Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When at Notre Dame....

This evening, after joining a good friend for a great dinner and some time catching up, we returned to the Notre Dame campus, and went to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to help hear confessions. I have to tell you, it was a real thrill to join about 15 other priests in hearing confessions and reconciling almost 400 young people who were on campus as part of the NDVISION experience.

Ostensibly, I'm on campus as part of the Annual Liturgy Conference, and that's going very well....the speakers have all been awesome, and very insightful. But after a day of sitting in workshops and talks, I was getting itchy do "do something" priestly. When my friend asked if I'd be interested in hearing confessions of some of the young people, I of course jumped at the chance.

I think that I was more moved by the experience of the beautiful music, the environment of the basilica, and the chance to reconcile those young people than they were. At one point, the choir starting singing one of my favorite songs by Steve Warner and the Notre Dame Folk choir, "Lead, Kindly Light", and I got very emotional. It's a wonderful tune, with wonderful text by John Henry Cardinal Newman, and it always touches my heart and is a great song for a reconciliation service.

Looking forward to a full day tomorrow, and concelebrating the closing Mass of the conference, I'll be back in Jersey on Friday. But first, I have to make a visit to the Grotto, the CSC Cemetary, the Seminary, and then Holy Cross House tomorrow to see some old friends like Fr. Ted, Fr. D'Alonzo, and others. At Notre Dame, my heart is back at St. Anselm. Peace!

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