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Archbishop Wuerl and the baby who was overwhelmed to see him
Posted By Eric Sammons On September 7, 2009 @ 9:24 am In Miscellaneous | Comments Disabled
Yesterday Archbishop Wuerl celebrated Mass at my parish for the installation of our new pastor, Fr. Thomas LaHood. The Mass was beautiful and the installation was quite moving, as Fr. LaHood made a profession of faith in front of the congregation to be faithful to the teachings of the Church, and to give a full submission of intellect and will to the teachings of the Pope and the college of bishops. I’m also sure that Archbishop Wuerl gave a wonderful homily. Of course, I couldn’t tell you a thing he said because my 2-month old daughter spent the entire homily screaming as loud as she could. And that wasn’t even the most embarrassing to happen to me during the Mass.
Here’s what happened. Near the beginning of Mass, my daughter started getting fussy. Maybe the incense was bothering her. Maybe she was just excited to see the bishop process in. But whatever the reason, I saw a meltdown might be about to happen. So I took her out and fortunately I was able to settle her down pretty quickly. In a little bit my wife came out and offered to take her and nurse her. I confidently told her that she was fine and that I’d take care of her. Famous last words.
As soon as my wife went back into the church, my daughter began screaming like the world was coming to an end (and to a two-month-old nursing baby, the sight of your mother walking away is the end of the world). I tried every trick in my dad-playbook – the rocking, the football-hold, the walking outside – none of it worked. She cried and cried and cried. I was stuck outside, able to barely see the Archbishop through two sets of windows.
Finally, at the end of the homily, she fell asleep. So I went back into the church and found my seat in the 2nd row. Soon the Liturgy of the Eucharist began, and at the epiclesis the altar server rang the bells. Well, I guess my daughter wasn’t completely asleep, or else she was really struck by the descent of the Holy Spirit, because as soon as the bells rang, she began to scream again. Here I was, sitting in the 2nd row at the moment of consecration with the bishop celebrating to our packed congregation, and my baby is louder than a 747 taking off. I didn’t want to walk out in the middle of the consecration, so I tried to calm her for a few moments. But as soon as the consecration was completed, I ran out of there like Usain Bolt with a bear chasing him.
Needless to say, the moral of the story is: if the mother of a child asks to take him or her from you, there is only one correct answer: yes, dear.
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