Bill and Janice Nordsiek have turned a summer journey through Indiana into a spiritual pilgrimage, as well as a trip back through family history. And along the way they made a special gift to the Conventual Franciscan Friars at Mount St. Francis.
Janice is the great-niece of deceased Friar Patrick Gauchet, OFM Conv. She and Bill have lived for many years in Peoria, Illinois, but both are natives of Indianapolis. They were visiting relatives in the Indianapolis area, then made the drive south to Mount St. Francis with a special gift – a first-class relic of St. Aloysius Gonzaga.
Like many retirees, the Nordsieks are going through the things they have acquired over the years and giving away those that might have special meaning to someone. When Janice got to the relic, she knew where she wanted it to go. So she and Bill came to the place where her great-uncle is buried.
“It’s been in the family for many years,” Janice said. “I’ve had it myself for 20 years. It’s the most important item in our house. I wanted it to be some place where people could have access to it.”
Janice had visited her uncle at Mount St. Francis years ago, but this was the couple’s first visit together.
Br. Bob Baxter, OFM Conv., the director of the Retreat Center at Mount St. Francis and Guardian of the Franciscan Friary there, gave the Nordsieks a tour of the buildings and grounds, including the cemetery where Fr. Patrick is buried. Br. Bob said the relic is now placed on the relic altar in the Mount St. Francis Chapel.