Sunday, July 14, 2013
Being in the Presence of a Saint
I had the lovely opportunity to serve Holy Mass for His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke for the opening Mass on Friday night. This also meant talking to him in the sacristy before and after the liturgy.
First, Father Klotter- the MC and my former pastor- introduced me, though I really didn't need much of one. His Eminence remembers everyone, and remembered that not only did I write to him, I sent him our picture as a gift! He's such a good pastor that way, and is a model for us men to remember names and faces as best we can (plus he has a snazzy hankie).
He has a beautiful amice. It is very full, and Roman-style. His alb is very traditional, and I believe it has a tie (even his travel alb!). It has plenty of lace too. Beautiful!
Somehow the conversation got to Ireland, and I mentioned how sad I was that the Dail Eireann had passed the abortion legislation. Cardinal Burke said sadly that "Malta's next." We both shuddered, as we both know that those are formerly thoroughly Catholic countries, redoubts against the Protestant and Islamic errors.
He smiled as I asked him about the ordinations he celebrated for the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest. He loves it! First, he loves the Holy Mass so much. It is a great gift for him to celebrate the liturgy. I think this is especially true in the Extraordinary Form. Also, "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." Conferring the sacraments means that grace passes to you the celebrant as well, which brings you closer to Christ, which fills your soul and leads to an exterior display of joy.
I told him that I had finally decided to go to Franciscan University of Steubenville, and he was thrilled. Well, I think he was anyways. He's not the type to get super-excited, but you can tell when something makes him very, very happy. "It is a good place."
After Mass, it was so cute. Br. Adrian, a seminarian for the Fathers of Mercy seminarian asked, "How tall is our Holy Father, Pope Francis?"
"A little bit taller than me, and very active." I don't think he frowns at all, except to show concern about the state of the Church, which one can clearly see in his talks (which I'll get back to soon).
I also got some advice on the priesthood...I don't know if I've given it enough thought. I want a degree first, but the seminarians (both groups, actually) asked if I was discerning or studying for Louisville. In a limited way, the first answer is the right one. He recommended highly Bishop Morlino of Madison, and since I have ample knowledge of French (it will be nine years by the time I graduate, assuming I take it each year as planned), he highly recommends Mgr. Rey and the Diocese of
Fréjus-Toulon in the south of France. I feel that I could only celebrate the traditional liturgy, and I believe Mgr. Rey would even consent to forming me in a traditional religious house which would allow for the use of the 1962 rite of ordination as well as the conferral of minor orders. They both spoke at the Sacra Liturgia conference (he was amused to know that the most tweets from the conference were from his stellar talk on liturgical law).
On Saturday, he signed my copy of his book, and remembered my name! He just needed to double-check the spelling! "To Matthew, May your heart, one with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, rest always in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. Louisville, 13 July, 2013." And, he was in such a hurry. The poor man had to catch an airplane. It's Louisville: you are stuck, save the D.C., Charlotte, and Chicago airports, if you don't leave prior to 3 PM.
Beautiful! (Miss) Anne Donahue, one of the two ladies working to build the Sisters of the Fiat, thought it was too! (I showed it to her later. Her face is priceless at thsoe moments).
Mrs. Michalak, whose family started Immaculate Classical Academy (here) asked him about a version of the Office to use, and he said to email her about it. There are issues with the publisher's shifting stance. Cool!
No picture this year. His Eminence really was in a hurry, and was tired! Next year though!