Subtitled: A Latin Mass, Whale Watching, and fun at the Beach!
Our family loves the Latin Mass. The only problem is, it is rather hard to come by where we live. In fact, we usually have to have a baby in order to get a Latin Mass around here! (ie: My brother-in-laws' fly out to baptize the new little one, offering Mass while they are in town.) The closest parishes that offer the Latin Mass (or rather, Extraordinary Form) are 3 hours north and 5 hours south, with a couple mountain passes to cross each direction. As much as my husband would love to move, it just doesn't seem to be in God's plan for our family at this time.
Recently we found out that there is a priest about 2 1/2 hours away, in another state and diocese, that is now offering a Latin Mass every Sunday! The only problem is that it begins at 8 a.m. Rather early, when you have that far to drive with an over full van load of kiddos and a baby that doesn't sleep through the night. We discussed making the drive again this past Saturday, but I just said I don't know how it could even be possible, without going over the night before, so we didn't even bother to prepare or set the alarm... However, amazingly, the baby woke us up at 4:25 yesterday morning, Rascal was already awake as well, Hubby felt abnormally rested, and we decided to give it a shot. We woke the rest of the kids up, got dressed for Mass, packed a bag with extra clothes and snacks, and were on our way by 5:45. We made it to Mass with 15 minutes to spare!
As we pulled up to the church, not seeing another car or person in sight and wondering if they still offered the Latin Mass, the pastor walked out of the rectory with a visiting missionary priest (who is headed to Bolivia today) and welcomed our family! We had been expecting a low Mass, but the visiting priest was able to play the organ and sing the responses, so we were blessed with a beautiful sung Mass!
After Mass we visited some more with the pastor and he invited us back to the hall, following his English Mass, to attend a reception for their newly ordained deacon and to meet some of the other parishioners. In the meantime we went to pick up a couple coffees and breakfast for the kids.
After attending the cake reception at the Church, some of us changed from our Mass clothes, and headed to the beach. A trip to the ocean was on our "Summer Bucket List" and we were all so happy to finally be able to check that off our list! When we pulled off the highway we couldn't believe our luck when we spotted a whale just off the shoreline!! (What a perfect way to kick off our new school year, and our study of Swimming Creatures!)
If you look closely at the following pictures you can see a little glimpse of the whale spray/blow in the first two pictures, and the top of the whale in the third. I wasn't successful with getting a picture of the tail when diving, but the kids were so excited to see that. This was the first time any of them actually got to see a whale that wasn't in captivity! Very exciting, for sure!
We then spent the rest of the afternoon having a blast on the beach! And, yes, I am going to share a whole ton of pictures, as usual... It was Bud's first trip to the ocean, after all! :)
We spent a little more time watching the whale before it was time to head home... The kids were all sad to leave - even if they were quite tired!
Hopefully it won't be too long before we are able to make the trip again... However, with the cost of gas and over crowded mini-van we won't be able to go too often. In the meantime, we will just continue praying for a local (and frequent) Latin Mass.