Friday, all of the Tulsa Diocese teams left training in Kansas so that we can get to our parishes by Saturday evening. About an hour or so outside of Wichita, the car began rattling (you might even say it was rattling something fierce. That was for you, Brandon).
Alfredo, our fabulous team leader, in his eloquent and level-headed way, announced the following:
“You guys. There’s something wrong with the car. I think it’s the tire.”
He pulled over immediately, and yes.
The tire was flat.
Quite, quite flat.
We stood stranded on the side of the road, making frantic phone calls to the other teams, and the two men decided to take off to what looked like a fire station about a pasture or so away from us.
“Don’t leave!”, they yelled.
Don’t worry, guys. Don’t you worry.
My fellow female teammate Jessica, huddled under a blanket with me (because, oh yeah: it was SIXTY DEGREES on a sunny June day with NORTHERN WINDS) cheered us up with the following:
“This is how horror movies start. Alfredo will die first, and then me. Because we’re Mexicans. Brandon will almost make it out alive, but then he’ll give himself up so you can live. And you’ll survive because you’re the white girl.”
At this point, we hadn’t had much luck getting in touch with the other teams. When, on the horizon, a familiar car sped by and parked in the distance. Out of the car piled three members of another team. The three people ran toward our vehicle: another young woman, another male team member, and….
Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty.
I’d tell you his name and show a picture but it’d embarrass him. And he’s a seminarian, so he probably doesn’t want his name attached to a blog that links the Eucharist with Doctor Who, forgiveness with llamas, and has posts about hymens.
But seriously, you guys: he looks just like Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty.
Now, his other two team members were running with Godspeed toward us. But the Priestly Prince? (he won’t be a princely priest for a few years)
He jogged effortlessly, the early evening sun casting beams upon his face. He looked positively saintly. I’m voting for his canonization as the Patron Saint of Stranded Missionaries.
Or the patron saint of Priests Who Look Like Superheroes.
Or the patron saint of Handsome Priests Who Break Hearts With Their Vocation.
(Are you blushing yet, Prince Phillip?)
Another team answered the distress call soon after; once we figured out the men had everything under control, we women stood by taking pictures on Instagram.
Except for one of the men who was not mechanically inclined; he is a doll who makes rosaries and reads books about Mother Theresa and prays the rosaries in the sweetest way. Basically, my sister needs to convert by the time he is finished discerning his vocation.
Prince Phillip and Company and my teammates headed off to a tiny town called Ponca City to find a place to change the tire.
By the time we made it to the buzzing metropolis of Ponca City, driving 50 miles an hour on back country roads, the entire city bit of Ponca City was shut down.
Because I’m back in Oklahoma, where the entire state is closed by 10, on a late night.
Our awesome (awesome) director Anthony booked a few hotel rooms for us so we could get a good night’s sleep and get the tire changed ASAP Saturday morning. We did, and we made it safely to our first parish on Saturday afternoon (shout out to St. Benedict’s in Shawnee, OK!).
So what is Totus Tuus? Basically, Totus Tuus is a summer catechetical program for grades 1-12. There are teams of two men and two women, and we travel to a different parish every week and pour into the lives of their youth and students Sunday through Friday, then move to the next parish on Saturday and do it all over again. I’m thrilled to be a part of this! It’s going to be an exciting summer. Keep us in your prayers — I’m looking forward to sharing the awesome things God is doing in the Diocese of Tulsa and the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.