Today the Church celebrates the Nativity of Saint John The Baptist. Knowing that the group from Anchorage would spend last night (Friday) flying from Anchorage to Dallas, and tonight (Saturday) flying from Dallas to Rome, I knew we would want to find a place to celebrate Mass on this Solemn Feast.
Today was a first for me, as we celebrated Mass at the DFW airport chapel. I’m grateful to Fr. Bob Crisp, a priest of the Diocese of Dallas who met our group and got things set up for Mass. Turns out, he was a seminary classmate of one of our priests from Anchorage, Fr. Fred Bugarin.
We flew into Dallas on an old 757 on American Airlines – my guess is that plane is about ready to be retired. It still had the TV monitors hanging from the ceiling above the center aisle! It was a smooth flight until we approached Dallas, and then things got bumpy. Heavy storms closed the airport soon after we arrived at 5:30am local time.
The Pallium Pilgrimage is made up of three different contingents – our group from Alaska, and several others who made their own travel arrangements and will meet us in Rome, a contingent from Wyoming, whose flight out of Denver was to bring them to Dallas, but the storms delayed their departure to the point they would miss the Dallas connection, so they have been re-routed through Philadelphia – and a group from Indiana. Both the Wyoming and Indiana contingents began their travels today, and with any luck, all three groups will land in Rome Sunday morning within an hour of each other.
Seems very appropriate and Providential to me that this pilgrimage begins with such a significant Solemnity as the Birth of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for and pointed the way to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. My prayer during Mass was that all of us may be equally equipped for the same mission of the Church today!
Please know that you were all ‘present with us’ at the altar and Mass at DFW this morning.
St. John the Baptist, Pray for us.
Flight for Roma boards in an hour …