Monday, September 8, 2008

Where was I?

The Mulier Fortis has tagged me for one of those meme things - a "where were you" when some famous events happened. So, in order:

1. President Kennedy's assassination, 22 November, 1963

I was suckling at my Mother's breast.

2. England's World Cup Semi-Final v Germany, 4 July, 1990

In the Capuchin House of Studies in Canterbury, Kent.

3. Margaret Thatcher's resignation, 22 November, 1990

Ditto the above - actually that morning at the seminary - the Franciscan Study Centre.

4. Princess Diana's death, 31 August, 1997

I was just getting ready to celebrate the Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Angels in Erith, Kent. I heard it on the radio and announced it to the people - it was a sombre Mass.

5. Attack on the Twin Towers, 11 September, 2001

I was at a rather dreary meeting in the rectory of St. Augustine's Church in Montpelier, Vermont. My Mother actually called from England to ask me what I thought! We had not heard or seen any news. We abandoned the meeting and stayed glued in horror to the television for hours.

6. Election of Pope Benedict, 19 April, 2005

This one is special! I was one of the five MC's getting things set up for the Ordination of our new Bishop, Salvatore Matano, in St. Joseph's Co-Cathedral in Burlington. Some 40+ Bishops were making their way back from lunch, about an hour or so before the Mass. Someone came running into the Cathedral where we were arranging things and said, "there's white smoke!" We went rushing into the house and turned on the tv. I was joined by about 14 bishops from different parts of the USA - I was overjoyed - they were not! Priceless! Bishop Matano became the first Bishop in the world ordained in the papacy of Pope Benedict.


gemoftheocean said...

Curiosity impels me, but why are FIVE MCs needed for such an event?!

the owl of the remove said...

One for the new Bishop, one for the Bishops, one for the Cardinals (there were meant to be three, but something was happening in Rome!), and two to do the normal MC stuff - obvious, isn't it?

gemoftheocean said...

I'd have thought one guy with a megaphone would have been enough! "Hey, you, not you, *YOU* - stand over THERE."

Liz said...

When Pope Benedict was elected I was doing elder care at my mother-in-law's house. When I heard the news I literally jumped up and down for joy. Meanwhile Joan Chichester was making very unhappy noises to the person who was interviewing her (on television of course). I'm not sure whom she was rooting for in the papal election, but it clearly wasn't the one we got. I guess those American bishops were in the same boat. Somehow I suspect that OUR bishop was probably pleased. I'm still pleased.

Kimberly said...

That is pretty amazing, where you were when the pope was elected! I didn't know that Bishop Matano was the first bishop installed under Pope Benedict's pontificate. That is really cool. and very possibly a providential sign for the church in VT? One can always hope...

GOR said...

They say that as we age we recall things from the distant past much better than more recent times. In that vein I do recall where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was a seminarian in Rome walking up the viale of our seminary in the Castelli Romani south of Rome.

One of the Italian seminarians came running down the driveway exclaiming: "E morto il Presidente!" Not sure which president he meant and thinking it might be Antonio Segni, the Italian President (though this was before the Red Brigades surfaced, anything was possible in Italian politics in the 1960s...), I asked "Which president?"

He replied "Kennedy". At which point we all converged on the caretaker's house as he had a TV - which we didn't in the seminary.

But my earliest recollection of an 'earth-shaking' event was the sinking of The Flying Enterprise in January 1952 and the courage of her captain - Henrik Carlsen - who was the last one to leave the ship (it took two weeks to sink) as he manfully endeavored to have her towed to port.

I can still see my father explain to my mother (using one of my toy ships and a breadboard!) how the ship came to founder...

Kimberly said...


It is nice to know someone still looks at my blog! I hope to see you sometime in December. that will be the earliest I can make it home for a visit