From the Pastor: Bishop Schneider is Coming!
As announced last Sunday, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is coming for a visit and will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass for us on Sunday, May 7, at 10:30 am. He is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan, and a very well-known and respected defender of the Catholic Faith as passed down through the generations and, in particular, the Traditional Latin Mass. Among other writings, his 2008 book Dominus Est—It is the Lord! on the importance of receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion reverently on the tongue while kneeling is a treasure! I am not sure what all of the differences are between a Solemn Pontifical Mass with a Cardinal (like we just had when Cardinal Burke graced us with his presence) and with a Bishop. But we have men working on getting me and some other priests prepared to serve at the Mass. The one thing that I have already been told is that there are no archdeacons at this Mass. That figures. I was one of the two archdeacons at the last one, and my main job was to put the Cardinal’s precious miter on his head and take it off and to put his gold miter (two different miters are used at the Mass) on his head and take it off. After having spent, for the last Pontifical Mass, weeks of practice and then assisting at the Mass, I was confident that I could do it again and maybe even do it without pulling the Bishop’s zucchetto off as many times as I did the Cardinal’s. The news that that role was not available to me for this next one was quite a letdown. Now I have to find another job that takes nearly no skill, for I don’t have a whole lot of it to begin with! My MCs and altar boys always keep me on track or cover for my mistakes so well that most people don’t notice just how incompetent I am!
In other news, our long-term maintenance man, Luc Huynh, has decided to take life a little easier now and he has cut down his work week to just two partial days. As you can either see or well-imagine, there is more to maintain here than he can possibly do in that short time. So he has agreed to take on an intern or apprentice and teach him the ropes. John Paul Bauer has now joined us and, boy, did he quickly discover that being on staff is a lot different than just attending Mass and other Epiphany functions as a member of the Faithful! On his first day, a pipe in one of the classrooms burst. Not from the cold, thanks be to God, but due to corrosion from having been repaired with multiple incompatible types of metal pipe and fittings many years ago. And, before you jump to the wrong conclusion, it wasn’t Luc who caused the problem in the first place! We recently had the same issue in the attic behind the social hall. Somebody had “fixed” the hot water heater plumbing by joining the copper pipes to galvanized pipe to some other third type of pipe with chrome and other various fittings and, after years of metal to metal chemical interaction, we had a fountain spring up and pour down through the ceiling of the dungeon between the sacristy and the altar boy room. (The “dungeon” is the dark, dusty room where our boiler and all of the electrical panels for the AC system are crammed.) So now we know that any other repairs made about the same time will soon be following suit. Fortunately, we had recently discovered that the water shutoff valve for the classrooms was not functional and was buried three feet in the ground, so we had the plumbers come out and replace it and lift it up to ground level. Otherwise, we would have had to shut off all water to the property for the two days it took to make this new repair.
We also had a small issue with one of the swinging doors leading from the church to the social hall. The wood at the top hinge corner cracked open, keeping the door from operating properly. One of our elderly gentlemen (not a child running full steam ahead, in other words) pushed open the door but instead of it swinging into the hall to allow access, it simply crashed to the floor. John Paul had to figure out how to make the repair and get the door back up. A bit of new wood, a bit of drilling, a bit of glue, and the door would be ready to hang as soon as the glue set. Except we couldn’t wait. We needed it in place for the Sunday Masses. So he put the door up, latched it so that it wouldn’t open, and put signs on both sides of the door stating, “Do Not Use” so that the repaired part would not have pressure put on it before it was hardened properly. Of course, he also found out almost immediately on Sunday morning that he might as well have written the signs in Latin, for somebody interpreted the English as meaning, “Please unlatch this door. You must use this door and this door only. No other door will be good enough for you. Don’t think anything of it, for the latch and sign don’t apply to you.” Of course, it doesn’t work properly as of the time I am writing this (hopefully, it will be fixed again by the time you are reading this, though) because of the damage done by using it too early. At least he now knows that he has job security!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka