Monday, June 29, 2015

The Lost Sheep on Chicago Streets

Monday greetings from the rainy Midwest.

Last Thursday, I flew to El Paso, Texas, then drove over to the Las Cruces, New Mexico, to give RCIA presentations at the Southwest Liturgical Conference's Hispanic Musicians Conference. It was wonderful to be with approximately 200 musicians who are serving Hispanic communities so well in the Southwest and across the United States.

Here is a photo I took of the beautiful Organ Mountains near Las Cruces.

A highlight of my visit was reconnecting with two of my favorite people, the beautiful daughters of WLP's own Peter Kolar. Here I am with Chloe and Karla Kolar:

I arrived back in Chicago on Saturday night, took a nap for a few hours, then at 1:00 A.M. on Sunday was a part of Chicago's annual "L.A.T.E. Ride," a 30 mile bike ride through Chicago neighborhoods during the wee hours. I rode with WLP's own Keith Kalemba.

Unfortunately, about 150 of us (there were over two thousand riders) somehow missed a turn early on in the course and we ended up several miles away from the other riders. Keith came to the rescue and, like a good shepherd, led us safely through some not-so-friendly neighborhoods to an area where we met up with the other two thousand riders. He snapped this photo of #91 (that's me) at the end of the ride, just as the sun was beginning to rise.

I have to admit that I was tense during those several miles when our little group was separated from the larger group. They were under police protection at intersections and their ride was being monitored by course marshals; we were simply alone at 2:00 A.M. on a Sunday; not the best time in a big city like Chicago. And of course, I tried to make some connections to our faith as we tried our best to reconnect with the main fold. Sometimes it is simply unnerving when you lose your way, don't you think? But then there is inevitably someone in whom we can place our trust. I think the "lost riders" were grateful for our shepherd!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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