Saturday, February 28, 2004

Journey to Houston

Annunciation Church

Our Lady of Walsingham

Here is my album of photos from my trip to Houston. As you can tell, I like to get many different angles of things; Some pictures turned out better than others. I'm still working on taking pictures that are meaningful and clear.

The trip was truly magnificent. The developer's conference went well, and my presentation went smoothly. In our business, we use email a lot to communicate with coworkers in sites across the nation and on the other side of the world. We rely on email. Often, it is the only means of communication. It's amazing to see the relationships you can establish with coworkers merely through email, and then when you finally meet them in person and put a face to a name, the relationships take on a new form, like meeting someone again for the first time.

Shortly after I arrived in Houston, the evening before the conference began, I met up with Bill Cork; he took the time to help me get aquainted with Houston and the surrounding area. Later, after the conference had ended, I met up with him again, and we made our way to Galveston where he offered to give me the grand tour of the Bishop's Palace and keep me company for Mardi Gras festivities! On the way to Galveston, Bill took me by the Queen of Angels Chapel and Bookstore of the Society of St. Pius X - the seedy underbelly of Catholic Houston. After hearing so much about the infamous SSPX, it was interesting to finally see an SSPX chapel, but I can't say that I'll ever be back! On Saturday, I made it down by myself to the Johnson Space Center and took some pictures, and I made my way back into the city and made a visit to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. An excellent day!

High Altar at Annunciation

Our Lady of Walsingham

I was also able to attend a Tridentine mass at the beautiful Annunciation Church in downtown Houston. And, of course, I was also given the opportunity to experience the beautiful liturgy of the Anglican Use at Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church! I need to go again and explore the intricate detail of the liturgy a bit more. The emotions that ran through me during the liturgy were interesting - strangely familiar yet new. It was still the beauty and depth of any mass, but this particular liturgy brought me to a new place in my worship. The English chant, the language, the incense and song, the preaching, and the prayer appealed very much to my long lost Anglo spirit, reminding me of my cherished England that I have never yet had the opportunity to see with my own eyes. It almost felt like seeing an old family friend - for the first time in centuries.

Thanks to Bill Cork for taking the time to show me around, and thanks to all of you for your prayers of support!

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The Lenten Season

During Lent this year, I plan to take a page from the lives of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher and pray the seven penitential psalms. Of course, More would recite them all each day, but this Lent, prior to Night Prayer, I will recite one of them for each day and use it for meditation, in either Latin or English.

Monday, February 23, 2004

I'm back!

I'm back from Houston, TX. The conference was pretty good, my presentation went smoothly, and I got to do and see many things, including most of the items on my list below and some things that aren't on that list (like the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and even an SSPX chapel/bookstore?). Bill showed me all around and even taught me the proper way to eat boiled crawfish (crawdads as we say in Alabama). I'll blog in more detail about everything within the next few days, but suffice it to say, it was a very good trip -- and the Anglican Use liturgy at Our Lady of Walsingham was extraordinary; it exceeded my expectations.

It also looks like I took 128 pictures with my digital camera, so I'm going to sort through them and post some in the next few days :)


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