While we celebrated the formal farewell Mass for our Sisters at the Heart of Mary Priory in Lake Villa, IL on May 7th, 2016, we haven’t shared photos until now. That’s because we were busy getting ready to move.
The May 7th Mass with Bishop Rassas was heavily attended with over 200 people crowding into Saint Therese building. We are again grateful to our Knoxville Knight, Jimmy Dee, for going all the way to Illinois to meet the Knights who have done so much for the Sisters over the years since 1980. The Knights helped enormously both with the Mass and with packing the moving van and carefully crating art and statues one day destined for our future monastery in East Tennessee. And, not surprisingly, the Illinois Knights came out in full regalia for the Mass with Bishop Rassas. That meant so much to us.
Bishop Rassas’ Mass on May 7th wasn’t the last official Mass at the Priory though. On the day of their departure, as HAT team member Gisela prepared to bring the Sisters to the airport before driving the car to Tennessee, Father Dietz, OMI celebrated Mass one last time for the Handmaids of the Precious Blood in their regular Chapel. However, unlike so many other Masses, this time the tabernacle remained empty after the Mass concluded. As the Sisters got in the car to leave, a cadre of prayer warriors stayed in the Chapel to pray a Rosary as the car pulled out.
Thus it was that we came with Mary and opened the Heart of Mary Priory in 1980. And thus it was that we left in 2016 under the mantle of Mary’s protection. Yes, Handmaids of the Precious Blood pray for priests. But we know well, and dearly appreciate, that there are those who pray for us. Thank you.