Yesterday was the last regular Mass at St. Joe’s for Father Martin. He celebrated the 6:30a Mass and then there was a little reception afterward. What was kind of funny, besides this mama hustling two children under the age of 4 out of the door at 6:20a to get to church was the fact that because the floors in the main church were being redone, Mass was being held in a side room… a room that could comfortably hold maybe 50-70 people.
While quarters were cozy, it really made the Mass that much more special and intimate. Sometimes, Mass can kind of take on an impersonal feel when you are in this huge, cavernous Cathedral, when you feel so small that you don’t think that you even matter, but being at a celebration of Mass in this smaller room made me think that was how Mass was originally celebrated… 2000+ years ago.
So there we were, all snug together. Actually, I arrived a bit late with the girls (we arrived right after the opening prayer) and I need to make a quick trip down the rabbit trail: I kind of forgot that Mass was in the other room and so we get there and of course, there are no open seats. But no fewer than three (3!) gentlemen offered their seats (almost simultaneously) to us when we arrived. It was very kind, not that it would have been an issue to stand with the girls, but it is a bit easier to corral them, so to speak if I can hold them on my lap. OK, back to the point at hand. The room was warm and Father’s voice was so clear and everyone could hear. There were no kneelers, so technically we could have all stood for the consecration, but most everyone knelt right there on the ground. And as soon as it started, it was done (as weekday Masses go) and it was time to say, “Until we meet again.”
Father Martin will be missed by the people of St. Joe’s but I know that he will not be far away. After all, it’s not like he’s headed to Rome (yet?) Plus, he’s the Godfather of one the the children of one of my BFFs, so I am sure I’ll see him around there. (In case you are counting, yes, I have more than one BFF. I don’t believe in only having one as they all bring something special to my life. In my mind, a BFF is someone you could consider more like a sibling than just a friend.)
And for Father Martin:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.