Friday, April 25, 2008

Papal Mass.. comments questions and concerns!

I don't know where to start when it comes to the Papal Mass at Skank... I mean Yankee Stadium. Well let me begin there, I am a die hard Mets fan, one of those crazy ones that can't stand the Yankees, and I had sort of make a promise to myself that I would never enter Yankee Stadium and was really excited that it was going to happen, seeing as it's being knocked down later this year. Alas the "Man in White" is the only person who could get me into that Stadium. So yes the Pope is who made me enter the belly of the beast.

The day went very smoothly considering what could have gone wrong. I guess I should really start with the ticket story, I blogged a few entries ago about maybe having a ticket to the Mass, that was a Monday evening. Tuesday morning I was told it was up in the air and that the lady who was offered the ticket had already said she didn't need it. Anyway she calls me on Tuesday takes my name, social security number and date of birth so they can "make sure I'm not a terrorist." I assured her that my background as far I knew was clean, considering how many times it was check for all the schools I worked at. Anyway she said she'd know by Wednesday probably Thursday if her captain could get the ticket. The logical part of me is thinking there is no way this ticket is still around, but my gut feeling was it's still around. Well Friday morning I got a call from the woman, and not only did I get one ticket, but I got two tickets. So I took my mom with me. It was only fitting considering all she and my father have done for me and how many times they sent me to World Youth Days and to Rome so I could see JP2.

So on Friday afternoon I had to drive to this lady's house, which was a good 45/50 mins away from my house. Thank God for navigation systems, the GPS was awesome! So my mom and I dropped my nephew off at school and continued on our way to get the tickets. Once I got the tickets I needed to plan out our day on Sunday, as we had to make our own way into the city. That was done thanks to NJ Transit's webpage and NYC's MTA's webpage.

Going to the Archdiocese of New York for Mass was a coming home of sorts for me. All of my sacraments, well the ones I have received so far, have been conferred on me via the Archdiocese of NY, so I was coming home to my Church. It was strange as all of my other papal events involved JP2, and I kept wanted to bust out the Giovanni Paulo chant not the Benedicto chant. So that make it a bit strange. I wasn't moved to tears like I thought I would be, I was overly excited to see Papa B16, but it wasn't the same. I must say that even with this this being my 4th papal Mass it was the first Mass I felt was like a Mass. I know the other ones were World Youth Day (WYD) Masses and therefore massive, but there was always a feeling of me being unprepared and other things for Mass. 1 million people vs. 60,000 is a pretty dig difference. The age group was completely different too. Some other reasons could be that we camped out the night before and left before Mass in Paris, so this was really my 3rd Papal Mass, and camped out in Rome and Toronto. Rome was ok, Toronto had a highly spiritual battle going on around me, so I guess this Mass was really the first one I could be calm at, the first one I would have a "seat" for, the first one I could dress "up" for, the first one where I could feel like I was at Mass. That's what I noticed, this Mass felt like a Mass, I was able to block out the annoy things around me, and remind myself that it was a Mass. I think talking to Fr. Brian about perfection helped, I keep reminding myself that I like everyone else am not perfect, and I turned to Cardinal Cooke's, fitting as he was Cardinal Archbishop of NY when I was a baby, example of offering up something for the souls of Purgatory and well they seemed to work.

Looking back on my reactions to the Cardinals I can see the "POPEY POPEY POPEY!!!" person in me. I was literally standing on a chair to see over the people in front of me. My mother did tell me that the people next to us would think I was nuts, so I guess the me from WYD did show up, but I think I was more interested in my mom's reaction. I knew what was going to happen it wasn't my first papal event. I did find it strangely amusing the attitudes of people at the Mass, well before Mass anyway. I know that Mass was at a non-traditional site, but NY did an awesome job of making that skanky stadium look well suited for Mass. I knew I was in a baseball stadium, but I didn't feel like I was. Maybe that was God's grace yet again working in my life, or it comes with practice of being able to focus on what's going on at Mass so one feels like they are at Mass.

Anyhoo, back to the actual event. I had a nagging feeling that we should be on the first train out of Hawthorne aka H-town, and that was at 6:39am, and the damn thing was 2 mins early by my watch. No big deal, when it's something like that I'm actually early for it. We got into Penn Station about an hour later so we stopped for some good ole Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and some caffeine. We decided to actually sit and eat vs. bringing it with us. We had pleanty of time to get to the stadium. We got to Yankee Stadium well before the 9am gate opening, but we were not alone. We were shuffled along by the NYPD, who asked us to have our tickets out so they could tell us where to go and that's exactly what I did and they told us where to go. By getting there then we didn't have to deal with the protesters who were out. There were a few pro-test-ants aka protestants those Christian people. Actually these morons probably weren't even Christian. A few of the signs caused me to be a smart ass. One asked if I knew Jesus and I said yes I did, I was just at Mass with Him. Another said Constantine was the first Pope and I said no Peter was, read your Bible! Yes it was the signs that asked not the people who were holding them doing the asking.

Oh well, I'm starting to babble, I'm trying to kill time while some pictures from the blessed event print, but I'm just going to get loopy so I'll stop for now and let you ponder the crazies that were outside protesting the Holy Father and the Church.

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