Well, greetings to all our family members and friends. The goal of this blog is to update you on our lives as Missionaries of Our Mother of the Eucharist (or at least Part 1 of it)…
Mary Clare and I have moved from our little hermitage in Houma, Louisiana, to a 37 acre property on the southern outskirts of Poplarville, MS.
May pictures paint a thousand words here (see pictures below). We actually began the move early May, and are on the last leg of moving things over, though we’ve lived here since May.
In a special way in this blog we remember my mom, our beloved Colette Cecilia Moreau Lottinger (RIP) who played a very key role in us acquiring the property. It was through her encouragement and insistence, and financial aid along with my dad, Allen, that we were able to move forward with the purchase. (We have a little over half still to pay off).
Mom Colette has continued to play a very key role in our mission here; interceding in a special way. (Thanks Mom! We love you!)
What Started the Ball Rolling to Even Want to Move?
Well, Mary Clare and I were living in a very small dwelling with no extra room to even invite others into our Mission, whether through prayers with them, sharing on the Eucharist and Mary, or aiding others in inner healing and going to the deeper heart.
Through prayer, we both had a desire to have a Mission House (set apart from our regular semi-cloistered way of life), where others could come, to enter into the graces that flow from our MOME spirituality and charisms (see here for more on that), which, in a nutshell is ultimately living the fullness of our Catholic faith.
Additionally, we had a desire for a beautiful property where others could come and enter into the beauty and solitude of nature… We were confirmed in this vision when last November someone sponsored a trip for us to go to Europe, which included going to Assisi for a week (we have a Franciscan Spirituality, which incorporates Carmelite as well). One of our favorite places while there was The Hermitage up Mt. Subasio where St. Francis and his brothers often went for retreat and deeper prayer and solitude.
The Hermitage has beautiful grounds. And, throughout the area there are little caves tucked away in rocks where the Franciscan Friars lived and prayed. We spent two days on these grounds soaking in the contemplative spirit of St. Francis and his brothers. It was a very consoling and inspiring part of our pilgrimage, and only fostered our longing to have something similar where we live… to be able to invite others into the quiet of God and nature.
So, our search began… first in the Houma/Thibodaux Diocese, having shared our desire with Bishop Shelton Fabre and his committee of priests. But as we searched properties, there weren’t a lot to choose from that could suffice… and if there was more acreage, it seemed low and could have potential flood problems. So we began searching Lafayette, and the North Shore of New Orleans. And, properties seemed a little pricey for what we were looking for.
But, as we looked on the North Shore we began being led into the Mississippi area and prices began to drop pretty drastically, while feet above sea level began to rise even more drastically.
Finally, through the help of our very sweet realtor, Paulette Egler, we came across the property we have now, which included: a very nice, simple house on it (perfect for the mission house), an extra little house building, a huge awning (that we envisioned eventually putting our little hermitage under), 7 ponds (4 larger ones), lots of wooded area, an abundance of fruit trees and wildlife, a well, etc. And, to top it off, the property is 200-250 ft. above sea level.
All of the above are reasons why mom Colette was so strongly encouraging us to move forward in getting the property, along with the fact that the Holy Spirit seemed to be inspiring her to do so.
And, when we were finally able to have the closing and move to Mississippi, Mary Clare and I were overwhelmed by the welcome, support and encouragement by so many (and the list continues to grow).We have been amazed at how our Heavenly Mother prepared the way before us; preparing the hearts of many on this end as our hearts were being prepared. It has been truly a Divine and Supernatural experience. Below you will see some pictures of our life here, along with some of the very generous people who have been helping us. We are beyond grateful for all those who have so selflessly gone out of their way to help us.
And, there are many more that we could picture if we had pictures of them. So if you have helped with our mission in any way, know that you are included in those we are now thanking in this blog. (Sorry for the crazy arrangement of the pictures below. We haven’t yet figured out this part of our blog site :).
And, we owe all thanks and glory to our Almighty God who is truly at the center of our lives, and to our Heavenly Mother who has drawn us and continues to draw us ever-deeper in communion with Him!