On Easter Monday, Jesus came to Leanne and Matt Bowen’s home — and he stayed a few days.
“For three days, I lived right next to the Eucharist. I could feel His presence so strongly,” Leanne wrote on Instagram.
She spoke with the Register about their latest project: creating a chapel on Matt’s family’s California ranch property in the diocese of Fresno. They are reconstructing walls and ceilings — a labor of love for Jesus. A proper floor — and pews — are needed, too.
Right now, seven or eight people can fit inside to pray. But Easter week, 20 people were inside the converted greenhouse — with more outside — during that special Mass, which was celebrated thanks to a priest friend, Father Daniel Eusterman from the archdiocese of Denver, a traveling tabernacle — complete with a tabernacle light — and altar….
“My husband, Matt, and I live in a small ranching community an hour from the nearest tabernacle. The desire to have a place to pray was marinating in both of our hearts for a long time. We moved houses a year into our marriage. There was a greenhouse on the new property. When we first stepped into the greenhouse, my husband instantly knew it was going to be a chapel,” Leanne explained to the Register.
“I was astonished by his vision. The space was filled to the brim with a lot of other things — packed with tools, cabinets, benches, boxes — stuff. Matt saw right to the core of the building: It was the perfect size, lighting and space for prayer. It took us two years to empty the space and reconstruct the walls. First, it needed a new exterior roof and then an interior one as well. It needed a retaining wall and a lot of intentionality. We worked slowly, around our toddlers and daily life, and advocated for it. Almost every visitor who has come over the last three years has built a part of that chapel or some of the space around it to make it functional. We knew it was the most important project we had.”
“The project has taught us that getting each other and our kids to heaven is the only thing that matters,” she added. “I want my girls to have a deep love for the Eucharist….”
Full story in National Catholic Register.