Lucern

Well I am in Lucern Switzerland at the moment. Things are going well. There are some bumps but hehe that is good for a pilgrimage.

Good News: I picked up the young lady at the airport with no problems and got her caught back up with her group.

I made it through my St. Peter’s tour with them and they seemed to get a lot out of it although it is clear to me that I have forgotten a lot of things and need to refresh a bit. I am hoping to have my brother make a video with me of the tour next year when we come for the people of the parish. I will try to put one up here as well.

I did get to say Mass at St. Peter’s. It was awesome. I didn’t get my first or second choice of altars which is fine. I celebrated on the altar of St. Leo the Great. One of the little nuns I went to school with was there. That was awesome. I saw a classmate, Fr. John Meyer, from Indianapolis and that was good. Also the altar boy was from Malta… I gave him 5 euros and all the altar boys were curious to find out when I was coming back next..

We had a great tour of the catacombs and I found a picture of St Tarcisius who is one of my favorite Saints from when I was very young. I bought 10 of them. I highly encourage you to teach your young people about him. I also had a great priest give the tour; a Salesian from Pennsylvania. St. Tarcisius was buried there for a long time but then was moved to Naples. I hope to say Mass at his tomb next year.

We also got to celebrate Mass on the main altar at St. John Lateran.

The bus trips have been great so far.

The lives of the your are really being touched. I think vocations will be realized and blossom through this pilgrimage. Plus there are some incredible moments of grace… where the kids finally feel comforatable enough to ask you questions that they have wanted to ask for a long time… That is awesome. One said Fr. Todd… I have a question.. I said Oooohhhh good… let’s play Stump the Padre… they liked it and we got some great questions…

Thanks for everyones prayers.

Now for the challenges:

The tour company we used from the states had some people who didn’t fulfill their promises. More on that when I get back.

Part of that means I need to go to Cologne by train tomorrow to make sure that our registrations are complete and items picked up by the time the students arrive by bus so they can make it to the opening Mass.

Some chaperones still tend to be a little challenging but all the priests, three of us, are firmly behind the diocesen youth minister so while there is some negativity at least there is compliance.

The challenges are frustrating and the Devil is trying to use them… Look at the reading for night prayer for Tuesday night and you will see what I mean. But overall we have been able to redirect them. Most of the challenges are invisible to the youth which is a great blessing. I am sure there are more to come but everyone has their health and seems to be having a good time.

More from Germany if I can find an uplink.

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2 Responses to “Lucern”

  1. Englishleigh Says:

    I’m really enjoying your accounts of your trip, Fr. Todd. Happy for you about getting to say Mass at St. Peter’s, what an awesome experience. Just have to add that the associate priest at our church and one of my very dear pals is also named Fr. Todd…God bless you!

    Leigh

  2. Fred Deutsch Says:

    Glad to hear your journey was successful. Kathleen, Esther & Kelly returned home Tuesday morning at 4 am quite weary from the travel and time change, but exhilarated with their pilgrimage. I hope you took the opportunity to get to know some of the young people traveling with the diocese. Tomorrow’s priests, sisters and holy lay people will develop from groups such as this one. We need holy people, including holy priests, to nurture them.

    Did you see the nice piece Keloland TV did on the diocesan pilgrimage prior to your departure? They interviewed Bob and Esther – I thought it came off very positive. And in yesterday’s Watertown paper was a half page interview of the folks that went from our area – again very positive exposure to the community.

    As for us, we are gearing up for the changes each fall season invariably brings to our family life. Esther and Kelly packed up the Taurus and departed for Franciscan University early yesterday morning and should be arriving there sometime this evening. It always leaves such a sense of emptiness inside us each time they leave. Steph started back to Watertown high yesterday. This evening we all head to the stadium to watch the season’s first football game against Mitchell. And our youngest, Rachel began her final year at Immaculate Conception school as a 6th grader. Already both are on the computer googling for elementary and high school homework assignments.

    Hey, one more thing … check out http://www.lifeteensd.com. It’s our community-wide catholic youth group that we just got under way this summer. Myself and two other men got tired of there being limited local opportunities for our kids to deepen their faith-lives, we decided to do something about it. The website shows, in part, the fruit of our labors. Praise God, our local priest, nearing retirement age, has supported our work. After just 6 weeks of activities we already have a strong core group of some 40 kids and are developing the infrastructure to hopefully handle many times that number. Check out the pictures. Hopefully they will communicate the right message to other catholic youth that this is a good and fun and holy group of young people. Our next main event, a trip to the Cities for the 2005 Eucharistic Congress (www.theheartofjesus.com) has already filled up one bus (Praise God). Dynamic speakers like James Caviezel, Scott Hahn, and others have our young people pumped to attend.

    Hope you are getting rested after your pilgrimage.

    Blessings,

    Fred Deutsch
    Watertown, SD

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