I'm in DC, resting a little after what has been a long, though not that arduous, a day.
My flight left Dayton at six am. That meant arriving at the airport by five am. That meant leaving Saint Rose before four am. That meant setting my alarm for 3:30. That meant being in bed by nine the night before! For me, ridiculous; I seldom get to bed before 11. As it was, I tried to hit the hay at ten, but could not sleep. Maybe two hours total.
Cell phone alarm sounds at 3:30; I look at the clock; it's dark. Power was out. Good thing I set two alarms. I'm showering candlelight, first time for that. A little tricky getting through the house but ok, on the road. At the airport, the group of priests and seminarians I'm traveling with are arriving. We leave a little late. Non clerical minority on the plane finds so many roman collars reassuring.
At Baltimore airport, several of us share a taxi; we tell him, Union Station, DC ( our hotel is across from it). He nods, takes off, and when asked, says it'll take 90 mins. Hmmm, we think, that's a little long. Those in back chatting; good thing priest in front notices the driver points north. We fix it, but lose 15 mins., driver turns off meter so we don't overpay. Language barrier, but we think he was taking us to Philly.
At hotel: it's around nine, we had no breakfast. "Irish breakfasts" all around, ah, restoration! We see seminarians, who rode the train, file in in groups of less than five. Why, you ask? Because the hotel told us, if groups of five or more enter together, each member gets charged a "union surcharge" $5 apiece.
We assembled at 11:30 to walk a few blocks to church for Mass. Regular parish Mass, but here come seven priests and 20 seminarians (others planned to attend mongo vigil tonight--not for me, almost literally wall-to-wall people). Nice Italian church, barely touched by liturgical Vandals who passed through so many churches in the bad old days. Friendly priest, who seemed to have little English, seemed surprised to see us, but we did call ahead. Lovely simple Mass. I don't often get to offer Mass with these brothers.
Back to hotel. It's very bright but very cold. Some of us go to museums, but I'm a little out of sync from the weird travel day, and another priest and I get something hot to drink; decide to eat a little soup. We both think it was from a can. Is that acceptable, do you think, for a sit-down cafe in the middle of DC's Union Station? Note to avoid in the future.
Now back at hotel. Sorry for staccato writing style, but I'm typing this with one finger on my IPad.
Tomorrow we have Mass at the Basilica, then the March, then fly home late, if snow doesn't delay.
This prayer pilgrimage is an odd duck: we are always friendly and hopeful despite grim horror we are protesting. Some find this incongruous, but I don't. This is an act of faith, and faith always travels with charity and hope. This is serious business, but the Father's business, so we have reason to have joy and confidence, despite all.
I expect some rendezvous with brother priests before long, so see you at the March. If you can't be here, pray, please.