I’m heading into the second full day at University of Mary. Before I do, I’m sharing scenes from yesterday—a great, full day of classes and exploration across a campus that is situated in a really beautiful place. I’m not a fan of the predominantly brutalist architecture, but the wild beauty of the prairie offsets the indulgences of that architectural style.

It rained sporadically today, and the new grass you can see above near the Lumen Vitae center seemed to be happily soaking in that water. After a full day of classes, and after a dinner with one of the Annunciation sisters who gave a short talk on their order, I walked with speed over to Chesterton’s, the on-campus pub, as the skies threatened. I made it there just as the rain started, and enjoyed a “Southfarthing Stout” while enjoying the rain from their lower porch.

It eventually cleared up, and by that time the empty Chesterton’s had nearly filled up with visiting FOCUS missionaries, who are spending six weeks here for their annual summer training. (I had been in Ave Maria in years past when their entire training took place there, and discovered this year that their people have been split up between Ave Maria and University of Mary.) I struck up conversation with a few second and third-year missionaries over a “Green Dragon Ale,” and eventually made my way back to St. Joseph’s Hall for the night. Along the way, I caught an incredible sunset.

The sun set sometime about 10pm.