The day started a bit slow. It was great that we checked-in yesterday because it allow us to have a bit of a leisurely morning. The conference didn’t start until noon, and so we took the train in from my Aunt’s house in the suburbs to Jefferson Station downtown, and got there a little early so we could walk around. We started by grabbing a bite to eat, which at the Reading Market is a fun experience in and of itself! Let’s just say we can’t wait until lunch tomorrow…:) We then meandered our way to the convention center, and along the way, passed numerous groups of people, each with their green conference badges and backpacks, but many in their traditional clothing from their respective countries – Nigeria, Costa Rica, Argentina, Vietnam… Just to name a few. Over 20,000 attendees from over 100 countries. People were wearing their countries flags around them – you would think we were at the Olympics or the World Cup Soccer. It was definitely very cool!
We made it to Philly! And let me tell you, this city if electric, and the congress of families has not even started, nor is the Pope even in the country yet! Everyone is just abuzz about the Pope’s visit and the 17+ thousand faithful attending the World Meeting of Families. We went to the convention center today to check-in, and it was so neat seeing people from various countries – kids and adults, families together – laughing,singing, and dancing. This is unlike anything I have ever witnessed, and this was just check-in. People of so many different backgrounds and cultures – all here for the love of the family.
Well, the road today was definitely not the one less traveled… Day 1 of our journey takes us to Somerset, PA where we are spending the night, before finishing the drive to Philadelphia tomorrow. There seemed to be a lot of traffic for a Sunday, which made for a long day considering we were up early for 7:30AM Mass prior to leaving Indy. We started the morning with an early, quiet, yet very spiritual Mass to send us on our way. And in a special blessing, my family and I were asked to carry the gifts to the alter for the Offertory during Mass… Knowing that this is going to be a special, yet busy week, starting the week in such a calm and blessed setting was a perfect way to begin this journey!
It’s starting to get real. Facebook and Twitter are buzzing with activity and all kinds of posts from people about the World Meeting of Families and the visit of Pope Francis to conclude the conference. We’re looking at the itineraries, conference schedule, speakers, festivities and of course, where the Pope will be in the city and the parade routes.
We could all take the easy road. And more often than not – we do. Usually, we’re looking for that path of least resistence in life, that comfortable paved road that we’ve driven a thousand times that we know like the back of our hand. We want things faster, cheaper, and easier. We want an “App” for everything, and we want it now! On the surface that’s not a bad thing. Efficiency is good. But when does efficiency turn into complacency? When does comfort turn into laziness?