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Fliers in the U.S.A. face new ID requirements in October 2020

Nothing can ruin a trip more than being denied boarding at the airport….absolutely nothing.  For U.S. travelers, you need to take a look at your driver’s license. Does it have a star in the upper right corner?  Most do not…unless they have been issued fairly recently.  Of course if you are traveling internationally you most likely have a passport, so that is not a problem.  But if you are on a domestic flight, new rules require that driver’s licenses be REAL ID compliant (meaning that they are more secure than the old style).  This rule goes into effect October 2020……which is not that far away!

Real id photo
Photo courtesy N.Y. State Dept of Motor Vehicles

Your license will be accepted if it has a star in the upper right hand corner.  If not, be sure to have an alternate form of I.D. available such as a passport; a trusted traveler card, or a border ID card.  If your license is due for renewal before that date, almost every state will be in compliance (a few have gotten extensions, so check with your state).

Our advice is to get a passport….even if you are not planning to travel overseas right now, they are good for 5 years, and universally accepted.  Then, if you have a sudden opportunity to travel out of the country, then that is one less thing for you to worry about.

While we are on the subject, here are a few other passport tips.

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June 14-23: Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy

The Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated around the world, but most especially here in Spello, Italy.  It lasts a whole week….in 2019 it will be from June 14 to 23.

Events during the whole week include: the Competition of Hand embroidery “Flowering Windows, Balconies and Alleys“, the competition of Flower Cake Design “Cakes in Bloom”, the floriculture exhibition market of “Spello in Bloom”, night tours of the citizen art sites “InfiorArt”.

Throughout the event it is open the Museum of Infiorate, you can see the beautiful flowered balconies and corners of the city and you can eat at the “Tavern of Infioratori”, menu based on flowers.

Preparing the streets for the celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy
Preparing the streets for the celebration of The Feast of Corpus Christi in Spello, Italy

The townspeople work throught the previous day an in to the evening, then the highlight comes on Sunday, the Feast of Corpus Christi:  the streets are covered with a carpet of polychrome and perfumed of 70 infiorate by the religious theme, ready for the passage of the Sacred procession led by the Bishop.

You can check out our webpage on Spello here.

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Father Augustus Tolton moves one step closer to Sainthood

 

Augustus Tolton from slave to priest by Dcn Harold Burke-Sivers
Get this great book by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers

A former slave, he obtained his freedom and was baptized and reared Catholic.  He went on to study formally in Rome and was ordained on Easter Sunday of 1886 at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, thereby becoming the first native born Black Catholic priest in the U.S.

Although he wanted to become a missionary in Africa, he was sent back to the U.S., and so in a way he did become a missionary……but not in the way he had planned (God does like to ruin our plans, doesn’t He?).

Assigned to a parish in Quincy, Illinois, where his dynamic preaching he attracted worshippers from all parts of the city, both black and white.  He overcame many obstacles in his priesthood….most notably from some of his fellow priests, who were jealous of his popularity.

With the promulgation of the decree of heroic virtue, Servant of God Augustus Tolton is granted the title “Venerable”.

The next stage in the “causes” would be beatification, where he would be proclaimed “Blessed”, followed ultimately by canonization, when he will hopefully be Saint Augustus Tolton.

You can read more about him and where to find his grave here.

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FRANCE (Paris) Annual Paris to Chartres Pilgrimage

The Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage occurs every year on the Feast of Pentecost in early summer, and is a multi-generational, multi-national gathering of Catholics who draw closer to God through the centuries-old act of pilgrimage.

The walk is roughly 62 miles over 3 days—beginning at daybreak on the Saturday before Pentecost, and ending with an afternoon mass on the Monday after Pentecost.

Chartres Cathedral
Chartres Cathedral

The trek takes 8,000-10,000 pilgrims from the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, through the French countryside to the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres. Participants brave the weather, blisters, and humble food and accommodations as an act of faith and an act of reparation in these modern times.

The theme for the 2019 Pilgrimage is “THE PEACE OF CHRIST THROUGH THE REIGN OF CHRIST”.

Pilgrims will meet in front of Notre-Dame de Paris at 6:00 am on June 8th, 2019 where the journey of faith on foot begins.

Click here for the official Chartres Pilgrimage  website.

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Holy Stairs in Rome to re-open on April 11

Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs in RomeThe Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs….housing the marble steps that Jesus climbed, leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on His way to trial.

The frescoes and paintings on the walls had been dirtied through centuries of use, and were in need of restoration.

Beginning early last year, the Sanctuary was closed to allow the restoration to take place.

 

They are now restored to their formal glory, and the Sanctuary has been open to the public beginning April 11, 2019.  They will remain uncovered until June 30, 2019, when they will again be covered.

The steps themselves were covered with wood with slots in them so that pilgrims could view the steps as they climbed to the top (usually on their knees).

They are now un-covered…and for the next month pilgrims can climb up the actual steps without the wood covering.

You can read more at Catholic News Service (CNS)

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Yes: Your kids do need passports for international travel

Its the summer travel season for many, and often families travel out of the country.  In the rush to get everything arranged, sometimes things fall through the cracks.  But mistakes can be costly….and even ruin an otherwise well-planned vacation.

For citizens of many countries , all children must present a valid passport for international air travel. This rule applies regardless of age, including infants and newborns.

A slight exception exists for citizens of the U.S.:  if you’re traveling to Canada, minors 15 and younger may cross land or sea borders without a passport, but a certified copy of a birth certificate is necessary.  But we suggest you get them a passport anyway.  Most are good for five years and if any chances to travel come up, then you are prepared instead of having to wait weeks for a passport.

In almost 100% of the cases, if they do not have a passport they will not be allowed to board the plane for an international flight.  The airline faces heavy fines for failure to follow this rule, so don’t bother asking them to break it…they won’t.  So you can just get back in the car and drive home from the airport.

And don’t forget, if you are going on a cruise, the same requirements may be in effect if you are making a stop in any foreign country.  It is best to just go ahead and get the passport.

There are a few other examples of passport problems that can crop up…….as we have outlined here.  We suggest you check that article out.

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Reminder: Pilgrim Masses in Santiago de Compostela temporarily moved

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is undergoing renovation in 2019, and as a result pilgrim masses are celebrated in other churches throughout the city rather than in the Cathedral itself.

However, there is a daily mass in the Chapel of la Corticela, which is inside the Cathedral.

The Cathedral itself is open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm….only the masses have been moved.

Here are the temporary locations:

Iglesia de San Francisco: Daily Pilgrim’s Mass – 12:00 am noon

Iglesia de San Fiz de Solovio: Daily Pilgrim’s Mass – 7:00 pm (from June). After the mass, Pilgrim Prayer (from Monday to Saturday).

Iglesia de Santa María Salomé:

From Monday to Friday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 7:00 pm

Saturdays: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Sundays: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm

Chapel of la Corticela: Every day – 11:00 am

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Pope Francis visit to Romania May 31-June 2, 2109

Pope Francis will visit Romania from May 31 through June 2, 2019. He will visit several sites in Romania.

Friday May 31:  After landing in Bucharest around noon on Friday May 31, he will have several meetings with dignitaries and then he will celebrate Mass in Saint Joseph Cathedral in Bucharest.

On Saturday June 1:   he visit the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Csiksomlyo in Sumuleu-Ciuc and then on to the “Saint Mary Queen” Cathedral in Iasi to celebrate Mass.

Sunday, June 2:  He will travel to Blaj to preside over the Beatification of the 7 Greek-Catholic martyrs.  The Greek-Catholic Church is in communion with Rome and suffered persecution under the communists when their churches were forcibly merged with the Orthodox Church.  Those who resisted were sent to concentration camps to die, including these seven bishops.

 

 

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Notre Dame Cathedral in Flames

On March 15, 2019 a fire broke out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  From early reports, it was feared it might be a total loss, but reports are that the Treasury was saved, which included priceless relics such as The Crown of Thorns.

Still….for the French it is the loss of a national treasure, and for Catholics everywhere it is sad to see a Cathedral that has survived wars and resurrections now in ruins.

The Cathedral has been under construction and could easily have been started by workmen….so before the rumor mill starts flying (and, yes there have been Catholic Church desecrations if France this year) let’s just pray for the firefighters and then wait for a conclusion as to the cause of the fire.

 

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Air France Returns to Dallas/Fort Worth

Air France flights from DFWAlthough a major hub, the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport has not had any non-stop flights to Paris via the country’s carrier, Air France (other than a brief period right before 9/11).

American Airlines offers non-stop service to Paris, and has for several years.  With their connections from many other U.S. cities in the Southwest, they are a good choice for travel to Paris.

However, if you were connecting to other French cities it was often thought more convenient to fly on Air France. Unfortunately you either had to connect through Atlanta (using Delta, Air France’s partner) or drive south to Houston to take Air France non-stop to Paris.

Beginning March 31, 2019, Air France began offering three flights a week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) until June 30, when they will expand to five flights per week (daily except Tuesday and Thursday). Then after the summer, they will go back to three flights weekly from September 4 through October 25. The airline will drop back to thrice-weekly service from Sept. 4 through Oct. 25.

After that, we don’t know if they will continue service from DFW….it will naturally depend upon the traffic they get during what is apparently a trial period.