The Feast of St. Dominic, Sunday, August 8, 1999. We have been getting ready for this day all Summer; planning, preparing, inviting. Much of the Dominican family is here and we have been celebrating three days already with talks on preaching, family, and theology and masses of the Triduum. Now the day is here and the church is jammed with people.

Immediately before mass people are making their last minute preparation. Here is the all-dominican choir. They paused their rehersal for a moment so I could get a group photo.

The mass began with a long procession up the center aisle. On either side of the aistle stood the Order of Martin de Porres, a group of lay Dominicans that far outnumber the friars here in Lima. They were robed in formal black and white and stood at attention in the aistle the entire mass.

No feast would be complete without a feast, and we had one! After mass all of the Dominicans and Franciscans were invited to the back cloister for a banquet. Tables were set up under the closter porticos and a disc jockey played music. Half of the music was traditional Andean music with drums, Andean mandolins and sampoñas (Andean pan pipes) and the other half was songs about Dominic and Dominicans. (I didn't know that there were so many)

Today's presentation was by the Dominican Youth Movement, a way for young people to get involved in the dominican charism that is growing in popularity around the world.

As you can imagine, we all had a lot of fun singing and "witnessing" and enjoying each other's company. There were about twenty members present and we started out with some rousing songs. The young man below is Homar Berrospi, eighteen years old.

The Feast of St. Dominic is just around the corner (August 8) but we start celebrating early here in Perú. They used to celebrate for a week, but now have cut it down to a Triduum (the three days before the feast). Each night there is a presentation on some topic of interest to Dominicans followed by Mass and general merriment.

Machu Picchu. The place where everyone goes, and for good reason. At it's peak, it was the furthest outpost of the Incan Empire, the place where the Incans, who were mountain people, traded with the jungle people. The empire had only existed for about 150 years before the Spaniards came and put an end to it. At that time, Cusco, the capital of the empire, became a Spanish city and Machu Picchu was abandoned.

Here are the gratuitous tourist shots. Yes, we made it, see! The first two are of Bob Knickerbocker, a friend who came down from the states to help (and he did!). The second one is from the top of Huayna Picchu, looking back on the city. 

Not too many people make the hike, but it is well worth it. The view is spectacular and there is not the crowd that there is in the city itself.

Since you are away from the bustle, there is more room to pray, and Huayna Picchu is a great place for that.

At the end of the day, everyone heads back down the mountain to Agua Caliente, most to catch their respective train back home. Here are the workers in the back of the dump truck ahead of us. Our train was a "local" train, rather than the "tourist" train, so we were heading back with many of these workers. The tourist trains run from $80 to $120 round trip. They run on time and take less than three hours each way. The local train only costs $8 round trip, but it takes four and a half hours when it is on time.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So Bob Knickerbocher, Peter Fegan (an American dominican student spending the year studying here with the dominicans) and I took a day off and hiked one of the three volcanoes here, Chachani. It was a beautiful, sunny day (as always), and I was the only one with a hat. A splendid sunburn was had by all.

For mass this morning, we visited the nuns at Sta. Rosa Monestary, the smaller of the two Domincian monestaries in town. It was built in 1747 by four sisters from the other monestary, Sta. Catalina. There are about 16 nuns, one novice, and two postulants. The community had not accepted new members after the earthquake in 1974 when their old novitiate was destroyed, but in 1995 they finally built a new one and now have new members.