A while back Lee, C and Me went to the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Consecration. Here's my thoughts:
1. I'm very glad I went. It would have been easier not to go and have to hold C for 4 hours, but I mean how times in my life will there be a new cathedral to consecrate? Hmmmm.... probably never
2. I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO very glad the traffic directing guy let us go in this lot and told us good luck finding a spot. Parking was a zoo and with the minibus it isn't always easy finding a spot when there's NONE left. There was literally no spots left in the 'clergy' zone when we got there an hours before Mass started.
3. I almost died walking in wedges on the rocks - but I didn't.
4. In his homily Bishop Burbidge explained the naming of the cathedral. Backstory - the old cathedral (each diocese has a cathedral which is kind of like the bishop's home church) is named Sacred Heart. Part of the Mass was a Vatican official stripping Sacred Heart of its cathedral status (and making it a regular church) and giving the new Holy Name of Jesus cathedral 'official cathedral status'.
The name Holy Name of Jesus was sounded really random to me. I mean going from Sacred Heart to Holy Name of Jesus doesn't exactly flow. Of all the saints and other spot on Catholic church names - Holy Name of Jesus? Seriously, what gives?
As it turns out, the diocese ran an orphanage on the grounds waaaaaaaaaaay back in the day. And guess what. The chapel in that orphanage had a name - Holy Name of Jesus chapel. Now that's a great back story, no? And makes perfect sense
5. Now for the meat
In the 3+ hours of this consecration Mass there was an exchange that has caused me to reflect long and hard and I probably will continue to do so.
Early on in the Mass the (some?) members of cathedral building committee handed the keys of the cathedral over to Bishop Burbidge. The man whose vision steered the cathedral into an idea, who poured hours into planning, prepping, and pitching the cathedral to the diocese, who oversaw the fundraising campaign to make this happen, who dug in the shovel at the groundbreaking, who spent even more hours making sure ever last tile, stained glass window, statue, station of the cross - everything was perfect.
Finally he could breathe a sigh of relief.
It was finished. And now he and his flock could enjoy the gorgeous new cathedral.
But that's not what happened you see.
I bet you Bishop Burbidge held that box of keys for about 15 seconds.
You want to know what he had to do with them?
He passed them on.
They weren't his to keep.
He passed them on to Bishop Zarama.
You see, back last year Bishop Burbidge was called by the Pope to serve as the Bishop of Arlington. And like any faithful bishop he gracefully bowed out of the diocese of Raleigh and headed to Arlington with the Holy Name of Jesus cathedral months away from being consecrated.
Several weeks before the consecration the Pope named Bishop Zarama the new bishop of Raleigh - but he was not officially installed (probably because they were waiting on a bigger cathedral since Sacred Heart seats about 300ish and HNJ seats over 2000).
Can you imagine the exchange? The emotions? The thoughts? Everything that was running through Bishop Burbidge's mind as he hands Bishop Zarama the keys to the cathedral? They smiled. They embraced.
But man, if God doesn't have a sense of humor? The man who poured years into this beautiful church had the keys for 15 seconds.
Humbling I suppose.
And I got to thinking about it and (this may be a stretch - for anyone who is still reading) and isn't it just like parenting. God gives us a child. We parents pour our lives into our children's lives. We do our best to model and shape them. We laugh. We cry. We give them our all. But at the end of the day, when our kids grow up and go out and we give them 'their keys' - I'll bet it feels like us parents have held onto those 'life keys' for seconds.