Part 2 Franciscan Friends Music Mission Diary

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My name is Wendy Grady and together my husband Denis Grady and I organize a yearly Music Mission. Are you a musician who enjoys sharing the gift of music with those less fortunate?? Perhaps your gift is not using an instrument but you are someone with a gift of compassion and a great love for Jesus. We are looking for people who believe in working together in community to serve for the betterment of those less fortunate such as the palliative, the addicted, those imprisoned, and the poor living in the West Indies and Grenadine Islands. If you feel called to serve in a new and exciting way please join us as part of the Franciscan and Friends Mission Tour. I have included an excerpt from my diary of 2008 to give you an idea of what you can expect. I can promise you one thing. You will grow in your love for Jesus. Please check out our website at www.franciscanandfriends.com or call Denis and Wendy Grady at 403-243-1049

Saint Vincent – Part Two

First stop was the Mental Institution. I was there last year so was somewhat familiar with the place but many of our group were not and found it quite shocking. Some of the men were waiting for us, welcoming us all as we entered the dark stone entrance which led to a small open aired stone courtyard bare of anything except patients and benches. I could sense how hard this was for some of our group so I prayed silently and decided to lead the way hoping to make them more comfortable. Over to the right of the courtyard there was a small window with bars. A man looking to be in his late 60’s had both hands on the bars and his head was down. I felt drawn to this man who seemed in such pain. It looked like he was in prison. I reached through and touched his hands, asking him “what was wrong”? He said his head hurt bad. I asked him if he would like prayer and he said yes. I held his head between both my hands and prayed for healing out loud. He said it helped but now he was hungry. He looked terribly sad. I caught Paula’s eye over to my left as she wiped away tears. It was heart wrenching because it looked more like a prison. I coaxed the man out slowly to come join us in the fun. Our group looked like “court jesters” performing for royalty. The Lord was happy and joyous as he came alive in that courtyard. I went around and hugged each one of the men and women, introducing myself and asked their names. They were so sweet and gentle. As I left one of the men gave me a gift he had made. A small piece of wood about 4 x 5 inches, painted like a “target”. I asked if I could take his photo so as to remember who gave it to me. He was more than happy to oblige but some of the other men overheard and wanted their photo taken as well, so a group shot it was and they were all smiles as they posed for me. Nearby I noticed the most amazing tree I have ever seen. It was all large and gnarly at the bottom with a tiny pool of water hiding within the knotted limbs. For some reason it reminded me of elephants feet, not sure why other than the color was similar.

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About Author

Susan Bailey is an writer, speaker and musician. She is the author of River of Grace Creative Passages Through Difficult Times, published by Ave Maria Press, and Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message, part of the Literary Portals to Prayer series published by ACTA Publications. Along with her own blogs Be As One and Louisa May Alcott is My Passion), Susan frequently contributes to CatholicMom.com and the Association of Catholic Women Bloggers. She has also contributed to Catholic.net and Catholic Online. Susan writes articles and a monthly column known as Be as One for the Diocese of Worcester newspaper, The Catholic Free Press. Bailey, who works as a marketing/advertising assistant for a local real estate firm, is an associate member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts, where previously she served as chair and secretary, helping to organize the biennial “Gather Us In” women’s conference, one of the first major Catholic women’s conferences in the country. As part of her duties she wrote the monthly column for The Catholic Free Press known as “Concerning Women” and appeared on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” to promote the conference. A professional musician and graphic artist, Bailey released four CDs, performed on EWTN, CatholicTV and World Youth Day 2002, and worked as a cantor in her parish of St. Luke the Evangelist for fifteen years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (with concentrations in US History and Music) from Bridgewater State University. She and her husband, Rich, have two grown children and live in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Susan invites you to join her email list where you will receive updates on exciting professional developments and speaking engagements. Email subscribers also receive special giveaways and previews of new projects. Susan loves a good conversation and looks forward to corresponding with you! Join here.

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