From the beginning I knew that going on this trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro would attract some attention. A Catholic Mass at the top of Africa is the sort of thing that just doesn’t happen very often. Two priests of the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) did it in September of 2015. Perhaps it was just because it’s 2022, where social media has a much larger role to play in modern culture. But, I had no idea how much attention it would garner (well, at least to my level).

That I was tramping around in my white habit made me known to all the guides and porters on the mountain. Many of whom wanted to speak with me or to take a picture with me. I’ve already covered this a couple of times, but it still intrigues me that I was more or less a celebrity there.

As of February 21, 2022, my single post with a picture of me in front of my altar sort of went semi-viral (at least to me) on Facebook. My very modest (and infrequently updated) Facebook page is ”liked” by almost 800 people and shared by almost 400. It does not include secondary links (I know that the Latin Mass Society alone had 1.5K likes). By all reckoning, given the low-key promotion I had given it—really it was just to raise awareness for the financial and spiritual needs of our Dominican Student Brothers in formation—I didn’t expect too much. In retrospect, I suppose I could have done more to promote it. But this isn’t the sort of thing that motivates me.

Some of the punny comments that people made

Also on February 21, 2022, I was told by our Tanzanian guide that the local television network, TBC TV (Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation) did a piece on me celebrating Mass. Tanzania is a very religious country, so I imagine it had a good deal of interest. I wish I could have seen it, but I don’t even know how to search in Swahili.

Back here at home, I’ve been contacted by a number of news outlets that would like to do a story on my trekking adventure. I’ll keep you posted as to whether any of them pan out.

In the meanwhile, I’m having trouble flipping my clock. Kilimanjaro is 11 hours ahead of Portland and I only want to sleep when the sun is shining and be awake when it’s not. It’ll take a week or so to sort things out (hopefully). Please pray for me.

1 Comment

Brenda Allor · February 22, 2022 at 7:25 pm

Glory to God. Praying for you and you will be able to sleep. Peace and Blessings

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