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Layover in Germany
As regular readers will remember, I was in Rome last week for meetings with the Holy Father and, on Friday (3/2), I left Rome to return to Boston.
The flight went from Rome to Munich, where we were supposed to make a connection to Boston. However, when we got off the flight in Munich, they informed us that the weather in Boston was very bad and all the flights were canceled. They also told us that there were no other flights to the East Coast that were getting out, either. So, Lufthansa put all of us passengers up in a town about 15 minutes from Munich Airport called Freising. It turned out to be a beautiful old Bavarian cathedral town.
I got there around 2:00 in the afternoon, so I took the occasion to walk around the village. I visited the local church and the Marienplatz that had a plaque commemorating the visit of Pope Benedict there.
I made a special point of taking this picture of the church door with the writing on it: 20+C+M+B+18, written in chalk. It brought back great memories of my seminary days. Our seminary was a German seminary and every Epiphany they would bless each room in the seminary and, in blessed chalk, write over the door that same kind of inscription. As you might've guessed, the first two digits are the century and the last two are the year. Between them are the initials of the Three Magi who brought gifts to the Baby Jesus on the Epiphany -- Casper, Melchior and Balthazar. So, for example, in my seminary days it would have read "19+C+M+B+65." and we would always joke that it really stood for "19 cases of monastery beer!"
Very near the church is the town hall. If you look closely, on the left side of the clock, you see where it says Patronae Bavaria (Patroness of Bavaria) with an image of the Blessed Mother. On the other side of the clock is an image of St. Corbinian, the founding Bishop of Freising who was sent by Pope Gregory II in the 700s to evangelize Bavaria.
...The following day (3/3), I managed to get a flight out to Toronto and then back to Boston but, having lost a day, I missed several events that I had scheduled for Saturday. However, I was grateful for the chance to have visited Freising. It is a beautiful town and the people that I met were all very gracious. I was really amazed at how well the airline took care of all of us and I would say it was about the best experience of a canceled flight one could hope for.
Mass in Braintree
By Sunday (3/4), I was back in Boston and went to St. Francis Church in Braintree for a Mass to mark our Appeal Announcement Weekend.
...We had a lovely celebration and, after the Mass, I had a chance to visit with some of the parishioners. I went down to the parish hall and met a group of parishioners who were preparing meals for the homeless. I also had the chance to meet one of the religious education classes.