Tuesday, April 24, 2007

an evening with Fr. Groeschel

On Monday Rocky and I went to Blessed Sacrament in Alexandria for Mass and to hear Fr. Benedict Groeschel. Blessed Sacrament is one of the uglier churches in Virginia but it's a good place.

The Blessed Sacrament is kept in a dignified chapel ( I would prefer to have Jesus on the altar but this is better than a corner or down the hall in a dusty room which I've seen in other Virginia churches). The pastor, Fr. Cregan used to be a Marine and like John Wayne he takes no mess off anybody. Fr. Jaffe, is a big, hearty man's man. Rocky thinks very highly of him. Fr. Workman is a good guy as well. The choir is terrible and they have altar girls (ugh) but the Mass is celebrated reverently and the testosterome level is high.

Now, as for Fr. Groeschel. He is so fragile looking now that I almost gasped when I saw him. He couldn't sit down easily and actually fell into his chair. The impact shook his whole body and it looked like it hurt. This will be the last time I see him, I thought. But then he began to speak and I forgot his infirmaties. His body may be weak but his spirit is still like a young lion. He had planned to talk about living the spirtual life but because of Virginia Tech massacre he spoke about mental illness and evil instead. The church was packed and we were delighted to see a bunch of Missionaries of Charity (they are so tiny) and another order whom I couldn't identify, dressed all in white. There were numerous young priests in attendence and of course there were delightful young friars in the pews. I'm glad we went.


Lynne said...

I'm going to see Father Groeschel next week for a Day of Recollection in CT. I am so looking forward to it. Thank you for the advance warning on how he looks. I listen to/watch his show on EWTN and so one doesn't see him move around on the set.

I'm just thankful I've been able to hear him while he's alive. I can believe that he will be canonized some day.

Coffee Wife said...

I met Fr. Groeschel while visiting the Sisters of Life in New York. We were attending a final profession for several Franciscan Friars and Father was there. I managed to catch him while he was in his car and I asked for his blessing. So I knelt and he blessed me and then he leaned forward and looked me deeply in the eye and I thought, "Oh wow he's going to tell me something really cool!" So I leaned forward and we stared at one another...and stared...and uh...stared...

And then Father cleared his throat and, while giving me an odd look, said, "I'm sorry...I really must get going now..."

I was about as red as a beet when I slunk back into the church!! Ah, but it was so cool to meet him!!!

4HisChurch said...

I heard him speak last year in Emmitsburg, MD and I had the same impression. I honestly thought, as he passed by to go into the Church, that I was looking into the eyes of a saint.