I offered Holy Mass in thanksgiving for my twenty years of priesthood today, gathering with family and friends in the little church of the Monastery of the Glorious Cross in Branford, Connecticut. Apart from the readings and the homily, Mass was sung in Latin from the 2002 Missale Romanum. . . all part of the hermeneutic of continuity. At the Offertory, my mother and father presented the gifts of bread and wine.
The nuns of the monastery were present, of course, together with Mother Véronique, their Prioress General from France. The Apostles of the Sacred Heart, good friends that they are, were also there.
My brother Terence (The Dog Trainer) with his wife Sandy and the two children Michael Colin (3 years) and Mary Elizabeth (1 year) drove down from New Hampshire. Terence and Michael came to church while little Mary stayed at home with Sandy who is expecting another little gift of God. Michael Colin seemed to appreciate the golden thurible with bells on it! Michael and Kerry Guidone were there with recently baptized Michael Mario who slept blissfully through the whole Mass.
Father John F. Ringley together with Ann Marie and Victoria were there to lead the singing — all out of the Graduale Romanum! They sang the complete Propers, Ordinary IX, Cum jubilo (a little tribute to Our Lady), and the splendid and rarely sung Credo VI.
So many other dear friends from near and far came to be with me today. Barbara and Katie, ever faithful friends, drove down from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. I am very grateful to God and to each one. After Mass we gathered in the monastery meeting hall for cranberry nut bread and sherry. Later on in the day, my sister Donna and her husband Wayne together with Sean and Lauren, my “senior” nephew and niece, joined us. Some of us shared an exquisite dinner at New Haven’s most delightful Italian restaurant: Skappo.