Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Carmen Marie Diaz, Sister Julie Ann Sheahan, Novices Sister Cecilia Joy and Sister Concepcion and Postulant Yazmin were recently in Woodstock, Illinois, home to St. Mary Church and how could we forget, the site of the movie Groundhog Day. Yes, Sisters watch movies, too, and pay attention to details that make a geographical place like Woodstock time-looped. While enjoying comedy, we are even more serious in visiting places where people come to our own Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity website, linger awhile and return another day. Our mission was to find out who lives in Woodstock, Illinois.
First, St. Mary Church is truly exquisite. In this house of God, it is an every day occurrence to walk through etched glass doors opening to a sacred space with vivid stained glass windows that tell many stories. A magnificent angel mural towers the sanctuary. It is obvious the souls who frequent this church know what is most important in life. St. Francis would love how the building was restored, but more so that God’s house was overflowing with folks.
Good deeds were plentiful. Father Burt Absalon and Father Louis Tosto were greeting the people left and right. Families talked to one another after Mass. Home grown vegetables were free for those who wanted them. Our own event flyers inviting young women to come and see our home in Wisconsin were welcome on the announcement boards. We, ourselves, were also humbled when those at the noon Spanish Mass applauded when Father Burt introduced us and asked us to stand.
Let’s just say a recurring visit to Woodstock would be a joy in the future. It’s a real place where church is a community. St. Mary Parish is near other buildings filmed in the classic Bill Murray movie. Don’t miss this haven of prayer.