I went to Mass on my own this morning in the pouring rain. What I didn’t know was that it was a SPANISH Mass, which was fine……gave me time to just sit and breathe…for an hour and 20 minutes!!! The church had a very cool Nativity scene complete with running water and (fake) fire!! The fake rocks climbed the wall leaving little landings for the sheep, camel, Wise men and shepherds! Simply gorgeous!
The altar was decorated with the “He is the GIFT!” theme with lots of red, green, and sparkles!!
I think the coolest things about sitting there while everyone listened to the sermon was the fact that if I closed my eyes I could have been in any Spanish speaking country in the world…hundreds of miles away from home. It was very liberating! In my mind I could go from Spain, to Peru, to Chile, to Puerto Rico or any number of other places for the holiday season.
I also realized in that moment how narrow my world view is! I would love to travel more, see more places, go anywhere my heart desired, and yet, I get the sense that I won’t go to everywhere I want to go in this lifetime. This same Mass is being spoken all around the world in languages I had never stopped to listen to, simultaneously, and here I was in Bridgeport, CT on a rainy day three days after Christmas hearing the same story of a Holy Family. I could pick out enough parts to know that the priest was holding the Holy Family up to us all as a model for every family in Bridgeport and around the world!
As I wind down and complete my Church Tour 2014 I am proud to say that I only have 4 more churches in the Diocese to go…and have attended a mass in every language offered: English, Spanish, Haitian, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, Vietnamese. I attended the Lithuanian Mass, but no Lithuanian was spoken! AND…I tried for the Korean Mass….but it is no longer offered. I was inspired to go to Haiti to do service to others…..saw beautiful parts of the Bridgeport Diocese, admired hundreds of statutes and paintings, met some lovely people, heard some awesome and powerful homilies, at times felt like I was in the grandest cathedrals and other times I felt I was in a friend’s living room. I sat alone, sat with friends, sat with strangers and reached out to say “peace be with you” and heard back “Pace”. Simply an amazing little New Years’ Resolution that turned out to be a thought provoking and inspirational year!