Our gratitude knows no bounds as we reflect on all the many helpers, volunteers, and prayer warriors who assisted in the final homecoming, welcoming our Sisters back from Lake Villa, IL. The Knights of Columbus and HAT team members went out of their way, both in Illinois and in Tennessee, to ensure our Sisters’ transition was as smooth as possible. Jimmy Dee coordinated the Knights’ efforts packing the moving van at the Priory and then drove the van back solo to Tennessee. In this, our gratitude also goes out to HAT team member Gisela Chaparro, who drove the Sisters’ car back to the Motherhouse in New Market, TN. This was extremely gracious and allowed the Sisters to concentrate “only” on traveling home by air (albeit through Chicago O’Hare and the usual TSA security checks for habited nuns) rather than having to drive a large moving van and the car back in stages. (That took us three days and nights when we first sent a contingent of Handmaids from NM to TN in 2013.) Jimmy and Gisela’s labors meant time and energy saved for the Sisters naturally, but more so, minimized necessary contacts so they could travel as prayerfully and peacefully as possible.
All the while we prayed for everyone involved in any way with the packing, driving, and unpacking. Not too long after we enjoyed the Sisters’ full homecoming on May 17th, we took another deep breath and awaited the arrival of the moving van and car. The 26 foot truck, driven by Jimmy and packed with furniture and other Priory items, arrived in New Market on May 18th, 2016 and was followed hours later by Gisela driving the Priory car, a small Subaru. As much contents as could be unloaded that day was, with more scheduled for the 19th when extra help was on hand. On the 19th, Knights of Columbus Seamus McNally and Scott Elmore assisted Jimmy, Gisela and the nuns with moving. Our gratitude for their help was bumped up another notch when HAT team member Ralph Herbert arrived to leap in as well…and because we were all a bit tired too. Plenty of prayers of thanksgiving went hand in hand with heavy labor as we utilized the nun-ly version of “Ready, lift on 3….One…Two…THREE!” What we do is say “Jesus, Mary, and JOSEPH!” and lift when the saintly carpenter helps us.
We simply couldn’t be here without God’s Providence and his Providence that comes in the form of so many helpful and generous souls. May God bless you all.