Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pilgrimage to Loretto

Every year the ITI begins the school year with a gala opening and a pilgrimage. The gala opening occurred on the 1oth of October. Cardinal Shönborn was the main celebrant at the Mass in the parish church. Both Zach and Cody served the Mass. DSC_0072 Cody was the thurifer and Zach was the crozier bearer.

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Following the Mass there was a big party with all of the required politicians etc welcoming the ITI. It was an enjoyable evening.


We undertook the pilgrimage to Loretto 10/26. We walked for about three hours and a half hours from Trumau to the Austrian village of Loretto. There is a basilica in Italy where the supposed house of the Holy Family’s (their house from Nazareth) is found. As Austrian gentlemen visited this basilica in the middle of the 17th century. He was so moved by the experience that he had a statue made and a replica of the house of Nazareth built in Austria. The place was aptly named Loretto. The weather was perfect. It was a great day to walk and pray. Zach, Eli, and I walked. The rest of the family was ill so they met us there.

I carried each and every one of you in my heart as I walked. I prayed for you and asked Gog that he would bless you for your support of our endeavors here.

DSC_0060  Eli leading the pilgrims


The church of Loretto in the far distance. We had been walking about two hours at this point.


The main altar at the church in Loretto.


The statue at the Church of Loretto. Made in 1645.

I didn’t get a picture within the replica of the house. I was too busy praying… Afterward, all the pilgrims descended on a little restaurant outside of Loretto. We had a fantastic meal together as a community. It is good to be Catholic!!

Friday, October 16, 2009


We've been trying to get settled over the past couple weeks in the new apartment. It has been a lot like our favorite pastime - camping! We just got running water and a dishwater hooked up. We have been doing the dishes in the bathtub over the past two weeks. They just put up the cabinets in the kitchen when some of them, in another apartment, collapsed. So they took them down for fear of more falling. Fortunately, no one was hurt. It looks to be a flaw in the wall construction.

Before we arrived, we were very concerned over the size of the place. It is *really* small but is livable. Deb has been hard at
work making the place look like home.

We are living among Austrians now, whereas in Gaming we had little contact. Felicity, Cody, and I are enrolled in German classes. I am excited to be able to converse with the locals beyond simple phrases. Felicity received a note from an Austrian girl, written in German and English, wanting to show Felicity Trumau. What a neat gesture.

Below you'll find the Lee apartment virtual tour.

The entrance and landing.

Sorry for the shot of the toilet. Interesting that there is no sink in that room. You have to go clear to where the bathtub is to find the sink (or the kitchen.)

We altered the coat closet to be my office. It actually works quite nicely.

The kitchen. It is much bigger than the one we had in Gaming. You can see the cabinets are not on the wall. Turning 180 degrees...

You see the dining room and living room. I took the picture of the kitchen from where Eli is sitting, and this picture from the other end of the table.

Down the hall you find the "washroom". It has the sink, bathtub, washer, and dryer.

Zach, Eli, and Zeke's room.

Felicity and Cody's room. The furniture divides the room in half and acts as a wall so they have privacy. Not an optimal set up, but it is impossible to put all four boys in one room.

The Master Suite ;-). We were so happy that we could actually get the bed (king size), the dresser, and an armoire in the room and still be able to have some room to move.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

We made it…

We arrived in Austria on the 21st of September. We stayed in the small village of Gaming (where the ITI moved from) as there was no place for us in Trumau, yet. We spent three days in Gaming and then moved into the new digs in Trumau. As you can imagine, 900 sq. ft. is a bit cramped for seven people. We currently have a temporary kitchen that isn’t completely hooked up. Kitchens (stove, fridge, cabinets, sink, etc) do not come supplied with any apartment. The ITI has to provide those things for us. So, it is a bit like camping actually. We do have a small bit of grass in the backyard. I was pretty concerned whether the place would just be too small to live in. However, I think we can make it. It will take love and creativity, but we can do it with God’s grace.

We do not have an internet connection as of yet. I will post pictures of the place once things settle down a bit. Between trying to moving in and classes starting, there is not much time for anything else.

Thanks for your prayers and support. It means the world to us….