We’re not the Marines, or, Some Men Left Behind

After a wonderful two-and-a-half weeks serving the poor, learning, and exploring in Mexico City, on Friday it was finally time to return to the US and get ready for the Spring Semester. Many of the men got up early for 6am Mass at the shrine, then climbed Tepeyac hill to watch the sun rise and pray one last time at the apparition site.

Sunrise at the top of Tepeyac hill, near where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego.
An unusually clear view view of the shrine, Mexico City, and then the mountains from the hill the morning of our departure.
John Rumpza, John McFadden, and Chris pray at the Chapel at the top of Tepeyac before leaving for home.

We had a very quick layover in Dallas, TX. Combined with delays at customs and security because of the shutdown, everyone was running through the terminal to make the plane, and we left two men stranded at the airport in Texas, including Bill, who was in sight of the gate and watched them close the door on him. Father told us at the start of the trip that the only real non-negotiable was that we had to return with the same number of men we left with, and we didn’t accomplish that goal until early Saturday morning, when John and Bill finally made it back to the Seminary.

What a wonderful trip we had down in Mexico! Thank you so much for your prayers and support for this trip. Our whole class is now in South Dakota for four days of talks and retreat before the start of the spring semester. Fittingly, there’s a big image of Our Lady of Guadalupe right in our dining room here, so even though we’re hundreds of miles away and 90 degrees colder, we’re still under her patronage.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

-Jake Epstein