According to the graphic on the projector screen, I’m writing from 35,000 feet above the small islands of Apia and Nadi in the Coral Sea. I imagine this is Amelia Earhart territory. Getting on the plane yesterday was not without its challenges. With a furrowed brow, the Air Canada agent informed me that there were two visa applications under my name and passport number and that this constituted a security concern. I was eventually permitted to board after calls to the Australian government. Still, if you read anything suspicious in this space, please notify the authorities that my identity has been successfully assumed.
There’s no telling how many fellow pilgrims are on this flight, but the most obvious are the 34 men from Kenrick-Glennon seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. The large contingent can be credited to vocations director, Fr. Mike Butler, who told the seminarians that if they could provide $500, he would somehow come up with the rest of the funding. Fr. Mike has a history of going great lengths for WYD. Back in 2002, he led a group of seminarians to Toronto by bicycle. He recalled that during each 88 kilometre day, God took his men further away from the low morale they then experienced. Now in better times, Fr. Mike remains convinced that World Youth Day is an integral experience for young Catholics, no matter the effort required.
Filed under: WYD