Prayer is on the move in South Florida. First, the Archdiocese of Miami began streaming catechism through an app. Now it’s about to hold weekly Mass at the airport.
Religion-to-go is all about accommodating the faithful wherever they are.
And where they often are is the airport. Starting 7 p.m. Aug. 18 and every Saturday after that, the archdiocese will have a Mass on the fourth level of Terminal D at Miami International.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin said it’s a “high traffic area” because of the presence of American Airlines, which he said runs about 70 percent of flights from the airport.
The chapel sits before security checkpoints, so passengers and others can access it before catching a flight or after dropping someone off.
Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said in an email from the archdiocese’s media coordinator, Juan Di Prado, that most major airports offer such services, including John F. Kennedy in New York, O’Hare in Chicago, and Benito Juárez in Mexico City.“An airport with its many thousands of employees and hundreds of thousands of passengers is like a large city in itself,” Wenski said. “A chapel and the ministry that takes place there helps make the airport more of a community — for both employees and passengers alike.”
Deacon Dennis Jordan has been the chaplain of the airport chapel since 1999. He said this project to have Mass at the international hub has been under way since he was assigned the position.
The chapel is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Jordan said the chapel is especially comforting as a place of rest to people with delayed flights.
He added that a large South American population passes through the chapel because those flights usually leave at night and offer more time for a spiritual break. With MIA’s more than 18 million international passengers in 2011, many from Latin America, Jordan said Mass should be popular.
“They come to the chapel to get some peace of mind,” Jordan said. “It’s the only place of peace you can go to in a busy airport.”