Praised be Jesus Christ Sisters! Made it home from the closing Mass! What a week to remember. Last night’s vigil as you probably already know was beautiful. I almost don’t want to go into a blow by blow account simply because I’m still processing it myself and am also a bit under the weather. I’m sure SGH will do a nice job explaining it all to you.
All I can share was that it was an immense gift to be in the presence of our Holy Father(even from afar) and words cannot express what it is like to attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Pope – Christ’s Vicar on earth. God bless and good night.
Sister Mary Scholastica
Praised be Jesus Christ! We have just returned from the pilgrimage Vigil and Mass with our Holy Father. The whole event was blessed. First of all I wanted to share that the Saturday Mass in which Sister Mary Scholastica received Holy Communion from our Holy Father was really heavenly! I was not sure if I could get in due to the special invitations necessary, in fact, I was told I could not. At 8:15 AM I decided to venture across to a nearby park where the American Bishops were celebrating Mass for the American pilgrims when I saw a small group of Sisters who were on their way to the cathedral. They, too, had been told they could not get in, but heard that there was a good chance we could – so I turned around and went back. We were able to get in without a problem. What a special moment to see Pope Benedict as he was processing down the aisle. I was not seated where I could see him during the Mass, but it just was not important. There was a sense of gift – freely given to uplift and plant deeply in the soul that this moment in time was eternal – just as our destiny is. Nothing seemed to matter but being present to each moment of the Mass. There were monitors throughout the cathedral so that all the faithful could see what was happening throughout the Mass. The consecration of the altar was beautiful! I have never seen a dedication of an altar or church before. The prayers were powerful and inspiring, as they can be connected with our own consecration and total gift of self.
After the morning Mass, SMS and I packed and began our pilgrim walk with four other Sisters. It was blessed and quite “pain-free”, as pilgrimages go 🙂 We prayed along the way, as well as visited with pilgrims. When we arrived at Randwick Racetrack, it was already packed – the trek to find our assigned area took as long as the pilgrimage walk, itself! By the time we found it, almost all the CMSWR Sisters were there. We squeezed in and, as WYD Vigil camp outs go, began to make friends very quickly, as you are in very tight quarters – the young people were very respectful and went out of their way to offer us water, a pillow (!), vigil candles -good young people! SMS and I had the late evening/morning shift at different Adoration tents. I was assigned to the tent with the Sisters of Charity. It was truly lovely. At 10:00 PM, when my shift began, I found the tent packed to the gills. It started to loosen up around 12:30 AM. Adoration and Confessions were going on throughout the whole night – and the priests remained busy. God’s grace is strong. I was there until about 1:15 AM, then made it back to our campsite by 2:15 AM.
The Holy Father drove around the race track before beginning Mass – we were able to see him really well – the driver drove a lot slower this time 🙂 Our Holy Father’s smile is so endearing… I am going to write this in two installments…to be continued tomorrow….tomorrow we will write about the Mass.
A quick reflection…have you ever been in a place with a half a million people and heard the silence? That’s what happened during Holy Communion and through many parts of the Mass – there was such reverence. There is deep faith – it needs to be nurtured in our young people, that’s all. We are blessed. God bless you. With much love in our Lord,
Sister Grace Helena