Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bald Eagle Over Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid. Wildwood Park on Lake Erie

Today we went to mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, a holy place off Chardon Road, right above Euclid Avenue in Euclid, Ohio. This is part of our beloved summer ritual. A couple hundred people came to the mass, which was presided over by a priest-professor from Borromeo/St. Mary's Seminary. Besides the normal crowd, there was a tourist bus from Toronto, Ontario there--this shrine is well-known in Ontario and Quebec.

The Grotto, where mass is celebrated

The grotto is modeled after the original grotto in Lourdes, France. It is built of Euclid Bluestone, from the nearby quarry along Euclid Creek (where my great grandfather, Fenton Fitzpatrick worked).

Marian statue at Lourdes Shrine in Euclid.

The weather was perfect this morning--sunny skies, about 70 degrees. During the mass, a bald eagle circled overhead--then took off to the north, toward Lake Erie two or three miles away. I took this as a sign--a rather muscular symbol of the Holy Spirit, blessing this place.

I have long thought that this shrine is a holy place. Holy places can be such because of unusual beauty. Or because they are sanctified by human beings in some way--places where people have shown great courage, sacrifice, or achievement. This place indeed has natural beauty, on a hill overlooking Euclid (where you can get a glimpse of the Lake). The Shrine has also been sanctified by people, bringing their prayers, sorrows, and joys for the past century.

After the mass, we went into the Grotto and lit three candles. This might seem to be a kind of Catholic superstition. But no matter. I do it anyway, lighting a candle for my three daughters and praying for my family and friends.

When we left the grounds of the shrine, we drove up  Nottingham Road to E. 185th Street, and stopped at Buettner's Bakery. We have done this for many many years. We picked up a loaf of bread, a couple of sweet rolls, and a cup of coffee, then headed to Wildwood Park, off Neff Road. Before we got there, we drove up Tarrymore Road, where my Mom grew up. We tried to find her old house, and I think this is it (17301 Tarrymore Rd.). says this was was built in 1928. Still looks nice!

From Tarrymore, we went a quarter mile north and west to Wildwood Park. I have gone to this park for more than 50 years, fishing there as a teenager. I love the place.

Wildwood's Marina

You can see Downtown Cleveland, about 8 miles to the west.

Sunday fishing cruise.

What a wonderful Sunday morning. We love our summer Sunday ritual!

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