My Catholic Priest Hall of Fame

I decided to convert to Catholicism after walking the Camino de Santiago
It is an ongoing process coming to a conclusion around Easter, but I enjoy the services and present my favorite Catholic Priests:
Monseniour Kenneth Velo
Often presides over the 7:00 Mass at Old St Pat’s in Chicago
He is familiar because he gave the homily for Cardinal Joseph Bernadin at his funeral 10 years ago.  He isn’t the yongest priest, but I am making a religious commitment to amplify my spirituality as I advance in age.

Rev. John Bovin, Holy Name Cathedral
He apresides over another 7:00 Mass in Chicago
Father Bovin is my favorite because he never talks fast, doesn’t have a low voice and speaks in his distinctive halting style. I listen to every word
Rev Rick Walsh, Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York City
One of my favorite things to do now is to attend Mass when I am visiting another city
St. Paul the Apostle is located near the NYC marathon finish between Lincoln Center and the Theater District
Before the 7:30 weekday Mass, I watched (what appeared to be) a janitor in a black t-shirt make final preparations around the alter. Turns out, the same man later appeared, conducting the Mass. But I remember Rev Rick Walsh for is inspirational Mass
Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, Paris
The 7:00 Mass was conducted in French, and was preceded by a worshipper who approached the alter down the aisle on his knees
As I am still participating in my catechism training, I don’t accept the host during the eucharist, but cross my arms across my chest to obtain a blessing from the priest (I wasn’t sure if they followed this practice in France)
I bowed before the Priest and he delivered his blessing in English. This surprised me as I thought I was blending in as a citizen of Paris. I don’t recall his blessing except that it ended with “may you walk with God” Which seems like a good idea, but also a great challenge
Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, Spain
At the end of my walk across Spain I attended the Pilgrim Mass. I had occasionally accepted the host during the eucharist during the Catholic mass before I was Catholic. There as many types of Catholics, some have no problem telling me that this is wrong, where others have encouraged me. I approached the Priest with my cellphone in one hand and offered the other hand to receive the host. When I started to walk away, I was directed to consume the host on-the-spot. In the process of transferring the host, with my cellphone in one hand, I regretfully dropped the host onto the floor. I realize that this was disrespectful at the very least, but look back at this as possibly a transforming moment.

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