Lord, I Am Not Worthy to Enter Under Your Roof, but Only Say the Word, and My Soul Shall Be Healed. 

Last night I was warmly greeted by my host family.  Puppy Chanel  jumped into my arms,  Issa made me delicious coffee,  and later tea,  and my teacher partner, Mirna, showed me my comfortable guest room, and we sat and chatted about all sorts of topics, as girlfriends do.

Soon we joined the other teachers and pilgrims for a delicious homemade meal in the school multi purpose room.

Lots of laughter was shared between bites of hummus, pita, seasoned vegetables, and juicy grilled  meats. The parish priest wrote my name in Arabic on my dinner napkin and explained many things abut Arab ancestry.  My dear friend Waseim once again tried to give me a lesson in pronouncing the kh blend.  Another epic fail, but we keep trying!

Our tired little group from Ohio was renewed by exceptional hospitality and fellowship. 

My homesickness vanished because I was reunited with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Just as Christ feeds me in the breaking of his holy body, just as Christ forgives me in the sacrament of reconciliation,  the Palestinians have nourished me by their hospitality and healed my soul in their total acceptance of who I am.  What would Jesus do? Come to the West Bank to find out.

Baptism and the Living Stones.

We celebrated mass at the baptism site of the Jordan River, and also renewed or baptism vows. We will soon cross the Allenbey Bridge checkpoint and head to the West Bank.

This is what my soul longs for; to be with my loved ones in Beit Jala.

To be with the people who live out their baptismal promises every day;  the Palestinian Christians who are the Living Stones of the Church. 

We Are Officially Pilgrims

Fr. Chris celebrated mass with us in the smallish prayer room of the Paris airport. A Muslim man came midway through the mass and said his prayers on the other side of the partition. God is good to all and made known to those who desire him.  

Today’s Gospel, Luke 19:41-44 in part reads:”If this day you only knew what makes for peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

Thank you, Lord, For opening our eyes; you are the only way to true peace.

The Journey Begins

Our flight out of CVG was delayed a bit due to a mechanical problem. We were loaded on the plane but stuck in the gate due to a APU. I called my aerospace engineer hubby who explained everything I ever wanted to know about Auxiliary Power Units. Thanks, Dan!  

After a 35 minute delay we were off for our 8 hour flight to Paris.  

Here is a picture of dinner. 

And Fr. Chris rocked the hoodie. Just chillin’ with his Kindle. 

I enjoyed watching the flight path and listening to music all night because I can’t sleep on a plane.7

Sunrise over London.

Delta was awesome.  Comfortable seats, headphones that worked, hot towels, and a friendly and efficient crew. Best flight of my life. 

Gratitude 

Tomorrow I begin my journey to the Holy Land. I’m really looking forward to connecting with my teacher partners, whom I consider family,  and meeting new friends.

My students made these beautiful cards for a group of boys from LPS St. Joseph School who shared a very wonderful video with us about the Old City of Nablus. Their video was the inspiration for our production titled “A Slice of Life in Milford, Ohio.” 

I look forward to sharing these cards and my students’ videos with the boys in Nablus, a town in the region of Samaria.

 I will share the videos  with the other Latin Patriarchate Schools that I will visit as well. 

Hopefully this is the beginning of a fruitful video exchange where we can share our cultures and learn from each other…A spark has been kindled by some industrious boys who live where Jesus promised life giving water to a woman who thirsted.


Going Back to Jesus’s neighborhood! 

One week from today I will get on a plane and head to my favorite place in the world. I am looking forward to seeing my teacher partners whom I consider my brothers and sisters.  My sister Mirna and her husband Issa will host me in their home.  I will also get to meet their puppy Chanel.

This post is a practice run to learn how to blog from my phone!  Peace and blessings, everyone!

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Books by the Banks – Saturday Inspiration!

Books by the Banks  is Cincinnati’s annual author event.  Today’s event featured  regional  published authors and various talks ranging from genres, the writing process, and how to get published.

My son and I ventured down to visit the booth of Geoffrey Girard, who is Peter’s high school English teacher and accomplished published author.  Mr. Girard generously donated 2 of his books to my classroom library (Tales of the Eastern Indians and Tales of the Atlantic Pirates) and I purchased a copy of his latest novel, Project Cain for my library.

I can’t wait to share his inscriptions inside the books, and especially his stories, with my students on Monday.  Making authors REAL is an inspiration to any teen reader.

I left with books for my classroom library but also a personal take-away.  A room featuring 150 people who successfully followed their passion and broke into the realm of the publishing industry to witness their hard work and creativity transformed into the printed page. Being with people who pursue their passions motivates me as an educator.  Mr. Girard is especially an inspiration because he’s published multiple books while managing the demands of an English teacher.  I know from proof-reading my son’s latest assignment that he’s got a mountain of essays to assess before the grading cut off next week for first quarter.

Whatever your passion is, don’t let the daily grind detract you from working toward your dreams!