Yes, we're building a new church that will seat 1,100 people. Our current building, which began life as a small mission church, seats only about 500 people crammed together in less than moderate comfort. Since over 5,000 people now attend Saturday Vigil and Sunday Masses during our peak (winter) season here in central Florida, we must schedule between nine and eleven Masses every weekend to handle the crowds. Once we move into the new building, sometime in late July, things will improve drastically. But before then there's a lot of work to do, a lot of preparation to be made. It's all very exciting, though. God has certainly blessed our parish, this wonderful community of believers. May He continue to do so.
I'll include some photos of the new church in a future post.
Now, back to our trip West...
After our brief stay in Tombstone, Arizona, Dear Diane, Maddie and I continued West, heading for San Diego. We made our way across the desert and then over the mountains just east of San Diego, amazed at all the wind turbines strung out across the landscape. (Warning: editorial comment follows) It will be interesting to see what happens to this government supported industry if the tax credits it has reaped for years actually expire and are not renewed by Congress. This subsidy costs you and me over $6 billion annually and really does little to encourage the development of more efficient sources of energy. Anyway, I really don't support the idea that the federal government should be picking winners and losers in any industry. After all, these are the same folks that brought us the efficiencies of the Veterans Administration. (End of comment)
It was wonderful to once again find ourselves in San Diego and we enjoyed our drive through the city as we let our GPS take us straight to our hotel, the La Quinta Inn in Old Town. (The inn allows dogs and all three of us were ready to get out of the car and relax a bit.) Once checked in and recovered, we called our dear old friends, Sally and Chuck Smiley, and firmed up our dinner plans for the evening.
|CAPT C.B. Smiley, USN (Ret.)|
|Sally and Diane|
|Midway from the San Diego shoreline|
The next morning we drove up the coast, marveling at the growth of what were once little seafront towns between San Diego and Los Angeles. After an hour or so of off-highway driving we arived at beautiful Laguna Beach and the hillside home of other dear friends, Darlene and Warren Aut. We've known them both since those early Navy days in that first squadron. Warren was Chuck Smiley's executive officer way back then and went on to achieve flag rank and become Admiral Aut. And Darlene was one of Dear Diane's very best friends; they were loyal Navy wives who supported each other and raised families on their own while their husbands were away for months at a time, flying off of ships in the Pacific Ocean.
|View of the Pacific from the Auts' living room|
|Sally Benjamin and Maddie enjoying each other|
But before I leave today, let me say only that memory is a wonderful thing, one of God's splendid gifts. Through it we can relive those meaningful events of past days and revisit all the good friends who did so much to bring goodness into our lives.