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.