I traveled to St. Peter's Cathedral where 13 people had arrived early on Saturday morning to say the rosary before the 8:30 a.m. Mass. The side chapel has no visible tabernacle, so I left through a side door to visit the Blessed Sacrament in the main part of this beautiful Cathedral structure which seems to have been preserved from most of the ravages of the past 40 years.
The front of the chapel has a panel of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a statue of St. Joseph holding the baby Jesus. In the center alcove is a crucifix that is surrounded by green plants (perhaps artificial).
About 60 persons were present when Mass began, including one large extended family with small children that swelled the assembly in the small chapel with younger people, including two or three men in their 20s. Most people were older and white, and three or four Latinos were seen, but no blacks. The priest was assisted by an altar girl and an altar boy. A white-haired older woman in jeans was the reader.
As with other churches visited, the clothing worn was casual, informal, mostly jeans for people less than about 45 (including very torn jeans on one woman), and even one low-cut cleavage blouse.
The priest seemed deliberately slow and reverent in the prayers of the Mass, and appeared to be completely faithful to the rubrics required by the Church. He gave a short homily on how God has selected us, more than we have chosen Him.
The Mass was over within a short time, and I felt sad because people left so quickly after receiving Holy Communion--perhaps without adequate understanding of the Sacrament that remains with us for an estimated 10 to 15 minutes after reception (as long as the forms of bread and wine are distinguishable).
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