Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beneath the Southern Cross, a Bit Behind Schedule

After the host-city delegation, it came to light last week that the largest diocesan contingent going to Sydney would be the 616 pilgrims from Pittsburgh (and, yep, they've got a blog.)

Led by Bishop David Zubik -- who, ink still dry on his first pastoral letter, did airport chaplain duty over the weekend, celebrating Masses for the groups departing Pittsburgh International -- the group's journey hit a snag, however: the charter flight for the majority of the pilgrims was delayed 13 hours:
By the time a part the mechanics needed was obtained and repairs were made, a new crew had to be brought in for the intercontinental flight, Jenny said. The aircraft departed at 8 p.m.

To pass the time until takeoff, Zubik helped prepare the travelers for the festival.

"The bishop celebrated Mass and he and several priests heard confessions," Roach said. "I think it was a great opportunity to put them in the right frame of mind for when they arrive in Sydney."...

In addition to celebrating Mass and participating in a praise and worship concert led by someone who packed a guitar, the youths stranded at the airport Sunday passed the time with an impromptu volleyball game and a talent show.

Beth Dubyak of West View spoke with her daughter, Rosie Towchik, 17, shortly after the plane landed in Hawaii at 5:30 a.m. Monday.

"She told me they had taken over an entire concourse (at the Pittsburgh airport) and that even though the wait was long, everything went fine," Dubyak said. "She said some of the kids were pooling the food vouchers the airlines gave them so they could buy better food to share."
...meanwhile, the Post-Gazette's Ann Rodgers profiles a 19 year-old Duquesne music student/minister who'll be playin' and prayin' Down Under.