Friday, December 18, 2009

The Basilica of St. Francis Xavier in Dyersville - Blessed Advent

I am ashamed to say that I taught in Dyersville, Iowa for two years without once stepping through the doors of the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier.

I was told about the beautiful windows and sanctuary. "Oh, you must see it!" Everyone said.

But I was too busy or didn't think of it or didn't see the point.

We made it to the Field of Dreams. My children hit a few baseballs from home base. But I never visited the most important place in the whole community.

My only defense is that I wasn't Catholic then. Being Catholic makes all the difference.

It looks like I will have the chance to visit that part of Iowa again in a few weeks. And if I am passing through Dyersville at a time when the doors of the Basilica are open . . . I plan to stop for a visit.

I will go into the sanctuary and see the beauty. But I will also genuflect, cross myself, lower the kneeler - and thank Our Lord for the journey of grace that has brought me home.

On this, the sixth day of the third week of Advent, I pray for Fr. Phillip Kruse and the Basilica of St. Francis of Xavier.

May those who live in this community - though not Catholic - see the light of the faithful lived out before them . . . and may the Holy Spirit bring about many conversions.

Blessed Advent!


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