Sunday Service
Flying|August 2020
Flying through the quarantine
MARTHA LUNKEN

Nearly every suburban parish in (heavily Catholic) Cincinnati has a Saturday afternoon or evening Mass but, for lots of reasons, I’ve just been going through the motions—never feeling too “connected.” But there’s a racetrack near Lunken Airport and, about a year ago, a friend introduced me to a small community of “backtrackers.” Because of their work schedules and transportation issues, these stable hands, trainers, hot walkers, veterinaries, farriers, exercise riders and jockeys can’t make traditional church services. So, my friend, a racing enthusiast, arranged for a priest to come and say Mass at a back-of-the-track building on Sunday mornings. It’s bare-bones, with a card table serving as the altar in front of a bunch of vending machines, betting windows and a pool table. Now, I know absolutely nothing about horse racing (and probably less about being a Christian), but this simple, short, beautifully devout celebration is my kind of church.

The only downside is I’ve been missing Sunday-morning-breakfast fly-outs with my buddies.

So, when all the churches were shut down by this coronavirus mess, I got to do that other holiest thing I know how to do and went flying. And I guess the Lord was OK with that because the first Sunday of the quarantine was a glorious day—in fact, it was the first nice VFR morning in what’s been a cold, gray winter and early spring in the Midwest.

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