How to get a bunch of Americans to start tearing up, immediately?
Start playing America the Beautiful as your closing song at a Thanksgiving day Mass at an American-centered parish in a foreign country. Even if it’s Italy, and even if it’s a beautiful Roman day outside. Halfway through the first verse, I looked around, and saw six people wiping their eyes.
Funny thing. Because it’s more than “I miss a clothes dryer, I miss going to Wal-Mart, I miss driving a car” as one person said to me this week. It’s just something else, hard to define.
It was Thanksgiving Day Mass at Santa Susanna, the American parish in Rome, run by the Paulists. I got there about halfway through, so I didn’t hear Cardinal Foley’s homily. But I did meet him as he juggled coffee and a muffin, and also had the great honor of meeting Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, who was there in attendance, and read President Bush’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation after Mass. EWTN’s Joan Lewis was there, but was busy chatting with several others, so I didn’t have a chance to meet her. She’s quite the energetic lady, it seems.