Sunday morning began with an early breakfast (7:15-8:00) at our retreat center and then services at the Chapel at the retreat center and First Methodist Church in Bloomington. Singers who attended mass at the chapel, which sang the mass parts in Latin (our singers knew the words because of our choral music!), also performed the Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus for the parishioners. Many of the sisters were moved to tears and grateful for the choir’s music and presence.

After church, we packed the bus and headed to Olney, IL for lunch at Pizza Fast! Olney is known as the home of the white squirrel and is where Dr. Doerries and Mrs. Doerries formerly taught (Olney College). We did not see any live white squirrels, but we posed with the statue in the park.

From Olney we traveled to Belleville, IL to St. Paul’s United Church of Christ to join the Masterwork’s Chorale Children’s Choir under the director of Dr. Stephen Mager (you may remember him from last year’s Winter Concert where he composed music for us and then broke his arm during a group picture!). We rehearsed with an instrumental ensemble led by Ms. Erin and conducted by Dr. Mager and then had a wonderful pasta and salad dinner where the choirs became great friends. Amazingly, in three hours, lasting relationships were formed!

The performance was a huge success with beautiful music and a warm and appreciative audience. We performed In Living Green better than we ever imagined! The masterwork’s Chorale threw us a huge reception of cakes and cookies (and fruit and cheese) after the concert and we got to spend a few more moments with our new inter-choir friends.

We took a short bus ride to our new retreat center (Our Lady of Snows), which has spacious rooms, and held our evening payer service. A few of us are home sick, but we all agreed that we will be okay thanks to the support of our friends in the choir and our family at home. We have been singing for four days straight! Monday is a tourism day in St. Louis. We will visit the Gateway Arch in the morning, the Cathedral-Basilica in the afternoon, and the MUNY theater’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar in the evening.

Send us cool thoughts! The temperature today in St. Louis is 93 degrees.

Love to all our family, friends, and pets!