Pilgrim VELMA DOTY writes:

Each year we go to Seattle for Great Music for Great Cathedrals. We have a standing date with Father Ryan for lunch at that time. When the choir goes off to Spain and now Italy we miss that opportunity. Not so this year!!! I couldn’t miss the opportunity to join in the marvelous venue for celebration of his 40 years in the priesthood. To visit the basilicas and cathedrals, with the choir sometimes singing, will be as great a treat as when we were first introduced to the Big Concert at Saint James. The Vatican, Mass with the Holy Father, the whole itinerary, is awesome. All of it combined, wow! With a trip this exciting, it was easy to convince two of my sisters and several girlfriends to come along for the fun! Besides, its Fathers turn to buy lunch. See you soon.


Excerpt from a Seattle P-I article about pilgrim JACK STEIDL:

The first note calls the breath from the chest and echoes in the chambers of the heart. Jack Steidl holds the silver bugle to his lips and blows. Twenty-four notes. Fifty-five seconds. Millions of times over. Taps. Army Spc. Michael Arfmann feels the notes slip up his spine "like an ice spike." Serving in the Honor Guard for a stranger, he clenches his muscles against the emotion he knows will well a moment later... Taps is at once an elegy, a prayer, a benediction and a grace note for a military career. Played since the Civil War, it is both the "lights out" signal at the end of a soldier's day, and a final farewell. Steidl, 86, is one of a dwindling number of veterans who can still sound the call. He plays for dozens of military funeral services every month, standing at attention as his comrades fall to fate or old age. ... Read more.