Last night I got back from GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) in Pittsburgh where I attended the "Intermediate Genealogy" course. What a neat week!
GRIP was held at La Roche College in the outskirts of Pittsburgh. It's a very nice, small campus. The building on the left was the main dorm building and on the right is the building where we had classes, meals, larger gatherings and even Maia's Books. As you can see, it is only a short walk if it rains - which it threatened to do but never did! In fact, the last two days were BEAUTIFUL with temperatures in the 60's in the mornings and highs only in the 70's! Gorgeous!
I stayed in a "double" room in the dorms, but used it as a private room. The rooms are a nice size for a dorm room and have a microwave, fridge, & a private bathroom! You can bring an ethernet cable and access the internet for free. Unfortunately, the a/c in my first room was broken and I ended up changing rooms after two days because they couldn't find a part. This room had actually been kind of dirty (hair in the bathroom drawers & some kind of gooey stuff in the cabinet under the sink). The second room was cleaner, but it was a handicapped room so I had less storage space. The beds weren't very comfortable and the pillow was very thin. They provided us with linens & a towel, floor towel, hand towel & one washrag (yes, one for the week!). Thankfully, a friend who lived in town brought me some more washrags!
Each day included several breaks and sometimes we would sit outside or walk around and enjoy the flowers and benches that are scattered around the college grounds. This amazing hibiscus was as large as a dinner plate!
Next door to the college is Sisters of Divine Providence, which I believe is a catholic church and convent. The first morning I slept with the windows opened since I didn't have air conditioning and I heard the chimes at 6 am, but I didn't hear it the other mornings when my windows were shut. We took several walks on these beautiful grounds.
We found a series of statues which, I was told, were the Stations of the Cross. As a protestant, I wasn't familiar with these though I've heard that phrase before. The angel is holding a cross which says, "In Cruce Salus" which means "salvation in the cross." Their are 14 stations which depict events of Jesus' crucifixion from his condemnation to being laid in the tomb. I wish I would have taken a photo of the station where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus & his face is left imprinted on her veil. I have written about the artwork of "Vernoica's veil" on another blog.
At the top of a hill was a beautiful cemetery for the nuns. I was amazed at how long many of the nuns lived, and also how many died each year. Often, there were four or five a year! I'm wondering how many nuns live in the convent, or if this is where some go to retire.
On the Sisters website was a neat article about the six pioneer sisters who immigrated from Germany in 1876 to teach German immigrants first in Ohio and later in Pittsburgh. As a genealogist, I loved how the article on the site ends: "The difficulties the pioneer sisters faced were many--insufficient housing, insufficient food, the challenges of learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, and more. Through it all, they maintained a firm trust in God's providence."
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