Sisters at Holloman AFB, New Mexico
Dear Sister Mary and Sisters,
♫May the spirit of the Lord come down! Amen. May the Spirit of the Lord come down. Alleluia!♫
This is a song Father Bedemoore, the chaplain at Holloman AFB, sings before every homily and has been the theme of our whole weekend. Starting with our flight being delayed at John Wayne airport by beautiful fog, meaning that we would miss our connecting flight to Las Vegas. As always God provides. The airline representative gave us two options that would get us to El Paso very late… almost morning. As we were preparing our next step he came up to us with another idea—Take a shuttle to LAX and get there at a similar time as we had planned. After a little pilgrimage around the airport and retrieving our luggage we made it to the shuttle.
We arrived safely and had a “Wonderfully Made” (our retreat theme) weekend by God. We had the joyful participation of about 25 families, about half of them were new to us and the returning families were so excited to see us again. Our theme, “Wonderfully Made,” focused on the gift of being made in the image and likeness of God. We divided up into three groups. Sister Shannon had the youngest ones and at one point she asked them to draw what part of creation gives God delight. One of the girls drew Father Bedemoore and with great excitement shared, “because he is kind and is from Africa.” When we shared this with Fr. Bedemoore Monday morning at breakfast he was joyfully moved to grateful tears.
The families had a prayerful spirit and reverence. For our closing prayer we had adoration and from the youngest (age 2) to the oldest (80) they were still. Similar to our Family Camps, they came forward before our Lord and offered their family to God. They were very generous and it was expressed by their words of gratitude and even in the abundant multicultural feast they provided for the potluck.
This morning during breakfast God continued to surprise us. As we finished praying grace an older gentlemen, seeing us make the Sign of the Cross, came over and gave his card. The gentlemen turned out to be Deacon Bill who has a little museum on the Shroud of Turin. He invited us over. While we were there we shared with him that we knew Isabel Piczek. He couldn’t believe it. He was with Isabel on the same team in 1977 that got to study the Shroud. He even showed their picture in a book that he had on the Shroud. It brought him such joy and he shared, “The Shroud community misses her very much.”
Sisters, it was such a gift and blessing to be at Holloman AFB. When we asked Fr. Bedemoore and the other chaplains how we could pray they asked for strength and energy to be able to continue to serve God’s people. While there are five protestant chaplains, Fr. Bedemoore is the only priest for the Catholic community which is six times larger. Thank God for Father Bedemoore, but please keep him in your prayers.
Thank you, dear Sisters, for all your prayers.
And remember ♫May the spirit of the Lord come down. Amen…♫
In the Heart of Jesus and in His Spirit,
Sister Paula, Sister Shannon, Sister Micaela