Dear readers, today's guest blog is from the indomitable Fr. F. which made its way to my end of the wires on Monday. Perhaps it will lend a little flavor to the in depth coverage you have received from other sources. Thanks brother!
I was glad to see you wrote about the pope's visit today. If I didn't have four 15-20 page philosophy papers due in the next week, I would have gladly guest blogged for you, but +Lennon sent me here to study, so that is my first priority. However, I thought I might share with you a little something that you and your readers might appreciate and probably will not get from anywhere else.
I was part of three audiences with the Holy Father during his visit. The first was as part of the crowd that welcomed him as he made his way to meet with the bishops at the National Shrine. The second was the Mass at Nationals Stadium, at which I concelebrated. (If you get a chance, go to usatoday.com and click on the pope's photos page. Go to the shots from National's Stadium and check out picture #7. Note - It is a picture of Fr. F . Follow his directions and fish a round a bit.) The third audience was on campus here at Catholic University. CUA made tickets available to students, faculty and staff, and we filled the law school mall and welcomed Benedict as he made his way on campus to address Catholic educators. (If you haven't read this talk yet, download it right away.) Anyway, although Fr. O'Connell offered the Holy Father a gift on behalf of the university, which I believe was a picture of the university, the students, faculty and staff also offered him a gift as he left campus. As we were waiting on the lawn for him to arrive, Fr. Bob, the head of campus ministry, along with the help of 30 college students, taught the crowd to sing Regina Caeli. (See the picture I sent of our music practice.) When the Holy Father made his way out of the lecture hall and back into his popemobile, we started to sing. He rolled down the window of his popemobile and beamed as we belted out the beautiful Marian hymn. (See the other picture.) Perhaps he'll remember this whenever he thinks of the Catholic University of America. I know I will.