Last-minute road trip to Lourdes for Mass with Cardinal Burke

One advantage of not over-planning a vacation is that you leave yourself open to opportunities that arise. This week, we changed our planned daytrip to Lourdes on Saturday to an overnight trip on Tuesday and Wednesday. At Sunday Mass here in Montpellier, we learned that an American cardinal, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, would be … Continue reading Last-minute road trip to Lourdes for Mass with Cardinal Burke

We’re back in Montpellier after a whirlwind side trip to Lourdes

Kathryn and I just got back to Montpellier after a whirlwind 30-hour side trip to Lourdes. This is just a quick update because the last two days have been somewhat exhausting. I’m really happy we didn’t do this as a day trip as we’d originally planned. Four hours driving a rental car I’m not familiar … Continue reading We’re back in Montpellier after a whirlwind side trip to Lourdes

A few photos from Montpellier before hit the road

Not long after our safe arrival Saturday in Montpellier, the Gilets Jaunes protests started to get interesting, more or less outside our window. First they marched up the street, then they marched down the street. Then we heard a commotion and returned to the window to see a line of police in riot gear. A … Continue reading A few photos from Montpellier before hit the road

Just a quick status update and a change of plans

This is going to be brief, since we’re heading out in a few minutes to join a friend who gives tours of Montpellier, and then probably out for a few drinks with him after that. We’ve moved up our planned side trip to Lourdes. We originally planned to go next Saturday for just the day. … Continue reading Just a quick status update and a change of plans

It’s five o’clock somewhere

In fact, it’s already well after seven o’clock in Montpellier. Is it too early to reset my watch? The last time we were at Terminal 3 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport was the last time we flew to Montpellier, about 30 months ago. They were in the middle of extensive renovations then, and today we’re … Continue reading It’s five o’clock somewhere

Notre Dame de Paris during a late evening stroll along the Seine

I put this photo of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral on my blog many years ago. In light of the news out of Paris today, I thought I’d share it again. Kathryn took the photo in September 2007 during our first visit to Paris together, a little over a year before we were married. We … Continue reading Notre Dame de Paris during a late evening stroll along the Seine

The old and new basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

While looking through my photos from last year, I noticed one from our Mexico City pilgrimage that never ended up on the blog. There are two basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe shown here. The old basilica, on the left with the golden dome, while still beautiful outside and inside, has suffered such extensive damage … Continue reading The old and new basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

Earlier this week, I became a 47-year-old altar boy

Back around Christmastime, the priests at our parish started running announcements in the weekly bulletin, asking all males of any age to prayerfully consider becoming altar servers. Altar servers were in short supply, particularly for the weekday Masses.

From time to time, I attend the 6:30 am Mass before heading to work, and I’d witnessed the altar server shortage on a number of occasions. In fact, not too long ago, there was no altar server available twice in the same week.

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris

Today is Ash Wednesday. It falls relatively late this year, March 6, as Easter will not arrive until April 21 for those of us in the Western churches. For me, Ash Wednesday also means it’s time for a rare selfie. This one is quite a disappointment compared to last year’s. Even after a lot of … Continue reading Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in púlverem revertéris

Whoooa, we’re halfway there

I’m checking in from the Subway in Terminal B at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. Our flight from Phoenix was totally full, and it seemed like everyone carried on a full-size suitcase. Seriously, most “carry-on” bags were bigger than the ones we checked. By the time our Group 7 boarded, there was no room in the … Continue reading Whoooa, we’re halfway there

New altar rail at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Nashua, New Hampshire

Since Kathryn and I spend a lot of our weekends away from Phoenix, it’s not uncommon for us to find ourselves visiting another parish for Mass on any given Sunday. It is far less common for us to visit the same parish two Sundays in a row, although that’s exactly what happened the past two … Continue reading New altar rail at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Nashua, New Hampshire

Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Today I learned the word tempura is not of Japanese origin. It turns out it’s a loan word from Latin, and it’s connected to a centuries-old Catholic tradition called Ember Days. This morning, I was up and out of the house early enough to get to Mass before work. I went to the traditionalist Catholic … Continue reading Today I learned the word tempura is not Japanese

Teotihuacan, our day trip from Mexico City in photos

Although many of our fellow Mexico City pilgrims had started trickling into town Monday afternoon, Wednesday was officially the first day of our itinerary. The first and only destination for the day was the pyramids at Teotihuacan, but this was a pilgrimage group, so of course we prayed first. And ate.

Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

I don’t often blatantly repost old blog material. However, last week I had a conversation with some colleagues about my visit to Auschwitz in 2006, and it made me think about the following post I published three years ago today: I’ve been reminded that today, August 14, is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe. … Continue reading Today is the feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe, patron saint of ham radio

Immaculate Conception, Newburyport

In the past twelve months, I’ve posted photos of two churches where Kathryn and I were called to be godparents to newborns. However, just this past Easter, we visited Immaculate Conception in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I was baptized as a newborn, approximately a thousand years ago. One of Kathryn’s aunts was able to join us … Continue reading Immaculate Conception, Newburyport

The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Kathryn took this photo of the main altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, La Madeleine, located in the heart of Paris, over five years ago, in January 2013. It was one of those right-place-right-time situations we like to take advantage of. We happened to be walking by the church just a few minutes … Continue reading The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Repent! Remember, man, that thou art dust

Valentine’s Day? Arizona Statehood Day? Any other year, that’s how we might refer to February 14. This year, however, February 14 is, first and foremost, Ash Wednesday. I like to get a jump on my Lenten repentance, so I arrived at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix at 6:05 this morning to get in line for … Continue reading Repent! Remember, man, that thou art dust

Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Waterloo, Illinois

A photo of the altar at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Waterloo, Illinois. Kathryn and I attended Sunday Mass here this morning with our cousins and their family. After Mass, we witnessed the baptism of their youngest daughter at the baptismal font just to the left side of the altar.

A quiet Sunday morning in Glentana, South Africa

It’s early Sunday morning here, around 7:30 am, and I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and an ocean vista. As a group, we agreed we were due for a day of rest today. It sounds like our hosts are as exhausted as we are. They had guests before Kathryn and me, so I’m hardly surprised. … Continue reading A quiet Sunday morning in Glentana, South Africa

Two easy ways to see the Pope in Rome

There are two easy ways to see the Pope when you’re in Rome. Kathryn and I were able to see him both ways during our visit to Rome earlier this year. As long as the Pope isn’t away from the city for his vacation or for an apostolic visit, you should be able to see him too.

Last day in Las Vegas

It turns out I didn’t get the sunrise photos I wanted on our last day in Las Vegas. It was raining when the sun came up and still raining when we left the hotel, although the rain let up early in the morning. We did find a decent donut shop, found a beautiful Sunday Mass, and had lunch with our friend Kerrie, with whom we couldn’t connect Friday evening.