A quick rundown of last week, which was all over the place, liturgy-wise.
Palm Sunday and the Good Friday service were at St. Barnabas, a small parish that is not too far from us – a little farther than the Cathedral, but still, maybe just three miles. I admit – freely– that we attended those liturgies at that parish for reasons related to time. No shame. The Sunday Mass time (10) is quite convenient (the *best* Mass time, IMHO) and on Friday, for various reasons, we couldn’t get to the 3pm service at the Cathedral, so that left us with evening services, wherever we could find one. It’s a small church, so things like the procession with Palms and the Veneration of the Cross would not be as long as they would be in other, larger parishes, and at this point, we’ll take it. I don’t get protests – at all – but given the boys’ serving responsibilities and the heaviness of the Triduum, a small parish doing it simply and doing it right is a very good thing to experience.
Holy Thursday at the Cathedral with the fitting, amazing music we are spoiled with there.
Good Friday, in addition to the nighttime service, we got to the Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral at noon. A permanent deacon led the stations, while three priests heard confessions during the service. Penitents lined against the walls.
Visiting family responsibilities precluded the Vigil this year, but the boys served at Casa Maria Convent and Retreat House.
Excellent, well-prepared homilies all-round – I mean, homilies that were obviously the fruit of close study, preparation and a keen pastoral sensitivity. And all preached from a prepared text. It’s fine.
Related to Catholic Things in Birmingham, Alabama, of course you know that after many, many years of stroke-related disability, most of which she has been in the cloister in care of her sisters, Mother Angelica died on Easter Sunday.
By far the best commentary so far is Bishop Robert Barron’s:
I can attest that, in “fashionable” Catholic circles during the eighties and nineties of the last century, it was almost de rigueur to make fun of Mother Angelica. She was a crude popularizer, an opponent of Vatican II, an arch-conservative, a culture-warrior, etc., etc. And yet while her critics have largely faded away, her impact and influence are uncontestable. Against all odds and expectations, she created an evangelical vehicle without equal in the history of the Catholic Church. Starting from, quite literally, a garage in Alabama, EWTN now reaches 230 million homes in over 140 countries around the world. With the possible exception of John Paul II himself, she was the most watched and most effective Catholic evangelizer of the last fifty years.
I reached the point on the Current Project in which, within the space of a day, I transitioned from despair to complete confidence – in meeting the deadline, that is. well, the second deadline, that is – after spring break made it clear that the first deadline was impossible. It’s a good feeling – not as good as finishing the thing and getting it out of my brain forever, but almost.
What messed me up as, not only spring break, but the structure of this year’s spring break, which must be divided between San Diego and Charleston.
So, yes, I’m typing this on a plane, presently descending into Houston, and from there on to San Diego, here I’ll be speaking at the Catholic Library Association and signing books for both OSV and Loyola at NCEA– so if you know anyone who will be at either convention, tell them to stop by and say hi!