We experienced the increasingly rare happiness of celebrating the feast of the Ascension of our Lord on the feast of the Ascension of our Lord, that is to say, on the 40th day after Easter. This is one place where Ascension Thursday has not turned into Ascension Sunday.
Not only is this great feast celebrated on its proper day, but the shops are even closed! Inconvenient to be sure, but it's wonderful to see bits and pieces of Catholic culture still persisting.
Oh, and returning to the gripe about how so many dioceses transfer this feast to next Sunday - this completely disrupts the original novena! The whole idea of setting aside nine days (novena) of prayer is based upon the example of the Apostles who waited in prayer for the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost.
Anyways, this afternoon a few of us took a van to the Ötscher Naturpark, the centerpiece of which is the 1,893 meter Ötscher mountain, the largest in Lower Austria (our region). Wikipedia has a great panoramic shot of the Ötscher. This is the same Naturpark through which we walk to Mariazell, but today we went only far enough in to find a nice place to jump in the river for a frigid swim.