Sunday was a big-deal day for everyone in our two parishes, to which we've been ramping up for a few weeks.
Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk came to administer the sacrament of confirmation during the Holy Mass.
It is (and should be) always a big deal with the Archbishop comes to town. Of course, we all want everything to go just right, and so the planning and preparation take a bit of time.
Weeks ago, our coordinator of religious education, our music director, and I, worked out the plan for the liturgy, which was sent to Cincinnati for the archbishop's "MC" (master of ceremonies). Our CRE and several folks in the school had a lot of work to do, setting things up in church on Sunday afternoon, and somewhere along the way they had a practice for the young people to be confirmed.
The CRE also had to line up servers, a total of six; we had a practice for them at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon, and I led that. We drilled them pretty hard, but they did well.
Whenever the archbishop comes to town, the sacramental books are presented to him for inspection. As the Mass was at St. Mary, but the parish offices are now combined at St. Boniface, I had to bring the books over. I brought over both parishes' books, although it's possible I only needed to bring St. Mary's (as he did not visit St. Boniface parish). I relied on the CRE to pick up some pieces of fruit, so that the archbishop and his MC might have something to eat, if they liked.
We had a few miscues, none major; church was full, and everyone seemed happy, the children most of all. The archbishop gave a very good homily contrasting being a child, and being mature, and emphasizing the virtue of gratitude, saying something like, if you are not truly grateful, without anyone making you be grateful, you are still a child, regardless of your chronological age.
After the Mass, there were pictures, then we breezed through the reception, then headed back to the rectory to unvest, after which I took the archbishop, his MC, and the other priests to dinner.
As we walked across the parking lot, one of the boys who served at Mass was standing there, and I said, "you did a good job Nick!" Nick -- who is 10 or 11 -- reached up, patted the archbishop on the arm, and said, "you did a good job, too!" The archbishop seemed to appreciate it.
Well, I was happy with it all, and glad to host our bishop -- but I'm glad that's over. This week, I have to focus on packing, as I am finally fixing to move to the rectory at St. Mary; while I'm looking forward to living there, I dread packing and unpacking. Next up, in two weeks? First Communions.