April 3, 2015

Pange Lingua Gloriosi...

There is an ancient custom in the Catholic Church to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday night and to spend time in prayer at each in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  We began a Holy Thursday pilgrimage at Trinity High School four years ago and it's one of my favorite nights of the year.

We began last night at 7:30pm with Night Prayer at Saint Anselm Abbey.  I graduated from Saint Anselm College and attended daily Mass and Evening Prayer almost everyday from my sophomore year on.  I love the church and praying with the monks and it's a prayer our students probably would never experience so I enjoy bringing them.  Night Prayer is brief, about 10-15 minutes, and is prayed while standing.  From here we headed over to the West Side to St. Raphael's Parish, which was founded by the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey in 1888 and is still staffed by them.  The current pastor is Fr. Jerome Day, OSB, a good friend to Trinity High School.  Their Mass was still going on when we arrived so the students played in the park across the street for a bit!  We then snuck into the church at the sign of peace and at the end of the Mass joined in the procession with the people to the altar of repose.  Our dean of students Mr. Smith happened to be at the Mass which was a good witness for our students.

Fr. Richard speaking with the students
Our next stop was St. Anthony's Church, the home of our chaplain Fr. Richard Dion.  Fr. Richard spoke to the students in the church lobby about the history of the Holy Thursday pilgrimage and we then went inside and prayed for a few moments.  Ms. Byron of our social studies department was at Mass here so she prayed with the students.  Out final churches were St. Joseph Cathedral and St. Catherine's Church (the altar of repose is actually in St. Catherine's School's cafeteria).  Fr. Paul Montminy, the pastor of St. Catherine's, came outside after to thank the students for coming.

We concluded our evening with ice cream at the Puritian Backroom.  They close at 9:30pm usually but I called and asked if they would consider staying open to sell 40 ice creams.  They were happy to oblige!

I am grateful to the 40 or so students that joined us as well as Mr. Carnevale and Mr. Goodier of our theology department who caught up with us at the cathedral.  The students always seem to enjoy this evening and it's become such a wonderful tradition.

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