Thursday, January 13, 2011

Signs of the Arizona Tragedy

This morning I was heading over to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in the north end of Tucson, to attend the 7 am Mass.  I had decided to go a little early as Father Clement had told me that the church was open from about 6 am so that people could come early and pray in front of the tabernacle.  I wanted to have time to pray the Rosary before mass, for those whose funerals would be held there today and tomorrow.  Today, the funeral for Christina Green, the 9 year old girl who was gunned down is being held.  Tomorrow, Judge Roll's funeral will take place here.  SEAS is the largest church in the area, and the best able to handle these two funerals.

When I arrived, it was still dark, though some lights were on in the chapel.  As I exited my car, which was the second car in the southern part of the parking lot, the other car turned on its lights including a spotlight, and gave a short whoop on the siren. 

It was a Pima County Sherrif's Deputy, and he called me over to his car.  He asked me why I was there.  I responded that I was there to pray and attend Mass.  This struck him as odd, as the area had been swept with bomb sniffing dogs, and searched for weapons and explosives, the previous afternoon.   He expected that there would be nothing going on at the Church until the funeral Mass.  I suggested that he accompany me and another woman who had arrived for mass to the chapel, and see for himself.  I told him that there had been a sign on the door yesterday telling us that masses would be held (7 and 9 am today, and only 7 am on Friday).

Well, when we got to the entrance door to the chapel, that sign had been changed to one that said only that Eucharistic Adoration, which is held each day for several hours, was cancelled for both today and tomorrow.  The deputy asked us what he misread as "adornation" was and I explained to him about Jesus being present in the Eucharist and being exposed on the altar for people to pray and worship Him. 

He looked at me like I had two heads on my shoulders, much like the response I expect from some of our separated brethren.  When he looked into the chapel, he saw that other people had entered from the north side and so he was perplexed.  He said that he had to look into this, and left, and did not return.  So obviously, we must have received a Sherrif's dispensation, and mass proceeded without incident.

This is as close as I will get to the funerals being held, but both families are in my prayers, and I hope in yours as well.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, we trust in your love for the Green and Roll families.

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