The meet-up in Toronto went smashingly, I think. There is something about meeting in person that really helps cement relationships and accelerate networking in a way that even months of corresponding in text (or even by phone or cam) can't achieve.
First, several of us met for a Saturday evening (Novus Ordo) Mass at the St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto, which is a beautiful gothic building:
We then stayed out till 3AM drinking, eating, talking, wandering around. There was really a lot of energy and bonding and candid sharing; I'd like to think a real meeting of minds and hearts (I'm in the blue):
Sunday morning a larger group went to Solemn Mass in the Old Rite at St. Vincent de Paul (Oratorian) church. I did not know it was going to be Solemn, so that was a nice surprise (given the ubiquity of the missa cantata):
Very nice choir too. After that we went for some lunch and drinks:
Some of us then basically spent the whole rest of the day together. We walked around and as evening fell went to Vespers/Benediction at another beautiful Oratorian church, Holy Family.
Then it was quite a marathon night with Ethiopian food for dinner, drinking, hookah/shisha (my first time!), more drinking, all until like 3AM again. Which meant that, from Saturday evening until early Monday morning...some of us basically spent, excluding a short break for sleep, over 36 hours straight together:
All in all, a great success. It was so nice to see old friends again and to meet others in person for the first time (and hopefully not the last!)
Allāhu Akbar: God is great!