Thanks to the encouragement of good and faithful friends, a few years back Bill and I went to our parish's annual retreat. At first I thought if I were able to get away with Bill for the weekend without our kids in tow, a parish retreat would be the last place I'd want to go. Turns out, it was one of the best decisions we've made.
Since then, we've built many friendships with good people. Last night, we had a reunion of sorts. It took place at our friends' home. We started with mass. Now, since it's not my norm, I'm not really sure how I feel about having mass somewhere other than a church. But I have to say, it was all very reverent and a wonderful experience for our kids. An "altar" was set up in the family room and all the kids there had a front row seat to the transubstantiation. ( I had to google that ). It was a beautiful thing...so very intimate.
The not-so-wonderful part for me was the pool party that took place afterwards. I have 5 children who can't swim but think they can. Since our priest friend Fr. Allen was there, I was tempted to ask him to bless the pool, and then maybe I could have relaxed a bit. Probably not.
Here is a picture I took this morning. In the far distance on the right is our church. We are so blessed to be a part of such a great parish!