Monday, May 21, 2007

A study in contrasts

Always a great weekend, when we celebrate Ordinations and three new priests unleashed on the Archdiocese. As always, the Rite of Ordination is an uplifting and joyous event for all who attend. (It should be on every Catholic's 100 things to do before I die list.)

I was honored that I was the first to Impose Hands after Archbishop, and to welcome the new priests to our order. All three really seemed to enjoy the day imensely. (Remembering back three years from tomorrow, I think my feet barely touched the ground all weekend!)

Sunday morning was Fr. McCarthy's Mass of Thanksgiving at the 8:30 at the Cathedral, and smells and bells was the order for the day. Everything was very traditional, as was expected from this new Father, even down to his vestments. He managed to make it through his first solo run (well, with a little back-up) without sending anyone to the hospital. (One definition of a good liturgy, and something not every priest can claim about his first Mass.)

The afternoon brought a short jaunt over to St. Joseph's for a much different celebration in Fr. Rey Taylor's Mass of Thanksgiving. The Spirit was making His presence felt a week early, as there were many 'Amen's thrown out from the congregation. The whole event was a good testimony to the African American Catholic Community, and one that was long overdue. My hope is that it is not another 33 years before St. Joe's welcomes a native son home to celebrate the Eucharist for the first time as a priest. (That's much too long in any parish, not just St. Joe's!)

(One last 'First Mass' to go for me, with Fr. Ron Haft next weekend at St. Antoninus, his internship parish.)

All in all, a lovely weekend, but the grind hit this morning as I finished up the paperwork and sent the files for these three out of my office. It was a good feeling to pass them along to Priest Personal and Priestly Formation offices. Congrats to St. Max, St. Charles Borromeo and St. Peter in welcoming them to their first assignments. It is a unique and special thing to help a 'Baby Priest' to transition from Seminarian to Pastor, be kind to them; but challenge them to grow into the priest that Jesus needs them to be.


Father Martin Fox said...

Father, that's a libel!

It was my second Mass (when someone went to the hospital), not the first!

And it happened, if memory serves, during the Gloria, so you can't very well blame it on anything like a too-long homily...

Fr. Ed said...

And, although I've heard my share of Martin's stories, this might be one I missed.

Jackie said...


When I first clicked on the link, I thought Fr. Kyle had sent us to a wrong site.

Now that Fr. Martin has 'confessed' - I REALLY want to hear the 'rest of the story' because it's got to be good. And besides, whatever I can make up in my head for this story WILL be worse than the truth!

So Fr. Martin ...

Father Martin Fox said...

Well, it's a good story I have no problem telling it; and as Father Kyle (then deacon Kyle) was there, I welcome his commentary, provided he tells the truth!

It was my second "Mass of Thanksgiving," and pretty much the fourth or fifth time I'd offered Mass, at all; and it was being celebrated in the parish where I had my internship--curiously enough, St. Boniface, where I am now pastor!

It also happened to be the feast of the Ascension, which we just celebrated last Sunday!

Anyway, with the help of a couple of seminarians, and a group of parish servers, several other priests, and with lots of excitement all around (a packed church), we began Mass with all the "bells and whistles." Of course we had a long procession (with Knights of St. John in full regalia) and of course, incense!

Mass proceeded in the usual fashion, with all due solemnity (I am pretty sure I sang the opening of the Mass; I know I sang purt near all my parts of that Mass!), and then we had the Gloria. I cannot recall if we had a sprinkling rite, but I'm pretty sure we did--and if so, it preceded the Gloria (as it's supposed to).

Well, I'm feeling pretty good, because I haven't messed anything up yet or forgotten anything (at least so my memory tells me now), when I notice...some sort of commotion back in the pews...

I should mention at this point that it was, as is usual for late May, a warm, sunny day; while we have a/c here, with a full house, it gets warm...

Then I saw a blur of motion at one side; it was Father Caserta, our "Energizer" (retired) priest. He had a vessel of anointing oil in his hand, headed to the back of church...

I don't recall just when I found out, but someone had passed out; we had an ambulance come and everything; we paused the Liturgy of the Word, as I recall, while they took the fellow off to the hospital.

Everything went fine after that. The man was fine--he'd forgotten to take some medicine. He had no complaints about the length of my homily or the Mass!

Jackie said...

Thanks Fr. Martin - I'm hoping Fr. Kyle (sounds funny to hear Deacon Kyle) pops in with some 'color commentary'.

When I first moved to Cincy I went to Mass at a parish on the West Side well - White Oak - and during the Mass they had a man have a heart attack - ambulance, CPR, Last Rites - the whole shabang - and then, it was also early summer and warm - another woman passed out and they called a second ambulance to haul her away.

I didn't go back - look like way too dangerous a place to go to Mass!

Father Kyle said...

I have to admit that Fr. Fox's remembrance is pretty much the same way that I remember it as well. It did make for an interesting conversation, tho!