Donuts After Mass and Other Hopeful Things

Well, we’ve made it to Illinois! Though the move wasn’t too far, mileage speaking, it was far enough that we are having to reset many aspects of our life. In the next few weeks, we will be finding new doctors, dentists, playgrounds… pretty much everything. We keep checking things off the list, but new things get added as well. They all keep telling me it will settled down at some point. And I will choose to believe them. I look forward to the day when all the big stuff is done. But we are here. And that’s a good start.

So here’s a little update on the goings-on of This Catholic Family, now of Illinois.

Donuts After Mass

We think we’ve found a parish! St. Raphael the Archangel. It’s a gorgeous church built of multiple old churches, just a few minutes from our house. I have grown to love beautiful churches so much in the past few years, and this one just felt right for our family, almost as soon as we walked in. The beauty is there, and the history, and the hope of something new. They are still installing the stained glass windows, and have additional work to to in finishing the build of the church so we feel like we are a part of a beautiful beginning, but also something that has roots.

One of the things we were going to miss about moving was our family tradition of donuts after Mass. We would go to O+H Danish Bakery in Racine frequently after Mass for donuts. As we were preparing to move, I looked and couldn’t find a bakery in our area that would quite feel the same. St. Raphael’s, it turns out, offers donuts and fellowship time in the basement of the church each and every Sunday. And you can bet we’ve checked it out! I wish more parishes had something like this, and I am so thankful St. Raphael’s does. It’s helped us get to know a few people already. We are optimistic about joining our family life with the life of this new parish.

Emptiness = Potential

There’s a lot of empty in this house right now. Empty walls, waiting to be painted then filled up with art and pictures. Empty rooms waiting for furniture to arrive. And the emptiness that comes from living in a space you haven’t made many memories in yet, which feels a bit lonely at times. But that kind of emptiness is also filled with potential. The potential for all the memories that we are going to make. It’s been helping me during this transition to pay attention to when a new memory shows up in this new town, in this new home we are forming for ourselves.

A few examples:

When the kids came to the the house for the first time after we moved, they ran and squealed as they went to find their new rooms, and checked out the space. The kids have their own rooms now, but August went right to Felicity and said “My door is always open.” It was so sweet.

There’s one.

A huge rainstorm came through. We can see a lot of sky from our front yard, and when the rain passed, the dark purple rainclouds brushed away to more open skies with streaks of clouds containing every color of the rainbow. The burnt orange sun slipped down toward the horizon, and I stood outside in that salty, warm air, and saw a sunset I would have never been able to see from outside our old house. JP joined me outside and we just stared at it for a while together. I could have looked at that sunset forever.

There’s one.

This weekend we had a family movie night, and watched The Greatest Showman with the kids. At the end credits everyone was dancing and twirling around the family room until we were all pretty dizzy.

There’s one.

Slowly, but surely, this empty house will fill up. With furniture, with kids projects from school, with pictures on the wall. And with memories. This will be the house we think of first when we tell our family’s story. The emptiness of this space has so, so much potential.

And we found a way to still have donuts after Mass. 🙂


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4 thoughts on “Donuts After Mass and Other Hopeful Things

  1. Thanks for the post. I moved many times in my life. Too many I think. But that is life today. Very few have four generations living together in the same place anymore. Finding a good church so soon is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, a neighbor from Orchard St. here!
    When our kids were younger, we established the O&H doughnut habit too. Not every week, but sometimes the car just had a mind of its own, I would joke. I also want to say that on Friday I drove past St. Raphael’s on my way to Gurnee…indeed a beautiful church from the outside. We also watched The Greatest Showman last night (free movie with Marco’s pizza) but there was no dancing in our living room!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well hello!!! Sounds like we have parallel lives in some ways 🙂 Our kids are still dancing to that movie today. Good thing I like the soundtrack, too. And yes, St. Raphael’s is such a beautiful church!


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