Even though I've been in the city for a few weeks, yesterday was our first real "introduction" to the city of Chicago. It's important to know the history of where you live as well as the history of the people who live there. As a way to get us started, we a trip downtown on a beautiful day.
We started with a guided boat tour at about 9:30. In spite of the heat that plagued the city for the past few days, this was a wonderful day to sit in a boat. We went out onto the lake (Lake Michigan), and then into the Chicago River to get a good look at the architecture while we learned the history of the city.
Afterward our boat tour, we stopped at the Cultural Center to look at the old library. We were encouraged to take in the many concerts, shows, and free art that is available through the city.
Before lunch, we stopped at the Art Institute, a great place that I've been to several times. We looked at some of the old religious art they had, especially the paintings of St. Francis.
The purpose, other to open us to the gifts that Chicago provides, is to create a sense of ownership. Some of us will live here for 8 or more years as we finish post-novitiate and then scholastic studies. The idea is to warm us to this town, which is now our home. Part of the post-novitiate program is the integration of religious life with the realities of school, ministry, and real life. This was our introduction to the reality that is Chicago.