Welcome! This blog celebrates both the local and the catholic -- that is, universal -- aspects of the Roman Catholic Church by sharing reflections on experiences of the Church in a variety of settings and cultures. Postings will come from around the world and around the corner. You don't have to be a Catholic to come along.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From the Sidewalk

Even in this multi-media, digital, high-tech age, everybody still loves a parade. My parish recently had a great one.

To wrap up the celebration of its centennial year, St. William Church in Cincinnati paraded an effigy of our patron saint, St. William of Monte Vergine, around the neighborhood one Sunday a few days after his feast day.

It was a grand affair featuring the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Knights of Columbus, and the joyful noises of the Polished Brass Quintet and the St. William Choir conducted by its legendary choirmaster, Dave Allen. Our pastor, Fr. Andrew Umberg, walked in the parade, smiling and waving.

Ann and I were watching from the sidewalk. At first I was a bit surprised when parishioners were asked to line the streets rather than march. Later it occurred to me that without an audience, there's not much point in a parade. As the 17th century English poet John Milton wrote, "They also serve who only stand and wait."

Similarly, there is a role for the observer who enters into a situation from the outside and reflects upon it. That's what this blog is all about.