In early September, I headed out to the Marriott hotel to sign the contract for the IL Hands & Voices Mom's Night Inn. Across the street from the hotel was my favorite restaurant, Maggiano's. A family that I worked with generously gave me a gift certificate so I decided to treat myself to lunch. Armed with a stack of magazines, I was looking forward to enjoying a Maggiano's Salad.
I walked in and did a double-take. Sitting in the waiting area was the priest that married the hubby and I-- Father Joe Mulcrone. He was waiting for a friend to show up and join him for lunch. So we hugged and I sat down to catch up with him while he was waiting for his friend.
A half hour later, his friend still hadn't arrived. We decided to have lunch together, figuring his friend could always join us. We had so much to catch up on, since we both advocated for many of the same issues but hadn't seen each other in a long time.
We shared a great lunch and Father Joe chatted about his latest mission: a trip to Mexico. Father Joe arranged this trip to Rancho Viejo, Mexico for the 2nd Annual Catholic Deaf Youth in the Western Hemisphere on July 1 -8, 2006. There were 25 deaf adults from the U.S., Trinidad/Tobago, Ecuador and Mexico. Pat Graybill, Father Joe and several others spent the week celebrating various masses and teaching leadership skills to the participants. Communication was quite a challenge: Two spoken languages: English and Spanish. Three sign-languages: American Sign-Language (ASL), Venezuelan, and Mexican.
Halfway through our lunch, we stopped and had a good chuckle. Apparently Divine Intervention had arranged for us to meet and have lunch together-- how else to explain how a priest from Chicago and a gal from the western suburbs arrive in the same restaurant at the same time and a companion doesn't show up?