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Another road trip from Montpellier, this one to Sommières

Another road trip from Montpellier, this one to Sommières

— Since we’d reserved a rental car for four days, I felt a certain obligation to make the most use of it. Thursday morning, after lingering a little too long over breakfast, we got in the car to visit Uzès, an ancient walled village that dates back to pre-medieval times, about a 90-minute drive from Montpellier. However, after all the driving I’d done Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn’t on the autoroute for more than a few minutes when I started formulating for an escape plan.
The old and new basilicas of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City

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 from earthquakes and an unstable foundation that it can no longer handle the throngs of pilgrims who visit this important holy site.

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

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 tinkering with the contrast and exposure, the ashes disappeared into my hairline. I knew I should have gotten a haircut yesterday.
Blessed to be called as godparents for another baptism

Blessed to be called as godparents for another baptism

— Kathryn and I were called to be godparents once again, this time for the baptism of a seven-week-old son of friends who live about ten miles north of Tucson. Kathryn is already godmother to the newly baptized’s older brother. Being called to godparenthood has been a great blessing for both of us. We don’t have any children of our own, and so it has given us the opportunity to share the joy of our Catholic faith with a new generation in a meaningful way.
A few photographs from Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

A few photographs from Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

— Our stay in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay, was rather short, less than twenty-four hours. However, the charming old barrio is compact, so tourists can take in the highlights in a few hours. Some even visit as a day trip from Montevideo by bus or from Buenos Aires by ferry. The weather during our brief visit was almost entirely overcast, as the photographs show. In the main square of Colonia del Sacramento, we found the Basilica of the Most Holy Sacrament, not to be confused with the church we visited in Buenos Aires with the same name.
Mission San Xavier del Bac, the White Dove of the Desert near Tucson

Mission San Xavier del Bac, the White Dove of the Desert near Tucson

— During our recent weekend trip to Tucson, Kathryn and I took an opportunity to visit Mission San Xavier del Bac, just outside the city. As luck would have it, there was a Mass scheduled there Saturday morning. It was to celebrate the 366th birthday of Fr. Eusebio Kino, the Jesuit priest who founded the mission way back in 1692. So we made sure to schedule our visit to coincide. Mission San Xavier del Bac, the White Dove of the Desert, exterior view