Saturday, February 27, 2016

First day at Our Lady Queen of Peace

Today is the first day of the urban plunge in Arlington Virginia. It has not been at all what I’ve expected thus far, though I admit I wasn’t exactly sure what I was expected. Maybe it was awful childhood experiences camping with my father, but I was imaging our trip to be dirty, or even uncomfortable. Today, was exactly the opposite. We arrived in Arlington, a place not unlike any average suburb of Pittsburgh. I found myself feeling rather at home. That feeling has only increased since visiting Our Lady Queen of Peace. The priests here, the rectory even, remind me forcibly of St. Januarius in my hometown of Plum. Just when I begin to think that I am becoming familiar with this place, we have our first group discussion. I hear the stories of my colleagues and some words of wisdom on what to expect here. I realize that I know nothing about the two separate communities that could easily be at odds with one another, or reconciled to form a great Catholic community. I realize in this moment, in our group reflection that this trip will not solely be about giving material items to this person or that person, but also to help construct the emotional building blocks necessary to create a community in complete solidarity.
Our home for the week. 

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