An American in Paris

The online journal of several months abroad... in the City of Light. The chronicles, discoveries, anecdotes, and reflections that go with an American's life in the capital of France.

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Location: Kansas, United States

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Head on Over...

Just wanted to let y'all know that I've picked up on my other blog again, now that I'm back in the States... so you're all cordially invited to stop by and visit me at Just for Fun! :) Hope to see you there!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Home Sweet Home

I know that it's been absolutely ages since I posted. I'm so sorry!! But I have to admit that I have been having/doing/seeing some pretty incredible things during my time in absentia! In brief, I spent two weeks with Dad and Rose in Spain, hitting Seville, the national park of Monfrague, Toledo, Guadalupe, Trujillo, Avila, Leon, and Santiago de Compostela. We had a couple of days in France together before Dad flew home. Then Rose and I spent a couple more together there in Paris before she flew home and I flew to Poland. In Poland, I got to go to Warsaw (where I stayed almost the entire time I was there), Wilanow, Niepokalanow, Czestochowa, and Lublin. I flew back to Paris on May 10 and on May 11, I flew from Paris to London to Chicago to Kansas City, then had a 2-hour drive home, where I went immediately to my brother's baseball game and then to the end of a parish square dance! I didn't actually get HOME until about 10:30 pm and didn't get to bed until about 1 am... making it a full 24-hours that I had been awake. And in 48 hours, I had been in 3 European capital cities and in four different countries!

Surprisingly, I had practically NO jetlag at all!! Deo gratias!

So I've been home for about a week now and have almost finished unpacking. :) The matter of going through this year's photos, however, will be a project that takes me all summer... and that's speaking optimistically! :P

I can't even begin to put into words all I learned while abroad and all that these past several months mean to me, especially the 9 days in Poland. I'm still trying to synthesize it for myself! I don't think anyone can spend several months in Europe and come home unchanged. What a gift it was!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I'm Back! :)

Hello all!!

After a bit of a hiatus, both necessitated by my rather computer-less state and "exacerbated" ;) by Holy Week and all, I have returned! :P That is to say... my old-but-brand-new computer has returned. :D

Dad arrived this morning, from the U.S. (duh), and then I met up with Fr. Stehlin in Paris this afternoon (a story in and of itself!)... arriving back in St. Germain-en-Laye, I rejoined Rose and Dad for dinner at le Soubise (a local café) where we ate outside in the beautiful, twilight weather just across from the château. We strolled back ;) to the hotel and spent the rest of this evening there.

That is the day in a nutshell!

My Holy Week was undoubtedly a holy week - a good thing, really! And the weather here has been GLORIOUS and very Eastery and Spring-ish. No complaints! :)
My last day of work was officially yesterday. Therefore, I am now technically among the "unemployed." ;) ...I prefer to think of myself as a lady of leisure, lol!

Sooo, I'll be flying to Spain with Rose and Dad on Sunday and will try to keep you updated on events thereafter. Until the next... Tchuss!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wouldn't You Know It?!

Well, all my plans for sharing "vacation" pictures and stories have temporarily flown out the window. My computer went "kaput" on me a few days ago and Mom took it home with her for fixing. Dad will be bringing it back with him when he comes to visit. (That arrangement is quite Providential!) In the meantime (about two more weeks), I am without a computer of my own... meaning, without all the pictures I took while Mom and Linds were here and with only very limited time online.

So, the pictures and stories will have to wait. Suffice it to say, it was a very good visit - although the weather certainly didn't cooperate!! It was sooo great to see Mom and Lindsey again and get to share a little bit of France with them. The highlights of their visit were the evening we ate outside at le Soubise (sp?) here in St. Germain-en-Laye, the rendez-vous with Thomas, and the visits to Bayeux, Lisieux, and Versailles... of course, there were many lesser but also enjoyable things in between. :)

Anyway, I hope you're all hanging in there. I am, although Passiontide has not missed me in its doling out of crosses. :P I hope your Lent is wrapping up well and wish you all the best, until the next time!

(For more news, head over to my other blog!!!)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Checking In... and Right Back Out Again

Just thought I'd pop in and say that all is going well. I'm having a wonderful time with Mom and Linds here (and Rose was in town over the weekend too! :))... although, of course, my quota of sleep has been drastically reduced, juggling work and evenings out!

So, just on to refresh the blog page before we head to Normandy tomorrow, for the weekend!

Leaving you with a picture from Sunday. :D LOL!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

30 Years of Tradition at St. Nicolas

(The thirtieth anniversary of the SSPX at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet is one of many topics that I have not covered sufficiently on this blog. I will probably be returning to all sorts of topics, out of chronological order, to attempt to do them justice. But for now, I will write a little bit about this event at St. Nicolas, at which I was privileged to be present.)

At the banquet held in celebration of the anniversary, I sat next to an elderly woman who had lived in Paris all her life. She was there when one of the only places in Paris with the Latin Mass was the Salle Wagram. She went there every Sunday for Mass... One Sunday, she showed up at the usual hour only to discover that there were no clerics to be found! She was told that there wouldn't be Mass at the Salle Wagram that day because they were gone, taking a church in the fifth district of Paris! That was February 27, 1977.
Several members of the MJCF (an association of French Catholic youth) stayed in the church all night to help stake their claim. An all-night prayer vigil was held (with one woman in particular staying there, praying the entire night through!). The local clergy held onto the sacristy even after the SSPX had taken the church itself, causing some inconvenience. However, thanks to the fact that the French government officially owns all church buildings (not actually a good thing at all, but it turned out favorably in this circumstance), the local Novus Ordo clergy did not have a complete say in the matter and the entirety of the building was not long in being turned over to the SSPX. I don't know all the details, but I believe that is the skeleton of the story.

Once the church was obtained, there was a corps of valiant souls who gave their time, money, prayers, and effort to establish Tradition where it ought to have always stayed. Monsignor Ducaud-Bourget, a stalwart soldier in the war for the Faith of All Time, was particularly instrumental in this movement.

Since then, the parish has flourished and grown, as souls desperate for the truth flock to it. To sum up the past thirty years at St. Nicolas in numbers (although this only BARELY scratches the surface of how much has been accomplished), I present you with these statistics...

Baptisms: 3393, being 113 per year, of which 461 have been adult baptisms (and one of those adult baptisms is now a priest in the SSPX!)
Weddings: 592, being 20 per year
Private Communions: 1494, being 50 per year (I think this refers to FIRST Communions)
Solemn Communions: 1474, being 49 per year
Confirmations: 4125, being 137 per year
Ordination: 1 (AT St. Nicolas - more than one from the parish, I'm sure)
Extreme Unctions: 207 since 2000 (the numbers for this are very incomplete)
Annual Hours of Guard (this meaning that there is a priest physically present in the office, at the faithful's disposal): 2754, being 54 per week (!)
Hours of Confession during Holy Week: more than 200
Faithful per Sunday (between November and May): about 3500
The church seats: 1200
Number of communions, monthly: 15,000
Age of St. Nicolas du Chardonnet: 100 years; it was created in 1907 by the curé Fr. Lenert
1937: the year the church was consecrated

~ ~ ~

Tout ce qui est catholique est notre.
-Louis Veuillot

All that is Catholic is ours.

This is the quote below the header on the parish monthly bulletin at St. Nicolas du Chardonnet. Perfectly apropos for all Traditionalists, it is particularly so for this courageous group who reclaimed a house of God for the practice of the True Faith, and have held onto it in ever-growing numbers for three decades.

But for the grace of God, there go we. The glory is His!
DEO GRATIAS for this small but consistent battle for the Mass instituted by Jesus Christ!!

Long live Christ the King!

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Beggar's Right

On Sunday, February 11, my customary weekend outing took me to the church of St. Germain-des-Près, whose beginnings are among the oldest of all the churches in Paris (and there're a LOT!), dating from about the 6th century. It used to be a large abbey, but since the Revolution, the church is all that remains. After touring the church and taking lots of pictures (about 2/3 of which got lost... but that's another story), I went outside to eat my lunch. I was famished, for it was about 1 pm and breakfast had been many hours before. I sat down on the two or three steps in front of the church and opened my picnic lunch. I turned my iPod to some enjoyable music and began my mid-day meal.

When I was a bit more than halfway finished, a man approached the church with a package. He set the package against a door that was proximate to me, but obviously closed. I figured he was leaving it for the rector or secretary and thought little more of it. A few minutes later, the package was still there. And so was the man who had brought it. He was wandering back and forth in front of the steps. "Okay, maybe he's just waiting for someone," thought I, and continued to finish my lunch.

Another couple of minutes passed. This stranger said something to me, but - having music playing in my headphones - I did not understand him at first. He repeated himself, "Are you finished? ...Are you finished??" (In French, of course.) Ummm... "Yes," I said, hesitantly. That seemed an odd question. "You eat and eat and eat! This is my place," he said, gesturing toward his package, which I now recognized as a beggar's bundle of blankets and cardboard, "I have been waiting and waiting." Well, gee, why didn't you say so? "Yes. I'm finished." I replied, rather coldly, although I clearly was only halfway through the little "gâteau" I had for dessert. I got up and left. If I had had a better grasp on French, I'm sure I wouldn't have hesitated to give him a piece of my mind and/or stay put until I was thoroughly finished, for I was fairly steaming. As it was, I just left. I think body language probably conveyed my feelings sufficiently. :)

But after a little while (say, a few days or a week!), when I was recounting the tale to a friend of mine, I was able to see the humor in it. It was HIS PLACE???? I didn't realize that beggars had assigned seating! I mean, seriously, I was sitting on the far side of the steps. Could he not just as easily set himself up on the OTHER side of the steps??

Or are donations really better when sitting on the "epistle side" of the church steps?!