We have arrived in the great state of Pennsylvania! And look what we found at the McDonalds at our first pit stop! Just kidding, but there is a story to this whole thing. Our Bishop, George Leo Thomas, told us this summer at a gathering about a habit he started as a priest in Seattle. Every time he would see the golden arches of McDonalds he would say a Hail Mary so that he would stay close to our Blessed Mother while being in the world. What a way to turn the symbol of capitalist America into a prayer! We have been taking after our bishop on this trip and every time we see the golden arches, the bus becomes silent and together we say a Hail Mary. So far we are up to 60 sightings and consequent prayers. This has been a beautiful way to receive the love and protection of Our Lady and to grow closer together as brothers under her mantle.
As we entered the town of Belle Vernon, PA there happened to be a McDonalds across the street. Our very own "slick willy" Mike Dirkson convinced the ladies inside to allow us to change their sign for a photo op. However, much more happened there. We went in as a group and asked if we could pray for and with the ladies working at McDonalds. The nice young lady at the counter, Mackenzie gathered her crew and we were able to pray for and with them as we asked. It was a moment of unity that we long for as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are continuing on and should arrive in Philly tonight. Joe Paddock is the reigning cribbage champ, Ollie Santin was dominant on the back-of-the-bus basketball court, and Dcn. Andy Marrow is as joyful as ever. We love all of you and are praying intentionally for the trip and all of you!
P.S. - Our 5 SY seminarians and some others gave us a shout out as they hold down the fort in Denver through prayer! Thanks boys! Thank you Fr. Thermos for you prayers and letting them use the internet on our behalf!
- In Christ, Tyler