Getting me to travel is easy. I often don’t even really need a reason. Attending a Catholic Mass, on the other hand, takes a bit more convincing. Attending two over two days some 5,000 miles from home must mean something really, really important was happening. But when I got the email informing me that a friend was being ordained as a priest in Austria there was not a second thought. Flights were booked, plans were made, and, when the time came we headed east to celebrate.
Added bonus: Pretty much the entire event was spectacular.
The festivities were hosted in Klosterneuburg, Austria, a town just north of Vienna. It is a sleepy town, to be certain; we could barely find a restaurant open for dining the night we arrived, for example. But the Stift and the attached church are steeped in history going back some 900 years at the site. Combine that with the celebratory nature of the event and it was hard to not enjoy the time we spent there.
In between the time spent celebrating at the Cathedral in Klosterneuburg we also managed to explore the region a bit. That mostly consisted of a short walking tour in Tulln, one of the older cities in Austria. The town is famous, among other things, for reportedly being where Attila the Hun met Gudrun. That event is recreated in a monstrosity of a sculpture which is all sorts of awesome. The sculptor even added in a rat to lend authenticity to the scene.
There are some gardens as well, though with it being mostly off season we didn’t really spend a lot of time exploring those.
The architecture of the church is impressive enough and the museum at Klosterneuburg has quite a collection from the Hapsburg Empire. Beyond that not a ton to recommend it as a destination. Still, for this particular trip is was the perfect destination.
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I went to my friend’s ordination at St. Patrick’s cathedral in late May this year and it was simply amazing. Only 6 people were ordained but the entire cathedral was packed (yes it was under renovation but still…) I think that’s the only ordination I’ll ever get invited to so I made sure to attend. Ok ok he was one of my closest friends back in high school so I definitely made sure to attend it. The reception was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before since it was like a wedding reception but it’s rare for me to see nuns and priests dance to pop music!
A very different sort of reception at this one, but still quite a lot of fun. Really a spectacular experience all around.
That’s so funny. In late October I went to see a friend of mine installed as the Anglican priest in Nice. I am religious about points and miles only, but the church knows how to put on a spectacle so it was thoroughly enjoyable five days and who would pass up a chance to visit Nice? It was meant to be – BA was offering those $2,000 biz class fares, the AARP discount worked and there was some 20,000 mile promotion going on. Coming back to Dulles on the BA A380 was heavenly ….
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