Monday, April 7, 2014

A Very Special Day

There are so many wonderful things happening at St. James, but sometimes something truly eclipses the day to day wonderfulness.  That is what happened this Saturday at the Mass for the Special Needs Community.  I had planned to go to this Mass in the past, but either work or inertia seemed always to prevent me.  I heard that one should bring a hankie if attending, but I felt that I am so hardened that I wouldn’t need one.  Silly me!  I was overwhelmed.  Fortunately, I was prepared, as I always carry a hankie,  sniffles being constantly just around the corner lurking on a pollen grain. 

Marie Claire helped carry in the icon.

Most of the servers and ushers were from the Special Needs Community, and their reverence and attention was a lesson to us all.  Our Music Director, Jim, marshaled together an orchestra comprised of musicians whom I believe were from the L’Arche community.  Many of them are frequent participants in the Friday evening TaizĂ© services.  Jim is at his most wonderful in these situations, and seems effortlessly to bring out the best in the musicians around him.  Some of the Cathedral Choir members joined the L’Arche orchestra, which was one of the most joy filled musical groups imaginable.  Their enthusiasm was unparalleled.

The bell ringers were wonderful!

While the entire Mass was moving in so many ways, the emotional highlight was when Stephanie, one of the bell ringers in the orchestra, presented Archbishop Sartain with her Special Olympics gold medal.  He said that it was the best gift he had ever received, and I am certain that this was true. 

Stephanie Soha, second from left, about to make her presentation.

What a wonderful morning this was!  I feel so fortunate that I was able to participate. 

The K of C Honor Guard

Our own Stacey and her Sophia Grace (sorry for out-of-focusness)

You can see more pictures here.

Thanks to Joe MacKenzie for taking pictures for me, and to Maria L for lending me one!


Pru said...

I'm behind on reading your blog :-( This post had me reaching for the box of tissues, so I can only imagine how much you needed a hankie. What a beautiful experience it must have been.

Laura said...

I love the sweet expressions. What a wonderful and loving experience to share.

Marta said...

This is my favorite mass. I must admit it is difficult not to shed a few tears but it is helpful in so many ways.
The strength of those with special needs and the care givers are inspirational.