Sunday, August 19, 2012

DATELINE NATCHEZ/NEW ORLEANS

MONMOUTH PLANTATION
Exciting travel news:

I'm a-goin to Natchez, Mississippi and will be giving two talks on Saturday, September 8, at an event sponsored by:

The Natchez Council for Arts & Culture
Birthday Celebration for our Blessed Mother
Evangelization 2012
September 7-9, 2012
Monmouth Plantation
Natchez, Miss.

For more information email hedykboelte@aol.com or call 601-446-7700.

WISTERIA-DRAPED PERGOLA
MONMOUTH PLANTATION
First of all, I love that the Natchez Council for Arts and Culture is throwing a birthday bash for the Virgin Mary. As indicated, the invite was at the behest of one Hedy K. Boelte. We got to know each other a bit over the phone and then I asked, "What do you want me to talk about?" Hedy replied, "Well, we're kinda into story-telling down here...how about if you just tell your story?" I said, "There is nothing I like better." So we're on, I can't wait to meet my Natchez Catholic brethren and sistren--other, more noted speakers include Hollywood film producer Steve McEveety--and I'm thrilled to be staying at the Monmouth Plantation which looks pretty darn tony.

I have never been to that part of the country--well, I did actually drive the Natchez Trace from Jackson to Nashville a few years ago, in one day,  now that I think about it; and I also remember driving through Tupelo on some interstate but I have never sat down, broken bread with the folks, nor mingled. When I told Hedy how excited I am, she said, "I bet I could get them to give you hospitality at the plantation an extra night: why don't you stay?" So I said, "You know, I'm on Southwest, no fees, I think I will!" Then I started thinking, as I'll be flying in and out of the Louis Armstrong International Airport, Why don't I just stay a few more days and visit N.O., which I have been wanting to do since forever and never have? So I spent several hours looking at French Quarter hotels and then I confided my plan to Hedy and she said, "Oh there is Mary Lou, there is my sister-in-law Judy, there is my daughter and her roommate who have an adorable house with a spacious bedroom: any one of them would love to give you a place to stay and show you around if you want the hospitality."

As I told her, my first impulse was to say, No, thank you! I will swill coffee, skulk around graveyards, wander about to various churches for Mass, and seek out the area alkies on my own. But such is the working of the HOLY SPIRIT that my next thought was: Why don't you try it someone else's way for a change?

Which is a roundabout way of saying I am deeply grateful, I am deeply honored, and I deeply can't wait! Come to the Blessed Mother's birthday celebration! Or let me know of anything I should know/anyone I should meet in New Orleans (I'll be there through the 13th).

"The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit" [John 3:8]. These says, I never know where I'm going to end up...

BLANCHE AND STANLEY
(VIVIEN LEIGH AND MARLON BRANDO)
RAPE SCENE
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, 1951

16 comments:

  1. Walker Percy is buried at the Benedictine Abbey in Covington, LA just north of New Orleans. The Abbey itself is worth a tour. Our Lady of Prompt Succor Shrine in New Orleans has an amazing reliquary.

    http://www.fatherallen.net/2011/06/corpus-christi-2.html

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  2. Outstanding, Heather. Love the serendipity of the planning phase. NO is full of life!

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  3. Visit the Benedictine Abbey in Covington, LA just north across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. Walker Percy is buried there. The murals in the Abbey Church are impressive.
    http://contemplativecatholicspirituality.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-josephs-abbey.html
    http://contemplativecatholicspirituality.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-josephs-abbey-additional-pictures.html
    http://contemplativecatholicspirituality.blogspot.com/2008/12/st-joseph-abbey-murals.html

    Go to mass at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Shrine. Afterwards, ask to see their amazing reliquary.
    http://www.fatherallen.net/2011/06/corpus-christi-2.html

    If you want non-touristy, authentic New Orleans food at a decent price, try Coops on Decatur at the edge of the Quarter. Bennachin on Royal Street is a moderately priced East African restaurant specializing in the roots of Creole cooking. I recommend them both highly.

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  4. That sounds totally wonderful -- both the birthday celebration for Our Lady in Natchez, and the peregrinations through New Orleans! If I ever got the chance to go back to New Orleans, I'd look at some of the churches. (I wasn't precisely a "practicing Catholic" when I visited the city in 1988.)

    I have a New Orleans story I like to tell. Maybe some other time!

    Oh, and a fun fact: The former Archbishop of Boston, the immensely popular Bernard Cardinal Law, was once the bishop of Natchez, Mississippi. (I usually have to duck when I say this, but I rather liked Cardinal Law.)

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  5. Newman: "I do not ask to see the distant scene; one step enough for me.I was not ever thus; nor prayed that thou shouldst lead me on. I loved to choose and see my path; but now, lead thou me on."

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  6. Sounds fun, right? Thomas, an excerpt from a note from one of my hostesses: "In any case, if you want to spend at least Sunday night here, we can go to St. Joseph Abbey where Bernie [her late beloved husband] and Walker Percy are buried for 11:15 am Mass on Monday. We could go to lunch afterwards and I could take you to New Orleans. Or Mary Lou could take you to New Orleans Sunday night. Whatever works for you.

    One thing you might plan to do is visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor at Ursuline School in NO. Michael Brown has called it one of the top 7 Marian shrines in the world. She is the patroness of the city and has saved the city from war, fires and plagues. We are praying for her intercession at every Mass in the Archdiocese to help bring an end to the murder and violence in NO."

    So the Benedictine Abbey and the Our Lady of Prompt Succor shrine are on the list--of course I MUST view the reliquary after that bone pic--and I have noted the dining tips (a Meal and a meal as my friend Bill says)as well.

    Thank you Tom D. and Liz. And I love the Newman quote, Sal (btw, Stephen Sparrow is thrilled with his Magnificat subscription). I wonder if that's where Walter Ciszek got the title He Leadest Me...

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  7. Oh, I am going to have to try to figure out a way to come.

    AMDG,
    Janet

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  8. Congrats on that. A dream come true for an author who is Catholic. Woo hoo.

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  9. Better reserve two adjacent seats on the plane, Heather. Svelte you are, but that hoop skirt of yours might prove problematic . . .

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  10. I have always wanted to visit Our Lady of Prompt Succor, and every time I have been there, either it has been closed or the person I was with wasn't interested.

    AMDG

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  11. When I taught at Holy Angels in the 9th Ward years ago, we called Our Lady of Prompt Succor "Our Lady of Quick Help." Why? Because even the kids who'd gone to elementary school there didn't know what "prompt succor" meant! And I'm thinking that church had a great tabernacle with flames coming from it as a reminder of one of the great rescues. (We won't mention Katrina...)

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  12. Janet, get over there from Memphis! Looks like I'm giving a talk Sunday morning 10-11 as well. I hope the alkie/addicts (preferably sober but either way), as well as the Catholics, will feel free to come hear my story and chat. Thank God those two things often occur in the same person.

    Shannon! So glad you're still on board. You have been since way back at the beginning...Prompt succor. Yeah!!

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  13. Well, it's a little pricey for me. Too Bad.

    AMDG

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  14. Hi Heather,
    St.Peter's List has Shirt of Flame listed as 12 of top 25 Catholic blogs, yay!

    Cyndi

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I WELCOME your comments!!!