Greetings from the road. Only two days left on my Journey. What an incredible blessing it has been. Rode 55 miles through beautiful seaport towns today on the way to Rockland where I am staying.
Today is the feast day of St. John Marie Baptiste Vianney. He is the patron saint of priests. So today I thank all priests for the gift of their priesthood and saying yes to God. Now that's a cool name for a priest. So cool that we gave our daughter, Carly, the name Vianney for her middle name. Her birthday, August 7, is near his feast day. Actually, I appreciated his counseling and listening skills.
Tonight I had the privilege and blessing to stay with Father Bob Vaillencourt from St. Bernard's in Rockland. Father Bob had mass and adoration this evening. He spoke about St. John Vianney, his favorite priest. It's interesting that St. John Vianney lived during the French Revolution when both nuns and priests were persecuted and killed for there faith. Some takeaways from his message were that St. John Vianney loved the sacraments and wanted people to fully experience them. Especially the sacrament of confession where people would line up for hours to see him. He taught people to appreciate and love the Eucharist. He wanted all to realize Gods love for their lives. He is quoted as saying, "our sins are nothing but a grain of sand alongside the great mountain of the mercy of God."
Father Bob I believe is truly a gift. We spent several hours talking and sharing. He is a man of joy and humor and has a sincere love for people. He has six churches and a prison ministry that he serves. He is very busy. He has lead many pilgrimages to Israel and Ars. He is a big fan of Archbishop Chaput, FOCUS, and Steubenville. I am so thankful that I was able to meet him and spend time with him.
At the end of mass, he took the time to talk about my bike ride. People came up to me afterward and gave me money for the mission. After mass, he took me and two religious Sisters out for dinner. I will have more to say about them tomorrow as I will be staying with them on Friday night also. He insisted that I get the lobster dinner. I told him it was too expensive. He insisted so I did. It was delicious. And to top it all off, a man sitting at the bar paid for the meal. We didn't know who he was because he left before the waitress told us. Father Bob told me of an actor from NCIS LA with five kids who attends mass when they are not filming and one Supreme Court Justice who attends his mass every Sunday during the summer. He told me not to say his name.
I only have about 85 miles to go. Thank you so much for your emails and prayers. I want to thank my sister Carly (Bobbie) for her encouragement and overall positive thoughts concerning my trip.
Talk to you tomorrow,