Countdown to Ordination: Day 31
Today the men from Brooklyn spent the day at 310 Prospect Park West, the main offices for the diocese.
Honestly, it wasn’t so bad for a day full of meetings. We received all sorts of helpful information about the different head of different organizations within the diocese. We filled out a bunch of paperwork. But most importantly we had a better recognition that “the powers that be” down at the Diocese’s office are less like powers and more like people.
It’s a great supportive team backing up the priests to make sure we do the best for the people in the parishes. The highlight was having my chalice officially consecrated by a bishop. Bishop Chappetto, the Vicar for Clergy took a little time out of his full schedule to consecrate my chalice and paten, signing it with the sign of the Cross, using Chrism.
The Chalice and Paten were given to me as a generous gift from the Parish of St. Clare in Rosedale where I spent pastoral year. My home parish, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jamaica payed for it to be re-covered in gold and polished.
Everyone who sees it is amazed at its beauty and age. When I told one girl that it was over a hundred years old, she remarked quite purely, “can you imagine how many times the Blood was made in it?”
Wow, now that is wisdom from the mouth of babes. I was really struck by her comment when I realized that in a hundred years, the chalice might no longer exist (being lost, broken, or destroyed). In a hundred years the Diocese’s main offices might no longer exist. In fact the priest who owned the chalice a hundred years ago, Fr. Joseph Traenkle, went to a seminary upstate and served in four parishes in Brooklyn . That seminary and those parishes no longer exist. The buildings of most of them aren’t even on the map.
Yet one hundred, or one thousand, or one hundred thousand years from now I will exist, and so will that precious young girl at the parish, and all the great people at the diocesan offices. We will exist because of how many times the Precious Blood was consecrated for us and taken in by us with faith and love.
Let our hearts be like pure consecrated chalices and patens. Let us thank God for the gift of priests who make Christ’s body and Blood present for us to receive as food and drink. And let us pray for the priest who will come up in a hundred years and those to come in less than a hundred days, that they may be whole-heartedly consecrated to service until the end of all time.