Since no one has mentioned it, it apears that I was the only one who watched (twice now) the Mass and Inauguration of John H. Garvey, J.D. as the new President of Catholic U. I thought it was fabulous. Great music. Terrific inaugural speech by him, quite moving; humble man. Gorgeous basilica, too. Camera work did a magnificent job of highlighting the artwork inside the basilica. The mosaic work is really stunning. Never seen this building in person.
My only caveat was that it conflicted with the live broadcast of the Papal Vespers for the Conversion of St. Paul from the Pauline basilica. While I understand that CUA is important, I do not think that the installation Mass should have trumped the Holy Father. I also did not think that it should have warranted a re-broadcast. I was at work and could not get to see the Papal liturgy.
Well this last part I do agree with, and can see your point. However, I have to say that very often I also wish they wouldn’t rebroadcast a papal Mass or event (either), because it often suppants the Daily mass, which I often have only one opportunity to see, and there are some homilists whose homilies really inspire me (and feel I need them).
I called EWTN to actually ask that they not supplant the Papal Mass for one of their liturgies. While I, too, see your point, it is very hard to get up at 3AM to see the Papal Mass live. The Holy Father is an excellent homilist and, for me, I treasure these liturgies because they are beautifully celebrated and the homilies are excellent. They are teaching moments for me. When EWTN rebroadcasts it, they usually do so while I am at work. They could very well pre-empt their regular programming (including their Mass broadcast) for the Holy Father. Unfortunately, one of the customer service representatives was very rude and pretty much made me feel as though I had to be a regular contributor if I wanted to air a complaint.
There was one time, when I had the flu, that I could not go to Mass. As the fever broke, I was able to see the closing Mass for the Synod on the Eucharist (for the most part), live. The liturgy was incredible and, while it obviously did not satisfy my obligation (I was still pretty weak), it was most enriching and gave me a lot of comfort.
You really should get to see the basilica. You can literally spend the whole day there exploring the different chapels. The art work is amazing. I wrote a paper on the mosaic of Christ in Majesty for a graduate class on art and theolgy. I never liked it because Jesus looked so angry in it and looked too European, until I researched the artist, the times when the piece was designed and the scriptural references he used in planning the piece. It is unique in that while it follows the basic format so to speak, of traditional icons of the Pantocrator, there are elements of it that are found in other depictions that are not traditional or even Eastern.
When I was in the 8th grade, we saw a film about the basilica and we wanted DC as our destination for our graduation trip so that we could go tour this grand shrine. However, we did not have enough money so we wound up staying closer to home.
I, for one, was disappointed because we did not get to go.
Well in this case they provided neither the Papal Mass, nor one of their (daily) liturgies! So they did neither.
Nevertheless, I did find this liturgy inspiring as well, and certainly relevant for any 21st century lay Catholic. It’s important, I think, since education and Catholic education is so much in the news (including higher education) that we get a (rare) look at the leadership in these institutions, and what their orientation is in the interface between church and society. I agree that the repeat could have been exchanged for the Papal Mass.
While I, too, see your point, it is very hard to get up at 3AM to see the Papal Mass live.
True. But European time frames will be difficult for most Americans. EWTN will not be able to find a broadcast time to benefit everyone with diffierent individual work schedules and time zones.
The Holy Father is an excellent homilist and, for me, I treasure these liturgies because they are beautifully celebrated and the homilies are excellent. They are teaching moments for me. .
Thank you so much for all that insight. Agreed. I was thinking exactly, while seeing the camera shots, some of which lingered, that the experience of seeing it in person would be powerful. I also agree that the background, inspiration, motivation of the artist can be very important in the full appreciation of a piece of art. That paper of yours must have been a labor of love, including (obviously) an epiphany. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks! I had the same perceptions regarding the balance he stressed between faith and reason. I thought his comments on a community of spiritual guides (so to speak), or at least uplifting influences, is a point often neglected in the mention of Catholic education on all levels: the peer group and its influence on moral and spiritual formation. I was very conscious of this myself in graduate school.
He is acknowledging that ‘it’s a tough world out there,’ but he’s suggesting that Catholic communities, including academic ones, are one of the remedies in that regard. And I agree with him, and I think this is an under-addressed aspect of Catholic education. Intellectually and spiritually vibrant Catholic campus centers on secular university campuses can do much to create a small counter-cultural community, but unfortunately the presence of these is far too rare. I was lucky to be a part of one in my undergrad years, and it is where I found my lifetime friends, but I think my experience was an exception vs. what’s available today.