From the travel journal: packing up

July 9, 2012 11:56 pm

A very intense weekend – with the Marriage Preparation Program and “You and I are We” couple retreat – has just come to an end. It was a wonderful time that I shared between the two groups of participants, confessions, individual meetings with the participants and prayer.

So now it’s time to start packing. The luggage limits set by the arilines make one watch each item several times with the question: “Do I really need it?”.

I used to take a bit more with me, because, as we know, “he who takes his own stuff doesn’t have to ask it from the others”. But this time I’ve resolved to be radical. I want to take all the things in a backpack. The trip will take one month. Lots of places to visit, frequent changes of accomodation, differing conditions. Various means of transportation. Starting with the planes, trains, buses and cars, to finish with hiking in the mountains. It’s difficult to imagine all that with a suitcase on the wheels. So I’ve got at my disposal the 52 liters of the “Prophet” (North Face) backpack, where – apart from personal items, I have to store hiking shoes, an alb and a portable set called by my friends “a miniature priest” – including everything necessary to celebrate the Mass.

In four hours there’ll be the Mass at Home, after which I’ll head for the airport. The first stage of the journey consists of the flight to Munich, where I’ll board on the plane to Washington, and after a three hours’ break I’ll fly to Salt Lake City, where I’m going to stay for a while. I’ll take part in the meeting of the board of directors of FertilityCare Centers International, followed by a very important conference of the American Academy of FertilityCare Professionals. An EXTREMELY intense time. But also very fruitful. The meeting will gather the people who devoted their whole lives to assisting married couples who experience the pain of infertility.  They know that without prayer, without the Eucharist, without a personal relationship with the One “who is the source of all parenthood in Heaven and earth,”, there is no real help. I am to assist them with my prayer, confessing and celebrating the Mass. Can there be a greater joy for a priest from the Institute of the Holy Family?

I’m listening again to the guidelines expressed in God’s Word: “Don’t take a traveling bag for the trip, two tunics, sandals, or a walking stick.” (Mathew 10:10) OK. I’m not taking a bag, but a backpack. Don’t take two tunics – that’s right, I’ve got only one cassock that I’m wearing on the way, a walking stick – fortunately it wouldn’tfit in anyway (I don’t have any, and the Nordic Walking sticks are two long). Worse with the sandals. I’ll be wearing my hiking shoes, as I don’t have any decent sandals; eventually I’ve packed the old ones to the backpack – they might be useful on a mountain trail. A small concession.

I can’t wait to set off. My Superior gave me his blessing. And that is the most valuable equipment. And I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve arrived. See you very soon, stay with the Lord,


Fr Jay

Łomianki, July 9, 2012, 2:16 a.m.

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Categorised in: Fr Jarosław Szymczak