THE WOMEN'S ROOM
Here's something you should know about St. Patrick's Cathedral: There is no rest room. I came up against this unfortunate fact in 2000 when I was covering the funeral for Cardinal John O'Connor. Reporters had to be in place two hours before the start so we could go through security -- President Clinton was in attendance -- and the funeral was three hours long. Without getting too graphic, let me just say it wasn't my soul, or the cardinals, I was praying for that day.
Yesterday, arriving about 15 minutes early for the ordination of two Staten Islanders, I realized with horror that I was in the same predicament. I headed to Prime Burger on 51st Street, prepared to spend any amount of money just to visit their facilities. But when I saw a long line of people -- mostly women -- heading through the restaurant and down the stairs, I joined them and found myself, happily on line for the bathroom with no purchase necessary. Behind me were two women from the Sisters of Life. And do you know what those intrepid sisters did? They comandeered the men's room!! So many things I didn't know about nuns when I was a girl in grade school!!
Maybe I'm just getting cranky, but it seemed to me that the cathedral was full of babies and toddlers, and almost all of them were crying. It's hard enough to hear Cardinal Egan's baritone voice in the bouncy acoustics of the cathedral without the whining, shrieking and wailing in the background. Also it's not so comfortable standing in the "press box" for three hours, so I am forgiving myself the uncharitable thoughts I had about some of those noisy babies near me. Or maybe I should go to confession.
SPEAKING OF KNEES
Cardinal Egan had knee replacement surgery last September, and yesterday, when it came time for the brand new priests to give him a blessing, he explained to the audience that he was merely bowing, and not kneeling, because "the piece of metal" in his knee might not know how to bend. He said he would have his knees properly trained by next year's ordination. Which leads cardinal-watchers to wonder, was that an encrypted way to say he's staying on another year, despite having turned the mandatory retirement age of 75? Stay tuned.
THE BISHOP IN THE BLACK HAT
During some of the service, the bishops in attendance wear pointy white hats called mitres. Underneath they wear a sort of chartreuse shade of yarkmulke (although I'm sure they don't call it by that Yiddish word). But one bishop was wearing some unusual black headgear that had me wondering, until Cardinal Egan explained it all. The man in the mystery hat was the bishop of the Syrian Catholic Church in the U.S. and Canada. The cardinal said the bishop's name, but I couldn't hear it; there was a baby crying.
In Latin it's a pileolus, in Italian it's a zucchetto, in English it's a skullcap.
I'm not sure where she gets the "chartreuse" from - priests can wear a black zucchetto, bishops generally wear a purple or magenta one, cardinals wear a red or scarlet one and the Pope wears a white one.
Strange she should mention the funeral; I was there four days. The first day, as I headed for the rectory to cut through the choir room (to use the bathroom first), guess what the reporters outside were asking me about? Cardinal O’Connor? No. How I felt about Rudy cheating on his wife. Uneffingbelievable. Let’s just say the answer was memorable... my friends still laugh about it making the news.
I also know the Sisters of Life... they’ll get a kick out of mention.
Oh... and the sounds of children upset her? Poor pagan.
Some catholics still have children, some even raise them in the faith and spend family time, instead of being selfish... hence vocations. Trust me, you can hear Cardinal Egan without the huge monitors and speakers throughout the cathedral. Right... noisy babies, confession... yet she doesn’t know what vestments are (chartreuse shade of yarkmulke)?
She should have written about how rushed they went through the litany... I was incensed.
You know the 7 friars ordained are my friends right? I knew them when they inquired, or as I say, helped to change their spiritual diapers.
Yes... when the cardinal made the kneel comment, I thought “well get the newly ordained chairs to stand on”... sick right?
Yep, got all my first blessings and went to the first Mass yesterday.
I’ll comment at her blog when I get back. I’ll have the sisters do the same. Kidding about the sisters.