Family Traditions

Last week I went home for Thanksgiving. I left after Lauds on Thanksgiving morning. It was a lot of fun to see my three nephews! Zachary shared about his first year in college, Alex shared about his first job and Noah shared about his first year in high school. We had a lot of firsts!

The day after Thanksgiving we enjoyed a longstanding family tradition when we visited Dubuque’s Cable Car Square. All the little shops were open. One of my favorites was a fair trade store run by a friend of my parents. The Ripple Effect has many Nativity sets from all over the world.

Another great feature of the area is the Fenelon Place Elevator. Described as the world’s shortest, steepest scenic railway – 296 feet in length – the cable cars elevate passengers 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. From the top you will see a magnificent view of the historic Dubuque business district, the Mississippi River and 3 states.

We stood at the bottom to watch the Christmas lights illuminated. Then a spotlight shone on Santa and Mrs. Claus as they rode down the cable car to greet children old and young. What a wonderful feeling it was to connect today with yesterday as we mingled with neighbors at the start of the Christmas season.

I am blessed to be able to go home to my family over Thanksgiving to visit and participate in this tradition. And I am blessed even more to be able to return to my home at St. Mary Monastery and to participate in our own traditions. My life as a Benedictine Sister with my community fills me with the faith and energy and oomph to face my active preschoolers every day. Email me to learn more at I love to share!!! 🙂

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