We didn’t expect to be friends. Eight of us. All Catholics at Baylor University. Two seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. Our friendship was solidified over a rebellious act – staffers sneaking away on the last night of a new freshman retreat to sleep in the chapel next to the main buidling. We all thought we were so sneaky, moving our sleeping bags, pillows and air mattresses when we thought the coordinator of the retreat wasn’t looking.
We thought we were so smooth. In reality we we didn’t fool anyone, eight people was just too big of a group to go missing and no one to notice. I can remember that night, how we laid our sleeping bags in the aisle of the chapel and by the altar area. How we prayed before we feel asleep offering up our own intentions. Over that next semester we became inseparable. We cooked meals together, went to Daily Mass together, prayed together and much more.
Then, it came time for summer. What were we going to do? You may think that our decision was based upon the novel, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, but I like to think we came up with the idea ourselves. For the four girls in the novel, summer is quickly approaching and their lives take them in four different directions. In a fateful shopping trip they find a pair of ordinary jeans that perfectly fit each and every one of them despite their physical differences. It is this pair of pants that travel between them through their different summer plans and tie them together.
For us, our pair of pants became a saint medal – the Holy Family – for we felt we had become a sort of family. The medals have been passed among us for the better part of the past three years. It’s now accompanied by a St. Michael the Archangel medal that was later added.
Over the past three years the medals have been a part of very joyous and very sorrowful times in our lives. It’s been to Vietnam and helped one of us when she had Dengue fever. It’s been to Spain and experienced the Camino de Santiago, it’s been to the Domican Republic, Kansas, Chicago, Oklahoma and more.
It’s been with us in Waco, through an all night homecoming float construction extravaganza, grad school applications, GRE tests, birthdays, Awakening retreats, struggles, sadness and celebrations.
We’ve also been there too as friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, through our own trials and successes. As friends have graduated, struggled and celebrated things, the intercession of the Holy Family has been there too. Some of us aren’t as close as we were, some of us are closer than ever, but we always bound together by the prayers and intercessions those medals represents.
We joke that when we get married, the metals will be intertwined in our bridal bouquets. For the boys, who knows, we’ll let them decide what they want to do, we don’t want to be too pushy.
Last Wednesday my Grandfather passed away in England. The first people I texted were some of my closest friends, most of which I’m connected with through those medals, our own version of the traveling pants. I know that their prayers are lifting my family and I up as we continue to pray and come to peace with what has transpired in our lives.
So, to the gang that slept in the chapel that Saturday night of the retreat – I love you more than you could ever know and you are forever in my prayers. I am indebted to each and every one of you for praying for me, supporting and helping me through the good times and the bad.
Holy Family, Pray for us.