You got it……….we are back in Spain, (actually we are home, but we couldn’t forget to write this report). I was too lazy to write on the plane, even though we had 10 hours.
We arrived in Madrid at 8:30 AM and had a rental waiting. I felt good today (getting over my cold), especially after they gave us a white Mercedes…… perfect!
We drove to Colmenarejo, to Saint James the Apostle’s church to meet up with Consuelo for Mass. We had time, so we had some café con Leche and split hunk of a Spanish tortilla (eggs, potatoes and cheese)……..we had to survive until our luncheon later that day.
Mass was at 12:30, so we went to the church and waited for Consuelo. She was inside and the Pastor whom she knew was waiting for us saw us out side and sent her out. Hugs and kisses abounded and we got so caught up we were almost late for mass. Our friend, Fr. Guillermo, was hearing confessions so we wouldn’t see him until after the service. Today’s Gospel was about the acceptance of all men no matter what nationality and in Father’s homily he let everyone know that we were foreigners, like they couldn’t tell with the big T on our foreheads.
This will be the last mass until we return home tomorrow. We have attended mass in 8 different languages, and now I am starting to get confused.
After mass we met up with Fr. Guillermo and we headed to El Escorial to meet his Parents Carmen and Antonio (we call him Toni). We had met them last year and they took us around and spent a whole day with us. They don’t speak any English, but we managed with them and we became very fond of each other.
Dinner was at this very fancy Spanish Restaurant. They served a 4 course meal that was outstanding from beginning to end. We joked and talked and laughed and cried, they all are great people, very warm and loving and very religious. It was hard to say goodbye after dinner, for Carmen and Toni were going home. Lots of hugs and kisses we ( with Consuelo) left and went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows to pray at the rosary service.
First, we made a stop to see the Sisters at the home for the Elderly. We had brought them a little something from the Cardinal. We had a great time them as always, as we talked about our journey. Another priest from the shrine, Father Juan Carlos, came by and joined in with us for quite awhile. Although Father Juan Carlos didn’t speak English, the “Universal Language” kicked in and we had a great time with Father, Consuela and some of the Sisters.
Unfortunately, many of the other Sisters were assisting the elderly residents or were over at the Prado Religious Store, so we did miss seeing them to bid farewell! We didn’t go in to see the residents, even though I felt better………. we didn’t want to take the chance of giving them my cold, and now Susan was starting to sniffle.
Again, lots of hugs and kisses…….it’s always hard to leave here, and we left for the shrine. We were a little late but caught up and the service, which is in the field, where most of the apparitions happened, ended just before mass at 7:00 PM. We went to put your intentions in the box before our Lady putting you all in Her care.
We were taking tomorrow off. (editors note: how these two do it for 23 continuous days is beyond me. And Tom is just getting over liver cancer to boot!)
Toni had come to the shrine, he missed us already, and Father Guillermo was there and we meet a couple more Priest assigned there. We were so comfortable with them for they are so holy and peaceful, like most of the Priests we have met over the years in our travels.
Father G. had to get going since he had Mass at 8 at St. John’s, and Consuelo had to work in the morning and we had to find out if we still had a hotel room since it was getting late and we had told them we would be early.
Again, more hugs and kisses and a few tears and we all departed, all hoping that God willing we would see each other again. There are some interesting photos coming.
Our hotel was easy to find and our room was waiting. A very, very, nice room to be exact. We had picked up some snacks earlier and packed and wrote a report and finally exhausted we went to sleep in this wonderful bed. We had a wakeup call for 8:30 since our flight wasn’t until 1:00 and we didn’t have to rush today. Our only problem was that Susan had full blown bronchitis and was in pain. I started her the 2nd z-pack I had and a little later a decongestant. She felt a little better after being up.
We got the car back and I didn’t go by a gas station, so I thought they would nail me for the cost of filling the tank, but they said no problem, no charge. That’s a first!
We had time before the flight to relax in the lounge and boarded on time, but had to wait to 1 hour to take off. We slept……no problem, actually Susan slept the whole way after she ate. It was a greatflight and this was the first plane that had a Bathroom I could stand up in and not feel like I was going to fall back out the door.
The worst part of the day was Miami customs, as it took almost 1 ½ hrs to get thru. We picked up our rental and in 2 hours we were home to our new home, that we had only spent 2 days in before leaving. Everything was fine at the house except cable TV was out, so after a glass of wine we went to bed.
It’s always good to be home!
We hope you enjoyed the journey.
May the Peace of Christ be with you always
Susan & Tom
We dedicate this Prayer to all the wonderful Priest we have met on this Journey and to all the Priest on our prayer list and all our Priest friends and acquaintances we may have forgotten on the list.
A Prayer for Priests
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.
Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.
Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength
they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.
Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their ministry.
Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.
This prayer is to be found at the website for the US Conference of
Prayer to Mary Queen of Apostles
Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of the Apostles, we know that God’s
commandment of love and our vocation to follow Jesus Christ impels us to
cooperate in the mission of the Church. Realizing our own weakness, we entrust the
renewal of our personal lives and our apostolate to your intercession. We
are confident that through God’s mercy and the infinite merits of Jesus
Christ, you, who are our Mother, will obtain the strength of the Holy Spirit as
you obtained it for the community of the apostles gathered in the upper
room. Therefore, relying on your maternal intercession, we resolve from this
moment to devote our talents, learning, material resources, our health,
sickness and trials, and every gift of nature and grace, for the greater glory
of God and the salvation of all. We wish to carry on those activities
which especially promote the catholic apostolate for the revival of faith and
love of the people of God and so bring all men and women into the faith of
Jesus Christ. And if a time should come when we have nothing more to offer
serviceable to this end, we will never cease to pray that there will be one
fold and one shepherd Jesus Christ. In this way, we hope to enjoy the
results of the apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity.
Tom & Susan Melillo
Prayer for the Intercession of Saint John Paul II The Great
for Thomas F. Melillo
O Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit of love to
shine through him.
Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of
He has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we
Especially the Healing of Liver Cancer for Tom Melillo, through Christ our