A Jesus Story: The Visit

jcknocking 

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter.

She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again.
There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address.

She read the letter:

Dear Ruth:
I`m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always,

Jesus

 

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. ‘Why would the Lord want to visit me?
I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.’ With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen
cabinets. ‘Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.’ She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents.
Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.’ She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk…leaving Ruth with grand total twelve
cents to last her until Monday.. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager
offerings tucked under her arm.
‘Hey lady, can you help us, lady?’
Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway.
A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
‘Look lady, I ain’t got a job, you know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and,
well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us. Lady, we’d
really appreciate it.’
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was
certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.
‘Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread,
and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.’
‘Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.’
The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. ‘Sir, wait!’
The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them.
‘Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.’ She handed the man her grocery bag.
‘Thank you lady. Thank you very much!’ ‘Yes, thank you!’ It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
‘You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.’ Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders.
Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street…without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.
‘Thank you lady!
Thank you very much!’
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too.
The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key.

But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. ‘That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.’

         
Dear Ruth:

It was so good to see you again.
Thank you for the lovely meal.
And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,
Jesus

Submitted by Jim K. 

Bush Visits With Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican

Vatican statement…

This morning, Friday 13 June 2008, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America was received in audience by His Holiness Benedict XVI.

In order to respond to the cordiality of the welcome received by the Supreme Pontiff during his recent visit to the United States of America, the audience followed a special protocol …

Click here for more

Reuters photo

Bishop Sartain of the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois on the Papal visit

Bishop Sartain of the Diocese of Joliet on the Papal visit

http://dioceseofjoliet.org/jpsColumn31.asp

The Pope speaks about his U.S. visit

The Pope speaks about his U.S. visit

Pope at Ground Zero

From the Vatican:

http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/d0_en.htm

Doria2’s Report from the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium

Doria2’s Report from the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium – 4/20/08

First of all, we heard awhile back that the parish would be receiving a set amount of tickets for Yankee Stadium and there would be a drawing as to who gets to go.

It was the only fair way.

I decided, being that I never win anything, that I wouldn’t even bother. Besides, what are the chances that both my wife Marie and I both would win? Slim and none! And if I can’t go with Marie I just ain’t goin’!

BUT, as Marie would say, I’m thankful for the small miracles that happen in my life everyday. And they DO happen!

Turns out, two good friends, former co-worker and parishioner Gene Marchesi and his wife Julie who works with Marie, sing in a choir that would be singing for the Pope at Yankee Stadium were given two tickets apiece and they graciously gave them to us.

The seats were unbelievable. Right behind the Yankee dugout where Pope Benedict disembarked from the Pope mobile and went to put on his vestments. RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!! We were less than two hundred feet away!

Turns out sadly, that Gene and Julie couldn’t make it because Julie became ill with a bad cold. This was the only downside to the whole day and I will be eternally grateful to them for thinking of us and allowing us to attend this great event. They’re real good people.

I would like to dedicate this story to them, so let’s start at the beginning.

The day started bright and early filed with excitement as my wife Marie and I prepared to go to Yankee Stadium to see His Holiness Benedict XVI.

We were told to be in our parish Church?s parking lot at 9:30 sharp. We arrived at 9:28 only to find that the bus was full!!! Panic time!!! We begged the bus driver to let us stand in the aisle but to no
avail. He told us that he called his dispatcher and that he would send us a mini bus within 30 minutes (there were three others with us, Tom, his wife Janet, and Suzy).

Forty five minutes went by and nothing.

I said a short prayer, “Lord, ya gotta let this happen.”

Within a few minutes a small bus was seen, but going in the opposite direction from where we were standing. It was empty and I strained to see where it was going when it disappeared over the hill. I was saying to myself, “Please make a u-turn, please make a u- turn!!”

Sure enough, it came back down the street BUT it passed us. It stopped at the corner of Tuckahoe Rd. and Central Ave., an intersection that’s known for its long, long street lights. It takes four light changes to get to your light and it was on the first one, so Marie took off running down the street (my knees are shot) caught the bus ,and asked the driver if she was looking for 707 Tuckahoe Rd. and she said yes but she would be back in a few minutes (turns out she had to go to the bathroom).

Now it’s approaching 10 and we were told that Yankee Stadium would be on lock-down at noon.

No one in and no one out … and we figured traffic would be a nightmare. Well, Evie did get back and we loaded up. The first hing she said was, “Just wanna warn you that that I don’t drive like a lady.”

I said Yeeeeah, and step on it! We made it from Central Avenue and Tuckahoe Rd. to the Yankee Stadium exit on the NYS Thruway in under 15 minutes. The security was unbelievable (you would think the Pope was visiting or something).

Anyway, we got out of the bus and had to walk a few blocks to get to the Stadium along with what seemed like an ocean of humanity of all colors, shapes and sizes (that’s Catholicism, folks) buses everywhere, even parked blocks away from the Stadium outside of parking lots.

We arrived at the very crowded front gates and there were metal detectors everywhere, sort of like when you board a plane at an airport. We finally got to the detectors and were told that we had to take all metal out of our pockets. WELLLL, I had keys, Rosaries, rings, necklaces, cell phone, I mean, I was loaded up, emptied my pockets and still had to be frisked with the wand. It was great!!

Ok, we get into the stadium and start looking for our seats. A sea of people around us. I usually get discombobulated in these type of scenes. Thank God Marie was there. She takes stock and will usually get me where I’m going while I’m still reading the ticket and looking around like a 4 year old.

Tom, Janet, and Suzy were in another section. We were to meet outside the Stadium, by the big baseball bat. (But that’s another story).

We found our seats and began to take it all in. Incidentally, we arrived before the bus that we missed. We were there close to an hour before Gene’s son Anthony showed up. You see, God takes care of fools and
idiots like me. So we settled back and started to enjoy.

Me, not being one who was there for the entertainment, told Marie (after Anthony arrived) and was seated, that I’m walking around a bit. I was there for the Pope and could care less that Jose Feliciano and Harry Connick Jr. would sing for the crowd. Warming us up I guess.

As we say in New York, I didn’t need no warmin’ up. I’m going to explore, check out all of the people, buy some souvenirs to be blessed, go to the bathroom … whatever.

I start walking. Lines at the food counters were unbelievable. Must be like a Yankee – Boston game would be like so I decide to use the men’s room and I use the word men cautiously here. I get on line and notice
women were on line too so I look up at the men’s room sign. I figured maybe the “Wo” in women must have fallen off or something. Nope! It said “Men” alright and the people around me were joking that that the
women?s bathrooms were a mad house, and they didn’t care. They were goin’ in the men’s room. OOOOOOOOOk.

I get into the men’s room and there’s this cop saying. “Ok.” Women, cover your eyes and walk this way. Men that way.” It was hilarious.

As I’m walking out I yell out, “OOOOOnly Catholics
could get away with this you know?” … to much laughter.

Now, I get on a line because I underdressed and we were sitting in the shaded part of the stadium and I wanted to buy some kind of shirt or something. Anything. I was freezing.

While on line I see this young priest standing to my right against the wall just watching people go by. He
was dressed like an altar boy but had the gold and white linen around his neck and I say to him, would you mind hearing my confession? (I couldn?t get to confession Saturday because I was at Yonkers Raceway
volunteering for transportation for the kids who were up at St. Joseph’s Seminary).

He said sure, so we took a few minutes and there I was receiving the Sacrament of Confession at gate 21, Main Level, Yankee Stadium. These are things of which legendary stories are made, folks. One for the family archives. Confession at Gate 21 !

Now for something to eat. I pick the shortest line and walk back to my seat and Marie and I shared lunch ? a jumbo bag of popcorn. Plenty of time for eating later.

Well I’m sure most, if not all of you watched on TV as the clergy filed in and our beloved Holy Father made his entrance and celebrated Mass. It was an awesome experience. One moment loud cheering and the next, so quiet one could hear the 57,000 seats squeak as people sat down.

When it came time to receive Holy Communion, I’m thinking, “No way. No way 57,000 people are going to receive.” BUT, they did it. No arguments, no pushing and shoving, everyone waiting patiently ? Catholic folks at their best. It was something to behold.

It took awhile to get out of the stadium and back to the bus, but Evie got us home in record time. I finished the night off in front of the TV with a slice of pizza and a veal parm wedge and watched as Pope
Benedict XVI got onto Shepherd One and took off.

It was a great day and sharing it with Marie made it even more special.

Wish my kids could have been there. It was absolutely awesome.

AndyP/Doria2

Full coverage of the Pope’s visit to the U.S.A. here

Go Wichita! Save the Catholic Schools!

Go Wichita
Save the Catholic schools.
By William J. Bennett

One of the notable events of Pope Benedict’s recent visit to the United States was his address to Catholic educators.

While he focused most of his comments on the role of the Catholic University, he did not forget to remind us of the need to recommit to our Catholic elementary and secondary schools, “especially those in poorer areas.” And as President Bush is set to convene a summit on inner-city children and faith-based schools this week, it is worth reflecting on the decimation of America’s urban Catholic primary and secondary schools and what can be done about it.

For more, click here.

Submitted by Doria2

Info here on the Pope’s Visit

Info here on the Pope’s Visit:

Nancy W. and the Kids Report from Washington, DC

Doria2’s Report from the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium

New Video of the Papal Visit from Patty W. (Thanks Nancy!)

Busy Saturday In New York City for Pope Benedict XVI

Knights of Columbus To Provide Tribute For Pope’s New York Mass

Pope’s Early Arrival Uncommon at United Nations

Pope’s U.N. Address: Human Rights & Natural Law

Working To Bring Back Catholic Culture

Catholic Schools and Church Teachings

Miraculous Moments

Behind the Scenes: A Thrilling Day Covering the Pope.

Pope Meets and Prays With Victims

Doria2 Prepares for Papal Visit in New York City

Pope Praises U.S. Bishops’ ‘Efforts to Heal’ After Abuse Scandals

Pope Tells Bishops To Fight Secular Ideology

 

Pope Benedict XVI Arrives in America

Papal Trip – Dedicated Website

Frequently Asked Questions About the Papal Visit

Pope Getting Royal Treatment From White House 

U.S. Council of Catholic Bishop’s Official Site

From the Vatican

Bishop Peter J. Sartain of the Diocese of Joliet On the Papal Visit

April 17: Day of Prayer for Our Holy Father at Christ the King Church in Lombard

Catholic News Service

Official Archdiocese of New York Site

The Pope and Cardinal George

Catholic Places of Interest in DC and NY

Pope’s Prayer at Ground Zero Will Invoke God’s Peace for “Violent World”

The Washington Post

EWTN Televison Network Coverage

Special Roman Missal for Papal Visit and DC Mass – Pray Along on TV

New Yorkers Preparing for the Pope

Catholic League Welcomes Pope Benedict with Op-Ed Piece in the New York Times

In-Transit Pope Addresses U.S. Clergy Abuse Scandal

George Weigel On the Pope’s Visit

“Sermon On the Mound” – Papal Mass in Yankee Stadium

More About Pope Benedict XVI 

About the Papacy