I am writing this on Easter Monday, a day of snow! Amazing.
It has been a wonderful Triduum here at St. Jerome. I had the unusual experience of participating in
most of it from a pew. The only service at which I presided was the 9:30am on Easter Sunday. So, Fr.
Rojin did two Triduum services, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, and Fr. Mike did Holy Thursday.
The highlight of Holy Thursday was watching family/friend groups come up for the washing of the feet.
If you were observing and knew the cast of characters, your heart would have been deeply moved. On
Good Friday, the same experience happened as I watched people coming up to venerate the Cross.
Participation at both services was as good or better than last year.
Good Friday night was the “Fourteen Steps” and one of the best ever. That night I was struck by the
miracle of this parish. We have tremendous talent among both adults and teens. They were able to do
a dramatic prayer experience that requires: a band, lighting, a complicated sound system and teens
who can act and sing very difficult music. Joan McFarland was, again, the director assisted by many
adults. Part of what makes this parish so remarkable is the number of core ministries and the people
who carry them on year after year. The “Fourteen Steps” are central to making us unique as a parish
community. If you add up all the parishioners involved in one way or another it would come to about
150 people, maybe more.
Easter itself had surprising crowds. The 8am had about 175 people, twice the normal size. Both the
9:30am and 11am filled the Church with each Mass at about 375 people. The biggest surprise was the
12:30pm with 150 parishioners in attendance. It was festive, just as the day is meant to be.
My homily, at the 9:30am Mass, was an Easter story written in 1948 by Claire Huchet Bishop entitled,
“A Dust Rag for Easter Eggs.” It is a story set in Lent and Holy Week of Paris during the Nazi occupation.
The stars are six children who call themselves “the gang the cat who goes fishing”. I chose it for
theological reasons. It portrays a time of darkness when children physically lived out the dying and rising
that is what Easter is about. All of them sacrifice so that a dirty small dust rag can be turned into a
beautiful blue sweater that is carried into the country side by a small boy to be bartered for eggs for a
five year old girl, desperately in need of them. It is a tale of community and self sacrifice all leading to
new life and abundance, a literary metaphor for what Easter means: Jesus giving fully of himself that
we might be called into the community that is his Body, and given life to the full.