Last year a group of young priests went hiking and posted a picture on social media. I responded that they needed to invite me the next time. So, today I tagged along, and what a beautiful, picture-perfect day it has been!

I’m impressed by the dedication to build priestly fraternity among many of our priests. I’m also grateful that they invited their Archbishop to join them for a day of hiking in Mount Rainier National Park.

I was up early today so I could make a holy hour, eat breakfast and be ready to go when the young priests arrived at 7:00. Once we arrived in the park, we began by stopping at the Sunrise Visitors Center for a good view of Mt. Rainier and then we drove over to the Natches Peak Loop Trail on Chinook pass for the real hiking of the day. I’ll let the pictures in the slideshow below speak for themselves.

When we reached the peak of the trail, we found a secluded spot off the public trail to celebrate Mass. I’ve seldom had such an experience … 

This is as good a place as any to say, Seattle is a great place to be a priest! 

So, my friends, make sure to give thanks to God for the beauty of His creation! The beauty of God’s creation is just one privileged place that God reveals to us His glory. Once again, I encourage each of you to renew your relationship with Jesus. Seek Him, His will, His love, His gift of salvation.

Take time to renew other important relationships in your life.