Today it's the Feast of Assumption. Our church was packed, all the priests concelebrated, and Mass was said by Bishop Joseph Sartoris in his fantastically deep voice. We didn't have a choir but that mattered not since we had Inday, a Filipina who provides a capella music at all our daily Masses. She launched into songs we knew so well that everyone joined in (imagine!)
After more than three years of walls made of plastic sheeting, our church is finally being reconstructed and it looks better every time I go in. Today it even looked like a church-- they had the stained glass windows back in. Didn't look quite as nice as this Bavarian church here, though. That's a detail from the Assumption of the Virgin by Egid Quirin Asam, 1725. Mary has a German look about her in this one, doesn't she? Chubby cheeks.
At the end of the Mass, our priests handed Bishop Sartoris an icon of Christ the Priest to celebrate his 57 years of priesthood, and Fr. Antolini whipped out his camera and forced Fr. Larry to pose with the bishop and the icon. I guess you'd have to know the people in question to understand how funny that was. :) We then got an episcopal blessing and Inday started the Salve Regina, which seems to be the hymn St. Peter Chanel parishioners know best. I think perhaps she meant that to be the recessional song, but the bishop chose to sing the whole thing with us at the foot of the altar before he genuflected and recessed out.
Afterward I moved down the row to greet a friend, and another girl from the parish came up to us. "I'm going to the Carmelites tomorrow!" she said. We were thrilled. I hadn't even known she was considering religious life! This is the congregation she's joining as a candidate. I went on their vocation retreat a year ago and realized I wasn't called to that order, but they're an awesome group of nuns. Hearing that piece of news was a perfect way to cap off the feast day.
It's not quite capped off yet, though, because some other friends from SPC have a three-day-old baby who's going to be baptized this afternoon. I've got to hurry and finish this post so I can get over there and see it. Check out the names of this couple's six children: Matthew, Jonathan, Maria Chanel (gee, where'd they get that name from?), Therese Marie, Faustina Mary, and now the newborn John Paul. What religion do you suppose the family is? :)
(I knew another family that had four daughters followed by a son. Their names were Grace, Charity, Faith, Hope, and Melchizedek. I always thought that was pretty cool.)
I found the picture above at the Web Gallery of Art by searching for "Assumption", and if you like art, there's plenty more where that came from.