21 January 2008

Archbishop Nienstedt's visit

Previous St. Agnes Day Mass. There were three times as many altar boys in the pews for Mass yesterday.

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!!


Sanctus Belle said...

Hey Swiss Miss! Just gotta tell ya my funny St. Agnes story! Before TLM was available in my town, my family made the trek to St. Paul. We got there just before the procession and took one of the few remaining areas where the family could all sit together. I thought "Oh, how odd that right here in the middle there's an entire pew open." Then, as the mass progressed we learned WHY. We had taken the "boobie pew" which made a VERY loud, high pitched sound every time we stood up. I remember folks around us cringing and turning to cast a sympathetic glance in our direction as if to say "Oh, you got THAT seat this morning eh? Must be visitors...."

Otherwise the mass was beautiful and perfect!

Vincenzo said...

"Then, as the mass progressed we learned WHY. We had taken the "boobie pew" which made a VERY loud, high pitched sound every time we stood up."


swissmiss said...

Oh, that was YOU!!!

Actually, there are a few pews like that at St. Agnes. There is one where the seat is kind of split and it looks deceptively tame. However, if you're not careful it can pinch your backside!

I had one of the "obscured view" pews behind one of the pillars. I knew to get to Mass even earlier than usual, but by the time I got there it was already packed. I could see the Archbishop on the left of the altar and Father Ubel to the right, but couldn't see the altar (tabernacle) itself. I thought the Mass itself was pretty tame considering it was the Feast of St. Agnes and the Archbishop was there. If I was an altarboy, I would've LOVED to be the one who sat in front of the Archbishop and held his crosier. Very cool.

swissmiss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gemoftheocean said...

Hey, kiddo. TAG. You are it on this book meme. Hopefully, it's a short one for you.


Cathy_of_Alex said...

SwissMiss: I was there too but I did not get any photos. Nice pictures!

Well, I've never encountered to "boobie pew" (Thanks Be to God) but I have trouble with the pews that have the heaters under them. I have really big feet so I have to be careful not to sit in one of those.

swissmiss said...

Guess I wasn't very clear about the photos. They were older ones from the St. Agnes website!

I have big feet too and get my feet stuck under the heaters too.