Our Sunday Visitor publisher Scott Richert writes, "We hold Mass at 11 a.m. every day…
From the Chapel — March 21: There and back again
“From the Chapel” is a series of short, daily reflections on life and faith in a time of uncertainty. As people across the world cope with the effects of the coronavirus — including the social isolation necessary to combat its spread — these reflections remind us of the hope that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
I could not visit the OSV chapel yesterday, because Cordelia (our 14-year-old daughter) and I left Huntington at 5:20 a.m. to drive to Dubuque, Iowa, to retrieve Jacob and Stephen, the older two of our three sons. Both attend Loras College, and both will graduate this spring. I doubt that they will have a graduation ceremony, though when life resumes, we will throw them one heck of a party.
Loras held out longer than Marian University in Indianapolis, where Grace, our second-oldest daughter, is a freshman. Both have now gone to online courses for the rest of the academic year, so students were ordered to empty their dorm rooms.
I wasn’t quite sure what I would find when Cordelia and I hit Chicago at 7 a.m. My first clue was when Apple Maps routed me on I-90 straight through the city, rather than to the west on 290 and 294, which it normally would at that time of day. Traffic flowed without stopping and at about five miles over the speed limit, and no yellow, orange or red traffic warnings ever appeared in Apple Maps. Someone not used to Chicago traffic might still have been overwhelmed, but on both the way out and the way back, as we passed through about 1 p.m., the volume of traffic was noticeably lower than normal. It usually takes me 13 hours total just to drive both ways; yesterday, we arrived home 11 hours and 40 minutes after we left — even though we had to load all of Jacob’s belongings in the van.
Having lived in Rockford, Illinois, for 22 years before moving to Huntington, we often stop in Rockford or on the outskirts when we pass by. Not yesterday. Amy gassed the van up the night before; I gassed it up in Dubuque; and I drove both ways without stopping. This wasn’t a leisurely trip; we were on a mission.
It was only when we arrived home and unloaded the van and Stephen’s car that I realized I hadn’t hugged the boys when we arrived in Dubuque. So I welcomed them home, and we sat down at the dining-room table to thank God for our safety and to ask him to bless the simple meal Amy had prepared. We may not be hobbits, but now that we’re all together again here in the Shire of Huntington, we’re ready to live like them.
Scott P. Richert is publisher for OSV.