Saturday, July 14, 2007


My apologies for being gone so long. I have never been to Europe...but I can no longer say that. I had the good fortune to spend the better part of two weeks in, of all places, France. And it was not a trip that was limited to one part of the country. I traveled to Lyon and then on to the glorious French Alps. There we visited the shrine of La Salette, which is situated near the very top of a mountain. We moved on to Paray Le Monial, which is a stereotypical French village. If I were shooting a World War II movie, I would use this town as a location.

Our adventure continued to another quaint village called Ars, then back to Lyon on then on to Toulouse. From there we traveled by bus to the Holy Shrine of Lourdes. This is an amazing place. If you find that you've lost your faith, whatever faith that is, then you should visit Lourdes. Without going into a long dissertation let me simply say that something wonderful happens in this town. Every day there are tens of thousands of people visiting the grotto of Lourdes and many, like myself, bath in it's miraculous waters. I sat next to Mohammed...a Muslim from Algeria. He too bathed in the cool mountain waters that believers will tell you were sanctified by the Blessed Mother (or as my Muslim friend called her, St. Mary). You don't have to believe this but I will tell you this as fact...something wonderful happens to your soul when you immerse your body in that water and it affects you for the rest of your life.

After spending three days there, we flew back to Paris and spent several days investigating the city and the neighboring area of Normandy (an area my dad got to know intimately during the Second World War as a forward observer...not one of your safer Army specialties). I was a lecturer at the Basilica of St. Theresa, in a town called Lisieux. St Theresa was also known as The Little Flower and a truly wonderful soul. I sailed the Seine, saw the Arc de Triumph, the sparkling Eiffel Tower (they light it up at night), drove down the Champs-Élysées and touched the pillars of Notre Dame Cathedral.

And, to my amazement, I loved the French people. They were warm and considerate....the complete opposite of what I had expected. I could go on...and I probably will in another blog...but I will tell you that it was a fabulous that I would recommend to everyone.

So...that's where I've been. I hope you'll forgive me for not blogging while I was away...but I was a bit preoccupied...and I think that you would have been too.

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