Sunday, June 13, 2010

How Traditions Begin

This week after returning from a business trip to D.C. I'll be headed to Winona, MN for my annual expedition to the SSPX seminary. Nine young men will be raised from the diaconate to the priesthood, Deo gratias.

A group of us from my home chapel attend each year. It's one of the few places left on the planet where men are still being formed and ordained according to the traditional Catholic rite, so attending is a great grace and privilege.

Helmut usually gets a block of rooms at a Winona hotel and then lets friends use them. It's a courtesy he performs for his pals.

One year Helmut did me the favor of paying for my room as well: I went to the lobby to check out, but the tab had already been paid.

The next year I attempted to return the favor: I snuck down early the morning of checkout, paid for my room, and then paid for Helmut's.

Such was not to be, however: the hotel staff messed up the transaction, and instead of debiting my credit card, they credited it.

The mistake wasn't noticed until the hotel ran its end-of-week reconciliation paperwork. After the accountant noticed the error he reversed the credit. Then -- because Helmut's credit card was the one on record for having originally booked the room -- the debit was made on his credit card. We all found out about it on our end-of-month credit card statements.

Needless to say, I again thanked Helmut for his generosity. Twice in two years: that's how traditions begin...

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