Tuesday, 1 August 2017

The Mary House in Turkey, and lunch with a friend.

I had lunch today with one of my Church friends, Ann Albritton, a woman I respect and admire.  Ann teaches at Sarasota's storied Ringling College of Art and Design.

1985, Night View

Ann H. Albritton, Ph.D.

Ann H. Albritton earned a BA in Humanities from Eckerd College; a MA in Art History from University of South Florida; a MPhil in Art History from City University of New York; and a PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art History from City University of New York. With over 21 years of professional teaching experience, Ann joined Ringling College in 2000. She is writing a children’s artist book, a global art history, as well as articles and reviews for Sculpture Magazine.

My lunch with Ann was at the Sunnyside Cafe on Sarasota's "North Trail".

More about this later.

Ann and I chatted about our various travels and it transpired that we had each visited ancient Ephesus (in modern Turkey), and that we had each visited the nearby (so called) "MARY HOUSE".

You can read about the Mary House here.


I was there in 1999 with my friend the Revd. Michael Vono.  As a fervent Protestant I am naturally sceptical about Marian apparitions and sites.

But at the Mary House (whether it is historically authentic or not)  I felt an overwhelming sense of awe.

Ann had the same feeling when she visited the Mary House.  With her usual wisdom she added "whether or not Mary the Mother of Jesus lived there doesn't matter. What matters is all the prayer which has been offered there".  Oh so good for you Ann!

Ann told me of her conversation with a religiously sceptical man ( a lapsed Roman Catholic) who was reduced to tears when he too had visited the Mary House.

Yes indeed Ann.  The sanctity of these places has everything to do with the prayer which has been offered.

This "low as a snake's belly Protestant"  (jmp) had the same experience when he visited the Shrine of St. Bernadette, in Lourdes, France.


As for lunch

Ann had the Hungarian Goulash.  She gave me a taste and it was very good.

I opted for the Lamb Burger (I am partial to Lamb),  It was good, but a bit dry.  I should have requested a medium rare burger. My English friends and family will think this to be heresy. They and I grew up and enjoying lamb "well done".

That being said, it was an un-mitigated joy to be with Ann Albritton today. She is a fabulous woman.


P.S. The owner of the Sunnyside Cafe is Hungarian. Our waiter was Argentinian.  Ole for multi-ethnic America whatever D.J. Trump says.  He is wrong!

1 comment:

  1. Michael Povey ... I loved having lunch with you and sharing experiences, especially about the Mary House but also about Paris and other places and things. You use language wonderfully - it gives me joy. I look forward to more conversations with you!