By Marian Brennan Pratt
The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) had inherited a vacation property on the shores of Lake Erie in Canada. We heard about this at the beginning of summer and part of the deal to get to use it was that somebody in the group had to contact a nun that they were related to and that nun had to agree to be responsible for the group. I contacted my cousin June Johnson, Sister Richardine and we were in.
The place was a large structure, resembling a hotel but with several very small bedrooms making it much like a convent which seemed a real coincidence. It also had a kitchen, a big meeting room and a porch off the first-floor roof.
There was to be a retreat on the first day. On the schedule was a trust walk. We were told to choose a partner. I found out too late that he was the only one left, so I stepped up and gingerly took his hand and informed him that I was his partner. He looked down at me – way down – I am 5’3” and from my
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As the trust walk began, I led him toward the water. There was a red “bandit” handkerchief covering his eyes and he let me lead him along the shore with the lapping water chasing down and taking over his sandals from time to time. He didn’t resist but he didn’t have the same giggling appreciation for the exercise that I had. It appeared that I was the only one who had tackled 6 steps and struck out for the lake with my unsuspecting victim. But I was serious and really wanted to know about this trust thing. In a place where he should be able to trust somebody he didn’t know, would he? Or would he not? At the end of the walk, I led him over to the same 6 steps which would take us away from the lake and up to the bonfire where the guests were all gathering around.
We were the last ones back since I had gotten so involved in splashing in the water with my new friend that when I was hurrying to get back, I regrettably let him stub his toe on the bottom step. As he told everyone back at the fire later. I neglected to warn him that he was approaching a possible “Ouchy”. One other thing I found out then was that he was a Catholic Priest and the Chaplain for our group. OH BOY!! We seldom saw one another that he didn’t wind up telling somebody about his experience with the “Trust Walk”.
Marian Brennan Pratt held the position of Church Secretary at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in the Village of Emmett, Michigan for 24 years. She has four grown children: Barbara, Suzanne, Bernie and Steve, seven grandchildren: Daniel, Kaitlynn, Emily, Ashley, Taylor, Brennan and Benjamin, one great-grandchild: Paislee and another on-the-way. While a member of the community, she joined the ladies of the parish in a Book Club, was a member of Daughters of Isabella #452 and a past member of the Village Council. Marian lives in Port Huron now and has always been interested in Journalism which led to her joining the staff of St. Stephen’s High School newspaper, the Stephecho. She has written several articles for the Emmett News and has had a book published, entitled “Emmett Township”, part of the Images of America series by Arcadia Publishing which plays a large part in the preservation of local heritage.