This past Sunday will go down in my memory as among the most blest and surprising. Here we are in the middle of a plague but God still reigns and the love and hunger of the people of God is alive.
The morning started quietly with confessions in the Church followed by a private Mass celebrated and sung solemnly with the three seminarians who are staying here. They are good men and have been a great support to me in times like these, and all of our liturgies are reverently and meticulously celebrated.
By 11:00 AM the Sisters from our Convent joined us in the courtyard for a small May Procession: six sisters, three seminarians and I processed around Lincoln Park here in the neighborhood carrying our Lady in Procession. We returned to the courtyard next to the church and there crowned the large statue of our Lady with flowers. She looks so beautiful with her crown!
So the day was already rich with blessings. But at 2:00pm there came yet another amazing blessing and great delight. I had been asked to come outside the rectory, having been told that a small group wanted to make a presentation to me. I had no idea what it could be and so I went forth quite curious. The video below shows what unfolded. It was a road-rally of almost 120 cars filled with parishioners honking and waving as they went by!
I cannot begin to tell you how moved I was. God’s people are so good! It is the greatest gift I could imagine. All I could do was smile and wave back. But I think my tears said more than I can ever express in words.
To my parishioners I want to say, I love you, I miss you and am grateful for the gift you gave to me, to the sisters and staff. And the gift you gave was the gift of your very self. I long to be reunited and I don’t think we’ll ever be able to see our Sunday gatherings as ordinary again. The Sunday Mass and Our Lord in the Eucharist have formed us and knitted us together all these years, it is the most precious gift we have. We are members of Christ, but we are also members of one another, and that was so beautifully evident last Sunday.
I thank you again for this precious gift. I will never forget the joy of that moment and, following the Blessed Mother’s example, I will treasure and ponder it in my heart.
I know that some of you have already seen the video on Facebook. But if not, here you go: