...and my name for the barber's, and thus I offer this tribute to priests like Canon Michael Wiener of the ICRSS:
Joe Pallavicino is my barber...
On Sunday mornings he loves to come to Solemn Mass and behold me standing at the high altar clad in the gorgeous vestments of a celebrant. I shine amid a blaze of lights. I am bowed at by respectful attendants in their flowing maniples and braided gowns. I am showered with incense by graceful altar-boys. I raise my hands majestically and speak aloud the beautiful phrases of the Latin prayers. I burst into song and am answered from the distance by a triumphant organ and a full-throated choir. I walk to and fro in an aura of mystery surrounded by golds and marbles, linens and flowers. I gesticulate to the accompaniment of chimes. One thousand pairs of eyes approve and interpret my every movement. I raise this multitude to its feet when I go to read the Gospel. I drop it on its knees with the paeans of the Sanctus. I send it into a hush at the sacred moments of the Consecration. I am the protagonist in the greatest drama that happens under the stars. I am Joe Pallavicino's hero of heroes. He has never met anyone in the world so wonderful as me.
On Monday morning it is quite different. I walk into Pallavicino's barber-shop with all my glory gone from me. I am the most nondescript-looking person imaginable. I am dressed in somber black....
But Joe Pallavicino refuses to forget me as he saw me on Sunday. My image in its moment of grandeur has been burned into his memory...
--from Fish on Friday, by Fr. Leonard Feeney
PS-- Just ponder for a moment that this Mass, and this respect for the glory of the priesthood, was not confined to a microscopic number of parishes and oratories when Feeney wrote this book. And this was barely a generation ago.
May Our Lord have pity on us and raise up more priests, and flocks, like those described above!
Pray for our priests!
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