Bearded Morning

Today I’m on my way to College Station to celebrate a school tradition, which I’ve described in my other blog here. I’m traveling with my high school Confirmation teachers, ‘Sam’ and ‘Becky,’ who had a lot to do with my becoming an Aggie.

Anyway, ‘Sam’ had taken a lot (say 400+) from last weekend’s Youth 2000 retreat, and someone had pointed out to ‘Sam’ that one of his pictures of Fr. Juan Diego, CFR happened to also include St. Juan Diego in the background from one of the Youth 2000 banners. Not only that, it was a good picture of Fr. Juan Diego on the altar. So, we decided to visit Fr. Juan Diego at the friary near downtown on our way down to College Station.

I’ve been a big fan of the friars since learning about them as a high schooler, and I had always heard about their friary in Ft. Worth without really knowing where it was. It’s located in a poorer part of town, right next to a really small Catholic church. We got there, knocked on the door, and no one answered. ‘Sam’ and I looked around the parish grounds wondering if the friars were elsewhere on the grounds. After some awkward knocking and answering of other doors, I lost ‘Sam,’ but found him at the friary again talking to Fr. Pio.

After some hellos and salutations, Fr. Pio invited us in to the friary. No other friars were home because they are visiting a hermitage. A simple, two-story house is the friary. What I found to be really cool was their chapel. I think just the fact that they have a tabernacle in a room in their house is pretty legit, but expected.

‘Sam’ and Fr. Pio talked in the sacristy while ‘Becky’ took me on a brief tour of the kitchen and dining room. When we joined ‘Sam’ and Fr. Pio, he was showing ‘Sam’ a monstrance that had been donated by someone. Apparent there is a store in New York that is like a one-stop shop for all things Catholic, and that’s where the monstrance came from. It’s a typical golden monstrance I’ve typically seen but this one had had other jewels inlaid in it. $4000, apparently. And I got to hold it (it was empty). #unworthy, because I know Who it holds.

Then we chatted about our day trip to Texas A&M today, but Fr. Pio didn’t really understand because he’s not from Texas.

And here we are, still on our way to College Station. Hopefully Fr. Juan Diego will get a kick out of his picture. 🙂

Faith. Hope. Charity. Ecce beard.
– JR