The biggest highlight of this year was a replanned visit by all three of our children from Canada on Judy’s birthday in October. (Originally, the trip had been planned for May 2020 and, of course, the border had closed.) Below is a picture of us five on our back porch – from left to right it goes Elaine, Ian, Gwen, Judy and Peter. Gail Einkauf, my cousin Robert’s wife, had come over and taken our pictures and put them all in an album for my birthday. We had a great time being together for that week – meanwhile their spouses were back in Canada keeping the home fires burning and taking care of all our nine grandchildren. We praise God for our family and are appreciating them more because Covid-19 has made our visits almost impossible. We are so thankful for Zoom.
Moving to the beginning of the year, in January, I, Judy continued teaching Ian’s two children a course via Zoom since they have been home-schooled because of Covid-19. That was a joy to spend an hour per week with each child over Zoom. As September rolled around, I’ve begun to teach Adana, the 10-year-old, a course on women in the Bible, looking at their virtues with encouragement to imitate them.
The February deep freeze was quite an experience for us Texans – the loss of power (and also water) as well as freezing rain and snow. We were well cared for during this time, for the Dominican Sisters brought us 5-gallon buckets of water, blankets and anything else which we needed to survive.
We also enjoyed several retreatants and visitors during the year. That possibility is a highlight of living in a former convent with multiple bedrooms and large enough kitchen and dining room.
I (Judy) was also overjoyed to find a Spiritual Director – a Dominican Sister of a different order aged 81 – to help me with my spiritual Journey. To do spiritual direction with others, I felt a real need to have a director myself. The privilege of continuing to do spiritual direction with people on two days every week has given me great joy and purpose this year.
I have struggled with my health, especially since my knee replacement in Oct 2020, experiencing breathlessness and very little energy to carry out life’s duties. So, after a series of doctors, I ended up at a sleep clinic and discovered that I have severe sleep apnea. The CPAP machine has made a huge difference in my energy level.
A joy of the year for me was having the privilege of attending my aunt’s 100th birthday party.
In June, Peter and I were invited to come to near Columbus, OH, to tape our spiritual journey stories for the Coming Home program. This allowed us to reflect on God’s goodness over the years. While it aired the end of September, it, and our written stories, are still available here.
Judy has begun to get more involved in our local parish, teaching (with Peter) in the RCIA program and getting involved in the Seniors’ Group, so she has been getting to know people.
A surprising development happened in November when Peter responded to Facebook post about a woman who had severely damaged her ankle in a freak accident and needed a place to stay (with husband and children) during what is turning out to be months of treatment. So, we have the privilege of providing hospitality and prayer. Please join us in praying for Rebekah’s healing (and the trauma this is for the family).
Meanwhile Peter has continued his ministry as chaplain for the Dominican Sisters in the Priory just over the rise from us and as resident priest for the Austin Byzantine Catholic Community in central Austin. He has found that he has had to retire from teaching and most writing to have enough time for prayer (he is thankful for the fully equipped chapel in the house) and keeping the household running, as well as helping some in local churches. He does lead a cell group for the Brothers and Sisters of Charity. It is for him a semi-monastic life.
As December rolls around, we are so very grateful for God’s great gift of Jesus, coming into our world as a baby boy to bring us salvation and we look forward to his second coming with hope.
May you have a blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year,
Judy and Peter
Peter and Judy
Our mailing address remains: 723 W University Ave, Ste 110-#263, Georgetown, TX 78626, although our physical address is 5499 E State Highway 29, Georgetown, TX 78626