Saturday was field trip day. I saddled up my trusty mountain bike and prepared to traverse the city of Chicago in search of the Chicago History Museum. I write “search” because I have this terrible habit of being able to picture where something, setting out to get there, and then realizing I’m not sure where exactly it is. In a car, not so bad. But on a bike or on foot, every wrong turn is a few more minutes or miles of exertion. Not that exertion is all that bad, but it was a little chilly Saturday morning.

Anyways, I managed to get myself to the museum which was not all that far from where I had envisioned it (411 saved me wandering around for too long). I parked my bike right in front and locked it up tighter than Fort Knox. I got my ticket and audio tour paraphenalia. How hip and relevant of the museum to use iPods?! Nice touch.

My goal was to see the exhibit Catholic Chicago.

Catholic ChicagoCatholic Chicago explores the influence of Catholicism on the city’s ever-changing urban landscape. The exhibition highlights the area’s earliest Catholics; Chicago’s parochial school system; the church’s art and architecture; the city’s network of parishes and religious orders; Catholic activism; and the evolving nature of religion in the city.

Overall, EXCELLENT exhibit. I felt like I was truly home there because the sounds and images that surrounded me were ones that I’ve known my whole life. I was especially interested in seeing how religious life was treated in the exhibit — partly because I had talked with the curator and provided my “habit” for the exhibit. The Mercy Sisters had lent a traditional habit that they used to wear. The curator also wanted a contemporary habit which I provided in the form of a pair of pants, shirt, jacket and my crucifix and beads. (Note: I asked the security guard for permission to take some photos of my stuff since it’s not every day you see yourself in a museum! He graciously allowed me a few pictures.)

I gotta say, it is super weird to see yourself in a museum. I felt like kind of like an impostor because I’m not dead nor have I done anything heroic like Mother Mary Katharine Drexel or Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (both featured in the exhibit). What was strange was watching people look at my clothes and picture and read the plaque … “Sister Julie Vieira, circa 2008″ … no it didn’t say that but just about!