On Wednesday evening, Fr. Thomas More visited iCafe and brought with him the grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Father was warmly welcomed by the youth who appreciated his peaceful demeanor and exuberant articulation of Catholic practices which Fr. Thomas More expertly crafted into language the teens could relate to. He explained to the youth that we are used to seeing holy things at Mass, but as Catholics we also have the tradition of bringing those holy things into our homes and community spaces. Father went on to illustrate the ways in which the Catholic faith is Incarnational, which is to say that in our Catholic prayer and worship, we involve the eyes with beautiful things to look at, the ears with holy music to listen to, our sense of touch with water and oil, even our sense of smell by using incense which rises to heaven like our prayers. Our Catholic faith affirms the goodness of creation and the goodness of existing not only in soul, but in bodily form with eyes, ears, noses, and so on.
Speaking of incense, in addition to sprinkling holy water throughout the complex, Fr. Thomas More walked through the rooms and the hallway with a thurible full of smokey incense. He was assisted by one of the students who had become the designated thurifer (a thurifer typically being an acolyte who assists in carrying the incense when the priest is not doing so.) The blessing and prayers administered by father simultaneously served to invoke and invite the presence and grace of the Lord into the place while also driving out evil and expelling all that is not of the Lord.
After this blessing, Fr. Thomas More joined everyone at table as the youth munched down two large ‘Don’s Big Boys’ pizzas. Youth ministry parishioners Mike and Jen Gelsick introduced father to the incredibly fun Farkle dice game while father conversed with them and the youth about topics ranging from the names of garments worn by priests to what was on offer in the latest video games. As for video games, the youth were very excited to play NHL 2014 on the XBox which was newly released this week. Mr. Gelsick even hopped into the game play and managed to hold his own among the highly skilled youth. One of the students also brought her clarinet to play some music while everyone ate.
With the night almost over, some of the youth moved to the pool tables where the topic of discussion turned to the current school year and how they were progressing. We were certainly blessed with Fr. Thomas More’ presence at the youth social. His presence was not only a friendly and joyful presence, but in particular, it was a priestly presence. This priestly presence (for lack of a better term) is a unique type of presence which never fails to bring about a certain sense of merriment and peace wherever it is found.