Sunday, June 12, 2011

On the road...

I'm on vacation, so maybe I'll post more? Hard to say, internet connections are hard to come by.

Thursday I was at the ordination of our new auxiliary bishop, Joseph Binzer. Congratulations your excellency! It was a beautiful Mass and at the end, Bishop Binzer was escorted (by Archbishops Schnurr and Pilarczyk) through the cathedral giving his blessing to all the people. It took awhile--Bishop Binzer was obviously delighted to enact ritually the kindness he always gives God's people. Then he was brought back to the sanctuary, and invited to say a few words. His words were pure (Bishop) Binzer: "this is the day the Lord has made--let us rejoice and be glad!" But Bishop Binzer uttered them at least an octave higher than his usual pitch--such was his exhilaration. Applause broke out several times--but I don't wish you to think it was an undignified Mass; it was not; nor was anyone goading on those shows of affection.

After that I hit the road, stopping off in St. Clairsville, outside Wheeling. I made it to Arlington, Virginia Friday, where I'm staying with some brother priests. Yesterday I concelebrated Mass at St. Mary Parish in Alexandria; today I had Mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean, Virginia. That was amusing.

I presented myself to the pastor, Father Paul Scalia, outside church--he was vested from the prior Mass--and I asked if I might concelebrate the next Mass. We went to the sacristy, and he said, well, how about just taking the Mass for me? It turns out he was shorthanded, and I was fine with that. I have no homily prepared, however, I told him--so he returned to preach the homily. As I explained to the altar boys at St. Mary's, offering Mass is not a chore. But--while I am honored to preach God's Word, that can be tiring. Plus, Father Scalia's parishioners had everything very well organized; it was a pleasure to offer the Sacrifice there. The army of altar boys around me did a good job of keeping me from wandering off or tripping over anything.

After Mass, I saw Father's sister. While Father and I had not met before, his sister and I knew each other from years back, and it was nice to greet her again. Another friend--who I had not seen in awhile--turned up and we talked. Now I am pausing briefly at Starbucks for some coffee, before I drive up to Baltimore to see my cousin. We're going to visit the restored Basilica in Baltimore, and then take in a concert by the Baltimore Symphony.

Dear parishioners: I am offering Mass for you daily! Thank you for letting me get away for some rest.


Anonymous said...

Fr Marty
AS a person that loves Verdi I must say that Verdi had no love for the Church..actually the Requiem was written for King Emanuel...I may be wrong ...
Fr Vince

PS Verdi had no use for the Church

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to celebrate a mass in Alex VA. StM is my old parish. We miss it so here in the midwest. And the altar boys! I miss that too.