Last night's Oscars kept me up way past my usual bedtime, and boy am I paying for it today! I kind of had to stay up--out of keen interest in any of the movies (the only nominee I saw this year was "Toy Story 3" and that was on a seat-back screen on the flight across the Atlantic!). Really, I stayed up because we had guests with us specifically for the Oscars, and because this is my only real "media literacy" education, aside from living with Sr Helena, who is a walking media literacy textbook. Except they don't really use "text" books for media literacy... Of course, just watching Sr. Helena watch the Oscars was entertaining. She was tweeting during the Oscars (you can find her tweets here), and whenever a nominee was named that she thought was especially deserving, she would stand up behind the computer with her arms waving, shouting out cheers.
We almost missed her for the Oscars, though: she and our "vocations team" (I guess it's more correct to call them the "discernment team") were with the postulants in Aggie Land last week in what has become a kind of annual tradition. The discernment team holds there own annual meeting right at the Catholic Center at Texas A&M, but they combine it with some live action in terms of meeting actual discerners (or would-be discerners) and other young adults in their natural environment. Sr Helena just got back on Saturday, but not after an interesting encounter in the Houston airport: a Cardinal (from the Vatican!) was passing through with a small entourage after some meetings. He saw Sr Helena hunched over her keyboard in the airport cafe, editing video with headphones on, oblivious to all else, and basically stood in front of her until she noticed him. If I am not mistaken, when I was in Rome, it was this same Paolo Sardi who, as a "lowly" bishop, would say the 7:00 Mass at St. Peter's, on the altar in the right transcept. He gave such fabulous (and brief! not even 2 minutes!) homilies, the nuns who had been waiting for the basilica gates to open up (7 on the dot) would literally hike up their habits and run up the aisle of St. Peter's to get to his Mass. (The celebrants had their own entrance and were usually already more than halfway to the altar, accompanied by two chierichetti, by the time the front doors were opened.) So there was Cardinal Sardi, witnessing the Pauline charism at full speed ahead. Before leaving, he gave Sr Helena one of the new papal rosaries with Pope Benedict's coat of arms in the centerpiece and on the rosary case. (Somehow she forgot to mention that she had four sisters at home in Chicago...)