...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!
"Heaven is for Real" Comes out Today
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