Friday, October 11, 2013

7QT - Recap of the EPIC summer of 2013 part 2

Hello friends. This week I am posting part 2 of my Recap of EPIC summer 2013. 


 # 1

We visited the shrine of the Carmelite Fathers in Muenster, Indiana. 

Here's a short history of the shrine, taken from the Carmelite Fathers Website.

After the Second World War, a group of Polish Discalced Carmelites, including former chaplains of the Polish Army, came to the United States. They fulfilled St. Raphael Kalinowski's dream of a Polish Carmel in America when they established a monastery in Hammond, Indiana. Two years later they moved to Munster, Indiana, in the Diocese of Gary, where they immediately began their pastoral ministry among the Polish-American community in the Chicago metropolitan area. 

They built a monastery and Shrine dedicated to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in the monastery garden constructed a grotto in her under the title of Our Lady of Lourdes. On the upper level, around the altar in the Chapel of Our Lady of Częstochowa, they placed urns with the ashes of prisoners who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps and Soviet labor camps. In subsequent years, a monument to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was erected at the entrance to the Shrine, while the monastery garden itself was adorned with a Polish Highlanders' chapel dedicated to Christ as the Man of Sorrows and His Mother Mary under the title of Our Lady of Ludźmierz, a monument of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, as well as a monument of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the martyr of Auschwitz. In the monastery building itself, following the election of Karol Wojtyla to the Chair of Peter as the first Polish pope, the Fathers built a Pope John Paul II hall containing a photo exhibit of his life and apostolic pilgrimages as well as a bronze life-size sculpture of the Holy Father Himself. Alongside the monastery church, the Fathers built a chapel dedicated to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Ostra Brama, and later added the St. Raphael Kalinowski Pilgrim Center and Banquet Hall near the entrance to the shrine. 

    In 2004, Pope John Paul II bestowed on the Carmelite Monastery the distinction of receiving his "Golden Rosary," issuing on that occasion a special Papal Bull in which we read: "To Our Lady of Ludźmierz, Queen of the Polish Highlanders, honored at the Carmelite Shrine in Munster, in the Chicago area, as patroness of the Polish Highlanders' Union in North America, I bequeath as a votive offering the Golden Rosary, a filial chain which, through Mary, binds us to Jesus. ( ... ) To all those devoted to the Mother of Christ and to the pilgrims who come to the Carmelite Shrine in Munster - the "American Ludźmierz," I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing."

If you're wondering who Our Lady of Ludzmierz is, read this:

This is the official website 
for the sanctuary of Ludzmierz.
It was the next town over (about 5 minutes) from where I was born and raised in Poland. I was lucky to be raised so close to this holy place and to Our Lady. Blessed John Paul II had special ties to this place, to Our Lady of Ludzmierz, and to the Tatra Mountains.


Celebrated my 23rd birthday

....with being surprised by my favorite: chocolate-dipped strawberries from edible arrangements



Completed my 2nd Summer, Pharmacy Pre-Grad Internship

#4 Took a trip to the Naperville River Walk park to find out this is the perfect park for pictures for our wedding day!

This beautiful park is found downtown Naperville (a west suburb of Chicago). It is a pretty big park that goes along a river, has many green fields, a beautiful gazebo, and a very unique monument. We took our wedding pictures after our wedding mass there and the pictures we have so far turned out absolutely gorgeous!

#5 Got married to my best friend of 7 years!

Hallelujah! :-)

Be on the lookout for our wedding story! I am working on multiple posts to describe every little part of our wedding day, as I want to keep it forever in our memories! It was truly the best day of my life! I will also be posting more pictures when we get our professional ones from the photographer. For now, see the pictures we have so far here, here, and here.

#6 Took my Godfather for an all day tourism of downtown Chicago

My Godfather came to the States all the way from Poland for my wedding. That was very nice of him. He was here for a little less than 2 weeks. We did get to spend some time with him, but unfortunately, not as much as we wished, since we went away on our honeymoon almost right after the big day. BUT, right before we left for the honeymoon, Greg and I took ONE FULL day just to spend with him. We decided to spend a whole day downtown Chicago and show him all that this beautiful city has to offer.

First, we spent some time by the lakefront near Adler's Planeterium and Soldier's Field. There, he was able to get a nice lakefront view of the city, the skyscrapers, and Willis Tower.

Then, we drove up to the Navy Pier and spent some time walking around the Pier and inside the little shops. We got him some souvenirs to bring home. We then sat, enjoyed the beautiful weather and the charm of the city, and we waited for our boat cruise on the Chicago River.

I purchased tickets in advance for the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour on the Historic Chicago River. The boat/ship took us right into the heart of downtown, in the middle of the towering skyscrapers. My Godfather was amazed at the architecture and technology of the city. He truly enjoyed it and was very thankful for bringing him on this cruise.

Later, we had some subway sandwiches and we headed over to the Buckingham fountain. It shoots up water really really high every hour (at an even hour) and it was doing that right as we were walking up to we ended up running so that we do not miss it.

And we finished off our day at the Willis Tower (previously: Sears Tower). My Godfather was very, very impressed by the Willis Tower and especially by the wonderful sights of the city from up top.


Spent the most wonderful week with my new husband on our honeymoon

I'm also working on a post about our honeymoon,
so be on the lookout for our honeymoon story as well!

I can truly say:


For some more are my posts from this past week:


    Yours in Christ,



    1. Wow, you have so many exciting things going on! So many congratulations and best wishes for your recent marriage. I'm looking forward to the wedding and honeymoon posts!

      1. I know I know! Life's exciting as a new bride! Honeymoon effect is slowly wearing off but as all couples, we gotta keep the "spark" going on a daily basis!

    2. Beautiful pictures; congrats on the wedding