Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Vigil Mass with a Cardinal

Last night, Christmas Eve night, I decided to go to the Vigil Mass at 9.00 pm in Iona Road church. It was a very nice way to welcome the Saviour. And a very large crowd.

Our retired Archbishop, Desmond Cardinal Connell, was present to co-concelebrate, and he said a few special words after Communion. He started by admitting that he never expected to take part in a Conclave, because he expected Pope John Paul II to outlive everybody, and also because the man himself is approaching 80.

Obviously, Cardinal Connell did not reveal any of the secrets of the Conclave (OK, everybody, stop groaning!), and said he has been in Rome twelve times during 2005. (OK I admit, I'm a little jealous!!)

He described Benedict XVI by using a word I haven't heard anybody use before: "bouncing".

Cardinal Connell said that he recently went to one of the Wednesday General Audiences. He said that when anybody meets the Pope, he always asks them one thing: "Pray for me."

This morning, I watched Urbi et Orbi on the box, switching between both RTE and EWTN. My favourite part was when he stepped out onto the balcony to hear what sounded like screams of teenage girls at a Boyzone concert.

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