(First of all, if you’re not yet “Follow”ing this blog, I strongly recommend you subscribe. Especially my Sanford, NC friends – I won’t be emailing you about every new post, so Follow-ing me is the most reliable way to stay updated.
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Being at CUA is sort of a surreal experience. For example, this is the view I get when I step out of the library:
And in the parking lot of my main classroom building:
Of course, none of it looks that clean and organized right now, because work crews have spent the whole past week building platforms and risers and tents to prepare the Shrine and the quad for His Holiness’ visit. Every door along that side of the Shrine is roped off from both sides, but if you’re willing to walk around to the front and then back behind the main altar, you get to see this:
If I had the time and didn’t mind being fussed at by security staff every few minutes, I could literally sit on the floor and watch people build Pope Francis’ altar and chair for the Mass on Wednesday. (This is a photo from last month, and it’s much closer to finished now, but I don’t want to spoil the end result for anyone.)
The Mass on Wednesday, by the way, for which every CUA student who requested a ticket got one. Myself included. It’s a standing-room area off to the left of the 15,000 chairs they’re setting up along the whole east facade, but at least it has a view of the stage. Most standing-room areas are just places on campus to watch the Mass on a Jumbotron. So I’m not complaining!
(Especially since the 23rd is my birthday, and if I had not gotten a ticket, I certainly would have complained to anyone I thought might have any power over this until I did get a ticket. But now I don’t have to be a nuisance to anyone, which is nice.)
So I know most of you who have access to EWTN will be following the Pope’s visit on TV. “But which websites,” some of you may be asking, “should I follow for good Internet coverage? I mean, I know about the Register and the Reporter, but might there be some other good sites you can recommend?”
Indeed there are, and indeed I can!
Those of you who’ve read the Reporter for a while and remember their Vatican reporter John Allen should know that he now runs a Catholic-news satellite website to the Boston Globe called Crux, which is where you can find his reporting now. He will be the best U.S. journalist working the Pope trip, and you should try not to miss any of his work. He has a great preparatory Guide to “decoding” Pope Francis, about some of his favorite terms and phrases that mean something slightly different to ol’ Frank than we might naturally assume they mean, and I highly recommend reading it before you start reading his U.S. speeches and homilies.
“But where will I find the texts of the speeches and homilies?”, you may ask.
For this you need the best U.S. Catholic freelance journalist, Rocco Palmo, and his blog Whispers in the Loggia. He will post the text of each speech as soon as it’s available (allowing some time to translate the Spanish ones into English). He’s also a Philadelphia native, so he’ll have a lot of first-hand inside info to share about the World Meeting of Families portion of the PopeTrip, but he’ll be present in DC and NYC as well.
Incidentally, Palmo has recently re-posted some of ol’ Frank’s most important homilies and speeches of the past two years, to remind his readers of what His Holiness is really all about. Here are quick links to:
- Francis on money and financial reform
- Francis on the migrant crisis
- Francis on how bishops should evangelize
- Francis on the sex abuse scandal
- Francis talking to the European Parliament about human dignity
Palmo also has a Twitter feed for those of you who do that thing (I don’t), which you may want to follow as well.
Finally, if you haven’t read Frankie’s most recent interview, with the Portuguese radio program/station Renascença, here it is. The first half or more is about the migrant crisis as it’s gotten even worse in Europe recently. There are some fun personal details about the Holy Father towards the end.
I’ll do my best to take photos at the Mass on Wednesday, and I’ll post here all the photos that turn out to be any good. I’ll probably have some posts about his homilies and speeches, too.
Until next weekend,
Pax et bonum