Category Archives: juniperoserra

Drunks and Monks

I learned about this book by mention on the Jennifer Fulweiler’s show.   It caught my attention because it had to do with addiction and recovery.

Once I started reading it, I was hooked.  It’s a raw memoir from John Carmichael. He recounts his life from childhood through finding his way out of addiction by becoming a Catholic.  It struck a chord with me because I too came from an upbringing of alcoholism.

DrunksMonksIn his book, he speaks about his rise to a successful career, finding his wife, until he becomes an addict and destroys all around him. His Mom was a hard core alcoholic.  Morning, day, night. Even though he saw the reckoning, he could not find himself out of it.  Much of the effects of what would cause him to drink, did come from his relationship with his Mom and love not received by either of his parents.

He describes his environment in sunny So Cal – Orange county. The pull of the riches and struggle with letting go. I pictured well where his life took place because I’m so familiar with this area since I have visited these neck of the woods since I was a child.

One spot in particular is San Juan Capistrano Mission where he first begins his attempt in finding God. First taking back by the beauty of the Chapel where Mass is recited in Latin. Then his courage to reaching out to a monastic priest who then becomes his confessor.  And even though he made these strides he shares his very real battle working out his faith through temptation and relapse. What I appreciated is how the San Juan Capistrano community, supported him and invited him to the faith. An example for all parishes to follow.  He felt so welcomed, he even became a part of the choir.

Even though most understand, that even when one follows the Catholic Church punch card, it doesn’t mean that all will be easy going. In Carmichael’s case, the timing of his initial prep in the faith became his strength when his Mom’s struggle with alcoholism became its worst and then her diagnosis of terminal cancer.

His style of writing was as if you were experiencing it yourself.  Truly can understand his battles and his journey through faith.

If you like reads like I do like this, pick this book up!

 

 

San Juan Capistrano Mission – San Juan Capistrano, California

Thanks to my cousin who showed me the Mission.

In my stays in San Clemente, I was blessed to be shown around the other beach towns from family.  One spot that I always try to go to to this day is San Juan Capistrano.

Over the years it has changed, but one thing that hasn’t is the Mission and its properties.  It’s great because you can pay a small fee and tour the old mission and see how St. Junipero Serra founded this mission. Not only did he find the San Juan Capistrano mission, but also eight other missions throughout California.

The property is gorgeous and once you are within the walls that surround the mission, it feels like you are taken back in time. It is filled with beautiful gardens and sounds of nature.

Outside of the Mission, are eateries and shopping. Strolling about, gives me that sense of Rome.

This is a statue of Junipero Serra in front of the basilica.

Altar

This is a niche with Saint Juan Diego.

Outside, back of basilica, are the ruins of the original mission.

To think this is where the main altar was. You can see it probably included small statues within its wall.

Mass is still celebrated in this chapel. I’m guessing it holds about 50??

The look and feel of this mission is just peaceful.  When walking through the gardens, you get the coastal air. I could sit there for hours.  There is also a gift shop that carries many beautiful handmade religious items.

San Juan Cap is definitely where I like to go each time I get to Orange County.

Here is more information on the Mission and Basilica.

http://www.missionparish.org/