Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spirit Alive

The end of today's first reading can almost be said to describe the circumstances of today's saint: "With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city." Replace "Philip" with "Catherine" and "that city" with "Siena and environs" and there's not that much else to alter. The Holy Spirit seemed to have been working overtime in both of those eras, and hopefully last night, as well, when my nephew was among 50 young people confirmed by Archbishop Hughes at what we New Orleanians call "the Jesuit Church" (the "Baronne Street Church" or, more specifically, Immaculate Conception Church). There he is, on the left, telling his former teacher (Fr. Richard Hermes, SJ) about his plans to run for President of the Jesuit High Pro-Life Club. (Fr. Hermes was the sponsor for one of the other confirmands.)

The church is unique in many ways (when was the last time you sat in a cast iron pew?); mainly, it is noteworthy for its Moorish architecture.
Years back, when my Dad first started practicing law, his office was on Baronne Street, so when we were treated to a day with Dad, it usually involved Mass at the Jesuit Church (sometimes confession, too), so it was a familiar spot, even though I haven't actually been there in decades (although I didn't really remember it being quite so exotic when I was a child). I just wish I had brought the good camera with me!

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