April 17, 2006 § 1 Comment
Happy Easter! What a blessed Holy Week it's been. We spend Easter Sunday as a family, finding Easter baskets, reading, playing baseball, playing the "dictionary" game, and having a wonderful Easter feast. Too bad Easter break is nearly over.
SUCCESS! I have a new crystal structure! Dr. Mr. Brewer sent me a congratulatory email yesterday morning and asked me to call to talk about it. He was ecstatic: we chatted out it for an hour. On account of fears that others may steal our project, I can't say what it is. Suffice it to say that we are very excited, and this is, to quote Dr. Brewer, "quite a feather in my cap."
Holy Week began with Tenebrae on Wednesday at the Dominican House of Studies. As usual, the Office of Shadows was sublime. But I do think that they must have been practicing the "convulsing of nature" all year; it was really loud! Many of the Dominicans showed up, but alas! Fr. Pritzl was out doing his ministry work and couldn't come. My family met me down there for the service itself, which was a nice way to start my vacation.
On Holy Thursday, St. Mary's kicked off the parish activities with the Mass of Our Lord's Supper. I always feel so bad for all those men who get their feet washed – how embarassing! After Mass, parishoners were encouraged to stay and pray in front of the tabernacle until midnight. Mommy, Kenny, and I stayed for a while before the "changing of the guard" when the McManamens showed up.
We went to Stations of the Cross on Good Friday afternoon, and then Veneration in the evening. Although Kenny served Stations inside the Church, the rest of us went with Fr. Baer for outside Stations. Veneration was full of people, but I think they were mostly Protestants because the veneration line was a lot longer than the Communion service line. :::sigh:::
Easter Vigil was the crowning service of the week, naturally. Msgr. Hughes lit the fire outside the Church before beginning one of the most beautiful Masses St. Mary's has ever seen. There were four lectors (including myself) for the seven readings, seven altar servers, a deacon, and two priests. I was really nervous about my readings – the Exodus reading and the first Isaiah reading – because (1) Mr. Griffith kept telling me that Mr. Long memorized the Exodus reading last year, and (2) Fr. Baer said it was his favorite. But it went off without a hitch, except that my knees were literally shaking throughout the Exodus reading.
Fr. Baer deserves public recognition for all the fantastic work he did putting together all of this Holy Week at St. Mary's. He took everything on his own shoulders, and mercifully spared Monsignor the headache for the most part. There was a "dress rehearsal" for an hour before every Mass. I really respect Fr. Baer for taking care of Msgr. like he does – concern evident in a supporting arm and a steadying hand. Although I could tell the stress really started to tell on Fr. Baer by the time Easter Vigil started, everything went beautifully. After the last Mass today he went to take a well earned break at the beach. :-)
Last night Kenny showed me the movie Jurassic Park. It was such a good film! I forgot how much I loved dinosaurs when I was little; it was all coming back to me as I watched the film. I used to know all the names of the dinosaurs, I had figures of many of them, I watched every informative dinosaur show that I could get my hands on, and had many dinosaur books. Other than the memories the movie brought back, it really is a thoughtful film particularly because of Jeff Goldblum's character Ian Malcolm. He makes many excellent points about the tendency of science to go mad and forget common sense. Malcolm is awesome (and cute too)! My favorite line: "The lack of humility being displayed here…staggers me."
In closing, I'd like to say something about a book that I finished about a week ago called Storyteller's Daughter, written by Saira Shah. Shah is of direct Afghani descent, but was born and raised in Great Britain. She is most famous for being the driving force behind the documentary on Muslim women called Behind the Veil. It really was a fascinating book, giving insight into the romantic land that Afghanistan once was and also an insider's opinion on how the culture has travelled downhill quickly until the present day. I am planning on re-reading the book when I have more time to pay close attention to the deeper implications of the book.
Anyway, it's getting late. Time for college students (even on break) to go to sleep!