Our Makeshift Chapel

We’ve figured out an efficient way of dealing with the wind (and the rain) for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The first night was difficult because it rained in the afternoon and the leaves were laden with water. Each and every time the wind blew (and it was a lot), drops of water would fall down on me and the altar. Naturally, I don’t care if I get wet, or even if the altar gets wet.  What I do care about is the Dominican Missal from 1939 getting wet. It is 83 years old and completely irreplaceable. I’ve searched far and wide for copies throughout the years and have only found four copies.

The compromise was to turn the dining tent into a chapel for the purpose of Mass. It does inconvenience the support group a bit, but they all been very gracious. The work involves removing one of the perpendicular tables and rotating the other table up against the back wall. This allows me to do the Mass properly, ad orientem. Since the tent is blue it gives everything a strange tint. But it does offer us all protection from the wind, rain, and cold. I couldn’t really ask for anything more than that.

What frightens me is the summit day. It’s looking more and more like celebrating Mass there is not going to be a possibility. Rain is in the forecast, which means that it’ll be snow up there. Snow almost always signifies wind. Without a tent (the camp gear has no proper reason for making the ascent), we’ll all be completely exposed.

The months of January, February, and March are supposed to be the sunniest and clearest months of the year. We’ve been on the mountain now for four days and we’ve yet to have a completely sunny day. I pray that the rain abates, but the forecast doesn’t look promising.


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