Despite having a cold and not getting much sleep the night before, and even though it was sooooo cold out, I got myself out of bed and made it to the 10am Latin Mass at St. Agnes. It was the parish's feast of St. Agnes and Archbishop Nienstedt was present.
The choir, chorale and orchestra sung/played Gounod's St. Cecelia Mass. It was quite lovely, but I really don't care for the Credo. I have had a CD of this for years, but the more I hear it, the more the Credo sounds like it was written for a Broadway musical. I will say some of the rest of it makes me get a bit teary. I really don't know where this comes from. When I was younger, nothing made me cry. Never, ever. Now I can't venture to a Latin Mass without a tissue. And this isn't even close to Mozart's Requiem, which turns me into a bowl of mush when I hear it performed live.
The church was full of pomp and circumstance, done at a level few churches can achieve. Dozens of altar boys processed in, youngest to oldest (well, maybe I should say shortest to tallest). The church was packed, not a spare seat to be seen. Beside the deacons, Father Ubel was the only other priest on the altar; it was nice to let the spotlight shine on the Archbishop. The Knights of Columbus, that were always so cool to see as a child, were even neat to watch as an adult.
Archbishop kept his homily short. He did mention that he had never met Monsignor Schuler, which I thought was a bit unbelievable since it seems everyone had met him! It is too bad they had never met, since I think they would've had a lot in common. Archbishop Nienstedt did have a point to his homily, other than just introducing himself to the parish. He related the story of St. Agnes, a very young, virtuous girl, who was martyred and essentially said today's youth should follow her example of chastity instead of looking at the example society provides. He also said we are all called to holiness and chastity no matter what our state in life is. Direct and to the point.
Archbishop Nienstedt did mention an "ecclesiastical genealogical connection" he had with St. Agnes. Prior St. Agnes pastor, Monsignor Alphonse Schladweiler, had been appointed Bishop of New Ulm and Archbishop Nienstedt had been Bishop of New Ulm. There you have it.
I did have to stop for a minute when the Archbishop blessed the congregation. I thought, with my poor hearing, that he referred to St. Agnes as a "virgin and mother." I then realized what he had actually said was the more sensical "virgin and MARTYR." Because of this, I didn't really catch much of the blessing :)
And, upon leaving the church, I found I didn't get a parking ticket even though I was parked a tiny bit too close to a stop sign. And I actually got to sit and enjoy the Mass because hubby stayed home with the kids and went to a later Mass at Nativity. It was nice to go to Mass without distraction.
Welcome Archbishop Nienstedt!!