I am falling asleep at my computer as I type these words from St. Conrad Friary in Milwaukee, where I will spend the night and day, make further acquaintance with the postulants here in the Province of St. Joseph, learn about Christian ritual, and try local custard before journeying 12 miles north to Mt. Calvary near Fond du Lac for most of the remainder of the week.
We made great time getting here from Detroit. We left the Motor City at 9:20 a.m., crossed into Indiana early in the afternoon, and then over into the Central Time Zone soon after. We stopped for lunch at an Irish pub in the suburbs of Chicago after 1 p.m. local time. Heading north along Lake Michigan, we made it to Milwaukee by mid-afternoon, and though it was blustery and more than misty by then, we took some time to stroll down a curving pier.
If I can get Internet access in the house where I am staying in Mt. Calvary, I will finish backtracking on Saturday in Detroit. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is worth writing home about, and it is worth your charitable donation.
A word in passing about Detroit. This is a place that measures progress by boasting of a record low in home arsons. This is a place with nowhere to go and no one to take you there. (Just ask locals about the bus system.) Detroit is a tough town. The people who have remained to rebuild it are tougher, and yet they have the most tender of hearts. Nature is reclaiming the city, block by block, and grace is perfecting what nature and the better angels of human nature are beginning. It is better, perhaps, if we don't spoil the secret work God is about here, through the agency of human hands, with sentimental speechifying. But permit me enough pride to tell you that the Capuchins have always been doing great things here, in good times and bad. If, as we hope and pray, our saintly Capuchin brother Solanus Casey (d. 1957) becomes the first U.S.-born Catholic male to be canonized, it will be primarily for his years of ministry in Detroit.