Day #4 Thursday October 26th
We rose at 4 and departed at 4:45 after we made great attempts to get the huge entrance door open! I have never seen such darkness before. There were no lights from surrounding cities and it was overcast too. It was black as ink and Father mentioned that this is one reason why the symbolism of light in regards to Dominic meant so much more to the people of those times. "Light of the Church and Day Star of the World."
There was more rain and fog as we descended on our way to Madrid. We had a little difficulty in finding the correct entrance to the airport; do to a navigator's mistake. But we arrived in good time to exchange the car and board the plane to Toulouse. We flew on Air France and landed on time in Toulouse. Renting another car, we were on our way and found the Dominican House of Studies. The huge Church was of very modern construction. I have to be honest and say that the whole place reminded me of a warehouse. One is sorely disappointed if they expected a cathedral. We arrived at the end of Mass. The Friars were very welcoming and we joined them in their refectory, with those who spoke English. Sr. Maureen and I felt pretty out of place but we dutifully followed as Father instructed! There a good group of young friars here and that was encouraging. One young friar told us later that he was going to Haiti next week to open a new house. He was French, but spoke English well. He confessed that had learned English but listening to the TV program The Avengers! Here we stayed at the "Hoterliery." There were no frills here! A common bathroom on the hallway served all of the visitors, male and female. I washed in my sink that night! We attended Vespers and the chant was quite beautiful. The friars do not use Gregorian but a chant developed recently, by a -________________
Being in France was exciting for me. It had been 40 years since I left, after living there for 1 year. I thought I would remember some French after the many hours of study. I didn't have to struggle much as Father speaks fluent French. So much for my challenge.