Not our parking lot at Trinita. But that's where we started.
It's the Year of Faith! It's also (next month) the one hundredth anniversary of a perpetual novena to the Holy Spirit, prayed by the Missionary Cenacle Family. I'll tell you now: it's the Holy Spirit we met in the parking lot. But wait til you hear what he said!
Last month at our Christ the King celebration, we talked about a plan to have a procession from Trinita to our parish church, which is 3.5 miles downhill in the center of New Hartford. The purpose would be to celebrate the Year of Faith and the centennial of the perpetual novena. Now keep in mind that by the time we brought up this idea, we'd been talking in large and small groups for awhile and folks were probably getting saturated with proposals and projects and the like. Not everyone was very enthusiastic about the procession idea. Someone said, "Why don't we just wait and see what the Holy Spirit wants us to do?"
Well, a few of us have decided to go ahead and plan a procession, without waiting to see what the Holy Spirit wants. I have done a lot of discernment work over the years--both for myself and helping others discern. I have also done my homework on discernment. I know, you just can't always know what the Holy Spirit wants before you start something. You just have to go with your gut sometimes!
So my friend Nancy S and I decided to walk it ourselves this morning just to see what it was like. We set out at 9 AM, and it was sort of snowing and pretty windy. Oh well. We had a good time, talked about all kinds of things, noted danger areas and areas where a group could pull over and say a prayer every so often. It's pretty clear that we're going to go ahead with this procession idea unless we find out it's not allowed. (Even on Saturday mornings, there is traffic on Town Hill Road.)
After an hour and fifteen minutes, we rounded the last bend and arrived in the parking lot of Immaculate Conception. And just at that very moment, Father Iain was climbing out of his car, books in hand, heading toward the church. We stopped him and told him our big idea. The first words out of his mouth were,"Do you plan to carry anything? I think you should carry fire. And then, when you get here, we can light a fire!"
Yes! The Holy Spirit wants us to have this procession! With fire! What are the odds we would stumble into the parking lot just at the very moment Fr. Iain pulled up? He lives in forty minutes away, lest you think he was just stepping out of his own rectory or something. That moment was what I call confirmation. So, we're going for it. How much more clear can the Holy Spirit be?