The trip to Canada was wonderful. The travel was easy and fun. We saw no moose, not even a Canadian goose until we got home. There was the trip up through Lake George and then into French Canada. And when they mean French, they MEAN French. As little English is spoken as possible by the Quebecqois. They are proud of their culture and force us Anglophone (as English speakers are called) to try out our high school French no matter how long ago we studied. J. who studied German and Latin in school had a harder time of it, but I was able to remember what pomme frites and haricort vert were so that I could order from the menu without too much surprise.
The trips to two Ursuline convent museums were treats for me. It brought back some happy memories of religious life and my time with the women who traced their faith roots back to Marie de l’Incarnacion, the first nun in North America who came to teach Indian girls the basics of the faith. The Sisters still have schools in French Canada and still live in their monasteries some 400 years after their founding. I met some alumna of Ursuline schools while visiting these museums: women my age giving thanks for the education and values that they were taught as children. It is these values that I still carry with me because of the time I taught with them and lived as one of them. I can only give thanks for their witness. I would not have known Christ if it weren’t for them.
Visiting French anything revolves around food and our trip did too. Now I must subsist on salads to remind me of my sins. We climbed—and one must climb—all over Quebec City through streets that were a challenge even one way. There were shops and galleries, churches and auberges to haunt. We didn’t get to see but a miniscule portion of either Montreal or Quebec City. But we know that these are places that are not too far to visit again.
As a part of our Sabbath rest we happened upon the Anglican Cathedral in Quebec City in time for a daily Eucharist. There were a group of heart souls there, half of us clergy from all parts of Canada and the US. It was good to worship as a part of our rather harried Anglican Communion. On the pew level, we celebrated our oneness. It matters not what is happening on the purple level. We knew we were living out what it means to be IN Communion with one another.
And now, to begin a stage of my life in the Church: to embrace Lutherans and for them to embrace me. I made my first home visit with a parishioner today. It felt good to be back in the saddle—sharing the joy of Christ and the Church. Yes, those old Ursuline values of community, faith and family are still strong. The joy of a common English heritage still ripples through my heart and now to share the river of a common Protestant experience opens up to me. God is Good—All the time!