This week we celebrate the 4th of July. Our Mass schedule will be a little different, as we will have Masses at 9:00 AM, Noon, and 6:00 PM. Why 6 PM? I call it the fireworks Mass, and it is a happy memory from my childhood.
Let me tell you about Father Silk. Father Silk was the pastor of my childhood parish: St. Mary’s in Rockville Maryland. When I think of the 4th of July, I almost always think of him. Why, because every 4th of July he would celebrate the ‘fireworks Mass” = a Mass timed so that you could come to Mass and then walk to the picnic and fireworks at the high school across the street. Father loved the 4th of July. It was obvious in his enthusiasm celebrating the Mass, and also in the fact that he wore vestments for Mass that were red white and blue. (Ok, it was the 70’s, so we have Mass vestments that looked much like a flag …. bingo)! I remember Mass, and then picnicking and waiting for the fireworks to begin, getting an ice cream from the ice cream truck (which was a special treat) and of course the fireworks which I loved! Fr. Silk went home to meet the Lord several years ago; may he rest in peace and reap the rewards of the lives he touched.
Now you won’t ever catch me in a star-spangled vestment, but I do love this holiday and give thanks to God for my country, parish, and family. And if you come dressed for the fireworks Mass in star-spangled picnic splendor, I will give you a big smile and a hug!
God Bless America!