This past weekend I was in charge of Labor Day weekend activities. As Community Life Chairman I had a budget of $3,000 to plan fun things to do during the four free days we had. A free day in the Seminary means that one can go home; go away to visit friends or just escape from the confines of the Seminary. Since it is the beginning of the school year many guys choose to stick around and just relax. I decided that our weekend activities should reflect this face and be exciting, yet leisurely and relaxed.
On Friday we were scheduled to head to Annapolis for a harbor cruise and walking tour. However, the impending Hurricane cancelled any such plans and I was left to scramble. With a little luck I was able to find a great restaurant to take the guys to and 50 of us made our way to Andy Nelson's BBQ Pit for a feast. I was pretty excited to find a restaurant named after me, although I am not sure the owner shared my joy. I was very amused by the fact that we shared the same name. He seemed not to care so much. Whatever the case may be Andy Nelson's BBQ pit served amazing food and we enjoyed the evening relaxing over Beer, BBQ, Brats and Beans. After the dinner feast we headed to a Baltimore Orioles game. Tickets were $6 a piece and we were on the lower section, rather close to third base.
On Saturday we explored the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The festival is a Medieval themed fair that is built into the woods just outside of Annapolis. Thousands of re-enactors, merchants, etc... gather every year in a neat display of history and creativity. I was amazed by the fact that the Festival grounds were built into the forest much like a movie set or even as the real thing.
On Sunday we made our way to D.C. for United States Postal Services unveiling of the Mother Teresa Commemorative Stamp. The National Shrine in Washington held a special Mass in Mother Teresa's honor. Mass was followed by a formal USPS unveiling ceremony. The entire day was incredibly moving. Mother Teresa was an incredible woman who changed the world and her faith moved mountains. I am not sure if I was the only one, but I teared up at several occasions. I was particularly moved when the Missionaries of Charity from around the United States sang a haunting hymn set to Mother Teresa's words. The image of Mother Teresa's sisters, the National Shrine and the Stamp gave me great occasion for hope.
Finally today we took the afternoon to enjoy a picnic lunch at Fort McHenry.