Holy Week in Colorado

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The direct flight out of Cleveland to Denver was nice because it was an early afternoon departure instead of the usual crack of dawn business crowd, though crowd there was and I was in the fifth and last boarding group.  The trip took three hours and once in the terminal, the next step was to travel downwards to a train that would get us to the baggage claim facility.  Thankfully my cousin had advised me that was how it worked, so I did not try to hoof all the way there as her niece had done a few weekends earlier.

As the escalator rose to the ground level I spotted Theresa nearby and then we went to the United carousal and there was my floral printed suitcase.  The ride to their new home in Broomfield did not seem to take very long, but a drive is never long when people are busy chatting and catching up.

The new house reminded me of their home in Texas and she thinks it may be because both houses were by the same builder.  Ah so!  The striking difference is that from the kitchenette windows there is a lovely view of the snow-capped mountains.

Baking bread does seem to be a passion carried forward in our family and she pointed out the bowl of dough rising for this evening’s portion.  What a treat to sit down to a bowl of chicken paprikas with a wedge of that freshly baked rye bread.  Of course I took pictures of her cutting the ball of dough in half and wrestling with it to land onto the bottom of the baking dish in the oven.  The addition of cut up red peppers to the meal was definitely a pop of flavor.

Bright and early the next morning we climbed into her current vehicle and headed to downtown Denver, passing Coors Field, and many lovely sculptures positioned at assorted points, my camera not always at the ready.  She had to be at the Cathedral an hour and a half or two before Mass for rehearsal with the choir, so she settled me in a pew near the west door, with a seat cushion since I’d be there about three hours all together.  The cushion not only served as a comfort factor, it was a place saver as well.  Leaving my cane propped up on the great white marble pillar, with my camera case on the floor and a bottle of water, I took the camera and walked around the cathedral taking pictures as best I could of the fabulous stained glass windows.  They appear to be older than the windows in my home parish church which I know is 85 years old.  The Denver Cathedral stained glass looks similar to the windows at St. Mary’s in Iowa City, so they may be close in age.

Back at my place by the west door, I leaned forward and ate a banana from my snack bag in the camera case and a small piece of foil wrapped chocolate.  By then more people were arriving and I knew Theresa’s sister-in-law, Phyllis was coming with a friend of her’s.  It had been many years since I last saw Phyllis, so I was not certain I’d recognize her or that she would recognize me.  I remembered that she had blonde hair, so when a slim fair-haired lady sat in the pew ahead of me I asked her if she was Phyllis and she was not.  A while later another slim blonde lady walked to a pew a few rows ahead of me on the other side and of course I had to lean a little further forward to ask her and no, that was not her either.  Actually I had my eye on a third lady who came with another woman, but they were much further toward the front and while it nagged at me to approach her, I was beginning to feel closed in and I thought, oh well, we’ll connect when Theresa comes down from the choir loft.  No sooner said than done, Theresa appeared with the real Phyllis, whom I instantly recognized and once she was in the pew next to me, the lady in front of us turned to ask if this was Phyllis, so we all had a good chuckle and by this time I felt like we had a little group of friendly acquaintances around us.

There was a class of youngsters from the local Catholic school wearing read cardigans, who were all making their confirmation. The whole center of the church was filled with priests from all over the state of Colorado, some nuns from the order that dressed like Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Knights and Ladies from The Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Knights of Columbus in their regalia.  Soon the Cathedral was filled with religious and faithful.

The Mass was con-celebrated and all participants processed from the front entrance, down the middle aisle, up to the altar and were seated according to the tasks at hand.  The program for the service was titled Chrism Mass, since blessing of the oil which would be used throughout the coming year for anointing, healing, for baptisms and so on, was part of the Mass for this day.

Back in Broomfield, Ana and Theresa each had a frying pan going filled with perogies, courtesy of Theresa’s mom, Bernie, who brought them from Cleveland on her last visit.  Theresa served them in white bowls and with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of red cabbage, some homemade sauerkraut with a glass of pleasantly dry red wine; it was a hearty and filling dinner which left us all content.

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