The Start

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2013

And I’m grateful that I took off work the day that our parish groups were coming together. 1) I didn’t have to go to work, 2) I actually ended up needing practically the whole day. 

1) ? So I attended a drum corps competition Thursday night and I stuck around afterwards to meet up with people I know who are in it.  Got to my car after all that and discovered that it wouldn’t start.  Long story short, I waited a very long time for AAA to show up. And I was 30 minutes from home. That’s how I didn’t make it bed until like 2AM.

For 2), I tried waking up early to get packing started. 7AMish. And the whole day involved actual packing, making sure all the electronics and Internet stuff were prepared for this trip, a very delayed lunch with the family at a local Filipino restaurant, a Wal-Mart run, and more actual packing.  By the time I tightened the last strap on my hiking backpack, it was less than 30 minutes to the start of Daily Mass.
So, Daily Mass is a good way to start our pre-WYD retreat.  Nevermind that I was halfway to the church when I decided to turn around and go back home because I forgot something.  When I finally made it to the church, I accidentally became part of the actual procession (but on the side of the nave away from the priest and servers, 😉 ). I noticed that the other parish group was there, sitting up at the front, and one of my favorite CFRs was with them (!!!!!!!). 
After Mass, you know how most Catholics who don’t leave Mass early tend to be really social as soon as the recessional hymn is over? Cool, so that’s what we did.  Caught one of my unofficially adopted bros (because he’s a really good friend of my own blood brother, and he has refrigerator privileges in my house) on his way to the servers’ vesting room,

After some socializing, we gathered with the group from St. Thomas Aquinas (STA) to do a variation on Evening Prayer from the Magnificat before heading to one of our other buildings to eat dinner.
Pizza and getting to know each other tend to go hand in hand on a Friday night because the combination of crust, sauce, and toppings is enough to rejoice and share that joy with others.  I got to know some of the guys from STA as we started our own inside jokes.
The rest of the evening involved going over some handouts, the presentation of t-shirts that we’ll be wearing, rules, making sure we had the essentials packed, receiving other little things, and Night Prayer.

Br. Timothy, CFR led us in Night Prayer.  I miss his voice because it is quite suited for the way he leads the Liturgy of the Hours in song. Maybe at some point in the past year, I was really convinced he should release a CD…
After Night Prayer, we started the silence. We’ll be silent (unless absolutely necessary) until mid-morning tomorrow. And this is really awkward, since there are new people to get to know, but I can’t really do anything about that for now. But that’s okay, silence forces me to focus on other things. And reflect.
I didn’t go to bed until 1:30AM because I was working on transferring prayer intentions that I received from work onto strips of cloth attached to a carabiner for easy carrying. That took a long time because my grandmotherly, Catholic coworker gathered a lot of them from all over the office on my behalf. Then I attempted at blogging but decided to save it for today (Saturday morning).
What adventures await us today? Mass TWICE, showering, prayers, and getting to know each other. 
– JD