Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A few notes...

> Visited the restored Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore on Saturday; this is the mother church for all U.S. Catholics, as it is the cathedral for our mother diocese. The church was designed by Latrobe, the same architect that President Jefferson selected for the U.S. Capitol. I offer no opinion on the merits of the restoration, as--I'm told--it involved removing stained-glass windows; but the newly restored basilica is beautiful. Perhaps folks want to offer comments pro and con.

> Had Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More yesterday on the Memorial of St. John Vianney.

> Never did mention the church at Atlantic City, Our Lady, Star of the Sea; nice church, reflects some modifications made post Council. Those priests do a great job providing Mass and confessions for the folks in Atlantic City!

> Attended the Nationals-Marlins game at Nationals stadium in D.C. Only when I was walking in did I realize that while it was my first baseball game there, it was my second time there--I was there to concelebrate Mass with the holy father! Nats won, 6-4. The clean-up crew barked at us, get out of your seats, get going! while my friend was completing his score card. Has that ever happened to you?

> Following the news, and they must be saying in North Korea: "you know what? snatching those American journalists was a great idea! Look how well that paid off--first time a U.S. President came and paid court to our Dear Leader!"

> Met a couple of young men thinking about the priesthood, one who is soon entering, another who is going to check out a seminary. Just met them in the course of being with friends; great huh?

> After Baltimore (Friday), and several days in the D.C. area, I'm headed down to Virginia Beach to visit with friends there, tonight; then start back home tomorrow.


Mary Martha said...

The Basilica of the Assumption is very interesting. When I was visiting Baltimore I went on a tour and I was struck by the fact that the tour did not touch on religion at all. It was all about the architect and the history (which was very interesting).

I think the whole place reflects the "We're American too!" message that many Catholics have made such an effort to communicate through history. It's all very nice and well restored... just not particularly Catholic.

Anonymous said...

The Bascilica has been restored to the original plans of Latrobe. During the restoration beautiful frescos were discovered under the late 19th century "updates". The original windows were replaced by stained glass, not consistant with the architecture. These have been moved to a newly built church in the Diocease built along traditional lines. During my tour I was told about many significant Catholic historical events that took place. I beleive that the type of tour might be related to the volunteer docent that gives the tour.

Anonymous said...

Some thoughts about the Korean matter: the former President may have bowed, but he didn't scrape. Photos of him with the Korean leader are stony-faced and stiff. Moreover, he will bring back information about his physical and mental health, and other information not freely given over the past several years. And, the bottom line is, the two journalists are home safe in the USA. Let the North Koreans have their few moments of triumph, if that's what it is. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Suzy K.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Suzy! You hit it right on the head. Clinton in no way "paid court" to anyone there. He gained more for the US by far than Kim Jong Il did for N. Kor. The intelligence could be priceless.

Kneeling Catholic said...

Father, I noticed CNN has termed Pres. Clinton's visit 'a rescue'...kind of like what the Israeli's pulled off at Entebbe I guess...

on an unrelated note, thanks for all the extra 'clicks' you generated for my blog. You're very popular! I posted our exchange from Ten Reasons and things just took off!

Thanks for your considerate replies!


Mark said...

With respect to North Korea, one distinction should be remembered:

The ordinary people trapped in that hell on earth are not allowed to have a voice of their own. They are literally the property of their rulers, and one family in particular.

Any "saying" or feeling their "few moments of triumph" will be done by the narrow ruling elite (a handful of men), and not the rest of the population. The "masses" may only know and echo what this ruling elite allows them to know and echo, at a predetermined time. Concentration camps and execution squads await those and their families who dare to disobey.

In this instance, like in any other, this ruling gang may or may not tell their subjects about President Clinton's visit, and what, if anything, they're allowed to say about it.