S+L logo

S+L AT THE PAPAL VISIT: “We needed this.”

April 20, 2008
small-cathedral-ii.JPG
"A soothing balm," is how one priest described the Holy Mass with Priests and Religious, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral. "We are wounded. We needed this."
Witnessing the 40-something cleric crying at the start of the Mass awakened me to the great struggles of the American Church. As a layperson, I don't know what it's like for my vocation to be so often maligned, nor have I experienced the immense pastoral demands entrusted to today's priests and religious. Two priests, sisters or deacons were present from every diocese, which represents the Holy Father's best efforts to somehow celebrate the Eucharist with them all.
As a journalist, sometimes I forget that this is not a mere series of events to cover. The real story here is the spiritual firepower of the Church, gathered with its leader to worship Jesus. Without conviction that the Holy Spirit is stirring souls, so much of this week--the unbridled emotion, those waiting countless hours for a mere glimpse of the Holy Father, and yes, the wall-to-wall media coverage--should seem unnecessary and absurd. Yet I did not question the jubilant priest. Rather, I put down my notebook and returned my attention to the liturgy.

Related posts

Deacon-structing the Mass | Part 7: The Liturgy of the Eucharist
FacebookTwitter
Join Deacon Pedro in this in-depth exploration of the Mass, as he enters into an examination and explanation of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. ...read more
“The music of the Gospel”: Pope Francis to Christians in Riga
FacebookTwitter
Read this address from Pope Francis, in which he uses the metaphor of an organ to encourage Christians to maintain the "music of the Gospel" in their lives. ...read more
Pope Francis speaks to priests and religious in Kaunas, Lithuania
FacebookTwitter
Read the pope's address to priests, men and women religious, consecrated persons, and seminarians from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. ...read more
Homily of Pope Francis at Mass in Kaunas, Lithuania
FacebookTwitter
Read Pope Francis' homily at Kaunas, Lithuania, in which he speaks of Christian suffering and solidarity with the "little ones" of this world. ...read more
Pope Francis speaks to the young people of Lithuania
FacebookTwitter
Read the full text of Pope Francis' inspiring message to the young people of Lithuania. ...read more