In the midst of the fast-paced Orlando International Airport, La Salette Father Robert Susann, provides a moment of peace and blesses a family from Puerto Rico before their departure. In the bustling airport he has only a short time with the travelers he meets each day, but as the only airport chaplain for the past 11 years, Father Susann knows the value of a moment.
"Airport ministry is a ministry of presence," he explained. "I bring Christ to the people whether its five minutes, 10 minutes, or just 15 seconds. People see the collar and know that Christ is with them."
Part of the tourism ministry of the diocese and supported by Our Catholic Appeal, the airport ministry brings the good news of Jesus Christ to Central Florida's visitors.
Walking through the terminals that see 38 million people each year, Father Susann shares Christ's peace with people of all faiths traveling for a variety of reasons and with wide-ranging emotions. In addition to celebrating two Sunday Masses in the airport chapel, he daily offers prayers, blessings, the Sacrament of Penance, a i mile and calming words.
"Christ welcomed everyone. It's an important ministry for the Church because the Church goes where the people are," he said. "The Church is made to bring Christ."