One of the great people I met during the course of my trip was Dominic Guglielmi, an active parishioner at St. Rose in Belmar, N.J. Dominic was among the first to order a copy of the book, which I certainly appreciate.
Dominic just shared with me a fundraiser he’s initiated in his community, and I thought I would pass it along here. It’s called Blankets of Love, designed to help a homeless man in his community who deals with mental illness stay warm during the winter months.
Of all the adventures I experienced during my 14 months on the road, none was looked on with as much anticipation, and fear, as my visit to Alaska.
Father Scott Garrett invited me to come to Dillingham, a small fishing village a few hundred miles west of Anchorage on the Nushaguk Bay. He welcomed me to join him in flight as he piloted his Cherokee-Piper plane to serve the small villages in the area, places only accessible by air or sea. The thought of small-plane flying terrified me, but I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. And I’m delighted I did. Flying over the bay to the tiny town of Clarks Point was exhilarating, and by the return flight my fears had subsided completely.
I spent five days at the rectory in Dillingham, through the unrivaled courtesy of Father Scott. I even handled the readings for the Sunday Mass livestream, though I don’t think that was enough to earn my keep. Thanks Father.
This visit brings us to the end of my photo-worthy experiences.
Please keep an eye out in this space in the coming weeks, as I hope to have an announcement on the day the book will be available and how you may place an order, if you’re so inclined.
Thanks for following along.
Holy Rosary in Dillingham. It was about 10 p.m. when I shot this.
Mass at Holy Rosary.
Technically, I was the co-pilot. My primary responsibility was “don’t touch anything.”
The Cross tells you whose plane this is.
The building in the center is where Mass was formerly said at Clarks Point, before flooding forced the town to relocate to the top of the ridge.
Most of my trips were solo affairs, with the few times I met up with a son or daughter a wonderful bonus.
But I knew from the start that traveling to Hawaii simply to attend Mass wasn’t practical. Or fair to the rest of Clan Markham. Thus, when I made my 50th stop at our 50th state, the entire family ultimately joined me on the journey.
It was a wonderful week. Not even the COVID that four of us came down with on the island was enough to spoil the experience. And the family thoroughly enjoyed the visit to St. Rita, where we experienced the Mass in Hawaiian and met some truly great people (one of whom insisted he take a photo of me outside the church, seen below).
As with my previous trip, I’ll include both sightseeing and Mass photos to document the experience.
Father Kim, who was nearing retirement when I attended the Hawaiian Mass at St. Rita.
We’re almost at the finish line, but we’ll skip ahead to Stop 51, Yellowstone National Park.
I visited Yellowstone in July, just a few months after devastating flooding wiped out some of the roads and did other damage at perhaps the most famous of America’s many spectacular National Parks. But the parts of the park where weekend Masses were held were spared, thank God, and thus my first trip to this gem was not a casualty of nature’s wrath.
Mass is held at four separate locations in the park, and I attended three of the services – one near Old Faithful and two others near Yellowstone Lake. A vigil Mass is also held in the canyon area, but I missed out on that one.
The Masses at the park are made possible by St. Anthony of Padua, the closest parish to the entrance at a mere 90 minutes away. Each Mass I attended was presided over by Father Rick Malloy, a Jesuit from Philadelphia who spends every summer overseeing the Yellowstone mission. His fondness for fly fishing is a complete coincidence, of course.
Given the setting, we’ll largely eschew man’s most beautiful creations for God’s handiwork.