The Courtier in Aleteia: A Papal Pilgrimage in the Holy Land

Check out my latest for Aleteia today, reviewing Diana von Glahn’s new series, “A Papal Pilgrimage in the Holy Land”, which begins airing on Catholic television networks tomorrow. In this three-part travel documentary, Diana chronicles Pope Francis’ historic visit to the Holy Land, and in her own well-informed, enthusiastic way she introduces us to the people and places of this sacred but troubled part of the world, where Christians in particular have suffered so much in recent years. Follow the link in the article for air dates and times in your area, or visit TheFaithfulTraveler.com

My special thanks to the always gracious Elizabeth Scalia and her team at Aleteia for letting me share my thoughts with their readers once again!

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DC Lent Events: Two Upcoming Opportunities

Passiontide
Date: Saturday, March 12th
Time: 7:00-8:00 pm
Location: St. Dominic’s (L’Enfant Plaza)

I’ve written about events at beautiful St. Dominic’s Parish before, such as in this piece for New Liturgical Movement, and its splendid NeoGothic architecture has been featured on my Instagram account. Now the Dominican Friars are pleased to invite you to attend their second annual Lenten service titled “Passiontide”. And there is an old skool-style video game – I kid you not – that the Friars have invented to get you interested in attending:

There’s a huge candlelit vigil at St. Dominic’s Church called Passiontide. Preaching, chanting, and Lenten readings by the Dominican Friars. A large celebration follows. Sat March 12 at 7pm. Here’s a VIDEO GAME about the event. RSVP here. Help with food and setup is welcome.

You can see some really beautiful photographs from last year’s Passiontide service here.

Last weekend I got to hang out with the Dominican Friars at Dominican House and eat a mountain of tater tots, which has NO bearing on my plugging this event for them, none at all. However I want to encourage you to take that extra step this Lent, even if you already plan to attend the Triduum, and do something a bit different, that stretches you out a bit more and challenges you to make this your best Lent yet. Here is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

Stations of the Cross and Friday Fish Fry
Date: Friday, March 11th and 18th
Time: 6:30-9:30 PM
Location: Epiphany Parish (Georgetown)

Father Adam Park, one of the most enthusiastic young priests whom you will ever meet, hosts this weekly event at historic Epiphany Parish in Georgetown during Lent. The traditional practice of the Stations of the Cross is held in this pretty, Italianate church, built in the 1920’s, and is followed by a Friday Fish Fry supper afterwards. I ran into Fr. Park yesterday at the Newman Center on campus at GWU, where he has two hours of Eucharistic Adoration followed by Mass, every weekday beginning at 4:00pm, and he reminded me that this prayerful but enjoyable evening deserves my attention. And as I see it, it also deserves yours.

There is always a smart and interesting group at the evening, which is particularly popular among DC-area young professionals, and it is a good place to meet new people. More importantly however, it allows us to take time out on a Friday and walk with Christ, retracing His steps on that Good Friday 2,000 years ago. As He carries His Cross, we pause to pray and meditate along the way, reminding ourselves of His sacrifice.

For practical information, you can visit Epiphany Parish’s website. There are only two of these evenings remaining on the calendar, because we are getting to the end of the Lenten season already. Again, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to do something more this Lent!

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Light in L’Enfant / Festivity in Foggy Bottom

Light in L’Enfant / Festivity in Foggy Bottom

Thank you again to all of those who attended and shared my post on New Liturgical Movement about Advent Stations with the Dominicans at St. Dominic’s Church in the L’Enfant Plaza neighborhood of DC. This is the second year that the friars have held what they hope will become an annual event here in the Nation’s Capital, and appropriately enough the size of the congregation doubled from last year. (I suppose it is too much to expect that the attendance will therefore triple next year, but who knows?)

You can see some mediocre photographs I took over on my Instagram account, but you can see some superb ones by my friend Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., over on the New Liturgical Movement website.  

It was a beautiful evening of light, music, scripture, prayer, and preaching, and one which I highly recommend that you put on your advanced planning calendar for next year.

For those of you who will be in the Washington, D.C. area over Christmas, and are considering where (or if) to attend services, I want to put in a plug for my parish of St. Stephen Martyr in Foggy Bottom.

As I regularly observe on social media, our choir and organist/music director are stupendous, which is no exaggeration. Friends from social media who are not Catholic OR Christian have joined us for Mass at St. Stephen’s, and come away astounded by how beautiful the music is. On Christmas Eve we will be having carols at 6:00 pm, followed by Mass at 6:30 pm, and you are most welcome to attend and celebrate with us. Given the very warm weather we will be having – the forecast high for DC on Christmas Eve is 76 F – and the relatively early hour, you can join us and still have time to go to dinner, put the kids to bed for Santa, or start watching that “Elf” or “Christmas Story” marathon. As an aside, I will be giving one of the Scripture readings from the Acts of the Apostles, so if you do attend I hope you will take a moment to say hello.

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Photo of St. Dominic's by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.