Let's conclude the story. On Thursday night I found myself in the predicament I feared most: alone, broke and lost in Washington, D.C. Typically, our Vatican press pass provides us a police-escorted bus that promptly takes us to and from venues. It takes an item of supreme value--such as the camera battery charger plugged into the walls of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception--to compel you to abandon this luxury.
A police officer didn't know where I could find a downtown shuttle. Neither did a Bishop. But a young lady with a U.S. Bishops' Conference ID tag offered a solution.
She directed to me to a bus driver who had been persuaded to allow two lost journalists to board his empy coach, since he was heading back downtown, anyways. I boarded with prayers of thanksgiving to God.
"There's another one!", exclaimed one of the other lost journalists. He yelled out the window to grab the attention of a frazzled L.A. Times photographer who, weighed down by five cameras of various sizes, was also searching for a rescue ride. As more reporters appeared out of the darkness, we numbered an appropriate twelve by the time we left the parking lot.