It’s beautiful day in the neighborhood – the neighborhood of Holly Springs, MS, that is. We finally had a warm day, a gorgeous sixty-three degrees, which for some reason felt more like the upper 70’s. Maybe that’s because we’ve been working in forty degree weather since we arrived.
We ate a breakfast of pancakes and French toast, then delivered flyers to announce the Heelan group’s Easter Egg Hunt this coming weekend. At nine we left for Holly Springs to visit Ms. Washington. She was profuse in her thanks for what our group had done for her. She had to hug every singles missioner before we could leave. What a nice lady! Our group photo in front of her newly painted house also includes Ms. Washington and her dog Cocoa. We gifted Ms. Washington with some items Linda’s group had put together for her. She was overwhelmed and enjoyed looking through the items and deciding which person would get each one. She donned her mission shirt so we could take her photo with her gifts.
We moved on to the Garden Café, aka soup kitchen, to begin preparations for the evening meal we planned to serve to the Holly Springs clients. Our menu included sloppy joes, mashed potatoes, green beans, cake, and banana bread. Our students baked thirty loaves of banana bread. They are great banana mushers. They also peeled eighty pounds of potatoes. Parents, take note of the skills these students have gained during this mission trip.
We also delivered the three picnic tables built by our group. They are very sturdy and will make a great addition to the soup kitchen AND summer feeding program for the children. Lois Harrison and Kelly Tartt, the director and assistant director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions mission program, loved those picnic tables. In fact, Lois purchased three plaques that our missioners attached to the picnic tables so everyone would know who had built them.
We did have a little time to enjoy ourselves today. The students played in the back yard we’d cleaned, visited, and just relaxed. Then began the frenetic preparations for supper. Everyone set to work to prepare beverages, set tables, set the meal onto the serving area, etc. Lois introduced us to the people, and Fr. Ries began the prayer. The missioners then sang “Jesus, Remember Me” while Janet accompanied us with her guitar. We’ve enjoyed lots of good music during this trip, thanks to her planning and the great singing of our group.
The people we served enjoyed every bit of food. All of us grabbed our plates and sat with them to enjoy some conversation. Everyone there was quite friendly, and I believe all of us had some interesting conversations. Linda snapped as many photos as possible. We cleaned that place up in fifteen minutes – you wouldn’t believe how this team can work when they get moving. Then we headed next door to the church.
Mr. Faris joined us after Mass to take us on a little historical tour. We toured an antebellum home, much of it in its original condition. Then we toured the original Catholic church which included information about the yellow fever martyrs. Thanks to Mr. Faris for taking his time to show us some of our history.
I am writing this blog as we drive from Holly Springs to Walls. We’ll be too late to welcome the Heelan team, who arrived while we were in Holly Springs. I have a feeling we’ll be awake for a couple more hours as our students share some of what they’ve been experiencing with the Heelan team. We will take a little time to do our final junta meeting and read aloud the message from Seivert. I will keep Seivert posted as we travel tomorrow so you’ll all know when your family members will be back. Time of our morning departure is six. We will say our good-byes to Fr. Ries tonight and let him sleep in a bit before he takes off for Boyce, LA, to visit some friends.
Sleep well, y’all!