Where are you when Mass is being celebrated on Sunday? One of the benches? Behind the choir? In the “cry-room”? Close to the door? Standing in the aisle? Half-in, half-out?
Not long after I was ordained—I was a priest in New York at the time—Pope John Paul II appointed a new archbishop for the city.
Shortly after the installation, a meeting was announced for all priests working in the archdiocese, so we could meet our new ordinary personally. There were about five hundred priests at the meeting in a large auditorium in the Manhattan. There was no seating arrangement. Each priest took a place wherever he wanted. There were about twice as many seats as priests.
His Eminence, John Cardinal O’Connor, arrived and stood front and centre on the stage in front of a microphone. We began with a prayer and then sat down. The archbishop opened by saying: “I can see that you are treating me the same way that the Christians treat you when they come for Mass on Sunday.”