Sunday, June 10, 2012

Corpus Christi Weekend, Procession & Benediction

Ah, I'm sitting in air-conditioning, reflecting on the weekend!

We had our annual 40 Hours this weekend for the Feast of Corpus Christi--all went well.

It was even crazier than usual--I was out of town till Thursday evening, and I had a lot waiting for me in the parish office on Friday. As an earlier post describes, I forgot we had a missionary visiting, till after I'd completed my homily for the weekend! You can read that homily if you like, I posted it Friday.

Yesterday was a blur. Rehearsal of the procession at 11 am; then we brought some items needed for the procession back to St. Mary; then I ran down to Troy to have some signs made for the vestibules--to show how many had promised rosaries, prayers, and sacrifices for the upcoming "Fortnight for Freedom." Then I met with the visiting missionary, Father Luis, and we went over the plan for the weekend--including how he would get back and forth, as he had no car. Then I had to put up the posters, then confessions, Mass, baptism, then a baptism party--which included a whiffle-ball game (which isn't easy wearing a cassock), which was called on account of darkness, with the score 30-28 or something like that. Our team--which lost--decided our defense needed work. I was home at midnight! It was fun being with this family: I've baptized their three youngest. Lots of things about being a priest are great: making new Christians is one of them.

This morning I actually had it easy. Father Luis took the 7 am; Father G. took the 9 am; Father C. took the 10:30 am, and I had the noon, plus the procession and benediction.

The procession was the smoothest ever I think. It was a hot but pretty day--thank God for the canopy!

We carried our Lord through the streets of Piqua, with everyone singing and praying. Thank you, neighbors for your forbearance.

At Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home, run by a parishioner, we had a temporary altar for prayers and benediction. We prayed for the Archbishop and Bishop Binzer, as I told them we would, and for our nation and for our community.

The only sour note was that, somewhere along the way, I stepped in a pile of some sort of goo. I knew it immediately; and I tried, while walking, to shake or wipe it off my shoe. No luck. I glanced down: it was big blob of multi-colored gunk, on both my shoes. Forgive me, Lord, but I'm thinking--as we approach Saint Boniface, about what a distraction that would be, on the soles of my feet, facing the people, as I knelt before the altar. So, at the doors of Saint Boniface, I kicked off my shoes and went in stocking-feet the rest of the way.

When I gave my homily, I explained that--adding I couldn't bring myself to track that goo on our new, hardwood floor!

I had more elevated things to say, however. I spoke about the privilege of bearing witness to our Faith, about the threats to our freedom and I mentioned the film, "For Greater Glory," which is currently in the theaters. It tells the story of how the Mexican Church was crucified not so long ago, but rose from the dead, victorious.

After we concluded Benediction--and I retrieved my shoes at the church doors! (Someone kindly cleaned off most of the crud--thank you! I am told it was a big bag of gummy worms. Whoever threw them into the street will have five extra minutes in Purgatory.) We had a potluck. I drank several cups of orange drink right away.

Then I met with a family I hadn't seen since my days at St. Albert. Five boys and a girl. Their oldest is now a seminarian, and he--along with another seminary student--made a special trip here to help out. And their mom reminded me that when they all came, as children, to daily Mass, I would encourage the boys to think about the priesthood. And now the oldest was in the seminary!

Of course, such things are in the hands of God--but wow, how encouraging is that?

By the way, the four seminarians who helped all had to leave right after; one to be with family, three to return to Indianapolis for a retreat with high school boys thinking about the priesthood. Two of them had driven over just for this, and now were driving back. How awesome is that?

Now I'm drying out and enjoying the silence and giving thanks to God for so many who made it all possible. What a joy!

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