I can hardly believe its been a year with Benedict. I was reading Amy's post on this earlier and decided to write about what my family did that day.
We were going about our business, keeping a watchful eye, waiting for the smoke. My husband didn't have to work until later in the day so he was keeping tabs on the networks and EWTN. I had a live EWTN feed running on the computer. Kids were running around. I was too excited to attempt a school day. I noticed the smoke on the live feed. Black...but then it seemed white...or did it? Nobody was sure. I ran up the stairs and by the time we had it on a network the smoke was definitely white. I can't describe the thrill of excitement. I called the children and then overcome by the joy of the moment called my parents and my sister in Georgia. As I called them just to share in the waiting I realized how lost I had felt in the days with no Holy Father. Part of my excitement was that now my world would be right again. Now waiting...waiting. I also realized that my children were sharing in an amazing moment in history. Never had so many people all over the world known at the same moment that a new Pope had been elected.
Then the doors opened "...Habemus Papum!" WHo?! When I heard Jospeh Ratzinger I whooped for joy! When he came out I instantly loved him all the more, my Holy Father! I remember thinking how gently he smiled and how much this dear man had wanted to retire over the past few years. God had blessed our Church indeed. Calls to my sister and parents again, as well as friends, full of joy, as if we had witnessed the birth of a new baby.
My husband left for work a bit later. I wanted to do something more to celebrate. I wanted to go to Mass, it seemd the perfect way to celebrate. I knew of a local parish that had been doing a holy hour every night until the election of a new pope and wondered if they would do something similar that evening. Just then, a friend, a parishoner at that parish sent out an email that the Holy Hour would be a Mass of Thanksgiving instead. Perfect! The only catch was that it was at 7 p.m. which would make a mess of getting dinner in the kids and be somewhat hard on me. But, some things are more important so we went. It was beautiful! Chanted a prayer in latin in for Pope Benedict, priests in stunning red vestments, a small group of worshippers (this is a somewhat new parish, their church just having been constructed). After Mass, we were busy trying to get out the door when the same friend who sent the email greets me and tells me that we must go to the parish center for dinner. Everyone has pitched in and brought food, "We're having a party!" I thank her, but tell her we really can't, I haven't brought anything to share. She says no problem, there really is plenty of food, it would be silly not to come. And so we did. It was great. Tons of food, including of course German food, drink, desserts...and all of us so happy, sharing in this moment in our Church. It felt so Catholic. And even though I only knew a few people I felt so welcomed, part of the community....Catholic!