As readers of this blog had noticed, we posted a flier put out by the Carmelite Sisters of Traverse City announcing a tour of their renovated chapel for July 27. It was publicized that none other than the renown architect commissioned to design and oversee the work would conduct the tour: Duncan Stroik. It was NOT in our family’s plans to attend, although by the designs of God, we did.
We had planned a trip to upper Michigan, but for the earlier part of July. However, the place where we wanted to stay could not accommodate us until later in the month. We agreed to the date change, and thus, providentially, would meet not only Fr. Perrone, but also Duncan Stroik.
That Saturday evening of July 27, before the commencement of the tour, my husband and I were able to meet and converse with Duncan. In our introduction, we told him some things about ourselves that apparently had an indirect bearing on the development of subsequent events later that evening, and which would result in the celebration of the historic first public TLM at the monastery.
Recall that I had mentioned going into the sacristy after Father’s private Mass. In our short conversation, I had also asked him if he would be attending the tour, and if so, might I take a photo of him together with Mr. Stroik. To both questions, he answered, “yes”.
After the presentation, so many people gathered around Duncan with questions and comments, that I feared I would miss my chance of getting him and Father together for the photo. But from a short distance, I kept my eye open for the opportunity. Finally, after the nave had mostly cleared, I spotted Father and Duncan talking together, so I approached them. It seemed to me that Father was asking Duncan something about Mass. I formed a vague idea, but, I don’t know exactly what Father said. Duncan answered by suddenly turning towards me, pointing in my direction, and saying, “There’s the one who can be of help!”
At this point, I have to declare, that except in the eyes of God, I am a nobody. I think I know what Duncan meant, but I am not at liberty to say more. It must have had something to do with what was said when my husband and I introduced ourselves to him earlier that evening.
I turned to Father and asked him if he wanted to celebrate the TLM.
Father: “Tomorrow. The 7:30 a.m. Mass.”
Fiat: “BUT, FATHER, the Sisters won’t have the music ready!”
Father: “They sing Latin.”
A few more things were said, and then I excused myself to run off to see if I could speak with the Mother Prioress. Even though the Blessed Sacrament had been removed, it was still the house of God, so I did not literally run, but it wasn’t a slow walk either! My heart was racing. It was all up to Mother Prioress, and I didn’t know how she would answer.
To be continued.