Red Mass Homily

The Very Reverend John D. Whitney, S.J., Red Mass Homily, 39 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2004).

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A few weeks ago, I traveled to Colombia, South America with the Provincial of the California Province. I had never been to South America before, but the Jesuits of Oregon have a relationship with those of Colombia. I wanted to find out more about the country and what was happening there. I must admit, I was also curious to see why Colombia is considered so dangerous; according to the State Department, it is the country most likely to have a terrorist incident (the U.S. being only fourth most likely).

When we descended into Bogotá, it was already dark. A mist from the mountains hung over the city reflecting the lights that lined the streets and making it colder than I had expected. I had imagined Colombia would be like Mexico City or Cuernavaca–my only other journeys into Latin America–but Bogotá is not Mexico City, except in the vast expanse it covers and the huge population it holds. It has, instead, a sophistication, a worldliness, as though New York City had been transplanted from the planes of the Hudson and lifted up onto this vast Andean plateau and then translated into Spanish. It was amazing…. Read More

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