meeting the Church in Upstate NY
Last week, James and I saw the Church in action.
We walked 114 miles across the Finger Lakes region of New York, from Mt. Saviour Monastery near Elmira to the St. Marianne Cope Shrine in Syracuse. (James met me in Watkins Glen, making it a cool 100 miles—give or take.)
We took no money and made no plans for hospitality along the way, and each night as we arrived in the town for the evening, we asked for hospitality from Catholic churches in town—most of whom we had never met beforehand or knew anything about. And you can imagine the adventures that ensued. Or maybe you can’t! I certainly didn’t imagine any of the week that unfolded.
St. Marianne Cope was a saint we chose more for geographical location than for any devotional reason, but we’ve gotten to know quite a bit about her, and, as so often happens, we’ve found inspiration and kinship in this surprising saint—a remarkable leader, “mother of outcasts,” and Upstate New Yorker.
We’ve been talking about the journey, reflecting on it, and writing about it for the past week while staying at my aunt’s house near Syracuse. It was a rich experience that we continue to unpack—even as we’ve packed up a Budget Truck and hit the road for the Windy City. But as I’ve sent several variations on the same text describing why I haven’t responded to texts and emails, I thought I would just write the brief summary of the trip and share some of the highlight reel of photos.
St. Marianne Cope, Beloved Mother of Outcasts, pray for us!