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As I make my slow pilgrimage through the world, a certain sense of beautiful mystery seems to gather and grow. 
A. C. Benson

 I’m away to the lands of someone’s forefathers, not mine, though.  Germany. 

"We have come to worship him."  — the theme for WYD 2005.  I’m traveling with the Archdiocese of San Francisco for the next week and a half.  It should be very interesting and what a great opportunity!  You can find information about it here: World Youth Day 2005 Official Site.  And about our trip here: Archdiocese of SF Official Site.

If I can, of course, I’ll post… if not, well, you know the drill.  Thanks for any prayers for our pilgrimage and the million or so young adults we will be joining in Cologne to pray and praise and meet with the Pope.  You will be in my prayers there too.  And, if you happen to be going as well, I hope we meet up.  I’ll be the one practicing my Spanish. 

Thanks to Chad for the ride to the airport!  Bless his little heart… well, big ole heart, really. 

I’ve heard it said… "Scripture tells us God created the world; Science helps us learn how."

and yet some would say otherwise

We know evolution happened because innumerable bits
of data from myriad fields of science conjoin to paint a rich portrait
of life’s pilgrimage.
— Michael Shermer

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originally uploaded by opxphile.

Yesterday was the feast of St. Dominic. I spent most of it in airports (Detroit, Pittsburgh, San Francisco) which maybe is appropriate for a follower of Dominic who walked thousands of miles in his own day to bring the Gospel to others. I’d like to think I bring the Gospel to others, but really, usually find that they are the ones preaching the word to me.

This weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to witness the profession of perpetual vows of my friend and sister Lorraine. Since she is dealing with the impending loss of her dear stepfather, her willingness to go forward with her vows is particularly touching. Her mother and stepfather could not be there and yet they were, in a real way, in spirit as present as if they had been seated beside her in St. Catherine Chapel.

Sister Lorraine’s willingness to say yes even in the midst of loss and longing has been a powerful witness for me. May her days ahead be blessed with a felt presence of God, somewhere in the pain and sorrow and the hope for the future.

(I took this photo of frescoes at a former OP monastery in Tepotzlan, Morelos, Mexico – I stumbled on it while going to mass in the adjoining church.)

Change your language and you change your thoughts.

Karl Albrecht

Hola, mis amigos y amigas!  I’m baaaaackkkk…..  (for a minute).  My time in Mexico was fabuloso and my confidence in speaking Spanish has increased a thousand fold – which, all in all is a great deal better.  Since I started at a negative balance, though, perhaps a few more classes, months and practicepracticepractice is still in order!  If you know of a good (inexpensive) course or tutor program in the Bay Area, I’m looking!

Off to Adrian, Michigan tomorrow for the weekend.  My great friend, Lorraine, is making her perpetual profession of vows as an Dominican Sister on Saturday.  Please, if you can, keep her and her family in your prayers.  Her step-father, Bernie, is very near to joining Jesus and as her "rock" for all these years, will not be able to be at her profession.  This is so sad and she is doing so well handling the disappointment.  We pray that God will allow Bernie to be with her in spirit on Saturday and each day after! 

I’ve been thinking and praying and living so much these past weeks.  I hope to be able to put into words some of my amazing experiences and the tremendous graces I’ve been given.  If you ever have the opportunity to learn another language through an immersion program, I heartily recommend it…. you may learn even more about yourself and the world in the process! 

August 2005