April 2006

Church in Castries France

As I was reminded by Pastor Patti's weekly letter, we are entering Holy Week. I feel so much connection to my faith sitting in the services of this week. This is the Catholic church that I am attending...pretending that it is Episcopal! The prayers and the flow of the service are almost exactly the same.

Pere Yannick is so wonderful. He is definitely a younger (40s to early 50s) and more forward thinking Catholic priest. He speaks French, Spanish and English. He has visited the Carmel mission in California and loves to have us in his congregation. He insists on speaking in English with us after each service even though we would like to stay in French to better blend in.

The voices roll about the church when the choir sings. It just fills you to the brim. It is such an open and light filled place...very unlike most of the older churches here. The original church in Castries was constructed around 1050, collapsed in 1870. This new church was built in 1862...thus the more light and airy architecture.

The congregation is enormous. For a country that has really turned its back on its organized religion, the church is packed completely to standing room only every single Sunday. I am forced to actually be early in order to find a seat...amazing for me don't you agree my COGS family??

Spring is Here!

This is the view from Celia's room. Each morning as she opens her eyes, this is the sight that greets her. What a wonderful way to awaken...even for someone as adverse to morning as she. The collage is made of pictures from our favorite walking road in the vineyards just on the other side of our road. Slowly, but surely everything is blooming. Each day a new type of plant is in bloom...seemingly going from bare branches to full bloom overnight. I have a new love and respect for dandelions. Coming from the Midwest...land of lush green lawns where the yellow menace is fought tooth and nail, it is incredible to see acres of them. They open each day and face the sun like miniature little sunflowers.