|after the practice, magic ticket in hand|
Ok, now I really know what it feels like to be walking on the clouds. I got up this morning and just knew there was something phenomenally important happening today, but couldn’t figure out what it was. “Do I become a priest today?” I wondered. “No,” I suddenly realized, smiling. “But today’s the practice for tomorrow. I get to be deacon for Pope Francis!”
The practice went well. There are five of us deacons all told, and we share the responsibilities. I will help prepare the altar, do the incense during the consecration, give the sign of peace to Pope Francis, receive communion from Pope Francis, and do the purifications.
As we were practicing kissing the altar, I couldn’t help thinking, “goodness Lord, how many Popes (John Paul - who will be made Saint soon - was foremost on my mind) have kissed this altar, and now here’s little old me! Wow!
I will be carrying all of you in my heart tomorrow as I assist the Holy Father. I feel that this gift is not given me for myself, nor because of my merits, but for all of my family and friends, for my parish of Saint Mary Magdalen back home, and for me to be able to give witness to others of how good God is.
The mass will be at 9:30am Rome time, which is 3:30am EST. I know that’s a bit early, but if you’d like to watch it, they will stream live video over the internet at http://www.vatican.va/video/index.html . Also, it’s the first thing you see right now when you go to www.ewtn.com , “Holy Mass with Seminarians and Novices with Pope Francis”.
My friend Deacon Ricardo also will be assisting. We went for a pre-celebration gelato today. It’s so nice to have an old friend with you at a moment like this!
Please say a prayer all goes well tomorrow.
May God bless you all,
a very nervous Deacon Kevin