On this blog, we usually confine our posts only to matters specifically regarding the Pope. But, on this occasion, being the Notre Dame alumnus that I am, I have decided to deviate just a bit. :)
Later this afternoon, my esteemed colleague Boney, aka Andy Hagans, the founder of the Pope Blog, will graduate from the University of Notre Dame. One of our favorite papabile of last month's conclave, Francis Cardinal Arinze, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is also among the ND class of 2005, for he is being awarded an honorary doctorate from the university.
Boney has informed me that during Saturday's Baccalaureate Mass, he tried his best to receive a communion blessing from Cardinal Arinze by ditching his own communion line and making a sprint for Arinze's line on the other side of the aisle. He was however thwarted by two ushers who tackled him to the ground and forced him to get back in his own line to receive communion from a "normal" priest. Better luck next time, Boney.
The final blessing of this Mass was delivered by Bishop John Darcy of the diocese of Fort Wayne - South Bend, Indiana. Prior to giving the blessing, Darcy recalled a memory of the late Pope John Paul II. Said the late Pope in Darcy's presence many years ago, "Notre Dame - a great Catholic university." After recalling this, Darcy then spoke directly to Arinze in front of the thousands of people gathered for the Mass. He asked the cardinal, the next time he was in Rome, to tell our new Pope Bendict XVI that the city of South Bend and the University of Notre Dame sends to him their love and obedience.
Finally, to my guy Boney, I congratulate you. Godspeed, buddy!