A quick jaunt

I am giving a talk in the afternoon about the Church and tech and how I use it, etc. Before my talk I am taking the ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco for a bite and stroll.

A familiar sight.

What could we use Alcatraz for?

Heading up to Chinatown I happened on the old "S" Mint.

All sorts of people engaged me today.  Some were very cordial.  I saw someone stop dead in his tracks staring at me and then cross to the other side of the street.  Quite a few stared with evident surprise at the apparition in the black suit.   Still, quite a few saluted with a cheerful "Hi, Father!" or some other greeting.   Even more people did that in Sausalito.

People seem much more interested in engaging you here than in, say, NYC.  Also, they are in far less hurry in shops, etc.

I made a stop at Old St. Mary’s, again in Chinatown.

It might not surprise readers of WDTPRS that I found some Chinese food for lunch.

Dim sum is fast, good, and… fast.  I only had a short time before my dash back to the ferry.

Before I forget, an old fellow was playing the erhu outside St. Mary’s.  I enjoy a good erhu tune… unfortunately he was played Yankee Doodle.

I got back to the ferry terminal with a few minutes to spare.

Lot’s of interesting shops.

Here is one that specializes in Tasty Salted Pig Parts.

I have no idea what this movie is about, but you’ve got to love these cheesy Chinese movie posters.

After a blustery ride across the bay, during which a young fellow picked my brains about the Church and global warming, I am back at my room, and must get ready for my talk.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Father S. says:

    I think that we could use Alcatraz as an American version of Mont Saint-Michel. Or, given its history, it could be a shrine to St. Peter in Chains. Given the design of the San Francisco cathedral, however, it would be nice to let someone outside the diocese design it.

  2. DarkKnight says:


    Will you be joining us for Mass on Sunda at Holy Rosary? You appear to be staying in the neighborhood.

  3. Margaret says:

    We use Alcatraz so the tourists have something to do down at the piers. :) Also so local Cub Scout and Boy Scout groups can go and have super-cool and creepy “campouts” in the old jail cells.

  4. gloriainexcelsis says:

    So – has anyone invited you to give a talk in Sacramento??? It’s only about 90 miles from San Francisco. Sigh!

  5. William of the Old says:

    How about putting the guys from Gitmo there? I’m sure it would be just fine with Nancy.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Alcatraz is now a national park. There are launches to take you there. I recommend the tourn.

  7. robtbrown says:

    BTW, I see Coit tower and the Trans American building.

    SF is beautiful. A trip to Napa is also recommended.

  8. thefeds says:

    Fr. Z,
    I’m at the Chancery in Oakland. Where are you speaking at? Luckily, you’ve caught a two day break in some stormy weather. Scattered clouds can make for dramatic photos.
    Rob Federle

  9. Kevin B. says:

    It’s a pity you can’t come give a talk at St. Patrick’s. Or better yet, teach a few classes!

  10. Timbot2000 says:


    Say hi to Bishop Salvatore for me. I’m a big fan. You lucky, lucky Oakland people.

    A PodCazt of Fr. Z interviewing Bishop Sal Cordeleone, now I’d pay to hear that!

  11. jacquesm says:

    Looking forward to finally chatting to you in person after so many months. He is presently speaking at the Joyent Annual Meetup at the moment.

  12. dimsum says:


    Ha-gow and cheong-fun….dimsum classics. Hope you also had cha-siu pao to go along.

  13. thefeds says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. We are very fortunate to have a Bishop like Salvatore! San Diego’s loss was Oakland’s great boon!


  14. James the Less says:

    I just returned from San Francisco today on business. I had time to visit
    the St. Peter and St. Paul Church – beautiful shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes.
    I almost missed it – I thought it was really beautiful.

  15. coeyannie says:

    I had a dust up, a year or so ago, with the pastor of St. Ignatius. The people standing around the altar pour the Precious Blood into the cups, and the altar boys(?) run around and refill the cups when they run out. I witnessed that two Christmas’ in a row and finally decided to address it. I e-mailed him and he did not like it one bit. St. Dominic’s church on Bush St. is pretty straight. I have two fallen away Catholic kids living in San Francisco, so say a prayer as you breeze through.

    God Bless.

  16. edwardo3 says:

    Fr. Z,

    If you get a chance to, check out St. Peter’s which is near Potraro(?) Hill. My Aunt and Uncle were married there in 1979 and at that time it had the oldest intact church interior, which had survived teh 1906 earthquake. It was really beautiful, I hope it still is.

  17. Rachel Pineda says:

    Welcome to California Father Z. Nice to know you’re right next door. Hope you have a beautiful stay here. Oh, and about that guy staring and then making a big production and crossing the street. Classic. It just wouldn’t be a true California experience if you didn’t run into somebody so self-important. Really, it’s an art out here in these parts.

  18. Arturus says:

    The Dim Sum is Hakao the first dish and Chin Chu fao the second one (my favorite!).

  19. jbalza007 says:

    Welcome to the Bay Area, Father! Would have been nice if you could stick around for the Walk for Life (10 days from now!). Any chance of a blognic?

  20. Can’t do it! Alas, I must leave soon. Hopefully I will be able to return for a longer stay!

  21. patrick_f says:

    I love seeing older churches. It takes me back. People that had absolutely nothing built something beautiful with pennies. Sharp contrast to the generations of prosperity who have build office buildings with altars on the inside.

  22. chironomo says:

    The Alcatraz Recalcitrant Bishops Retirement Home?

  23. Ralph says:

    Thank you Father for having the courage to wear your clericals in San Francisco. Our pastor spoke recently about the many opportunities to witness for Christ clericals can give. It was really powerful.

    Have a safe flight home.

  24. Melania says:

    Did you record your talk to the internet organization? Will you post it as a podcast?

  25. Melania: No, I didn’t record it.

  26. Eric says:

    you’ve got to love these cheesy Chinese movie posters.

    at first I thought you were referring to the picture ABOVE the comments.

  27. Dr. Eric says:

    I’d write hao chi but that’s not Cantonese. I have always wanted to go to Chinatown- (sigh) someday…

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