Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Consistory 2010

Back in November we celebrated a consistory of the College of Cardinals. A consistory is an event in which the Pope creates new cardinals for the Church. Interestingly enough, contrary to common belief, those selected to become cardinals do not all have to be bishops, though in practice they most often are. We had 24 created last year, from all around the world. Two were Americans- Cardinal Burke from St. Louis who now works in Rome, and Cardinal Wuerl from Washington, DC. It was a very moving ceremony, emphasizing the need for unity within the Church, making our Church truly catholic, and the necessity of being close to the Holy Father. It really brought the catholicity, the universality of the Church to one's mind, seeing cardinals being made from Sri Lanka to the Congo, from Egypt to Poland, from Italy to Zambia to the United States. We truly are a much greater whole than we normally imagine, being accustomed only to the Church of Kalamazoo, or maybe even just to the Church of St. Monica Catholic parish or St. Joe Catholic parish.

It is an important guide for one's intercessory prayer, realizing that we really are closely united to those Catholics who do not get to take their faith for granted in countries like India or Egypt, where 21 were killed for attending Mass this New Year's Eve. It reinforces that same lesson I learned this summer, spending several weeks with the Coptic Catholics in Egypt. We truly are one body in Christ, though divided by race or language or culture or favorite restaurant or sports team.

We were blessed to be able to spend some time with Bishop Bradley, who came for the Consistory. He was old friends with now Cardinal Wuerl and came for him but turned it into a pastoral visit. We got to spend a good amount of time with him, which is always so encouraging and edifying. I pray that I may be such a fervent servant of our Lord when I am ordained.

I was chosen to read at the Consistory service itself, which was awesome. It was a little intimidating reading before the Holy Father and so many of the bishops and cardinals of the Church, but by the grace of God I managed to do it without stumbling on my words or passing out, which is good. If you wanted to see it, I'm sure my dad would be more than willing to show it to you- he recorded it and has shown it to virtually everyone that has stopped by our house since then, I bet. [:)

After the Consistory, we had a huge after-party at our College for the cardinals and their families and friends. Then things returned to normal, insofar as anything around here is 'normal.' More soon.

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