Saturday, July 03, 2010

Two Priest Stories to Share

"My Lord and My God"

1. From CNA:
"...then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant . . .'" Matthew 26:27

“For most priests, the chalice is the most significant vessel that they use. Of all the vestments and vessels we use, it’s the most significant because it’s the one we use the most often, and because the Eucharist is at the heart of what we do as priests as far as being nourished ourselves and nourishing the people of God.

“The chalice is very significant.”

That’s how Father Alex Zenthoefer understands the importance of the chalice. He’s the assistant pastor at Holy Rosary Church and chaplain at Memorial High School, both in Evansville, Indiana, and diocesan director of Vocations.

His own chalice has added significance, because it connects him to two other diocesan priests, linking them all the way back to 1911.
Chalice connects three priests over 99 years

2. From Insight Scoop:
Winter 1989, downtown South Bend, Indiana. The night is snowy and crisp. Inside the bar, already humid and smoky, the guitarist lights his cigarette, takes a long, patient drag and wedges it among the strings in the head of his guitar. As the smoke drifts from his mouth he begins moving his fingers across the fret board, the distortion turned up to eleven. The opening riffs of Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" crackle from the bending strings. Standing next to him, I watch his fingers glide effortlessly across the wood and steel. The toe of my boot taps to the chucky thumping as the bassist, my older brother, and the drummer make their entrances. With my forehead already sweaty from the lights and body heat of the room, I gather the lyrics in my head, press the microphone to my lips and begin navigating through the first verse. The crowd packed tightly into the small place begins pulsing with the beat. I feel the palpable rush from that invisible electricity between band and crowd beginning to fill the room. As the music crescendos to the refrain, I saunter over to my brother's side of the stage area where he is cuing the approaching vocal harmonies. He steps up to his microphone and we belt out, "Ain't talkin' 'bout love".

Nine years later in the Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, I lie prostrate, my forehead pressed into the cool marble floor. The smell of incense and burning candles mingles with the warm June air imbuing it with a holy fragrance. The tightly packed church, imploring the intercession of the angels and saints of Heaven, chants the litany of the saints for us who are about to be ordained priests. The invisible and peaceful presence of grace fills the church. After the examination the Archbishop, a successor to the apostles, lays his hands on each of our heads and pours the scented chrism on our hands.
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love? Why This Gen-Xer Is a Priest | Fr. John Cihak, S.T.D.

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