In 2019 I was being deployed to Bellevue. Significant portions of Nebraska and Iowa were underwater following a devastating storm, and I was to head up Operations. As I’ve done in anticipation of other disaster response deployments, I looked for local churches that might still be open. I found Immaculate Conception in Omaha, an FSSP Parish. Though already familiar with the TLM in “shared” situations, I had never been to a traditional Mass at an exclusively traditional parish before.

I was happy to discover this opportunity, and I got word of my deployment well enough in advance that I was able to start thinking about how I would get from the Forward Operating Base (FOB) to the parish. It was apparently a fifteen minute drive. That said, there were concerns about which roads would be impassable and what modes of transportation would be impacted. I emailed the parish and introduced myself, and explained my situation.

A few days later—still in plenty of time before I was getting ready to leave for NE—the pastor emailed me. A parishioner had offered to drive me from the FOB to church and back again and, with my permission, Father was going to pass along my contact information. I agreed, of course, and soon received a call from a young airman stationed at nearby Offut AFB. After a brief conversation, everything was set! I was to arrive in Bellevue on Saturday afternoon; after getting myself situated there and clearing everything with the Incident Commander, I would text him the address and be ready the following morning for Mass at 07.30 hrs.

Praise the Lord

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