I've been at the CMAA Colloquium in DC the last few days, and saw a few folks there that I knew. (Most importantly, my brother and sister-in-law, who live in northern Virginia and whom I visited with, but not for as long as I'd have liked.)
The big surprise was seeing Fr. Martin Fox, whom longtime readers of this blog will remember was my parish's assistant pastor before he got his own parish. It was logical to see him there, though, as he loves chant. It was pretty neat to see him say Mass again (which he did at one of the daily Masses… more on that stuff later.) He also blogged during the colloquium, so go take a look at his take.
He, like me, was in the sad position of missing my parish's Big Farewell Party yesterday for our pastor of fifteen years, Fr. Manning. (Which wouldn't have happened if the parish folks had scheduled the farewell as soon as they knew what was happening, instead of three-four weeks ago….) But my mom and dad went, along with huge chunks of Kettering and a lot of the priests in our area, and it was a very big deal. The big joke was that the parish people timed the homilies and Masses this weekend just as Fr. Manning always did, and for once his homilies got longer, as the time got closer to his last Mass in the parish. At the 12:30, his homily lasted a good twenty minutes!
Also, somebody noticed that, after all these years of driving across town to keep an eye on his mother at night instead of sleeping in the rectory, Fr. Manning's car had a lot of miles on it. So there was a secret raising of donations to buy him a new car, as well as a secret installation of some kind of commemorative stained glass window in the sacristy. (Which is on the side toward the rectory, and which Father is in and out of every day, so the Secret Plan of Installation must have been very good.) Also, my mother said the music at the last Mass was very good (though of course she said she missed my voice — she's my mom!) and that the reception afterwards was a feast. So apparently everybody went all out. (But we'll still see Father, as he'll be working right up the street at Alter High School and assistant pastoring at St. Henry's.)
I also saw Fr. Geoffrey Keyes, another member of St. Blog's. (Rifugio San Gaspare is the new version of the old New Gasparian.) He's a Missionary of the Precious Blood, just like our older priest, Fr. Tom Beischel. (I knew this, but I had the info stored in different boxes.) It's a small world, isn't it?
I am still extremely tired from the demanding schedule, but mostly I'm sleepy from having my plane get in late. So much for not taking the later flight!
I was planning on going back to work today, too. Oh, well, back to billing. I'll blog more about the colloquium later. Which, btw, a lot of the 80-some attendees found out about from the dancing note ad and the mentions on blogs, especially Amy Welborn's. This was said so often that even the non-blog readers got to know her name. So…
When we were getting our picture taken at the end of the colloquium, the photographer kept saying stuff to make us laugh, like "This is for the New York Times!" At the end, he said, "This is the really important one!" So I said, "It's for Amy Welborn."
This got a pretty big laugh.
Oh, and thanks to Mike Aquilina for his nice mention of this blog. Nobody's ever called my prose "sparkling" before.