Next Stop...Paradise: Fr. Simon Thomas

If you have ever flown on an airplane for a commercial flight you know that the first thing the crew does is announce over the PA system the destination of the flight. It sounds something like this: “Welcome aboard Flight 111, non-stop service to Santa Barbara, California.” The crew wants you to know the destination, and the expectation is that all the passengers are present, on time, and prepared to go to the announced place. I remember one time seeing a family, carry-on luggage and all, scrambling to get off, realizing they were on the wrong plane after hearing one of these announcements. The vast majority of the time, however, the announcement is a reassurance that we are heading to our anticipated destination. We then usually hear from the captain, explaining various details of the flight we are about to take. For most of us, he could be speaking a foreign language, because although it is nice to know that we will be flying at a certain altitude, at a specific airspeed, and arrive at a determined time, just how that is going to happen is well beyond our understanding. The amount of buttons, knobs, switches, and levers in the cockpit of an airplane is beyond intimidating— most people wouldn’t know where to start! What does comfort the vast majority of us (some people are afraid to fly, no matter what!) is that the captain has been properly trained by an accredited authority (flight school) is regulated by a governing body (the FAA) read more...