Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In A Quiet Cathedral

On Monday, following an afternoon Christmas lunch with some of my co-worker’s, I had some time on my hands before I needed to pick up my wife at her office. Since her office is right around the corner from the local Catholic cathedral, I decided to walk to the cathedral and pay my respects to Archbishop Kelly who passed away in his sleep on December 14th. His body was lying in state there. The cathedral is a beautiful place and all was quiet when I walked inside. As I walked up the stairs I couldn’t help but think about my youngest son. In the year 2013 he will be ordained a priest in this cathedral. As I walked up to the Archbishop’s coffin I saw a face in the crowd that I recognized. It was the Archbishop’s administrative assistant who I’ve known for many years. Archbishop Kelly and I were not really personal friends but I have been around him many times. In the early 2000’s I participated in a Ministry Formation Program in the Archdiocese. At the end of the two year program, I was commissioned as a lay minister by Archbishop Kelly on the same spot where he was now lying in repose. After paying my respects I decided to stay in the cathedral for a while and meditate in the silence. It was a silence that was in stark contrast to the loud and hectic atmosphere of the Cheesecake Factory where I had dined earlier in the afternoon. I think I had a small spiritual awakening while I sat there and a rare moment of clarity. It seemed to me that it was no accident that I just happened to have the time that allowed me to be in the cathedral at that moment. When I left there and walked through the cool evening air to my car, all in life seemed right, if only for a moment.


Tina Wheatley said...

I'd like to share a story with you. I was taking an elective in Music and Art. We were discussing types of architectures in buildings. I had an assignment of visiting an old building and describing what I found. I decided to visit the cathedral on a warm Friday afternoon while on vacation. My daugher joined me and we were both wearing shorts. When we arrived at the cathedral I saw a few others also walk in. I soon realized we had arrived just in time for the noon mass. I had to laugh at myself. I was there for more than one reason. Yes, I attended mass in shorts!

Bryan said...

Love this entry. For a moment, I felt like I was there.