Written by: Denise Serafini on Monday, May 29, 2017
The generosity and commitment of the members of the local Knights of Columbus we have the privilege of working with on these tours is exemplary. They insisted on taking us out for an early dinner just before our next event in Las Vegas on Friday, May 26. They were dressed in their tuxes (part of their formal regalia), complete with the jewels of their officer ranking. Although we were all formally dressed for the event, the waitress was understandably fascinated with their attire. She had a bubbly personality, exhibiting the roots of her upbringing in Georgia. She asked if they were part of the Masons. The sir knights were quick to set that straight and we joined in to explain what it is we do. She seemed very interested, and although she isn’t Catholic, she asked where we were heading. We gave her general directions and timing information and thought that would be the end of it. since she was quick to follow-up with a reply, saying she had other commitments after work. However, as we were getting into the car, she came running out to the parking lot and knocked on the window asking for a specific address to put into her GPS in case she had the opportunity to attend.
Before we met with the knights for dinner we had the opportunity to visit their adoration chapel for 90 minutes or so. Although we have a consistent practice of praying while we have down time or while we are driving, whenever we can, we take the opportunity to stop in where Eucharistic Adoration is in progress to pray for the individuals attending our events, asking Jesus and Mary to petition the Holy Spirit to touch their hearts and be particularly attentive to their petitions. Their adoration chapel was well attended, even in the middle of the day, and filled with the essence of the Holy Spirit, making for a blessed experience.
The Holy Family Church is a wonderfully appointed church. Although it’s similar to most of the open theater designs that typify the churches in the midwest and western states, the sanctuary, statuary, and structure seemed more aligned to the traditional design that you see in most churches on the east coast. Unlike some of the events of our more recent experience, we actually had plenty of time to set up and everything went according to plan.
We were joined by Father Steven Hoffer, a tall and lanky priest. It so happens that he is a somewhat late vocation and is relatively new to the Holy Family Church. One of his stated missions is to help all to work to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ and to share that love we have for Him and others with those we meet. He is first hand evidence of taking Jesus’ instructions to serve others to heart, no matter how big or small the task. He jumped right in and helped us to get everything set up. He took it upon himself to help the pianist and me to connect everything to the PA system and provide a microphone for our violinist. Most of the time we are left to our own devices to piece together those elements of the event. It seemed that he was familiar with the inner workings of absolutely every detail of his church and would lend the benefit of his knowledge to help with any aspect. What an example of a priest in total service to his church and parishioners!
The event was very well attended with English and Spanish-speaking participants. We did the typical bi-lingual presentation with meditations 2, 4, 6 and 8 read in Spanish and the remaining meditations in English. The reading style of the Spanish reader was absolutely magnificent. Although I do not speak Spanish, she carefully added the inflections that help to bring the story of Jesus’ walk to Calvary alive for the participants. I watched as members of the congregation were visibly touched by her skilled rendition of the material. Father Hoffer did the “Call from the Crucified Heart” and the final prayer for each section.
When it was time for veneration, Father Hoffer announced that he would be in the confessional for anyone that might like to avail themselves of the graces of the Sacrament of Reconciliation to complete their evening.
Then, much to my surprise, I see Dave, one of the knights with whom we had lunch, proudly escorting the waitress we had met at lunch (with her husband in tow) up to the veneration line, making them one of the first to engage in a personal encounter with the relics.
Jean and I firmly believe that this young woman was brought to this event using a totally different type of tip. It was one great tip of the Holy Spirit that wouldn’t necessarily fill her pocket but one that allowed Him to reach out to fill her soul. I stand in awe of her demonstration of following the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
From now on, each time I figure the tip for a dinner we have while on the road, I will definitely think of that young waitress, hungry to find Jesus and chasing after him in collaboration with the Holy Spirit.